Now that the iPad 2 is on sale, the cost of original iPads is 3,000 Baht less for each model. Stocks will not last and we've even heard that stocks of 3G models have all but sold out, so if you are in Bangkok and don't want the new iPad 2, then grab one as soon as you see one because it might not be there when you get back.
iPad 2 prices are that of the original iPad, so ranging from 15,900 Baht for 16 Gb wi-fi only up to 25,900 for the 64 Gb wi-fi + 3G.
iPad prices in Bangkok will vary slightly depending on where you go to buy them and how well you can bargain the price if buying from a stall in a mall such as MBK
Not only will the price of iPads in Thailand vary but you need to be aware that fake iPads are available and whilst not "fake" as such, look very similar and are a lot cheaper, but we'll come to that a little later.
As we all know, most things Apple related are highly sought after and the iPad is just the latest in a long line of fashionable and yet exceptionally well designed and practical electrical gadgets.
iPads all come with Wi-Fi as standard but it is possible to get them with 3G via a Micro SIM card reader which would be built into that model variety. The SIM you use and the cost will vary and will depend on the tariffs of the carrier you choose to use.
Memory space is in three flavours with the smallest being 16 Gb the middle version having 32 Gb and the largest capacity having 64 Gb.
Prices for iPads in Bangkok and other areas of Thailand will, as mentioned earlier, vary, but as a rule of thumb, prices are as follows:
N.B Prices were correct as of time of writing but prices change and will vary from shop to shop so please use this as a guide only. Prices are shown in Thai Baht - For currency conversions, please visit: www.xe.com
Theses prices compare very favourably when compared to UK prices which suffer from 20% ( that's right !!) VAT.
A 16 Gb, Wi-Fi only iPad from an Apple store will set you back £430. Whereas 15,900 Baht equates to roughly £326. That's a massive £104 pounds difference and that's before Thailand's 7% VAT has been taken off.
With the 7% VAT taken off the cost drops to £305 making that a saving of £125
The amount of memory you have on your iPad isn't the same as with a computer. The reason for this is that most work done on an iPad will be via Apps which are very small in size ( in general ) and the only thing most likely to be saved on an iPad would be some games and so on. You don't use it in the same way as a PC because you are using it more to view things than to create things.
If however, you are going to download lots of books and as many Apps as you can get your hands on, as well as keep some movies and music on there, then the more space the better but in general, 16 Gb should be ample.
If you are going to want to use the iPad whilst on the move, then you'll need the 3g capability but with most people having a smart phone, your 3g needs will be handled by your phone. There's really little need to have the 3G capabilities but if you have to have it, then you have to have it.
Basically, the type of iPad you "need" all depends on how you plan to use it, but we feel that with most people having a smart phone and a laptop, the need for a top spec iPad should not be a necessity.
iPads in Bangkok and other locations in Thailand should all come with a universal warranty but you would be advised to make sure that this is the case and make sure the box is not opened before you buy it.
By all means ask for a demo and if they won't give you one, go to an iStudio shop first, get your demo there and maybe return and buy the iPad ONLY if the box has never been opened.
Where to buy an iPad in Bangkok
There are loads of places to buy an iPad in Bangkok, but based upon the price chart above, you'd best go to iStudio which has stores scattered around Bangkok and Thailand. iStudio is a good bet as you know all the goods will be originals and not tampered with although this is a little unfair to the vendors in MBK because most are above board and sell the genuine article.
MBK seems to come out to be more expensive than iStudio which is a little surprising and so check out the prices in MBK first just to see what prices you could get.
Don't forget, when shopping for an iPad in Bangkok, you will be subject to 7% VAT and this can be claimed back as long as the shop has the correct forms for you fill in
What iPad fakes do I need to worry about ?
The fakes aren't labelled as iPads. They are labelled as either ePads or iRobots which look pretty much identical but run on the Android operating system (at the moment, it's version 2.1 which has no flash).
It has 256 - 512Mb RAM and a capacity of up to 32 Gb via Micro SD cards.
The ePad looks almost exactly the same but has different packaging:
The Packaging for ePad
ePad looks like the iPad
From what we understand about the ePad, it's a cheap yet reasonable substitute for the iPad, so when shopping in Bangkok for an iPad, look out for the cheaper option as it might serve your purposes a little better. After all, if all you are after is a movie player for an aeroplane, then this could do the job ( mind you, the batttery life is not great - 3 hours max from what we have read ).
ePads cost a lot less than the iPad and UK prices for an ePad can be as low as £115. That's not bad for a gadget such as this.