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Does anyone need a tablet?

April 16, 2011

While I am not an Apple fan girl, I do think the iPad is pretty neat.  I highly anticipated the release of the iPad last year and was constantly facsinated whenever I could get my hands on one.  Ironically, I did not purchase an iPad (ya know, post-grad life is tough), but my mother did.  Still as more companies release products, I am asking myself if I really need one.

Tablets actually have a long history.  I remember seeing them in the early 2000’s, with a few high school classmates opting to take notes on tablets rather than on paper.  These tablets were fully functioning laptops too.  However, they seemed to have little application beyond academia and failed to catch on.

Then came the Amazon Kindle.  I distinctly remember the first time I saw one.  I was afraid to hold it for fear I would drop and break it.  It isolated one feature (namely the e-reader capability) and capitalized on it – thereby creating a need for the consumer.  Who wants to be loaded down by BOOKS!?

Competing booksellers like Borders and Barnes and Nobles also released their e-readers, with less success. Still the game was in e-reading with UI and color being the largest differentiators.

Then Steve Jobs decided to move in and box out the competition with the iPad.  This was a new device entirely.  It had the capability of an e-reader, but also the cool/convenience factor of an iPhone.  It wasn’t a an e-reader, but it wasn’t a lap top.  But it was something we all needed.  Or so Steve told us.

While the iPad is cool and has an undeniable design factor, I am still not convinced that I would need it.  My mother, on the other hand claims to LOVE her iPad.  It simplified her life while providing her entertainment.  She downloaded lots of apps and uploaded her music and was converted.

Well, when the new iPad came out, my mother decided to upgrade to the iPad 2, she offered her old one to me.  Of course, I didn’t hesitate to accept and counted down the minutes until it arrived.  Since then I haven’t quite figured out how to integrate it into my life.  It’s kind of like a giant iPod or a great way to watch YouTube and great for Words with Friends and Angry Birds.

I brought my new iPad on the BoltBus today in hopes of making my trip to Philly pass more quickly, however I only listened to podcasts.  maybe it’s my own fault for not downloading better apps, but I really don’t see a place for it for me. Still, I am traveling next week and will bring it on the trip, so it may very well earn its keep during that week, and I will report back accordingly.

Do you have a tablet? Do you have any apps you can’t live without?

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