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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- I have a Blackberry (paid by my employer) for portable web browsing when I need it.
- 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.
- 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?