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The Apple website states that there is "Documentation" included in the box and several unboxing videos on YouTube clearly show some kind of physical documentation - but don't state what it is. What should this documentation include?

Specifically, I am wondering if there should be some kind of newbie-getting-started-guide included? And what this contains?

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I just checked the box for my iPad 2. There is essentially nothing other than:

  • a tiny card with minimal instructions. This tells you that there is further documentation at help.apple.com/ipad, along with information about needing to download iTunes, etc.

  • The obligatory "Important Product Information Guide" containing a whole lot of legal stuff.

  • Some Apple stickers.

So I think your best bet for information would be the iPad user manual linked in the other answer.

A couple of photos of the card are shown below: Front of the card Back of the card

Please note that this is from the iPad 2 so this may have changed since I bought mine. Although Apple has been moving towards less and less documentation over the years.

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  • Thanks, your photos are helpful. My non-tech-newbie friend has just bought an iPad 3, but has said that there is "nothing" in the box and so is a little confused as to where to start. The docs you've mentioned may well constitute as "nothing" - but I will check later.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 12:08
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I'm pretty sure it's a limited version of the iPad's user manual. With the most basic features like "how to get online", or "how to insert a simcard",...
So yes, it includes a "how to start" guide, but don't expect an extensive document. If you're looking for the latter, you should visit my link.

Once I get home, I'll take a look at my box and update my answer.

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  • Thanks, I look forward to your update. I should add that my non-tech-newbie friend has just bought an iPad 3, but has said that there is "nothing" in the box and so is a little confused as to where to start. (Admittedly I don't know exactly what counts as "nothing".) I can appreciate that anything more than the basics will need to be sort online - unfortunately my friend doesn't have an internet connection yet either!
    – MrWhite
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 11:56
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    I think if you tell your friend to just sit back, relax and play with his iPad he will find out all the things along. Apple designed it to be as easy as what, so let the iPad do the work and let your friend enjoy it! :-)
    – Michiel
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 12:06
  • Looks like Mike Meyers beat me. My documentation looks the same since I too have an iPad 2
    – Michiel
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 16:36

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