The iPad 2 just got a lot more affordable — watch out, Kindle Fire

ipad 2 for saleThe new iPad (which is apparently what we’re calling it) has been announced, and that means you should be asking yourself a very important question: Should I buy the iPad 2?

Obviously, there’s something about having the latest and greatest iteration available, but you shouldn’t be too quick to discount its now-outdated competitor. If you need help visualizing how these two compare, we’ve put together a side-by-side spec breakdown. Still, we don’t blame anyone who stopped at Retina Display and tried in vain to click that pre-order icon on Apple’s site.

But there’s one very convincing weapon in the iPad 2’s arsenal: its price tag. The iPad 2 will now cost $399 for the Wi-Fi 16 GB model, and $529 for the Wi-Fi + 3G 16 GB model (the only available storage size for iPad 2, now that the new iPad has been introduced).

To give you a little perspective, that’s a mere $200 more than the Kindle Fire, with plenty to show for it, like a camera, better display, improved battery life, more powerful processor, and of course a much, much better app market. As much as Android lovers may hate it, Apple runs the tablet world, and most consumers only defer to other models because of price. Budget tablets have been the products that best stand a chance of eroding the iPad’s dominance a bit, if at all – and now that Apple is slashing prices on the iPad 2, it will hurt these hopefuls.

The iPad 2 (which, it’s worth noting, is slimmer than the upgraded model) has been at the top of its class since its release last year, and plenty of buyers out there are celebrating its new cost as much or more than the new tablet’s announcement. It’s not the diehard fanboys or Apple loyalists already camped out who the iPad 2 is now appealing to; it’s everyone who’s been sort of thinking about buying a tablet. It’s everyone who’s been on the fence about the market and eyeing the Nook or Kindle tablets, or even the IdeaPad – and everyone who jumped at the $99 HP TouchPad. Everyone out there who said the Kindle Fire was going to give the iPad is come-uppance, consider yourselves quieted. 

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