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Why I didn't buy an iPad


Guest blogger B. Imei Hsu lays out the case over on Chris Pirillo's blog for "Why you don't want an iPad" -- she takes a few guesses at why you, dear Apple fan, may not have bought Apple's magical and revolutionary device this past weekend. She's actually a little venomous -- not only is there a bit of harsh language in there, but according to her, you're probably in denial or clueless about what the iPad actually is. Thanks for that, Ms. Hsu.

Fortunately, I'm in a good position to answer this one -- I'm a lead editor on a major (unofficial) Apple weblog, and no, I didn't buy an iPad. Why not? Not because of any of the iPad's faults -- I got to play with one for an extended amount of time at an Apple Store on Saturday (there was a line building up behind me, and the Geniuses were starting to give me weird looks), and I think it's an amazing device. It feels solid and perfect, it runs even faster than I expected, and that display is just terrific. It makes apps, e-books, and the web look beautiful, and save for a few quirks with the keyboard (I often lay my fingers on the keys while thinking of what to write, and you can't have any stray touches on the iPad's keyboard), I think it's just as amazing as promised.

But I don't have "a problem with desire," I'm not asking "the wrong questions," I don't "hate change," and I'm not envious. Ok, maybe I am a little envious, but not by choice at all. Honestly, I didn't buy an iPad this weekend because so far, I just don't need one.

Yes, I'm one of those people. I just bought a MacBook last year, and it's the computer that I use around the house when I should be using an iPad -- I've got a comic book reader loaded on it with a bunch of digital comics, and I even watch streaming video and browse the web when I need a little extra distraction from whatever I'm doing on the big TV. I've got my trusty iPhone to play touch apps, and while yes, I realize that the iPad experience is different, if only for the bigger screen, I made the (tough) decision last weekend to wait. There are places in my life that would be improved by having an iPad around (I really want an e-reader, but I bought a US$7.99 paperback this weekend rather than a $500 iPad and a $9.99 digital copy), but not enough to justify the purchase at the moment, especially with the tax check having just gone out.

Will I buy an iPad eventually? Of course -- I am in the "revolution" camp, in that I'm pretty sure in just a few years we'll all be using iPad-like computers while out and about. And I have no ill will towards people who bought an iPad this weekend and are excited about it -- I think it's a great device, and for the money, you couldn't buy a better personal portable computer. But with all of the ones I've already got sitting around the house, I just don't need another one right now.

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