Something wierd about the iPad

I'm a gadget guy: I love toys and electronics and shiny things that run on electricity in general. I often feel an unaccountable lust for objects I see on New Egg and in the Fry's ads in the back of the sports section. "$88 for 4G of RAM? Wow! I must have it!" I think, forgetting for the moment that I don't even own a desktop PC. The same thing happened when I saw the 30" Cinema display: it was simply gorgeous, and I had to have it, even though I didn't have a computer to drive it's insane resolution. And I felt the same way about the iPhone - and I actually bought it.

So, the weird thing about the iPad is that it inspires no such feelings of lust in me. It's weird because, by rights, it should inspire such feelings. It has all the traits: it's a neat toy and it's a solid metal block that has a computer inside of it. But there is no stirring in my brain's gadget-passion center.

(I've had this strange experience once before, with World of Warcraft. By rights, I should have been badly addicted to the game, but it was merely meh.)

I think the thing that gets me about the iPad is that I don't need it. I've never been in a situation where I thought to myself "Gosh, I wish I had a tablet right now." I own a tablet, actually, the IBM X10. It's really good for a very narrow range of tasks, mostly drawing and note-taking. The only feature of the iPad I have actually wanted is 10 hour battery life and the very light weight. Indeed, it would make an interesting "world traveler's device". Except, of course, netbooks are cheaper, more robust (clamshell protects screen), and have a built-in keyboard and useful ports (like USB and SD card slots). Indeed, with iPhone 4.0 including bluetooth keyboard support, the iPhone 3GS itself may be the best "world traveller's device" (especially if you buy downloadable maps). It's lighter than everything else and is a phone, and while it sucks for reading it's passable. And it's much better for watching movies than you'd expect.

Truth be told, my gadget-lusting brain is far more interested the Kindle and Nook. They have even better battery life, include lifetime 3G connectivity, and make reading digibooks relatively painless. I'm not real happy about page transitions, so maybe the next revision. I'm also very not excited about having to rebuy my physical books.

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