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 Post subject: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:30 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:01 am
Posts: 243
I've been trying to think of reasons why I would use an iPad? The key question for me is what would I use it for that would be so much better than attempting to accomplish the same thing on another device.

email: BlackBerry and laptop have this one covered.
word processing: Better on the laptop
spreadsheets: Better on the laptop
photo viewer: A potential app here - having the iPad on the coffee table and having friends/family flip through the photos would probably be much better on the iPad than on anything else I can think of. Most digital picture frames are kludgy and need to be plugged in.
video viewer: Too cumbersome to hold for significant length of time. If I'm going to stand it up somewhere, I might as well use the laptop.
games: Seems too cumbersome for effective gaming. I would prefer an iPod Touch for casual games and the laptop for more intensive graphics. I could see some great strategy games being able to take advantage of the larger screen real estate.
Internet browser: Some potential here. I might prefer by web surfing on an iPad as the battery last longer than the laptop and the screen is larger than the BlackBerry or iPod Touch. This would be mainly for news sites and blogs and some Craigslist browsing. As others have noted, the lack of Flash video seems like a significant omission.
eBook reader: The whole finger flipping mechanism is a pain. As long as there was a single-touch page-flip mechanism, I could see this working.
sketch pad: This is an intriguing idea. Nothing else seems to offer this capability as well as the iPad could accomplish this.

Thoughts? (Please keep this thread civil, as I don't want this to turn into an all-too-common Apple/non-Apple flame-war.)


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 Post subject: Re: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:42 pm 
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It seems to me there are really only three reasons to buy an ipad:

1. If you have been brainwashed by Apple and feel compelled to comply with Steve Jobs's demands.

2. If you think you have to keep up with your friends and they all buy one.

3. You want a toy

If you are surviving without one today then there is a pretty good chance you'll be able to survie without one for several years. If they become so indispensible that breathing and feeding yourself require and ipad, you can buy one then.


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 Post subject: Re: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:09 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:05 am
Posts: 329
Haha, don't worry. You're not the only one who likes technology and has given the iPad a good lookover.

My approach though, is more along the lines of what I envision or need in my digital life first, and then to look around and see if there are products and solutions that can bring that vision to life for a reasonable price.

And right now, I simply have no need in my digital life for what basically amounts to a portable home entertainment device. When I am at home, I am perfectly content with sitting in front of my desktop computer.

I know the iPad can also be carried around like a laptop, but-- and here's the part that tends to be controversial-- I don't think it's THAT portable. That is, you can't pocket the device. You have to have some kind of carry bag.

Contrast that with the iPhone, which is also capable of WiFi and 3G, but it's pocketable AND you can make phone calls with it. While it's a much smaller screen, it is still just as capable of video and music, and it just happens to be about the same screen resolution as standard definition internet video.

I think the only thing the iPhone will not be capable of doing that the iPad will do very well is 720p video. But that assumes that your 3G streams perfectly for the required extra bandwidth, and that also assumes that you're content with lugging the device around.

And if you're picky about the details, true 720p video (in the US) is actually 1280x720 native resolution, whereas the iPad's screen is 1024x768. So, you can't run true 720p without the sides chopped off.

Perhaps it's not fair to compare the iPad to an iPhone, even though that is what often comes down to for mobile media consumption. Perhaps it should probably be compared to other netbooks and competing tablets. If so, I don't see how the iPad is advantageous to netbooks that are capable of running true Windows OS with support for Flash and almost all available Windows software. Instead, the iPad is trying to create a new HD category of Apps for the device, except they want to charge you more for it.

Now, I'm not saying that the iPad will not find a loyal following of people who will find the device quite appealing. But hype and gadget lust aside, I just don't see how this particular device adds up.


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 Post subject: Re: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:02 pm 
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I've never been a fan of Apple stuff so I might be biased. I don't have an iphone, ipod, or mac. I do have a smartphone, mp3 player, and laptop that I carry all over. I'm big on tech, just never caught the apple bug.

With that disclaimer, I would say that I don't think the ipad will do that well. People "need" a phone and "need" a simple music player. But few need a big tablet unless it is a full laptop. We'll see though.


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 Post subject: Re: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:58 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:05 pm
Posts: 1321
A lot of people said the same stuff about the iPod when it first came out; I vividly remember people saying that nobody would buy it, it was too limited, etc., but then when people actually held one in their hands the reaction was almost universally "I want one."

I agree 100% that the iPad is in an odd niche: if you've already got an iPod, a cellphone, and a netbook or laptop, there's really no reason to have one. It's basically just a big iPod Touch and serves the same purposes; it's not meant to compete with netbooks. But like the iPod Touch it comes on instantly, you don't have to wait a few minutes for it to boot up like you do with a laptop. It's got all those apps. It's great for watching video or for reading newspapers online. And it's cool.

I'm not going to get one myself, as I don't have any need for it, but I can totally see why someone might want one. I might get one in a few years after the technology has evolved a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:02 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:05 am
Posts: 329
Quote:
A lot of people said the same stuff about the iPod when it first came out; I vividly remember people saying that nobody would buy it, it was too limited, etc., but then when people actually held one in their hands the reaction was almost universally "I want one."


Haha, yes, it's one of the many rebuttals I've read online about the iPad. That people are not going to get it until they hold one....

For what it's worth though, I've always thought that the iPod was going to revolutionize the industry. I felt the same way when I first saw the iMac and the iPhone as well. In each of those phases, there were stiff detractors, and I had argued that they are all going to be quite surprised....

But the iPad.... I still think it will be met with success, but just that it will be a modest one, that's all.

The iPad is still going to be hampered with an on-screen keyboard that doesn't work well for long documents (that or having to carry a separate keyboard), single tasking 3rd party software, the device being too big to pocket, no Flash support, and despite backwards compatibility with iPhone apps, it does not run any software from OSX or Windows, and has to create its own native software library.

While the negatives do not out-weigh the positives, there are negatives just the same.

In the middle of the iPad frenzy, I think some people forget that Apple have created some remarkable devices in the past that did not realize commercial success. I don't know if anyone still remember the iCube, but I do. Its eventual successor, the iMac Mini, did find commercial viability, but it is still a limited one. Apple also created a little something called AppleTV that was suppose to revolutionize TV viewing. Remember that one? XServe is another one, although that wasn't meant for the consumer market, and some generations of Mac Pros had a hard time competing....

Ironically enough, I think the biggest competition against the iPad may not be competing tablets, but perhaps with other Apple products. Many consumers will still decide that their iPhone is good enough. Still others may decide that, if they must carry a bag or suitcase, what they really want is a proper laptop and go with the Macbook or Macbook Pro instead.

Well anyway, that's just my opinion, but I guess we'll see after the buzz wears off.


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 Post subject: Re: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:20 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:05 pm
Posts: 1321
ekrabs wrote:
But the iPad.... I still think it will be met with success, but just that it will be a modest one, that's all.


I agree. Really, this thing is mainly competition for the Amazon Kindle, and while I thought it would be a sure Kindle-killer the weight issue is a big strike against the iPad (the iPad is a lot heavier, and thus less convenient for reading over a long period of time, plus unlike the Kindle it's hard to read the iPad in bright sunlight).

In its current incarnation I think the iPad will have a fairly limited market; it's estimated that Apple sold between half a million and 700,000 on opening day, but after the initial rush I suspect interest will taper off a bit. Walt Mossberg's review in the Wall Street Journal was interesting, though: while he doesn't see it as a laptop or netbook replacement, having an iPad has definitely decreased the amount of time he spends on his laptop and other devices.

My guess is they'll sell maybe 10 million of this first generation of iPads, but these tablets won't really take off for a few more years as the technology advances and more features become available.


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 Post subject: Re: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:38 am 
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Nothing would surprise me with an Apple product. There might be enough people out there that want one but I just don't see it among the people I know. I knew plenty of people that got iphones and ipods early on but know no one who wants an ipad.

Personally I don't like the closed nature of Apple's stuff. I think the new openess of google's phone and operating system are a threat...but not for 3-5 years.


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 Post subject: Re: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:39 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:30 pm
Posts: 158
because it's freaking awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:22 am 
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boorpoy wrote:
because it's freaking awesome.

Did you buy one?


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 Post subject: Re: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:07 am 
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JD is visiting at the box factory today, and he brought his iPad along. My iPod Touch is the coolest thing since the Leatherman, so a *really big* iTouch should be even better, right? Well, yes and no.

JD opted for the rubberized http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC361ZM/A, which I would recommend to anyone purchasing an iPad. It protects the unit as well as providing options for easier viewing. Overall the iPad is very slick to use, as expected, and it's nice to be able read webpages on a larger scale than my iTouch will allow. It is a great toy to play around on, but as JD will attest, it is not a productivity tool.

A few things I noticed right away that bugged me:

1. Fingerprints. Maybe JD has been eating greasy food lately, but man do those fingerprints ever show up... and it's not like you can just make a quick swipe with your t-shirt to clean it.

2. Reflections. Light reflects off the screen like crazy, but moving the pad or your head can nullify this.

3. The "Keyboard". Even in landscape mode, the keyboard is crowded, and trying to do any real typing is worthless. You can't rest your fingers on the keys for 'home-row' typing, and there's no tactile feel to tell you where your fingers are. There's also the fact that your right 'pinky' finger is over the 'go' or 'enter' key instead of the 'semicolon' key. It's actually easier to type on my iPod Touch!

But given the sleek design, the fluid-like ease of use, and the bright display (in the right light) I can still see why someone would want one -- but I can't see why anyone would need one. It would be easy enough to put up with my list of complaints -- especially by Apple-ites who are used to 1-button mice. :P Some of the bigger issues for me are the lack of multi-tasking, lack of USB connectivity, and incompatibility with Adobe Flash, but hopefully these will be rectified in future renditions.

The die-hard Apple crowd will swoon over the iPad, but I won't even consider one until it is actually a viable replacement for a netbook or laptop. Until then, I will stick with the iTouch that I can slip into my pocket.

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 Post subject: Re: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:43 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:05 pm
Posts: 1321
Good points, Jethro; it's exactly how I feel (I don't have an iPad and am not planning to get one, but I've been curious to see one). I feel like the iPod Touch is more practical and certainly more portable, and the iPad is more like a cool toy that hasn't found a real niche for itself yet. I was viewing the iPad mainly as a competitor to the Kindle, but based on what I've read the Kindle is actually more practical as an eBook reader (lighter, easier to read -- especially in bright sunlight).

Jethro wrote:
It would be easy enough to put up with my list of complaints -- especially by Apple-ites who are used to 1-button mice. :P


You know, I've been using a two-button mouse on my Macs since, oh, about 1990. Apple ships a one-button mouse, but two-button mice have always worked with the Mac.


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 Post subject: Re: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:58 am 
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brad wrote:
Jethro wrote:
It would be easy enough to put up with my list of complaints -- especially by Apple-ites who are used to 1-button mice. :P


You know, I've been using a two-button mouse on my Macs since, oh, about 1990. Apple ships a one-button mouse, but two-button mice have always worked with the Mac.
I know... I just had to throw in the old Mac jab. :wink: I have a Mac Mini that works quite nicely with a Microsoft 2-button scroll mouse -- that's right, an MS mouse on a Mac... I'm such a maverick! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:58 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:05 am
Posts: 329
Jethro wrote:
Some of the bigger issues for me are the lack of multi-tasking, lack of USB connectivity, and incompatibility with Adobe Flash, but hopefully these will be rectified in future renditions.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts (on JD). :D That's a pretty good summary I say.

Multi-tasking IS coming with iPhone OS update 4.0!

USB connectivity. Well, that (and HDMI and SD slot) can be rectified with an adapter that clips to the bottom Apple port. I've heard rumors about adapters coming out in an unspecified date in the future. Maybe.

Flash. Not gonna happen. :D If anything, they're betting that they have the clout to change the internet landscape from Flash to HTML5. Of course, http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/04/09/adobe.apple/index.html, and have pushed forward with a cross-platform evolution of Flash called Air. We'll see how that pans out though, as I'd doubt Apple would ever support that as well. (I suspect more of an alternative for iPad competitors anyway.)

Believe it or not, but I actually like the iPad myself. Not gonna lie, that is one sleek device. But I also just can't get over it being that big, and at the same time, not being able to touch type on it....


Last edited by ekrabs on Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Why buy an iPad?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:42 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:05 pm
Posts: 1321
In terms of touch-typing, I wonder how many people might consider starting to use voice-recognition software instead of trying to type. I believe there's an iPhone/iPod version of Dragon Naturally Speaking, so the app already exists. And people are used to talking into their cellphones; it wouldn't be a big stretch to dictate into your iPad. I'm sure Apple will provide headphones with a mic built in, like they did for the iPod Touch.

I had to use voice-recognition software for a few years due to a computer-related repetitive strain injury, and it was actually quite a bit faster than typing (and I'm a fast typist). And it's not like regular dictation where you're talking into the air without seeing your words: I found the process of talking into my computer very similar to regular typing: you say the word and it appears on the screen just as if you'd typed it.

Not a great solution, though, for people who want to write things in private. I can just imagine someone dictating their novel into an iPod in a cafe, and having an audience listening over their shoulder :worried:


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