Posted 17 April 2010 - 09:16 PM
One thing all iPad critics seem to have in common: They don't have one.
The iPad isn't intended to be a replacement for a laptop, netbook (i.e. mini-laptop), desktop, or a smartphone. It's a different class of device. That might seem like just some marketing positioning from Apple, but after a couple weeks with the device, I have to agree with that perspective.
I've had an iPod Touch for about a year, and use it all the time. It has my calendar, to-do list, a quick way to get e-mail or look up something on the web, burn time playing a game, listen to a podcast, etc. I do all these things, and quite often... It's helped me be more productive, more organized, and better informed. And I loved the touchscreen, but found it too small for some tasks.
So, I was thrilled with the iPad announcement. It is indeed like a large iPod Touch - great! I don't take it with me everywhere I go... Mostly, it sits on the kitchen table, and when I want to look up something quick - iPad. I check some of my favorite blogs in the morning, check my e-mail, the weather... and it's just plain fun to do this on a touch screen wherever I happen to be around the house. I've just poked-around on the iBook reader, but been pretty happy with it. I've watched a movie on it - was great for the right situation (was traveling at the time). It's also a great photo portfolio. I was in a meeting at my dayjob the other day, and used it to take notes, and send a couple e-mails... a laptop wasn't a possibility at this meeting - simply no space. But the iPad was just like holding a pad of paper - very unobtrusive. And did I mention it's just fun to use the touchscreen? Maybe that'll wear off a bit with time, but it doesn't seem like it.
I still use my desktop for major computing tasks (i.e. photoshop Lightroom is a big one of mine), but the iPad certainly has a place in my routine.
Do I need an iPad? no, of course not. But, I have a lot of things I don't "need". I did have $500 to spend though, so for me it was an easy choice. People spend that much on things they don't need all the time. I have a quilt hanging on my wall that cost $500. Nobody says I was a chump for buying that, they say "nice quilt". The quilt doesn't have a USB port either, but it enriches my life. For those who think it's a crazy thing to spend $500 on, let me ask you this - how much did you spend on your car? Say $8000... Could you have found one almost as nice for $7500? How much did you spend on that big screen TV? That bicycle? Your cable TV bill last year? These are all things we don't need, or don't need to spend as much on as people do, but so what?
I like the iPad, and from the reaction I've seen first hand of people actually seeing and using it, I can tell you - it's going to be a success.