So you want an iPad2, but your unsure what’s right for you? Have no fear, I have done some extensive research on getting you the best bang for your buck.

If your in the market for an iPad2 or e-reader device sit back for a moment and ask your self “What am I really going to use this for?”, and “do I want to limit myself with something like an e-reader?” Don’t get me wrong Amazon and B&N have done a fantastic job and bringing electronic books to the marketplace, but have they actually done everything they can to compete with Apple, Samsung and various other companies that have developed these “tablets”? IMHO, I’m have to disagree. This is not a debate between e-readers and iPads but rather an overview of getting the best set up for the best price.

Let us face it, if you have been around for at least 10 years you know that Apple has always been notorious for having ridiculiously high prices for their products. They have changed the way we interact with music, cellphones and computers. For better or worse they have made themselves a nice little niche of people and continue to grow quarter after quarter.

Let me get right down to it, in an earlier post I posed the question Ipad2 3g is it worth it? If you want to know more about that pop over there and give a quick read.

This is about getting your ideal set up for an iPad2. Here is the BEST bang for your buck and WHY. Items you will need
1) smart phone with some carrier that will allow you to tether(iPhone 4 will allow you to do this but I cannot confirm set up)
2) Ipad2 16GB Wi-fi ONLY( color is based on your preference)
3) a Wi-fi compatible hard drive found over here from the ever so trusted Kingston
This total set up will run you roughly $648.00 – $700.00 ( this is depending on what the final price of the hard drive you choose and what the final costs of those will be, still to be determined)
Why would I not go out and get the 32gb or 64gb ipad2 you ask?  Simple, why pay the extra costs for 1) storage(proprietary to ipad2) and 2) data fees(again only usable for the ipad2).
The situation! You are a valued customer at a big named cell carrier be it Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or even T-Mobile.  Most of these carries IF you have a smart phone offer up some sort of tethering service or wi-fi hotspot functionality for your phone.  So if you were thinking about getting the 3G ipad2 you’ve wasted your money on a 3G device where you can only use that data for that device, still with me?

Okay next step is using that 3G hotspot on your smartphone to broadcast a 3G signal that your ipad2 can recognize, typically from what I have read on a few of these carriers sites is you can add this hotspot functionality ranging from 15-30 dollars a month the high end being AT&T. So you saying why would I pay 30 dollars a month for a hotspot?  My question back to you is why would you pay 30 dollars a month to have a 3G ipad2?  The difference in price of the actual service is minimal if any at all, most likely the price for the 3G service on the iPad2 will be the same as activating some sort of hotspot service for your phone.  Now what you have is a device that can broadcast that signal for up to XX number of devices so you can have your PC, your friends PC an Xbox and an ipad all hooked up to a cellphone hotspot!  I think that makes it pretty clear

The point I may have trouble selling the rest of you on is the 16GB only ipad2.  If your like me you love to download anything and everything you can from the stupid and silly to the useful and productive apps on the iPad2.  I do NOT use my ipad for photos and I do NOT use it for movies so you maybe have a use for the larger storage strictly for ipad.  Alas I have a solution though for less!  The better option is the Wi-Fi hard drive…. well, that will allow you to expand the memory of an ipad2 by providing an external device to store stuff.  The only aspect I’m unsure of is how expandable it is,  in the article it says you have to use an Ipad2 app to access the data stored on the wi-fi hard drive but thats not to say that it still wont be extremely flexable, is that to say that you can put music on this external hard drive and stream it to the ipad2?  That is still unclear in my head.

In case your are like totally lost or you want to get RIGHT to the point here are the steps

1) on your smartphone (pictured below is an iphone 3G) you need to find the tethering options go to SETTINGS > GENERAL > NETWORK> INTERNET TETHERING, now since I have a 3G I don’t actually think this will work but basically you will need to call your provider to allow you to activate this service

2)On your ipad2 go into the settings and once you have tethering set up you can now use the Phones internet connection to activate the internet on the go hence why buying the 3G version of the ipad2 is pointless

3) Now if you have that fancy wi-fi Hard drive you obviously wont be able to run the tethering in conjunction with the wi-fi hotspot, BUT how much are you actually wanting to do at one time, I mean the hole purpose to have the internet tethering on the go is mainly for flexability.