The last Apple product I owned and purchased was an iPod Classic many years ago. From that time up until most recently, I have avoided Apple products. The iPhone? Not my liking. The iPad? Same. I had no interest in either of those, as I have used Android for years. But things have started to change in the tablet landscape on Android. It got.... worse.
My last tablet is a Nexus 9, manufactured by HTC. It was a cool device at the time. But for some unknown reason, performance has started to slow down to a crawl. It got to the point where I couldn't stand it any longer. And the current market for Android tablet is rather dismal, especially since I do not want to compromise on anything. Samsung's offering on the high end was more expensive than this iPad model. And there's nothing else in the horizon for Android tablet.
Coming from Android, it has taken me a few days to get used to how things work in iOS -- how to move icons, how to make app folders, etc. Using the iPad is different. But one of the biggest drawback to using iOS is being unable to arrange your icons the way you like it. I like clean interfaces, especially for the home screen. I have tons of anime/manga illustrations and they all look pretty. And it's a darn shame I can't give those images the kind of love that they can get on Android devices. Other than that, the user experience has been good, as I expected anyway. The hardware is beefy and so far, it has lasted on idle without a recharge far longer than I expected. There isn't much to criticize on for the quality of the product. But it's not all sunshine and roses.
Initially, when setting up the iPad for the very first time, it prompts me to activate. As to why, I do not know. However, it failed to activate. Wireless network settings checked out OK. And when that failed, I had to yank out my guinea pig laptop and try to activate it thru iTunes. That also failed. Frustrated at how this could be happening, I Googled the issue. Turns out that Apple uses something so proprietary and so suspicious that my router's firewall blocked it.
How? Why? I don't know. All I know is that Apple should not force me to work around this problem by placing the iPad in the DMZ temporarily just to activate it.
Despite the initial setup hiccup, I'm not entirely convinced that Apple and iOS is the superior mobile device platform. I'm more comfortable with Android as a whole. But in the tablet space, Android is the biggest loser. As a device user, I use whatever works.
So if you're in the market for a tablet, don't bother with an Android tablet unless it's made/designed by Google. And since there is none (in the $300-$400 price bracket), the only option is to go for the iPad. And unlike Samsung's Android tablet offerings, you'll get security and iOS updates faster and sooner (as opposed to waiting 3-6 months).