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Why I Can’t Get Excited About the iPad

February 4, 2010

With great headiness, so much coverage about the iPad has tried to frame what it will mean for computing, mobility, traditional media and book publishing. Seeing as I love all those topics, perhaps it’s a little weird that I can’t get excited about the iPad.

It’s not that I dislike Apple or think the company won’t move a bunch of these things.  I’m a happy MacBook Pro user. I also have an iPhone — a beautiful small touchscreen computer with incredible apps that I carry around everywhere. (It also tries really hard to make phone calls, but I’m one of the millions of consumers that’s choosing to look the other way on its inability to do so with any reliability…for now).

But as I’m sure is the case for people like me, and many knowledge workers in general, I can’t get excited about the iPad because I see no practical need for an extra device in my life — and that’s exactly what the iPad, at least for the next few years, would be for someone like me.

As someone who is paid to share knowledge and exchange vast amounts of information with colleagues, customers and others, I need access to a fully-featured laptop all the time and will for the foreseeable future. When you see me at any event or when I’m in the city or on the road, I’ll probably have a big Timbuk2 bag slung over my shoulder (it’s causing back problems). The iPhone, meanwhile, plugs the gap when I leave my MacBook at my apartment, hotel or office.

Sure, an iPad would be nice when I travel on a plane or train, but once I get to my destination, I probably would still need my MacBook again, and I’m not going to lug around both.

On the content side, I am curious to see how or if the touch screen keyboard experience improves. A lot of Apple iPhone fans like to downplay the criticism from a BlackBerry user or others who like buttons, but if you really think an iPhone allows you to craft messages as fast as other devices, you’ve really talked yourself into that. I also would hate balancing the thing on my lap.

Furthermore, I can’t imagine a purchase of this kind where I can’t multi-task with different apps. It’s just downright stupid, and while I conceptually understand the development rationale, they wouldn’t get away with this if they were anyone else than Apple (imagine if a PC, Windows powered netbook worked like that — people would laugh).

Again, I guess I’m just not the use case, but it could be sometime before I find use for a tablet, whether it’s from Apple or anyone else for that matter.

So there’s my iPad post. Finally.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jarina permalink
    February 4, 2010 11:10 pm

    I have to totally agree, Chris. The iPad seems redundant and I can’t help but be frustrated with the fact that it won’t run Office… I think I’ll be waiting for iPad 2.0.

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