Tips on Purchasing an iPad

Parent Summary: Any of the current generation 32GB Wifi iPad models are sufficient to purchase for your student to use at Calrossy Anglican School. If, however, you already have an iPad with 16GB memory, you are welcome to use that iPad, as long as it is of a recent generation. This is denoted by the connector type. Old ‘wide’ connectors are not suitable. iPads using the newer ‘lightning’ connector are correct. For more information and iPad options read further.

iPad 2, 3, Mini, Air, Pro… what?

There are many iPad generations that have been made available and each of these come in a number of memory sizes and network types. The original iPad was released in 2010 and early versions are no longer available for purchase through retail stores, however there are many available secondhand through private sale. The iPad Air & Air 2 and iPad Mini 4 are currently available in retail stores as is the newer Pro version. These are all faster, thinner and lighter than the original iPad. Even though the iPad mini’s screen is smaller in size, it is still suitable for use at Calrossy if you wish.

The iPad Pro is now available in a 9.7 inch as well as a 12.9 inch. You are welcome to purchase the iPad Pro although we recommend the smaller size iPad Pro (9.7 inch) as the larger one makes taking photos and video a bit cumbersome.

Memory Size

The iPad is available in several memory sizes – From 16GB up to 128GB (“GB” stands for gigabyte and is a measurement of computer memory.). The difference between all of these is how many files, songs or apps can be stored on the iPad.

For school purposes, a memory size of 32GB or better would be preferable. Beyond that the size really is a matter of choice and budget. If, however, you already have a 16GB iPad you are welcome to use that rather than upgrade, but keep in mind there will be limited room on the iPad for storing information. You may need to remove items more frequently.

Network Type

In addition to the memory sizes, iPads are available in 2 network models – the WiFi model and the WiFi/Cellular model. The difference between these is how the iPad accesses the internet.

The WiFi model will only access WiFi networks in your house or at Calrossy or at various free community ‘hot spots’. If you leave the area covered by the WiFi network, the iPad will not be able to access the internet.

The WiFi/Cellular model can also access WiFi Networks but has the added ability of accessing the internet using the same network as most mobile phones.

The WiFi/Cellular iPad is more expensive and requires the additional purchase of a mobile plan (just like a mobile phone) and a micro-SIM or nano-SIM card to make the Cellular connection work. Cellular plan pricing and SIM cards are available from telecommunication companies like Telstra, Optus or Vodafone. Any downloads on the Cellular plans can become expensive for you.

The WiFi/Cellular iPad model will operate without a SIM card and plan, but only through WiFi networks.

With the WiFi only model, the iPad connects to the Calrossy network and all traffic passes through all our Internet filters while the iPad is at school. An iPad with cellular access can bypass these filters and may become very expensive to use.