If you’re like me, you’re as intrigued as the next person by the iPad. We’ve gone from desktops to laptops to small laptops to even smaller laptops (aka “netbooks”) and now, the iPad. The device looks great and if you love your iPod Touch as much as I do, it seems like playing your favorite games and using your favorite apps on a ginormous screen would be awesome. But is it $499 worth of awesome? Sadly, not for me. To determine if the iPad is for you, put the price aside for a second and ask yourself the following 3 questions:
1 – Do you read books/ebooks? One of the major selling points of the iPad is the convenience and beauty of reading books/comics/etc. but alas, I personally don’t read books. I like the idea of reading books! Unfortunately, I just don’t have the attention span to sit down and read a book. So, if you’re like me, this selling point is absolutely useless.
2 – Do you need a portable media player (movies, music, et al) the size of a magazine? Well, it would be cool to have a video player the size of the iPad screen, but apparently, they didn’t implement that capability. Also, my portable music bases are covered and the iPad just doesn’t quite fit the bill of portable even if my bases weren’t covered. I suppose there are some neighborhoods in this country where you could find people jogging down the street with their iPads, but not mine. Lastly, take into consideration the iPad’s form factor. If you’re going to watch a 2-hour-long movie, you won’t be doing it laying in bed. Not comfortably, at least. It would be like holding a magazine that whole time with nothing to prop it on except yourself or whatever you can creatively cook up.
3 – Going even broader here, where/how do you plan to utilize it if not the 2 ways above? See, I don’t even know for this one. I see myself starting off on my couch or maybe laying in bed, but even at that, I can’t see myself using $499-worth of this device. Browsing the internet? Okay, but my netbook does that perfectly and port-ably here at home. Games? Yes, definitely. Other apps? Nah.
I know people who say the iPad really is a game-changer. One of my friends is a former Microsoft-fan-gone-Apple-dev who said he has no idea how Windows users do it now that he’s got his iPad with him everywhere he goes. I guess if it’s *that* good, then the worst-case scenario for us burdened Windows users is having to wait for the HP Slate, huh?
In all honesty, though, I really would love to mess with an iPad, but even if I love the thing, I can’t justify the price tag based on my answers to the three questions above. Wanting one just to have one doesn’t quite compute here. If you want a really, really comprehensive review of the iPad noting both it’s shining qualities and biggest failures, check out Paul Thurrott’s iPad review here.