I love gadgets as much - possibly a lot more - as the next person. I was one of the very first early adopters of Amazon's Kindle. I don't feel completely at peace unless I can have the very latest version of my BlackBerry. I'm never as happy as when I surround myself with 2 computers, a Kindle, a BlackBerry, an IPod, and their numerous accessories. Still, I'm very puzzled by people who buy IPads.
|My netbook cost me less than $200 at|
one of Amazon's sales.
It has traveled with me everywhere.
For a fraction of the cost of even the cheapest IPad, one can buy a perfectly good netbook. Unlike an IPad, a netbook is a real computer. For one, it has an actual keyboard, not the clumsy on-screen keyboard that IPad has. Anybody who ever tried using an on-screen keyboard knows that there is no way one could write 30-page-long articles or long daily blog posts (just to give a couple of examples) on it. Of course, some people have started to buy separate keyboards to attach to the IPad (as you can see in the picture on the right), which turns it into the clumsiest device ever.
My netbook fits into most of my handbags. I can take it with me wherever I go. If I'm going to Starbucks to meet a friend, I can drop the netbook in my handbag and bring it with me to blog or do research or prepare my classes while I'm waiting for my friend.
|Why anybody would want to go to all this trouble instead|
of getting a convenient and inexpensive
netbook is baffling.
Another hidden expense of an IPad is a stand. The device is quite big. Unlike a Kindle, for example, nobody can hold it in one hand for any amount of time. So you need to buy a stand to prop it up if you want to avoid overstraining your wrist. This, of course, means that you'll need to sit behind a desk to work on the IPad for any amount of time. While you can place a netbook on your lap and work away, this cannot be done with an IPad. And what's the use of a portable device that can't be used for any significant length of time away from a desk?
An IPad is more of a gigantic IPhone that can't make phone calls than anything else. It has all of the cute apps that will entertain you for a while. In fact, having an iPad will tie you to the iStore forever. If you are between the ages of 12 and 15, I'm sure you'll totally love it. If you are a bit more mature, though, you will soon realize that you can only use an IPad to read books if you find a way to prop it up, you will not be able to read anything on it outside because the problem of the sun glare is not resolved in this device in any way, you will not be able to write anything longer than a couple of sentences (or paragraphs, if you are very stubborn), you will need to wipe finger smudges off the touch screen every fifteen minutes (that's another expense and one more thing to trudge along with you on top of the covers, the attachable keyboard, and the prop-up stand - a box of screen wipes.) And this quite useless thing costs between $500 and $900. You could buy a netbook and 2 Kindles for the price of the cheapest IPad.
Whenever I see a person buying an IPad in a store, I stop and contemplate them with a sense of profound amazement. There must be a reason why they are buying it instead of a much cheaper netbook computer but I haven't been able to figure out what that might be. Any guesses?