Okay, I care, because I’m posting about it. But what is it about the iPad2 that makes me want one? I just got a netbook, after all, and can I really justify $579 (16GB, WiFi only) up to $949 (64Gb, WiFi+3G) after that? Of course I can: I’m a techie and that’s a gadget. Would I use it, though? Don’t I already have tools (an iPhone, a laptop, a netbook, a computer) that do these things already?
I went through the Apple features list for the iPad2 (AU) to try to sell myself one. I already know what I think I want it for: GarageBand, and the reports of this $4.99 app’s musical instruments being “just like the real thing”, such as a pressure-sensitive keyboard. Oh god how I want one of them! I don’t even have a keyboard because I can’t stand the mechanical lack of tone, timbre or anything resembling a real piano. And no music program has really come close, at least without a very expensive attachment.
Other things I think I will find useful though? (for $900 I could get myself a nice electric piano, complete with a stand and pedals, probably)
The HD camera. I imagine I won’t use FaceTime (I don’t see any need for videoconferencing at the moment – maybe if OTHER people get an iPad2 and I want them to see ‘every freckle on my face’ (eek!), but it would be very neat to record movies on a large screen rather than looking at a tiny 2.5″ LCD on my camera for minutes at a time!
I don’t really need more than WiFi for how I think I will use it. If I need 3G on the go, I can tether to my phone with the latest iOS update that lets you create personal access points. This is a good thing, as it will keep my budget down. Oh, and hey, it’s got Bluetooth. The only thing I can see that is missing here is an expansion slot for additional storage.
Are there comparable alternatives? I really don’t think so. I know there will soon be many more Android tablets out there (the Motorola Xoom, new Samsung Galaxy Tab, etc) but why I like the iPad2 is this one simple reason (that I like all Apple products for): it just works. Out of the box I am 100% confident that this little beastie will do everything I expect it to do from the ads, with very little configuration other than putting in my name and email address. When Apple says it turns on instantly, that’s what they mean. Right now. When they say that its accelerometer is smart, it IS – no flipping back and forth between vertical and landscape to try to see things in the right format. (Their spellcheck could do with some help, though – must be a reason they don’t advertise it, ha ha.)
With ten hours (closer to 6-7 with real world usage, I’d imagine) battery life I could take this to work and read it on the train, something I can’t do with a netbook (though I am trying). I could read BOOKS on this darn thing and save myself the cost of a Kindle.
The Smart Cover stand/case I should really include overall cost of the iPad2. At $79 for leather and $45 for polyurethane it isn’t cheap for what essentially looks like a sheet with creases in it, but from all accounts it is a must have for usability. I am generally relatively careful with my techno-products (I have had an iPhone 3GS for 2+years without a case, and there are no scratches on the screen) but the Smart Cover is more than that.
Ah this is sounding more and more like a lost cause. I don’t think the iPad2 is a PRODUCTIVITY tool. I would get frustrated trying to use this slim and light (both in size and power) machine trying to multitask the way I love to do on my home computer. Why I want it is because it offers more than just the tablet version of my email, of my word processor, of my music-creation app. It is a different experience, and I think Apple knows that, and it’s why the iPad2 will be successful.