Finances & Money Frugality

6 reasons you don’t need a new computer (especially an iPad)

I have a friend who I would consider an Apple “fanboy”, but also a fanboy of all new IT gadgets and technologies. While at dinner recently, he was showing me his new iPad, and we got into a conversation about how an iPad is better than any other computer.

His reasoning for getting an iPad was “it does 90% of what you do on a regular PC, and it’s portable and cool” (paraphrased). He was convincing in his argument, but I came up with the following reasons that I personally wouldn’t need to buy an iPad:

  1. I already have 4 personal laptops and 1 work laptop. To me, buying an iPad right now would be like replacing your 3-year-old water heater because the new one has a flashy screen to tell you the temperature setting. As a note, I’m still using the free laptops I got 4-5 years ago, and they work perfectly for what I need.
  2. It won’t simplify my life. Sure, it might be simpler to access your apps and stay connected, but I know myself well enough that the iPad will only add more stress and complexity to my life. I thought the Blackberry would simplify my life, but now I stress over whether I’ll break it, lose it, or forget it when I go out. I have to remember to keep it charged, update the OS and apps, etc. And in the end, I just use it to check email and play some simple games…same as I’ve done on my PC for the last 15 years. How will the iPad change that? It won’t.
  3. It doesn’t have USB ports, so you can’t easily hook it up to existing devices for extra storage, transferring files (from flash drives), printing or even typing. If you want these conveniences, you need to buy proprietary devices from Apple, and even those have deficiencies.
  4. I have a Blackberry (paid by my employer) for portable web browsing when I need it.
  5. If I needed a new computer, and it needs to be highly portable, I would still consider a netbook, which costs half the price of the starter iPad.
  6. It could be another fad. I think one of the reasons I’m tired of spending is that I’ve been able to step back and see the progression of technology over time. I can see how quickly technologies are being obsolesced, and that means replacement parts, etc. can get expensive and hard to find in just a year or two. And when you have a device as complicated, and thin, as the iPad, if it breaks, you don’t have a chance at fixing it yourself.

Now I can’t deny I’m tempted like heck to buy an iPad. It’s thin, it’s sexy and it might change the way I interact with technology enough that I can become more productive. But honestly, I don’t think it would, and I’d be $500-$1000 in the hole afterward. I can use that money to pay down our mortgages, or save for a nice vacation. I think one relaxing vacation would make me much more productive than an iPad ever would.

How about you? Have you fallen for the hype? Can you truly justify the purchase of an iPad (or any new computer really), when you have a perfectly good computer already?

About the author

Clever Dude


  • No iPad for me. I’ve heard that you can’t read the screen in the sunshine. Plus you get finger prints all over it. And editing documents with a finger instead of a mouse just sounds (and I would imagine feels) weird to me.

    Maybe after a couple of rounds of improvements and a lower price point I’ll get one. Still holding out for an iPhone thought (I’m at a Blackberry company too).

  • I would love to buy an iPad if they added a keyboard, increased the screen size, added usb ports, got rid of the Apple proprietary stuff… oh wait, that’s any other laptop.

  • iPads have really been successful at alienating us even more from each other. Are we in touch? Yeah, but we don’t know who each other is! Do we talk? No, but we text all the time. I’m afraid that we’re becoming a society/planet of folks all operating in their independent orbit.

  • Ok, so I fell for the hype, well my employer did….and now I have an iPad. Let me tell you, I love it. I use it in conjunction with my desktop and it works better than any laptop I’ve ever had. The best part, I got rid of my smartphone and got a smaller flip phone that doesn’t need a data plan. Just for that, my iPad will pay for itself in a smaller cell phone bill.

    (typed on my iPad, with the wireless keyboard)

  • I don’t need an ipad, i would prefer my pc still 😀 to me, it is just wasting money. I think ipad will be useful for bloggers who are always often on the way, so they can keep blogging using ipad.

  • I’ve got another reason not to get an iPad – in six to ten months Apple will come out with the iPad 2, which will be faster, store more information, and have some new feature which the iPad won’t have… plus, all the bugs will be out of the current hardware set. 🙂

    Personally I’ve recently picked up a netbook which I’m finding to be really nice to carry around for times when I don’t need to lug a portable.

  • I do not have an iPad yet so I can’t try. i have an external Samsung DVD-writer that comes with a double USB connection on one side. Since the DVD writer consumes also a bit more energy in this way it receives the power of two USB slots. Will this perhaps work with the iPad as well?

  • I’ve found a lot of advantages and few negatives to staying a good two or three years behind any new tech toys. The bugs get worked out, the price goes down, and often the product improves.

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