Saturday, April 03, 2010

iPad = Money Vacuum?

Maybe I'm just getting cynical.  Maybe I've seen enough technological leaps to stop and think first whether some new hardware or software is right for me.

Or maybe it's the economy.

Could be I'm getting old.  I've got more birthdays behind me than ahead of me.

I really like the idea of the iPad, but I don't really see a need for it in my life at this point.  I wish I did, because the interface is cool.  The ability to carry around audio books and movies that can be shown on a good-sized screen is a huge draw for me.

However, the price tag for this luxury is steep.  I have a notebook PC (and yeah, for all you Mac users, I know you like your product better, but I'm a PC gamer at heart and that's just not going to change) that allows me more functionality with the combined fields of entertainment and work.  I just can't see trying to write a novel on the go on an iPad.  I'd have to add a keyboard, and I don't know if I would be happy with the monitor positioning available.  I know I'm supposed to be able to type directly on the iPad, but I'd also have to look straight down on the screen and that doesn't sound comfortable.

Then there's the whole connectivity issue.  I know that wi-fi is free, but to use the full iPad suite the way it's meant to be used, I'd need to buy a 3G network plan for an additional $30.00 a month.  I already pay $30.00 a month for the iPhone (which I have to admit I really can't live without because it is so versatile and easy to use on the go).

The iPad's size precludes it from being carried in a pocket the way the IPhone can be.  Also, I can't imagine holding an iPad to my ear when I take a call.  So I would have to carry both units.  It would make sense for the $30.00 a month 3G charges to cover both units at the same time.  That would make the iPad more attractive to me.

I recently read an article that suggests the average American family spends nearly $1000 a month on communication and entertainment devices and services.  At first I didn't believe that, then I added up everything I spend for cable, phones, and movies and games.  It adds up really fast.

So the line has to be drawn somewhere.  I itch for the iPad because it is so cool, but I already have devices that do everything it will do.  And I'm already paying monthly charges on those devices and services.  I don't want to add a duplication of those devices and services.  Maybe I'll miss out on the cool points and style, but until the service package is made more attractive and not redundant without adding cost, I'm taking a pass on this latest Apple offering.

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