Apple iPad 2 ultimate buying guide

Has Apple changed the game again with its iPad 2, and should you buy one?

Apple's iPad 2

Apple's iPad 2

How much does the iPad 2 cost?

The Apple iPad 2 will be available in Australia from 5pm Friday 25 March. The tablet is available in black and white models and is priced as follows:

iPad 2 16GB – Wi-Fi $579
iPad 2 32GB – Wi-Fi $689
iPad 2 64GB – Wi-Fi $799

iPad 2 16GB – Wi-Fi + 3G $729
iPad 2 32GB – Wi-Fi + 3G $839
iPad 2 64GB – Wi-Fi + 3G $949

The iPad 2 pricing is cheaper than the original iPad pricing in Australia, which was as follows:

16GB Wi-Fi: $629
32GB Wi-Fi: $759
64GB Wi-Fi: $879

16GB Wi-Fi+3G: $799
32GB Wi-Fi+3G: $928
64GB Wi-Fi+3G: $1049

The iPad 2 will be sold in Australia through the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores and select Apple authorised resellers, but once again will not be available through telcos like the iPhone is.

How much does the iPad 2's 3G Internet access cost?

Telstra

Telstra will sell its existing prepaid SIM for the Apple iPad which will also work with the iPad 2. The prepaid SIM pack includes 3GB of data for $30. Telstra customers can then recharge their iPad 2 with the following data plans:

1GB: $20
3GB: $30
6GB: $60
9GB: $80
12GB: $100
12GB: $150 (365-day expiry)

All data plans above are available without a contract but have a 30-day expiry, with the exception of the 12GB, $150 plan which has a 365 day expiry.

Optus

Optus offers both prepaid as well as BYO month-to-month iPad data plans, which will also work with the iPad 2. The telco offers three month-to-month plans with no contract as follows:

2GB: $20
3GB: $30
8GB: $60

For prepaid plans, an Optus prepaid iPad starter kit costs $30 and includes 3GB of data with a 30-day expiry.

Optus prepaid recharges start $15 for 1.5GB of data with a 15-day expiry and range up to $130 for 15GB of data with an expiry of 60 days. Other prepaid Optus options include $20 (2GB/15 day expiry), $30 (4GB/30 day expiry), $40 (5GB/30 day expiry), $50 ($6GB/30 day expiry), $70 (10GB/60 day expiry), $80 (9GB/6 month expiry), and $100 (13GB/60 day expiry).

iPad 2

The iPad 2 is 33 per cent thinner than the original model. It weighs 613g, and will come in both black and white models..

VHA (Vodafone Hutchison Australia)

Like Optus, Vodafone offers both prepaid as well as BYO month-to-month iPad data plans, which will also work with the iPad 2. The telco offers four month-to-month plans with no contract as follows:

1.5GB: $15
4GB: $29
8GB: $39
10GB: $49

Vodafone offers six prepaid data plans for the iPad and iPad 2, as follows:

250MB: $9.95 (30 day expiry)
1GB: $14.95 (30 day expiry)
4GB: $29.95 (30 day expiry)
6GB: $100 (180 day expiry)
10GB: $49 (30 day expiry) 12GB: $150 (365 day expiry)

Vodafone previously offered an unlimited data plan with 30-day expiry for $49.95, but replace this with the $49, 10GB plan from March 3.

3, which is owned and operated by VHA in Australia, offers both dedicated prepaid and monthly data plans for iPad and iPad 2 models. The telco has a smaller range of prepaid data plans, but offers "bonus data" each time customers recharge. The plans are are follows:

500MB+1GB: $15 (30 day expiry)
2GB+2GB: $29 (30 day expiry)
4GB+2GB: $49 (30 day expiry)
12GB: $149 (365 day expiry)

3 says any "bonus data" will not be available immediately upon recharge but will be credited to an account and available for use within 48 hours of a recharge.

All Vodafone and 3 iPad 3G data plans include a free micro SIM starter pack and conveniently, if you recharge before the end of the credit expiry period any unused data will be rolled over to the next month — provided you don't exceed the maximum balance of 14GB.

In addition to prepaid plans, 3 mobile also offers two month-to month iPad plans:

1GB: $15
3GB: $29

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
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