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The newest Apple gadget is shiny enough and I suspect a whole lot of people are salivating at the prospect of getting their hands on one. Perusing the official iPad website, I caught myself on a stray thought about how neat it would be to own one of these.

Let’s recall my repeatedly stated admission that I am a late adopter. Let’s also admit that I am not an Apple devotee, never having bought into the unsubstantiated religious belief that Apple products are truly superior to those of their competitors’, and having never been impressed with the monetary expenses attendant to owning every “greatest” Apple device. (I do own an iPod, but I actually got it at absolutely no cost to me. I don’t own anything else from Apple.)

Those considerations pretty much negate any possibility of me going out and getting an iPad when it becomes available. But there are also considerations of “Do I need a portable – however slick – computer at all?”

I do not spend a lot of “free” time in front of a computer at home. When I do switch on my home PC it is either for a computer-enabled house chore (say, to review family finances) or for a personal project. In both cases, I am pretty sure that a desktop PC with a wide-screen 24″ monitor and a full-size keyboard is a device more conducive to efficient task completion.

I prefer to read during my lengthy commute. Books or periodicals, not daily newspapers or blogs. So, an Internet browser with 3G wireless capability, while an unquestionably nice thing to have available, is not exactly a necessity for me. And an ability to peruse emails on the go – or to respond to them – does not fit at all into my M.O. I occasionally scroll through my Blackberry inbox outside of business hours, but I am a big proponent of leaving work behind when I am on my personal time.

I am perfectly fine with using my iPod – do you know that I still have the original monochrome-screen clunky-by-current-standards model? – for music on the go. I haven’t ever bought anything on iTunes and don’t plan to – vast majority of what I listen to is in Russian and is not available on iTunes, and my tastes in music are so calcified in the past, that it is hard to imagine that I don’t own something that I like on a CD, long ago digitized for iPod.

I have my business schedule and all of my contacts on my Blackberry. Given that it is also my mobile phone and my business emails channel, I am more than happy to have all of that functionality in that one place.

I can’t work up much enthusiasm for watching movies or TV shows on a smallish screen.

I practically do not play computer games.

I can see how having all of your pictures on a device that can easily display them while being passed around has certain value as a great conversation starter. I don’t know how frequently it would be of use, though. Certainly, not a necessity.

Having maps of the entire world – whether GPS-enabled or not – with you can also be viewed as valuable, but I honestly do not see myself trying to navigate streets of an unfamiliar city while checking my progress on a tablet. If anything, it will attract thieves in no time.

I don’t engage in creative pursuits that may require jotting down ideas as they occur to me. And my retentive memory is above average in that I actually rarely take notes altogether.

I do make to-do lists for myself all the time. On post-it notes, more often than not. Replacing that media with a tablet for that particular purpose appears an overkill.

So, of all the items listed on the iPad features page, book e-reader would appear the most useful for me. Except, with an LCD screen, I would not get the benefits of eInk that practically every dedicated e-reader provides these days.

Of course, it should be noted that I have not joined the 21st century yet in buying myself an e-reader. But I suppose I’ll look into doing that rather than contemplating getting a tablet PC, however brilliant iPad looks from a distance.


  1. Dr. Phil

    If you decide to get an e-reader, I can heartily recommend the Sony line. I have a PRS-505 (with Memory Stick Duo Pro and SD slots) and a smaller PRS-300 (no slots, but both units can connect via USB without installing the Sony software and be treated like a flash drive) — both have leather cases with a reading light (lightwedge on the 505, popup light for the 300).

    But I’m also seriously looking at the WiFi iPad for a convenient, nearly instant on net surfing appliance for around the house.

    Dr. Phil

  2. Ilya

    Thank you, Phil, I’ve heard a number of people expressing their general satisfaction with PRS-505. It is definitely one of my primary choices.

  3. Kisintin

    You hard to get PRS 505 anymore for a decent price. I was thinking about iPad, but my wife has brought up the idea of portability. It’s the size of a netbook, can’t stick it in the pocket.

    I can’t decide yet.

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