This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

You Don't Need the iPad 2

Stocks in this article: AAPLZAGG

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) had itself one heck of a house party last week. Steve Jobs stepped out of early retirement and into his patented jeans and turtleneck (Ever wonder what he wears at home?) to fan the media flames of the iPad 2 ($499 for the 16 GB version).

An upgrade to its legitimately groundbreaking predecessor, this iPad Next Generation, is thinner, lighter, more powerful and HD cam-enabled. That all sounds fab for the overburdened small-business set. And in fact, everyone in my small-biz circle wanted to know whether to ante up for the Le iPad Deux. It seems that entrepreneurs, for better or for worse, consider Apple technology to be sort of a techno garlic that, if worn prominently enough, wards off evil, money-sucking vampires.

Steve Jobs stepped out of a health-related leave and into his patented jeans and turtleneck to introduce the iPad 2 last week.

So I'll cut to the chase: The iPad 2 is nice, but what's available from the competition -- and from Apple itself -- is probably nicer.

Should I pony up for a new iPad if I have an old one?
Absolutely not! Yes, the iPad 2 is a solid tablet, but it's a minimal upgrade over the original. The improved processors and two-way video cameras hold productivity promise for groups working remotely. And the protective Smart Cover, whose omission was a glaring oversight with the original iPad, is a major improvement. But for small firms, getting productivity out of the iPad is about the apps it runs, not the iPad itself. So paying to get rid of the iPad you have in favor of this unit makes no sense. At all.

Should I consider an iPad 2 if I don't already own a tablet?
Probably not. The iPad 2 costs $499; For a hundred bucks less, you get a perfectly decent iPad that gives you the app fix your business so desperately needs, but for way less money.

And keep in mind, the rest of the tablet market is not letting Apple dominate these devices. Motorola (MOT) is betting big on its mondo-fast XOOM, stoked with an impressive Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system. Samsung, too, is shipping the way-sweet Galaxy Tab for just $250 ... which is a hell of a buy. Even ailing smartphone giant Research In Motion (RIMM) -- remember them? -- is launching a decent tablet called the BlackBerry PlayBook. The unit is small, offers blistering performance and has a custom, business-friendly OS.

The fact is this: The iPad 2 cannot touch these devices on any level save cool factor. And that, friends, does not keep your firm's lights on.

Should I get an add-on keyboard for my iPad or other tablet?
Definitely. No matter what tablet you try to do real work on, you really do need a real keyboard to do that work. So as cool as the iPad's touch keyboard might be for limited data entry and simple emails, a physical add-on keyboard for this device in the office is a must. Add-on keyboards let you type, email and otherwise conduct business as you should -- and not as some low-ranking crew member on the bridge of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Here's some I like to give you a feel of the market: the Apple iPad keyboard Dock ($70); ZAGG (ZAGG) ZAGGmate ($100); and Adonit Writer, due out at the end of March (estimated price $100).

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

RELATED STORIES:



Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,805.41 +127.51 0.76%
S&P 500 1,964.58 +13.76 0.71%
NASDAQ 4,483.7150 +30.9230 0.69%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs