It’s pretty much a given that the tablet PC of choice these days is an Apple iPad. No other brand even comes to mind (actually, are there any other brands out there?). So, the question of whether or not to buy a tablet PC isn’t really should I buy from Steve Jobs versus Bill Gates, it’s more a question of: do I really need one of those damn iPads?
Is it cool?
I love cool gadgets. But, I’m very, very picky about what I define as such. There’s a very fine line between nerdy and cool. It has something to do with being sexy (I think). I don’t watch of a lot of TV commercials anymore, but I’m quite certain Apple has some really great “I’m an iPad” commercial out there that will make me feel very cool about parting with $500. Hell, even Obama’s got one, and by most standards, he’s cool. Therefore, it’s probably cool.
Is it worth the money?
That’s a toughie. If your disposable income is > six figures, then it’s a no-brainer. In fact, if you’re this person and you don’t have one, then shame on you. You need to be spending a lot of money on all kinds of stuff, whether it makes sense or not, because you need to help the economy. If you’re a working stiff, or eking by, then it’s a much more important decision. Chunking over $500 (or $499 in Kmart-speak) means not chunking over $500 on something else, such as your car payment.
Will it make my life easier?
This has to be a No! It’s not a washing machine, a car, a dishwasher, an iRobot, a vibrator or some other equally important tool that will ease your workload. This is a computer! You will spend hours and hours beating some new, 3-D version of Tetris, or learning how to edit your pictures only to discover that no matter what you do you are still not photogenic.
Will it make me happy?
Ok, now we’re getting down to it. Now we are talking the real shit. We all want to be happy. Of course, we all have our own ideas about what that means and how to get there. For some, happiness is the brief, fleeting feeling you get when you pull up in your shiny Boxter with the top down and your are in the first position at the redlight on Eastern Parkway and Bardstown Road, on a hot summer evening, and everyone (who tries not to look) looks at you with envy. For others it’s the tug on the pole when the 14 oz. crappie hits your line while your sitting at the pond with your significant other(s) on that same evening, and you reel it in without spilling your beer. For the former, the answer is: you bet ‘ya! If you don’t already have one then you are a little less happy than you could be—I know it and you know it. For the latter, not so much. The virtual fishing game is probably a little fun if your playing whilst “sitting on the throne” but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t even come close to the real deal.
Given that I already have a pretty good laptop (with Tetris), I’m not rich, don’t even own a dishwasher, a TV (or a vibrator) and my ex got the Boxter, I’m going to try to get by without it for while. Eventually, I’ll probably be watching TV and the “I used to be a Mac but now I’m an iPad” dude will somehow convince me that my life is meaningless without it, but until then I’m going to invest in a little bait and head over to the pond.