Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

New new iPad


As alluded to last week, I planned to buy a new iPad with monetary contributions received for my birthday. I ordered it online on Saturday (for the 5% education discount), and picked it up at the Apple Store in Leeds on Monday.

I’ve gone for the most expensive of the standard iPad models. It’s the 6th generation iPad, with 128 GB of storage and cellular capability.

Why not just Wi-fi?

My previous iPads (a second-hand first generation iPad and then an iPad Mini 2) were both Wi-fi only models. I’ve been using my iPad Mini more and more on the train to and from work, and the trains I catch are not (yet) fitted with Wi-fi. Even when Wi-fi is available, sometimes there’s a cost, sometimes it can be quite slow, and it can take a while to get connected. So I decided to pay a bit more, and have an iPad that has internet access everywhere.

For the SIM card, I’ve got a pay-as-you-go SIM from Three. It cost £60 upfront, and comes with 24 GB of data, valid for two years. Assuming I use around one gigabyte of data per month, that’s effectively £2.50 per month, which is cheaper than a lot of contracts. The data runs out once I’ve used all 24 GB, or after two years, whichever happens soonest.

The puffin case

As this is a standard sized iPad, I had to buy a new case for it. Christine made me a lovely case for my iPad Mini (pictured above), but it’s too small for my new iPad. And she doesn’t have time to make me a new one, what with working full-time, being a part-time student and a mum.

Also, that photo shows how badly smashed the screen on my iPad Mini is.

I still wanted something unique, so I went onto Etsy, and ordered this beautiful case (top photo) from The Canny Squirrel. It’s hand made from genuine Harris Tweed, and is big enough for an iPad with some space to spare. Which will be handy when I eventually buy a new Bluetooth keyboard.

Plenty of storage

Ideally, I would have liked to buy a 64 GB iPad, but Apple doesn’t offer the 6th generation iPad in that size. I’ve struggled with a 16 GB iPad Mini for four years, and felt that a 32 GB iPad would also be quite limiting, so in the end I decided just to buy the one with the largest storage capacity. At least then I can load it up with plenty of ebooks, music, videos etc. whilst on Wi-fi so that I’m not going over my data allowance.

What is the new iPad like?

Honestly, not massively different. I’m appreciating having Touch ID on it as well as my phone, rather than having to type out passwords. And it’s definitely faster. But as I set it up with an iCloud backup from my old iPad, it’s been basically business as usual. Though I will say that the setup process has improved – being able to transfer essential settings across from my iPhone was great and worked really well.

My old iPad Mini 2 lasted me four years of essentially daily usage, and I’m hoping to get at least the same from this one.

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