With iPad release around the corner and so much hype built around it, I thought I will take a test drive to figure out do I really need to get on this iPad band wagon. After spending some time with this toy, I decided that I really do not need iPad that bad. iPad did not offer me anything that I could not do with my Dell Mini Laptop. This does not mean that iPad has no advantage at all. It has its own place in everyday life. Bottom line is you need to figure out what kind of usage you are looking for. Based on my day to day software development and project management tasks, here are some of the reasons that made me decide that I do not need to iPad so bad.
This was one of the primary reasons that drove me off. Some will argue very stongly against this with me. Lot of people think that having no keyboard is one of the cool things in iPad. Well it depends. Some of the following bullet points will explain why I did not like not having keyboard.
While I am travelling on bus or train, I keep my mini laptop with me to read and answer emails for my clients and co-workers. And most of these emails can get pretty long. Well try to write long emails by tapping on screen keyboard. Then you will feel the pain. Unfortunately I am not Steve Jobs who can get away by answering his emails in "Yes" or "No". I am sure you know what I am talking about.
I spend lot of time reviewing and writing design and management documents and data sheets. Well, out of the box iPad does not offer Office like editors. Apple is offering iWorks like application for iPad. But you have to buy them. So here we start adding up cost to so called low cost system. Now you have to pay for essentials. But that is besides the point. Painful part is that there is no keyboard and I will have to use on screen keyboard tapping. Thanks but no thanks.
Well, whats the use of carrying this toy when travelling when I can't watch a movie. You can stream the movies from Apple store and things like that. Not everybody has broadband cards or WiFi connections available in bus, train etc. But why should I have to stream movie or show from some paid service.
One of big drawback iPhone type devices for me is that they do not handle rough treatment that device like Backberry gets from me. I can't remember how many times I have dropped my Backberry and for that matter my mini laptop. And they are still kicking and screaming. Well, I dropped iPhone once and that was end of the story. May be if i can frame my iPad in some glass frame. When I went to Apple store to check if they have any extended warranty plan something like Dell's complete coverage or any plan that will provide some affordable repair for accidental damage. Well the answer to the question was big NO. So if you are travelling a lot or have kids in your house, then accidents will happen. So I have no reason to buy iPad yet.
Price range of $499-$899 is not so appealing for me. For the type of usage that I need, I can buy a much better mini laptop for same price range.
Again, the reasons that I have cited for not buying iPad are based on my experience and type of usage that I need. If you are someone who wants to mostly surf internet, read emails, stream videos and play some games, you may find more use out of iPad.