Quick Thoughts on the iPad

Might as well get in on all the madness

So, Steve Moses descended from Mount Cupertino today to deliver unto us the latest message from above. At first glance the iPad seems pretty awesome. A 10-inch multitouch tablet designed for mobile computing. Basically it’s a large iPhone without the GPS or camera or phone capabilities, so it’s essentially a large iPod touch. It looks gorgeous and the large screen is really attractive to me, not in the least because I worry my hands are too large to use an iPhone’s keyboard.

So – will I buy one? At $500 minimum it’s not incredibly expensive. But my main use cases for such a device would be:

  • Getting directions while driving. This would seem to necessitate the 3G feature, adding $130 to the device, plus a monthly data plan from AT&T (I’d most likely need the $30/mo. unlimited plan.) Umm plus this functionality can be had with a $100 GPS unit. (Or my current solution, look-up-directions-before-leaving-the-house-and-scribble-them-down-on-a-piece-of-paper.)
  • Having an on-the-go calendar so I can stay in tune w/where I’m supposed to be and whether I can accept an invitation to go do something after work.
  • (Possibly) Ensuring I have reading material wherever I go. My brain requires constant stimulation at all times and as such I get antsy if I, say, stop for an unanticipated bite at Jack in the Box and have to spend 10 minutes eating food without reading anything. But this doesn’t happen very often.
  • (Possibly) Reading, doing app stuff, and watching videos on long plane rides. But I already have a video iPod that does this quite well. I fly infrequently enough that the tiny screen is not a bother.

That’s pretty much it. I could care less about tweeting on the go or updating my Facebook status at the coffee shop. (In fact – I specifically do not bring my laptop to the coffee shop, because I go to the coffee shop to enjoy the outdoors and read a book, e.g., escape technology.) I have not succumbed to the e-book market (mostly because I’m barely halfway through this monster of a book, haha) so I have no use case there. While the screen looks gorgeous and I think it’d be fun to browse the web on the sofa, I can do that now with my laptop, the design of which ensures I don’t need a stand to prop it up. Also, my laptop will process RAW camera images with Lighroom, which the iPad most certainly won’t. Its camera connection is useless to me since I don’t shoot in JPEG 🙂

Not to mention I’m sure that within the next year someone will come out with a device that is cheaper and replicates much of its functionality. That is what the best thing about these devices is – how it sets new standards for devices that other companies put out. Sure any non-Apple device won’t have the app store, but an Android device will come close. Maybe.

So maybe I’ve spent too long in a managerial position at my company, but while I think the iPad is an awesome device for its own sake, I can’t see myself getting one. It just doesn’t fill any need that I have. I am fine carrying books around and using my laptop around the house. I’d rather spend the cash on a new camera lens 😉 But I can see myself getting a GPS unit sometime soon, that’s for sure. Maybe.

At any rate there’s no way I’ll buy one now. First-rev Apple products are great but the second revs are even better. So I think waiting a year makes sense. In the meantime if I get a sudden hankering to browse the Web on the go and don’t have laptop with me …

One comment

  1. The coffee shop is for reading (unless you don’t have internet access or bs from which you need to escape). However, I must mention that the coffee shop is nice if you are attending school and do not want to be ensconced in the graduate library when the sun is shining and you can sit outside and drink your coffee.

    Although technology is an evil which we must now embrace (to a certain extent and it depends on the individual), I agree with you on all accounts. Very nice blog!

    We must all escape and I appreciate that you are still the Ryan that I know and miss!

    Take care

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