I thought I would update this post with what really happened before I placed the order. "Best laid plans" and all that...
I'm going to order an iPad Air this week. That is a surprise because I had my mind made up to replace my iPhone 4S with the new 5S. It's been two years and; while the 4S works just fine, the 16GB of memory requires attention every month as I shift around the 320+ apps that I own. The apps I use at least once a week number about 40, but it is never the same 40 month to month. So the 16GB needs to be increased. LTE would be a big improvement over the 3G I have now, too.
But since the iPad Air was introduced on October 22nd, the equation has changed because my iPad2 is much more valuable to me than the iPhone simply because it can do everything the iPhone can do except make phone calls. Actually it can do that too, but it isn't very satisfying. My iPad has replaced my laptop about 90-95%, and nearly every month some app is upgraded that makes the iPad more useful and and the laptop just that much more last century.
So I plan to get the iPad Air with 128GB of memory and cellular enabled. Say $1,000 with tax. Why?
Well, right now, as I write this, I am at my favorite coffee house typing on my wireless keyboard, whose case forms a stand for the iPad. I just took a picture of the setup, see above, with my phone which will let me open and edit the pic on the iPad if I need to. So mobility and super-portability are one reason the iPad Air is pushing a new phone to the side.
I don't have a Retina display and I'm not sure that I will really make use of it. But the LTE and 8 times the current memory will save time and increase mobility even more.
9 hours of battery life will be nice, but I rarely have an issue with the battery in the iPad2, although it is often at 10% when I put it to bed at night.
Honestly, once you get used to using a tablet, a laptop seems very limiting except for that 5% or so that a tablet just can't do. A tablet can't do CAD; it can't edit our website; it can't give you a flawless Word doc or Excel editing job. I encounter one of these needs about twice a week.
So it boils down to a decision to upgrade the most valuable (to me) part of my tech world. The real decision now is what to do with the iPad2 since at 2-1/2 years old it has plenty of life left.
...and then my son called. The power button on his phone stopped working. He researched the fix and decided it was too risky to do on his own and too much to invest in his iPhone 4. It turns out that besides using the power button to completely power down occasionally, he needed to turn off the phone to prevent "butt dials" and other battery-draining, inadvertent activities.
Since I was planning to update my phone also at some point in the coming months, I changed priorities. My son found a software work-around in the accessibility features, but it meant having a floating button on the screen all the time. So I set about selecting a color and amount of memory (Space Gray and 32GB) and bought the phone first.
Once the iPhone 5S was settled in, I ordered the iPad Air - but...with just 32 GB of memory. I admit that saving $200 was part of the decision, but what made the decision palatable was that memory management with iOS 7 and the A7 chip takes up less memory!!!
I am very happy with both purchases. The only thing that doesn't work as well on each device is the one or two second pause when re-opening an app. With iOS 6 multi-tasking was nearly instantaneous. iOS 7 has a slight delay that is the trade-off for better memory and battery management. This is really minor, and an even faster processor will decrease the pause to 'imperceptible'.
So there you have the real story. Next time I won't write about intentions as though they have already happened.