Buying an iPad

I’ve been a big admirer of Apple products for a long time now.

When I was in Standard 2, my dad bought a Macintosh LC II as his personal computer at home. At that time it seemed appropriate because Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, where he worked, was using Apple computers as its standard computer for all the faculties.  then in the mid/late 90s, Apples popularity went down rapidly.

That was until Steve Jobs came back to town and all of the sudden Apple products became the coolest toy that everyone wanted to have.


Fast forward to 2010, since the first time I saw the iPad advert on the Apple website I immediately knew that I must have one.

I mean, who wouldn’t want this magical little multipurpose tab. But now that it is in my hands, my dreams have came true.


Choosing the right Mac

To be honest, I was considering 3 models of Mac before I finally decided to get the iPad and I didn’t have unlimited money to make my decision any easier. But in the end, it comes down to what you want to use it for. It’s good to list down your requirements and judge each model objectively.

For me, I needed a device that :

1. was extremely mobile with internet capability because I wanted to be able to do my work outside my home.

2. didn’t need to be super fast as I was only going to use it for internet, writing, some photo editing and if possible video editing too.

3. Able to watch movies and listen to music.

4. Play simple games for break sessions from work.

I then weighed the requirements against the capabilities of the Apple products in my consideration

1. The Macbook Air


This was quite a tough consideration. Some people might say the Macbook Air is underpowered and lacks disc space (and also a DVD/RW drive too).

But looking back at my current old laptop (3 year old), apart from the hard disk space and dvd/rw drive, the spec performance were pretty much the same if not better than my current laptop, and since I’m going to need an external Hard disk any way, the hard disk space is irrelevant.

It would be my choice if not for the quite steep price of RM3199 for the base model and the fact that it is still a laptop where you have to open it, turn it on and wait for it to load the OS. Besides, I’m not looking for a laptop replacement, although I could use one.

2. The iMac

product-27inI was tempted to buy this because the sheer amount of work that could be done with the iMac, with its video and photo editing capabilities, it surely can make a multimedia savvy website.

But in the end, it is a desktop and we can’t easily bring it along where we go. I might as well buy a MacBook Pro.

3. The iPad


Actually I really took a leap of faith by buying the iPad. Many said that its just a tablet PC to surf internet on and some say its just a bigger version of the iPhone 4 but without the phone.

But I did a lot of research, particularly on what kind of apps are available for the iPad. There were, not only game apps available for download, but soon I found out that even Photoshop (called Photoshop Express) and iWorks (Apples version of Office) were available.

More about the apps later, but basically, you can say the apps were the reason I decided to get the iPad.

IMG_1638Which iPad to choose

There are the 16GB/32GB/64GB with/without 3G iPads offered by Apple and I chose the 32GB one just because I think 64GB is too much and 16GB is too small and I got it with WiFi only since I don’t need 3G because I  already have the Yes 4G huddle. Besides I don’t really trust 3G connections.

In fact, I think 3G is a scam.

So, without 3G, I get to save RM450 since the one I bought is RM1849 and the 3G version with 32GB memory is RM2299 and with that RM450, you can already afford a Yes 4G huddle, and activate your Yes account.

You also won’t get all mixed up in those 3G data plan contracts.


There are lots of accessories for the iPad. But the most important ones are :


1- The carrying case/ sleeve. I bought the original Apple case simply because it’s the cheapest and most practical one. But it doesn’t offer much shock protection as well as colours that some 3rd party sleeves offer. But its good enough for a prudent user like me who doesn’t throw iPads around as a hobby.

2- The SD card adaptor. This is used to transfer photos from you cameras SD Card to the photo album in iPad. It is particularly useful for me to upload pictures that I have taken onto my iPad, where I will edit it with Photoshop Express.

Sadly the store in KLCC did not have this in stock at that time and buying from the Apple store will cost me RM30 for shipping, so, I’ll buy it later on.

The Apps Store

Those familiar with the iPhone must know the Apps Store very well by now. It’s an online store where you can download thousands of apps for your Apple devices. I’ll leave you to do the exploring.

You will need to register at the website where they will ask for your credit card number. As usual, I used my Tune Money Prepaid Visa as my card to help regulate my spending because believe me, if you don’t exercise self-control you might end up an App-a-hollic.

The first 2 days were spend scouring the app store in search of free apps and cheap 99 US cents apps which numbered in their thousands.


I was particularly surprised by the iPad’s performance in the 3d graphics segment. If you already have an iPad, try downloading the game “Infinity Blade” which is a 3D knights vs monsters fighting game which I bought for USD5.99.


Although absent of a strong storyline, the 3d graphics for this game are comparable with a midrange desktop computer.Its almost unbelievable that such a thin device can produce that kind of quality graphics. But playing it too often might drain the battery dry after 2-3 hours of gameplay.  More about the award winning game here.


Although Steve Jobs announced that Apple browsers will no longer support Adobe Flash files, Youtube still can be accessed via the special Youtube function in iPad. Never miss a Youtube movie again.


To watch downloaded movies, you can use the VLC player app which you can download for free. You can upload your movies when you sync iPad with iTunes on your laptop/desktop.

However, I soon found out that HD movies greater that 720p have trouble playing on VLC. So it’s a good idea to make sure the movies you upload to iPad are not more than 720px (either height or width).

Downloadable movies, and music for that matter, on iTunes are not available in Malaysia yet.

The Verdict

Its really important not to judge iPad as a laptop, simple because its not one. Yet it can still do spreadsheets, presentations and pie charts if you really want it to. The app store is definitely its forte.


  • Extremely thin and sleek. You can bring around it like you bring your organizer.
  • Thousands of apps to choose from via the app store.
  • Instant ON. no need to wait for start up.


  • Need to sync with iTunes on your laptop/desktop every time you want to upload something to your iPad.
  • No camera or USB drive.
  • can’t play full HD movies (with VLC Player at least)
  • Has issues with some wireless routers.
  • there’s a rumor that says the 2nd generation iPad is coming out very soon with better features.


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