Convinced you need an iPad to make your life complete? You're not the only one! The latest estimates say that there are some 7.5 million iPads already being put to use by rabid consumers world-wide, and those numbers are bound to rise even further with each holiday season.
 
So if you want an iPad, what's the next step? Here's what you need to do:
 
Decide if you want to buy from Apple or from a reseller
I always recommend buying from Apple, because of the added confidence you'll have in being able to get repairs or a refund if something were to go wrong. Also, if you purchase an Apple product elsewhere than the Apple Store, they will not replace it if there's a problem. The lower price isn't worth the hassle; go with Apple.
 
Decide if you want to buy online or from an Apple Store
With over 300 stores world-wide, there's a good chance there's an Apple Store near you. But if you don't want to deal with parking, lines, and “the mall” (where most Apple Stores are located), you can buy your iPad online with free shipping. Just go to their website or copy and paste this link in your browser to see your choices:
http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_ipad/family/ipad
 
Choose a 3G or a Wi-Fi model
There have been problems with the Wi-Fi model; ours barely picks up the household signal, even when my iPhone and laptop are picking up a strong wireless signal. If you plan on using it outside your home at all, I recommend going with the 3G; the monthly data plan is very reasonable, and the ease of being able to pick up a signal anywhere is a huge convenience.
 
Choose your size
$200 for four times the storage space seems like a no-brainer to me, but I'm one who firmly believes that bigger is better, at least when it comes to hard drives! However, if you don't plan on using your iPad to store videos or audios, you may find the smaller sizes perfectly adequate. Remember though; just as with closets and garages, if you have the space, you'll use it. And the more space you have, the more you'll use your iPad.
 
Pull the trigger!
 
That's it. The only other question you may have is what accessories you'll want, and if you want to engrave a pithy saying on the backside of your iPad (think of it as an electronic tattoo). The process is painless, as it should be. And setting up your new baby will take even less time than buying it did. Happy computing!
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