Well, I went ahead and pre-ordered an Apple iPad on Friday. I usually don’t pre-order a $500 piece of tech site unseen. OK, I pre-ordered the iPod Touch 3rd gen when it was announced but I’d seen and touched the earlier versions and was simply waiting on the latest upgrades before buying.
So first I had to justify pre-ordering a new piece of technology. I trust Apple to have thought about the design and function of the iPad to create a usable interface. Sure it looks nice in the video but all the hype actually turns me off. Still, I have faith, while based on the iPod Touch I don’t see Apple simply making a big iPod Touch. I am concerned about bugs and manufacturing issues as they seem to be affecting Apple lately and this is a completely new piece of hardware. But the bottom line was I know I would be buying this version of the iPad and not waiting for the next version, so might as well get it as soon as possible.
So the next question was: Which model? I knew I didn’t need or want wi-fi. The AT&T link kills the iPhone for me as I won’t do business with AT&T due my own experiences with them. But even if I could use another carrier I don’t see myself needing 3G on this. So that eliminated the 3G models.
Typically with Apple I end up getting the fastest CPU and most memory I can afford, finding it easy to justify the extra hardware. In this case I couldn’t come up with good reasons to go above 16GB. It will be mostly used around the house or at least return home every night. Most of my current 16GB iPod touch is currently consumed by music. While I might keep a few playlists on the iPad I don’t see it containing a significant number of songs.
So I broke with tradition and bought the cheapest model.
So what will I use the iPad for:
- Reference – I have high hopes for Evernote on the iPad and that’s my primary filing system. But I also hope to put my own PDFs that I use for reference.
- Books – I like the Kindle and enjoy reading on it. But there are types of books that aren’t suitable for the Kindle. While there are exceptions, books with a lot of charts and tables or programming books with code samples are usually hard to read. Things got a little better with the Kindle 2 but a nice color screen should be better. I suspect I’ll still read novels on the Kindle as I expect it to be easier on the eyes. I am concerned about book pricing through Apple but even if I stick with my own books already available on PDF or a non-DRM’d format I’ll be Happy.
- Magazines & Newspapers – While I’ve gotten away from newspapers and magazines I grew up reading them and still like them. I’ve drifted away from them because of the clutter they cause and my inability to keep them organized. I’m cautiously optimistic pricing will be in line with current subscriptions and not priced as a “premium service”. I kind of liked newspapers on the Kindle in that it was easy to go through the info. But it was a linear experience and I couldn’t flip through the paper to see what catches my eye. The headlines in a table of contents just isn’t the same thing. Sure, the iPad will have some demo friendly page turn animation but hopefully that can be turned off once it becomes annoying (which will be about 90-seconds in).
- Video – I’m hoping the video viewing matches the hype. It’ll be nice to be able to have a few videos on it and watch them.
- Readily available computer. Rather than grabbing my Netbook or going to my desktop to check out something on the web or make a note I’ll probably use the iPad. (Much of this has already gravitated to my iPod Touch anyway.)
I suppose it depends upon how you define success but I think the iPad will be a success for Apple. Mainly because it can be different things to different people. Despite Apple’s claim of reasonable pricing I do think the biggest question for someone is whether the planned use of the iPad worth the cost. I’m not sure I could justify the iPad cost against my planned usage, at least not until the iPad actually exists in public. And let’s face it, books, movies and newspapers/magazines are an added cost. But I’m a tech and gadget geek which goes a long way to justifying the cost. Adding to that is I’m sure I’ll still be using it in a year.
So it’ll arrive April 3rd and we’ll see if I regret the decision.