March 18, 2012, 7:48 AM — Apple's OSX isn't exactly a gamer's paradise. But the same can't be said about iOS--especially when it comes to the iPad. In some ways the iPad is the perfect gaming handheld: It has great battery life, and games are cheap. But before you run out to give Apple all of your money, there are a few things you should know before using the iPad as a gaming device.
Choosing an iPad
There are a few different iPad models, each with their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Do you get a Wi-Fi only version, or do you spring for a model with LTE? Will 16GB be enough, or do you plan on downloading hundreds of games? Should you buy the latest iPad, or pick up an older model on the cheap? These are all questions you'll need to ask yourself before you make your way to the Apple Store.
A 16GB Wi-Fi only model of the latest generation iPad will set you back about $499 (before taxes), with the 32GB and 64GB versions going for $599 and $699, respectively. The new iPad has a high definition Retina display, and apps optimized for a Retina display will require more storage than their standard definition counterparts did. Consider your budget and go for the iPad that has the largest amount of storage that is within your price-range.
If you can't rationalize spending over $500 on something you're just primarily using for mobile gaming, then you might want to consider picking up an older generation model instead. Apple is currently selling the iPad 2 for $100 less than the new iPad. Other online retailers might still have some extra stock of the first generation iPad left that you can pick up on the cheap. What you lose in specs and extra features, you make up for by getting a tablet while still having enough money left over for rent, and a few apps. Be warned: Some games won't run on the first generation iPad, and those performance limitations will only grow.