Here's Why I Will Purchase An iPad - InformationWeek

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Commentary
2/3/2010
03:57 PM
Allen Stern
Allen Stern
Commentary
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Here's Why I Will Purchase An iPad

One week ago, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the iPad. Here are my reasons why I want an iPad and why it will be a big hit for mainstream consumers.

One week ago, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the iPad. Here are my reasons why I want an iPad and why it will be a big hit for mainstream consumers.I'm not an Apple fanboy -- the only Apple device I currently own is a 4 year-old refurbished iPod Nano. I don't carry an iPhone -- I use a Samsung Ace Windows Mobile smartphone. I still like the device because it's tiny and has great battery life for my trips. I was recently scolded for not using Keynote for my presentations. My main computer is a refurbished Dell XPS M1330 laptop which I've enjoyed over the past year although lately the fan has made so much noise that I can't bring it to the SXSW conference. I have been considering purchasing the new Asus ULvt30 laptop as it has a super battery and looks like it would meet my needs well.

So why do I want the Apple iPad? It's been bashed from blog to blog and fanboys are torching their shrines to Steve Jobs.

The Asus laptop weighs in at just under 4 pounds. It's got great specs and will work perfectly for coding, working on my startup, editing videos, and all the other heavy lifting that a computer is meant to handle. Everyday I am in NYC at an event, meeting an entrepreneur looking for advice or meeting with a customer of my startup. Many times it would be nice to have a device that I can whip out in a second and show off my startup, look at other startups, review a presentation, etc. Typically I use my mobile for checking my various email accounts and browsing the web using the Skyfire mobile browser. The iPad will be able to handle everything I've listed and more and I can travel around with a 1.5 pound machine. If I take the laptop with me, I have to lug around a 3x heavier machine and then I also have to take a bigger (and heavier) laptop bag as well. The iPad will fit into my lightweight bag with no issues.

ReadWriteWeb had an interesting post about how the iPad will allow startups to create "instant demos". I very much agree with this premise and could see startups purchasing one just for the demo ability.

Based on what I have read, it does appear that I will have some gripes with the device. First, it has no camera - a camera would have been excellent for networking and I am guessing it will be on version 2 - isn't that how Jobs creates his devices? Jobs says the battery will last 10 hours which probably means 3-4 in real life. I certainly hope the power cord is super light and easy to carry. Apparently there is some issue where Flash doesn't work on the iPad -- not exactly sure how this will affect my Web usage but it is something to consider.

From what I can tell so far, the iPad might also improve my productivity while I am out and about because I can load up on apps that I can use to keep better track of everything going on in my life from scheduling to note taking to contact management.

It looks like there will be adapters that will connect into the iPad to allow for some external functions. You can buy a keyboard and stand, just a stand, an (expensive) case and some sort of camera connection kit. It would also be great if you can plug the iPad into a projector for large group demos and presentations.

I'm not sure whether I will purchase the model with the 3G. My Ace phone handles Bluetooth tethering very well so I could just use that when needed. I'm guessing you can't add on the 3G later so my guess is that I will take the 3G version. I'm quite certain I will go for the least expensive version. The 3G service plans seem expensive to me -- especially since if you only use it a drop, you still pay for the entire month. I am actually willing to bet that one of the sweet spots for the iPad will be for people who are happy with their cell phone but want a smarter device without buying an iPhone or Droid.

So to summarize why I want an iPad:

  • lightweight
  • ability to check and respond to emails and handle customer inquiries for my startup
  • web browser
  • productivity apps
  • meeting functionality (review presentations, review apps, discussions)
  • long battery life
  • new music player to replace my old Nano
I'd also like to note that I am sure there are other tablet machines on the market that are worth looking into. I have not started this research yet but plan to before looking at the iPad for purchase.

Had the device been available for purchase before the big SXSW conference in March, my bet is that you would see 1,000 or more of the devices in the convention center.

The iPad could also replace my wish of moving into a new mobile device this year. If I have an iPad that tethers to my phone and my phone to handle calls (which Sprint does perfectly), then I am all set.

Overall I think the iPad will be a huge winner for Apple. I think the price will drop a bit by mid-year which will get more mainstream users excited about the device.

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