Choosing an iPad for Pat’s Husband

Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 6.36.50 PMOne of my faithful readers, Pat of A New Day, left me the following message:

“Okay, I have an idea for you. I think you should so some Dear Sharechair type post and I’ll submit the first letter.”

Dear Sharechair,
I am very excited because I would like to buy my husband an I-Pad for Father’s Day but not sure if it would be the right thing for him. He likes to play solitaire, check e-mails, and read newspapers (on-line). He also occasionally does some surfing of the web. Do you think he would like an i-pad. Which one would be best for him?
Thanks, Pat

Well, I accepted the challenge, and I’m also tossing it out to everyone. I’ll share my thoughts, but as I’ve pointed out before, I am NOT in any way an expert on anything. Just a person who enjoys all these gadgets and truly believes that they enhance our lives. So I hope that anyone who reads this post feels comfortable to jump right in and tell Pat what YOU think, too. 🙂

So … let’s get on with helping Pat.

First of all, she wants to know if her husband would like an iPad.

Well, Pat, I don’t know your hubby, but I’m guessing he’s a retired guy, and if he likes to play solitaire, read news on-line, check email and do some surfing, I’d say yes yes and yes because with an iPad he’ll be able to do all those things (and so much more) from the comfort of his favorite chair.

All the news sources have apps of their own, feeding news onto the iPad with glorious presentation. And then there are other news apps such as Flipboard (subject of a future blogpost) which can be personalized so that all the news that HE wants to read will be right at his fingertips.

And if he enjoys solitaire, he’ll probably enjoy a good number of other similar types of games, and there are many many many others for him explore and enjoy. (Much of the fun is the hunt for great apps.)

And let’s not forget to mention the videos he can watch, the music he can play, and the productivity apps he can use to plan the garden, budget the expenses, or plan for travel. Oh yes… it also takes pictures and video. 🙂

He can draw on it, edit photos, shoot and edit movies of his own, or rent a blockbuster to watch on a plane. And of course he can surf the web.

Bottom line for “will he like it?”: if he enjoys fiddling with a computer to play a few games or to surf the web, I do think he would enjoy an iPad. It is everything he likes already, and so much more.

Pat’s next question was “Which one would be best for him?”

This is a great question, and to determine the answer, you have to make a number of choices.

WiFi only or 3G?

This is REALLY important. For your husband to thoroughly enjoy his iPad, you should have wireless in your home. (If you don’t have it already, it is not hard to do. Your internet company might install it for you (it is just a little box) or you can buy the device yourself at Staples or Best Buy and easily install it with only a minimal bit of computer knowledge.)

“WiFi only” means that it will only access the internet from a wireless environment. If your house has wireless, once you put your password into your iPad, it will remember it always, and always be connected to the internet in your house. When you travel, many hotels offer free wireless, or places like Panera, McDonalds and Starbucks, and the iPad will connect easily in all of these places.

“3G” means your iPad is ALSO equipped to connect with the internet without wifi. But this costs extra money, and uses data.

I would recommend starting with a WiFi-only model in your wireless-enabled home. No extra charges to worry about.

Another consideration is the color choice: White or black? No opinion from me on the color. They both work 🙂

Next consideration is memory.

The original, tablet sized iPad comes in 4 memory sizes. 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. For your husband, just starting out, I think the 16GB would be just fine, and if you wanted to splurge for a little more, the 32GB would be all he would ever need. No more. The bigger sizes (industrial strength!) are for those who do a lot of video work on the iPad or intensive video gaming. For your husband’s reading pleasure, internet surfing, and solitaire-type playing, the 16GB should be fine. If you anticipate lots of photos or videos going on it, then splurge up to the 32GB.

Next consideration: Regular sized or Mini?

I’m going to stick my neck out here and even though I don’t know your husband, I’m going to suggest the regular sized iPad. The mini is the same device, just smaller. I’m guessing the ‘portable’ aspect of the smaller iPad is not nearly as important as the the larger screen is on the regular one. Aging eyes = bigger screen.

Summing up:
Wifi only or Wifi plus 3G? I’d suggest starting with Wifi only. (Personally, I have a WiFi only model and I’ve never regretted that choice.)
Color? No opinion from me 🙂
Memory? 16GB or 32GB
Regular or Mini? Regular (bigger screen, better to see!)

Note to Pat: Now, armed with this information, I suggest you go and visit an Apple store. I checked, and I see there is one in your area. I guarantee the folks there will be VERY helpful and will answer all your questions. You can play around on each of the models and I’m sure that will be helpful to you in making your decision.

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 I’m sure that Pat will welcome any and all other opinions. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


23 thoughts on “Choosing an iPad for Pat’s Husband

  1. Not only did I enjoy clicking “like”, I would click “love” if there was one. Thank you so much for your help and now I will have fun deciding what to get. Of course I won’t be buying for a couple of months so I welcome all additional information. Are there others out there who have a brand other than Apple? I would like to hear your opinion on pros and cons. This is great!

    • I also have a Kindle Fire. It is a great little tablet and considerably cheaper than the iPad. Some day I will write a comparison, but it is hard to compare them. Because as nice as the Fire is, the iPad is (in my opinion) a much better tablet. Of course the difference in price reflects this 🙂 .

      • I will look forward to seeing your comparison. I would like to know what I would loose by paying less. It is an issue because my husband doesn’t know he wants one and would like it after he got used to using it. 🙂

  2. I think they should pay you and have do a weekly column for cnn online…..starting at $1mill first year. You are approachable, kind, super knowledgeable, and write well. They don’ have anyone that has all four of these traits. (You know this is true!)

  3. i agree with all that sharechair, because my husband loves my iPad, and uses it more than me now … he checks his email, plays solitaire, browses the web … everything pat’s hubby might like doing too … we have a 3G one but have never bought a card since using wifi works so well for us 🙂

  4. I’ll take the other side. I bought one with both 3G and wireless. I didn’t get a cellular plan to start with. Later I found I needed to use my iPad when I wasn’t at home or near a wireless system. I visit my dad in his assisted living facility (ALF) and he didn’t have wireless nor could I get on the ALF’s system. I added 1 GB per month for $20 per month and usually that is more than enough. At home I use wireless and with dad or when traveling, I use the cellular connection. I am glad I started with an iPad that has both because you can’t add cellular later if the capability isn’t on the iPad when you buy it. So to decide one needs an idea on where they will be using the iPad. That’s my opinion.

    • Yes. This is VERY true, and an important consideration for anyone thinking of buying an iPad. If, for example, Pat’s husband wanted to use the iPad in the car, they would need to have the 3G version in order to access the internet, there. As you said, it is important to think about how you might be using your iPad before you make that decision. Of course, adding the 3G capability adds $ to the original cost, and as you said, an extra fee for the times that you enable it. All part of the decision making process. Thanks so much for taking the time to weigh in with this important point. 🙂

    • Thanks, that piece of info also is a great help. We have had problems with internet connection when going to Canada last summer because our Verison wireless didn’t include outside the US.

  5. I have an iPad and my daughter has an iPad Mini in our home. Both models are wifi ony – that has been the best decision for us. The iPad Mini is the hands down winner in our house – it fits more comfortably in all of our hands – the screen size is perfect and it’s much lighter to hold. That’s my vote.

    This is a great column – thanks!!

    • I also enjoy the small size of my Kindle Fire. My only concern here for Pat’s husband is vision. If he is having any eye-aging issues, he might prefer a larger screen. If not, then size becomes a matter of preference and the weight and portability of the mini might make it a winner for him. 🙂

  6. I think a new column would be great, but you sort of do that anyway since you answer our questions. Do you REALLY want to keep up ANOTHER blog??? My husband suggested a similar one for me, just silly instead of technological an “Ask Marsha.” Someone else thought “The Marsha and Manny Show.” But I had to ask Marsha, “Marsha, do you really want to be THAT busy? And what about your other website? Would you lose interest in it?” So far I haven’t started it. I may start one for people to comment on my works in progress, though, that would be private. So those are my thoughts 🙂 Marsha 🙂

      • Or you could end up like ME, with three blogs, and constantly feeling sorry for the one that gets lost in the shuffle. But still, I like the options they (two public and one private) give me. Speaking of which, SC, does your “Contact” email work? If you haven’t seen them, I’ve emailed you twice there, and am hoping you might have a chance to get back to me.
        Thanks for another great and informative post that everyone can get something out of. Great, as always.

        • Oh, Marcia…. so sorry! The contact thing does work, yes yes it does. But I don’t get very many messages there, so I only check it about once a week. Look for an email from me this evening!! I’ll put ‘from sharechair’ in the subject line in case the email bumps into your spam folder.

      • After writing that little rant, I did start another website for my unfinished work, but it’s not out there to get viewers. 🙂 You are doing exactly what is really helpful to people already. 🙂 ML 🙂

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