The Right Tool For The Job

Or, “Why I Won’t Be Buying an iPad.”

Back when they announced the device, I put my thoughts up.  Now that the device has released, I’ve read the reviews and seen videos of it in action, I’m still not buying one.

Largely, it is for the same reasons I mentioned.  Since I’d never pay for the 3G data plan, its function as a mobile computing device is limited to Wi-Fi hot spots, and currently I’ve got a phone for that.  So the next use would be to have it around the house.  I’m really not big on browsing the net while watching TV, mostly because I usually want to actually pay attention to the TV.  And really, for the quick things I’d want to look up, I have my phone (I don’t have a land line anymore, so I always have my cell phone on me).  When I do actually want a computer it is primarily for two things: writing and drawing.

As far a writing goes, I’m not a touch typist, not really anyway (I can type without looking at the keyboard, but you can go insane watching my hands float all over – home row is for sissies), but my typing is dependent on the tactile response of the keyboard, to know when I’ve made mistakes.  I’ve seen people complain about how a laptop forces you to be in an uncomfortable position and the iPad lets you be more relaxed… only, I’m not uncomfortable when I use my laptop.  In fact, I’m often more uncomfortable in the big cushy couches most people love.  I like rigid, straight back, seating (though when I watch movies I do like a bit of tilt and some head support).  Using an iPad and the positions I’d have to be in to type on it two handed looks to be painful to me.  I may end up at an Apple store to play with one someday, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like it.

For drawing, as a previously mentioned, I don’t want to draw with my finger.  I really don’t.  I like using a stylus, which the iPad does support, but I’d really have to use it to see if it is worthwhile.  And is it pressure sensitive?  I use the heck out of the pressure sensitivity on my Wacom.  I’d hate to be without it.

Most of the web based gaming I do these days is Flash based and wouldn’t function on the iPad, so that’s out.

For me, the iPad just isn’t the right tool for the job, and currently my phone, netbook and desktop do the things I want very nicely.

On the other hand, while I wouldn’t buy one of these, I think my wife would like it quite a bit, except for the whole iTunes thing.  We are Zune people, and I really don’t want to install iTunes and then have it and the Zune software start fighting over who has control of the MP3 tags.  But if we could get over that, I think she’d be very happy with the iPad as an email checking, Internet browsing, note jotting, media consuming machine.  We’ve got a few boxes of CDs and DVDs sitting around waiting for a garage sale, perhaps we could use them for something else.

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