Apple finally unveiled its highly-anticipated tablet computer on Jan 27, 2010. The new gadget has been ridiculed for its name, which sounds like high-tech tampon. Jokes aside, should you get an iPad?
Well, if money is not an issue, and if you love gadgets, then by all means get one as your new toy. Otherwise, ask yourself this question: If you already have a PC/Mac and iPhone, do you still need an iPad?
One factor to consider is typing on iPad. With iPhone, you hold the device on your left hand and type with your right hand. iPad is too big to be held with one hand, so most likely you have to place it on the table or on your laps. Here is where iPad is at disadvantage: you can adjust the angle of a notebook screen, but you can’t do so with iPad.
Another factor to consider is that iPad can’t do multi-tasking, so you can’t surf Web and listen to music at the same time. (But I won’t be surprised if Steve Jobs address this issue in future models.)
In the end, I expect iPad will be primarily used as an electronic reader, i.e. device for reading e-books. One can download e-books from Apple’s own iBookstore. Prices begin at US$12.99 for each book.
Another possibility is to use the gadget as the replacement for students’ text books. Imagine carrying an iPad instead of five or more physical books. However, in order for iPad to be widely adopted as text book replacement, its price has to come down substantially. You don’t want your kids to carry a US$499 gadget to school.
Travelers may like iPad too. They can download electronic version of Lonely Planet for reference. Of course, they must make sure that they can recharge the device along the trip. Theft is another concern. (Kikey Loo, are you interested?)
As for myself, I noted in one of my posts that I am a technology laggard. I doubt I will purchase an iPad in 2010.