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.

Save EUR250 On An iMac

iMac
Creative Commons License photo credit: KnOizKi

You can save €250 on a brand new 24″ Apple iMac.

How?

By not buying from the Apple store, funnily enough. While I love the Apple store online, and enjoy walking around the physical properties as well, you can’t argue with a saving of €250.

In January of this year I told myself that by the end of the year I would add an iMac to the family. I’m looking for something to handle my workload and free up the MacBook Pro for home use. After saving a few pennies I figured I would go for the 24″ iMac.

Yes, one could stop at the 20″ model but I’d set my mind on the 24″ 2.8Ghz model, retailing on the Irish Apple Store at €1599 or €1316 ex VAT.

I loaded up the cart, hovered, hovered, hovered, and walked away.

Coming back, I said I’d try Dabs for the craic to see if they sell Apple goodies, which they do. Low and behold on Dabs4Work.ie they have the same 24″ iMac, brand spanking new, at €1065 ex VAT. Like apple, they also offer same-day / 24-hour dispatch. At a saving to me of €250-odd Euro.

After a slight delay in trying to verify the address of my office, everything is on the way. The way the Euro vs Pound is working now, it certainly makes more sense to buy from Dabs as opposed to Apple.

Case in point (as highlighted on Twitter yesterday) – you can buy an Apple iPod Touch (8Gb) on the Irish Apple Store for €219. The same piece of hardware is £165 on the UK Apple Store, now the equivalent of €175 (with the Euro trading at STG 0.9411 at time of writing).

If you’re buying Apple this Christmas, at least for the moment, take the time to shop around online. A €250 would pretty much pay the tax on my van for 12 months, well worth it.