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iPad 2 shipping times in the US are 2-3 weeks, and a few people are still lining up early at Apple stores hoping to get one of the few that come in every day.

But do you need an iPad 2? (Of course, does anyone "need" an iPad? We're going to assume you at least want one at this point.) Here's the latest Apple ad for the iPad 2 (go ahead and watch if you haven't already seen it, it's only 30 seconds):


I'd say that if you don't need the cameras, and you're not a hard-core mobile gamer, you can probably get by just fine with the original iPad. Apple actually made that point above! It's not about specs – it's about usability. If you don't need the speed (yes, the graphics are supposed to be much faster, but I don't do hardcore games) or the cameras, and you can live with the fact that it's slightly heavier (very slightly), you may be a candidate for an iPad 1.

I've seen them on in the past few days, and AT&T will sell you a 64GB +3G model for $529 (and free shipping!). You have no commitment to AT&T – you never have to turn on the 3G, but you'll have the option, plus the real GPS that's not in the WiFi only model.

My iPad 2 came a little over a week ago, and yes, it's faster – but not so much that I'm blown away by it. I haven't even tried FaceTime yet, and I've only checked that the cameras work. My wife wanted an iPad, so she has my old one (and here's a tip – if you activate your account at an AT&T store or on the phone, they'll give you the first month free! Just turn it off after a month or 2 GB, whichever comes first, if you don't want to pay anymore). But the more I use this one, the more I realize I could just as easily have picked up the $529 model and been very happy.

It won't be around forever. Unless you need one of the iPad 2 exclusive features, you should at least think about picking up an iPad 1.


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