Why do I not need an iPad? Let me count the ways…
I listen to music only when I am on the move. Driving or walking. When I am otherwise stationary, say, on the bus during my commute, I prefer to read. And I do not listen to music and read at the same time. Given these parameters, a good old iPod – and mine is really old, the first chunky white-and-silver model there ever was – is a lot more convenient as compared to a gadget that one has to carry in a bag.
I do not want to read books on a glossy LED screen. Or hold a heavy brick in my hands when I read. As I said on previous occasions, I am rather happy with a dedicated electronic reader that takes advantage of eInk to go easy on my eyes. The reader might be a narrow-purposed gadget, but it does its job really well, and I’m not about to give up the superior experience for arguable convenience of having an all-in-one-device.
I am an indifferent gamer. There is simply no time in my life available for computer games (infrequent Wii sessions with Kimmy excepted) and I’ve never been too heartbroken about that either. If I am faced with idle time on my hands, I’d rather read.
I went through a period of time several years ago when I carried a laptop with me every day so that I could watch videos during my commute. There is definitely a modicum of value in having the ability to carry videos along and watch them on a reasonably-sized screen. But watching movies piece-meal is not my thing – and for all of the length of my commute, I do not spend enough time on the bus to watch any given movie in its entirety. Streaming most recent episodes for a couple of shows that other family members are not interested in could be a proposition for killing time during commute, except streaming video over 3G network neither works well nor fits into the monthly data transfer allotment available with an iPad. I have little interest in re-watching previous seasons of shows that I already have seen, and even less interest in shows that I have not seen. Anyway, I’d rather read.
You did notice the common thread, did you? Electronic book reader is the gadget ideally suited for my needs when it comes to entertaining myself during periods of idleness. Why would I need a tablet computer with all its bells and whistles, especially when it happens to be inferior at the function I deem the most important…
Email and internet – that’s why.
The corporate overlords have been tightening the screws for a long time now, and both my office PC and my BlackBerry nowadays are blocking access to practically everything I want to check during the day – blogs, personal email accounts, social networking sites. I come home late at night, have dinner, spend some time with the kids, and then retreat to my basement study to catch up on stuff.
Or take holidays. During the week in Florida I was pretty much unplugged all the time. That could be nice on many types of vacations, but not on a trip where I had plenty of time all to myself between my 10-year-old’s bedtime and my own… Yep, I read a lot.
Long story short, I decided I needed to catch up with modern times by equipping myself with something that would keep internet always at the ready for me. I first considered a smartphone, a Droid or some such, but small screen and typing with thumbs were among things that stopped me. Plus, a simple calculation showed that adding a new cell phone with generous data transfer allowance to our existing plan would mean higher monthly charges than the iPad 3G monthly plan. In a couple of years, that difference would negate the current difference in cost between a Droid and an iPad.
And when I found out that I could get myself an iPad with an 18-months credit-as-cash deal, it became a no-brainer.
I’m not going to do any product reviews. It will take me some time to ascertain whether the gadget will prove to be as useful – or, to be completely honest, necessary – as I’m hoping it will be. It will obviously cut into my commute book-reading time. But it should free up time at home.
But after a few days of playing around with it, I am already pretty happy with the new-found ability to remain connected when I otherwise couldn’t in the past. On-the-bus test will be first performed tonight…