Should I buy an iPad? Which iPad should I buy? Where should I buy my iPad? How do I set up an iPad? What are the best apps for iPad? We answer all this and more in our complete guide.
So you're thinking of buying a new iPad, are you? Great! Then you've come to the right place.
Here, we'll highlight the reasons why we think you'll love your new iPad, help you decide which iPad is right for you, and give you advice about where to buy your iPad.
Once you've got your sparkly new iPad in your hands, you can read the final two parts of our iPad buying guide, which take you through the setup process step-by-step and then point you in the direction of the best iPad apps to download.
If you're thinking about buying an iPad but are not sure whether an iPad is for you, we can help. We've come up with 10 reasons you might want to buy an iPad, and you can find them over in our 10 reasons to buy an iPad feature.
For more advice, see our iPad buying guide 2014.
How to decide which iPad is for you
There's a fair bit of choice when it comes to buying a new iPad, not least because Apple has released two new iPads this year: the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display. But they aren't the only iPads you can buy from Apple. The iPad 2 and original iPad mini are also still available. So how do you decide which iPad is best for you?
Follow the links below for our expert buying advice.
Where to buy your iPad
Of course, the most obvious place to buy your iPad is from Apple, but that's not the only way. Here, we take you through the options.
If you do want to buy your iPad from Apple, there are two ways of doing so. The first is to head down to an Apple Retail Store and pick one up. You can buy the iPad Air, iPad 2 and iPad mini from Apple at time of writing, and you can expect to see the iPad mini 2 hit the shelves later in November.
Ordering online won't mean you'll have a new iPad in your hands right away, but it should mean that it's on its way to you in the post. Apple's Online Store is taking orders for the iPad Air, iPad 2 and iPad mini, and, again, the iPad mini 2 is coming soon.
Customers in the US are able to order their iPad Air online for in-store pickup, but UK customers don't have that option, so will need to go to a store to buy an iPad or order online for home delivery.
The other option from Apple, if you've not got your heart set on one of Apple's newest iPads, is to visit the Apple Refurbished Store. You can save loads of money buy opting to buy a refurbished iPad from Apple rather than splashing out on a brand new iPad.
It's not just Apple that sells iPads, though. Retailers including Tesco, John Lewis, Argos and Curry's and PC World also sell iPads, including the newest models, as do phone carriers such as Three, EE, and Vodafone, though you'll only be able to get a cellular iPad with a contract from them.
Three's iPad Air prices start at £7.50 a month for 1GB of data on a rolling monthly contract and a £499 up-front cost. If you go for a two-year contract, you can get the iPad Air for £25 per month for as little as £179.
Vodafone's prices start at £28 per month for an up-front payment of £129, while EE's start at £26 per month on a two-year contract and an up-front payment of £99.
How to set up your iPad
Once you've actually purchased the iPad, you'll need to set it up. We've put together a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
The best apps to download on your new iPad
There are more than one million apps in the iOS App Store, with nearly half of those designed specifically for the iPad. That's a lot of apps to choose from, but here, we share the best apps to download on your new iPad so you know which are worth getting.
Best Apple apps
Apple's iWork and iLife apps are now free for new iPad and iPhone customers. So, if you've just purchased a new iPad, it's worth downloading them as they could come in handy for many tasks.
The iWork suite is made up of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Pages is a Microsoft Word competitor – a word processor that lets you create text documents. Numbers is a spreadsheet program that includes graph and chart creation, too. Keynote is the Apple equivalent of PowerPoint, enabling users to create slideshows. All three of these apps have support for iCloud, so you can sync documents across all of your devices.
Best apps for iPad
In addition to Apple's apps, there are some other apps that'll help you make the most of your iPad.
First up, we enjoy watching TV shows on our iPad, so BBC iPlayer and 4OD, which both enable you to download shows for offline viewing, would be the first apps we'd recommend downloading.
Then there's social media, another popular use for the iPad. There are dedicated apps for Twitter and Facebook, as well as other popular social sites such as Pinterest.
You might notice that Apple's weather app, while rather lovely to look at, is a little lacking when it comes to showing the weather forecast for the rest of the week. While not as good-looking as Apple's offering, we recommend the Met Office Weather app, which gives detailed information and highlights weather warnings for the week.
Recently redesigned for iOS 7, Evernote is a popular note-taking app that lets you make lists, too.
Talking of lists, Clear+ is one of the best to-do list apps we've come across for iPad.
If you like photography and enjoy editing photographs, we'd recommend Snapseed. Its features allow you to edit photos in almost any way you desire. We haven't yet found an app to replace Snapseed as our primary photo editor.
For more great apps, follow the links below
Best games for iPad
Another thing that the iPad is great for is gaming. Follow the link below for a selection of our favourite iPad games.