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.

New MacBook Pro Rolls In

MacBook Pro 15″ ModelThe Apple store is getting a bundle of new products and price cuts of late – the arrival of the 32gb iPod Touch, the price cuts to the iPod Shuffle (1 gig model now available for €45 online) and the arrival of the MacBook Air. Now it’s the turn of the new MacBook and MacBook Pro models.

I’ve been a MacBook Pro user since December 2006 (seems like a lifetime ago now) and of all the laptops I’ve owned and used over the years I have to say it’s the best piece of computing kit I ever put money into. That said, if I was in the market for a new laptop, then the new MacBook (or Pro) models would be my first port of call.

In the Irish Apple Store you’ll find the MacBook starting from €999 while the MacBook Pro starts from €1799. Though if you want my advice, buy foreign… it’s a hell of a lot cheaper.

The 15 inch MacBook Pro model (of which I’m using) now comes with 200gb HD space as standard, processor upped to 2.4GHz (I’m on 2.16) and NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 128MB SDRAM.

Move up to the next model (2.5GHz 15 inch) and you’ve got yourself an extra 50gb HD space and your graphics card gets bumped up to 256mb (extra 400 euro). The real sweetness is in the new 17 inch model, busting out a screen resolution of 1680 x 1050, 250gb HD, LED backlit screen option and graphics bumped up to 512mb on order.

The MacBooks too have some nice new additions, again with processor, HD and graphics all getting a boost.

Each model ships with 2GB RAM as standard and multi-touch (via MacBook Air) has also been added.

Check here for MacBooks
and here for MacBook Pros on the Irish Apple store.

Going, Going Green – Pimping My Macbook Pro

Last Friday night I fired an extra gig of ram into the Macbook Pro I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique (apologies, but I’ve got a Monty Python buzz going today). The MBP was purchased in an Apple Store!

Green Macbook Pro CaseAnyway, with the extra gig of memory bringing the count to 2GB the laptop has been restored to a zippy state offering me better handling of the likes of Garageband and other intensive applications I hold. For my next trick, I’ve decided to go green – laptop green that is and lime green more to the point. I’ve ordered myself a 15″ SeeThru Case for the Macbook Pro from Speck Products. With the case and shipping the cost comes to just over the €50 mark but I feel it gives a good opportunity to personalise the laptop and protect the shiny silver casing it lives in.

Speck offer a variety of cases for mobile phones, iPhones, iPods and other MP3 players and I only recently discovered their offering of Macbook Pro cases. The case itself is a coloured, see-through hard casing that snaps on top and bottom of the MBP, with rubber feet for the bottom as well.

Should be a nice way of standing out from the crowd (and keeping the laptop from scratching in transit).