AT's Blog – From A to T

Occasional observations and random musings from Cali to DC

To iPad or not to iPad…that is the question!

Posted by ataylorblog on September 27, 2010

iPad, iPhone, MacBook Pro

Image via Wikipedia

With RIM announcing it’s new Playbook Tablet for Blackberry’s today.  I was reminded of a little dilemma I had a few weeks ago.  What was the dilemma you ask?  Well, I had an iPhone & a MacBook, but was intrigued about the new gadget that hit the market called the iPad.

While the promotions and hype surrounding this new device were enticing, I simply didn’t see where another gadget fit into my daily life.  I actually had to chuckle at the mock-ups of the life-size iPad (ala the keyboard in the movie Big) that people could use as a giant electronic Twister game.  I mean, the iPhone & my Blackberry more than fulfill all of my mobile needs & my MacBook serves its purpose at home, at work, and while traveling.  Where exactly does one use the iPad?  Especially since there is no phone and no camera currently available (unless you buy an app and an app for that app).

Steve Jobs has coined the tagline, “iPad our most advanced technology in a magical & revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.”  All very true, but still what benefits does the iPad provide (this was pre-obsession with Words with Friends obviously).

I’d love to tell you that I put a lot of thought into the positives and negatives of purchasing an iPad.  Basically, I walked into a Best Buy a few weeks ago looking for a camera case & left the store with the iPad.  I couldn’t resist any longer.  Plus, the only way for me to truly find out if I needed an iPad was simply to purchase one & try it out for a minute.  Right?  There’s no better form of analysis than trial and error!!

Well, after dibbling & dabbling with the iPad and iPad apps for the last few weeks, I feel that I can finally respond to my friends when they ask “To iPad or not to iPad,” because that is still the question on everyone’s mind.

While I’m still formulating my genuine response to that question, I will offer you a closer look into my life with a briefcase full of gadgets.

From time to time, when I actually take time during my often hectic & over-scheduled days, I find a moment (usually a very brief moment) to step back & put my overconsumption of tech gadgets into perspective.  What I find on most occasions is that many of us spend more time tinkering & tampering with the gadgets that were meant to help us manage our days more efficiently, communicate more frequently, and simplify our lives than living life fully.  Instead, many of these same “amazing” & “cool” gadgets actually make our lives more complicated, reduce productivity, and hinder true/authentic communication between human-beings.

Feel free to disagree with me wholeheartedly, but as an admitted recovering tech addict I am almost positive that we all are going through this same dilemma.  College friends found me an easy target when chiding folks about having to have the newest “things” that came on the market (at least as far as electronics were concerned).  In business school, we called these folks the “early adopters”.  You know ’em, the nerdy folks who know the release dates for gadgets as soon as Bill Gates & his counterparts pitch them at a tech show.  Well, I’m not that crazy, but I used to find myself always having to have the latest & greatest item out there.

Fortunately, my mere possession of these gadgets has now made it almost impossible for me to keep up with the folks in my life on a regular basis.  In fact, I’m sitting here on the couch writing this blog & if I look to my right or to my left, I am surrounded by my iPad, MacBook, iPhone, and Blackberry.  Another Powerbook is hooked up to the TV so that I could watch yesterday’s Cowboys vs. Texans game and my iPod is in a docking station nearby.  White power chords can be found in every nook & cranny in my house and strange ringtones & alerts seem to be going off at all times of the day and night.

All in all, I try not to complain about the fact that we can literally find the world at our fingertips with these amazing inventions.  I also am grateful that I have access to this technology.  I have signed on for this chaos and to a certain extent probably am motivated by being busy.  However, eventually, I will have to decide between instant access and peace & quiet.

Sadly, I don’t think this dilemma will end in the near future.

So should you get an iPad?  Well, I can’t answer that for you.  It’s a great device, so if you’re interested in adding another “great” resource to your toolbox….definitely get yourself one.  If you’re trying to simplify your life…stick with your phone & computer.

In the end, I do truly love the iPad.  My iPhone & MacBook feel like the older children when a newborn comes home from the hospital because they certainly haven’t received as much attention since the iPad’s arrival.  Figuring out how to maximize the use of all of these gadgets is still a work in progress.  Trying to carve out a moment of peace & quiet away from all of the gadgets is a challenge, and I don’t think a resolution is near.  Maybe I’ll find an app that will show me the way.  If you know of an app for this, please share it with me!!

Until then, I guess I’ll just have to keep challenging folks to a game of Words with Friends.

3 Responses to “To iPad or not to iPad…that is the question!”

  1. Sharon said

    Since I’m not a big phone user, I find it a lot easier to use the my IPAD…heck of a lot easier to use the keypad.

  2. Olympia said

    Great post! I pretty much agree with your sentiments about gadgetry. I’m usually an early adopter, yet this time I didn’t want to get another gadget just because it was new and cool. I finally broke down for nearly the same reason you did, to try it out. I also needed to better understand how to serve our mobile clients. The iPad is a unique platform. Although it’s similar to the iPhone, the added screen space makes for a different experience. Hopefully, my iPad will deliver even more, a mobile office solution that I can truly use…we’ll see.

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