To iPad or Not to iPad

Apple iPadTHE IPAD. Everyone’s talking about it, the preorders are already rolling in and as far as gadgets go, it’s one of the most anticipated releases of 2010. I feel I should be drawn to it straight away, but somehow that’s not the case.

I’m a gadget fan, no doubting that. From carrying multiple smartphones to iPods, iPhones, recording equipment, 3G this, WiFi that, GPS watches and more, I find myself yearning for the latest gadgets and toys. But for some reason, I can’t seem to find a want in me for the iPad.

As it stands, I carry an iPod touch with me on the road, a 3G iPhone in my pocket, a MacBook Pro in my bag and there’s a 24″ iMac sitting on my desk. All taken into consideration, I’ve a feeling that the iPad may well not be targeted at me and if I was pushing it in a shop, I’d be hitting the new home broadband users, the “silver surfers” or even the school kid generation.

It’s not going to do anything for me that I can’t already do. Sure enough, it will carry the apps I use daily, it will allow me to check mail and surf away to my hearts content, but that’s all achievable with the iPhone. I like the flexibility to use 3G access as opposed to WiFi when I’m out and about, something which I would have to fork out a lot more for on release of the European models of the iPad. It won’t make phone calls and won’t pack a video camera for the first generation, so video conferencing is out – though discoveries in the latest iPhone SDK may suggest different.

Yes, it bridges the gap size-wize. In the hands of an very young or elderly user, it’s not so small that you can’t read the names of apps on the screen or have difficulties in viewing the on-screen text when flicking through the New York Times or your latest eBook addition. The interface, as with that of the iPod / iPhone is quite simple to navigate and apps have made web access all the more easier for folk. Want weather? Tap here. Want news? Tap here. View photos? Tap here. Read email? Tap here.

With family connections coming and going from the US over the next few weeks, the question has come up again and again… “can I bring you anything home?”, quickly followed by “what about those ipad yokes?”.

While it would be very easy to say yes, it’s something I genuinely cannot (at least with what we know about the first generation model) justify in buying. It’s not so much the price (I was happy to go and shell out for a pre-paid iPhone 10 months ago rather than take one on contract), just the use, and potential lack of. I can’t carry it in my pocket and at the very most I reckon it could be used for some bedside browsing but then again, the iPhone and laptop take care of that.

I can’t even find a good reason to buy one for the office outside of demoing developments on-site but even that would be scraping the bottom of the reasoning barrel.

To iPad or not to iPad? I think not.

  • http://rayobrien.com Ray

    I have one on order since the day it was announced. The only reason i am getting it is to evaluate it for One-to-One schools. It is a lot cheaper than a mac laptop and more suitable for the learning teaching sector with its ebooks facility and larger screen – im just hoping that apple release a distribution of iLife for it and suprise everyone with video camera abilities.

    Honestly if it was for my own use i would wait for the Microsoft courier, which is a big statement for me seeing as i’ve used Apple since i was 3 years old!
    http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/05/microsofts-courier-digital-journal-exclusive-pictures-and-de/

  • John

    I think ebooks are going to be the key to ipad success. I want one of these ipads because it will greatly improve my casual armchair information appetite.
    I like my ipod touch but it’s too small for comfortable reading.

  • Simone

    I’m with @John on this. That’s exactly how I intend to use the iPad but there will be many more reasons to use it once the my fellow developers and I unveil apps you wouldn’t dream of using on any pre-iPad computer.

  • T

    This device is one i shall not be purchasing. I have an iPhone and quite like it, although i find myself screaming Steve Jobs name in anger at times with it. I have far far too many problems with the iPad,.it has hasn’t enough functionality for the price tag it holds.
    Im going to wait and see what Dell come out with this Dell “Streak” looks fantastic and seems like the perfect cross between a smartphone and personal computer.