Why I Haven’t Bought an iPad Yet
Over on Twitter Alberto Lopez asked me why I’ve been quiet about the iPad so far. Of course, everyone and their mother has been yammering about nothing but the iPad for the past few months so I’m sure my thoughts on the thing haven’t been missed.
But I thought I’d add yet another voice to the millions that are talking about the device thus far. I can’t really review the unit of course. I don’t have one. I can’t gloat about it like Walt Mossberg or David Pogue as I’ve never even touched one, but these are my initial thoughts from someone who *hasn’t* bought one yet.
1. I take my MacBook Pro with me everywhere I go 24/7 and best I can tell it can do anything that an iPad can do and more. Why carry around yet another device when my MacBook Pro already does everything for me that the iPad can?
2. One of the reasons that I bring my MacBook Pro with me everywhere is that I can process photos during downtime. I process photos every day on BART for example. I’m not sure that I can use Lightroom on the iPad or that it would be as easy as my MacBook Pro. Also the limited storage on the iPad would not make it a good tool for editing super large 21 megapixel RAW files that I use my MacBook Pro for.
3. AT&T’s 3G network is crappy in the San Francisco Bay Area, plus I’m not eager to shell out another $30 a month when I’ve already got 3G on my iPhone.
4. My experience with Apple products is that the initial release is usually followed by better releases and it may be worth waiting to see what comes out next. I’ve also heard lots of reports that the initial product has a lot of bugs.
5. Even though I’ve literally spent the night in front of an Apple store before for a product launch and have waited in lines at their stores many times before, recently I’ve been pissed off at how Apple treats their customers in their stores.
While I used to view going to an Apple store as a positive experience, lately it has felt like a very negative experience for me. I blogged about this a few weeks back. I thought about going to the Apple store to look at one, but worried that I’d probably need to have an appointment to be allowed to even set foot in the store to look at the box of one and then chided and insulted by a snippy Apple store clerk about not having an appointment to grace their presence.
6. I’ve also been rethinking my overall view of Apple in the past few months. My iPhone’s contract is up in July and I’m thinking about switching to a Google phone product. Google feels more open to me than Apple. It also feels to me that Google authentically cares more about their customers and users than Apple does as well.
7. It doesn’t have USB ports. I also carry a 1TB Seagate FreeAgent Go (which ROCKS!) and could be a perfect solution to the storage problem with the iPad for me, but since the iPad has no USB ports, there would be no way of connecting this drive to it. This drive is actually not that much bigger than my iphone or a pack of cards and is USB powered. Shame not to be able to use an ideal storage device like this with the iPad.
Also I frequently use my FireWire 800 high speed card reader (another product with totally rocks) to transfer my photos from my CF cards to my MacBook Pro. This reader would be worthless on an iPad and I can see no easy way of getting my photos off my CF cards and onto the iPad while out shooting in the field (Not that I could fit many of my RAW photos on the device anyways given it’s tiny storage).
I’ve thought about buying an iPad for the house just to have around for others in my family to use. The cost is relatively inexpensive for a computing device and it’s largest appeal to me so far is probably that you can watch Netflix “Watch Now” programming on it.
But then I think that if I got one for the house the kids would end up fighting over it. The kids would probably drop it and break it (my son sent my old laptop off the top of his bunk bed and broke the display). And we already have a Wii, XBox 360, Mac Mini and Dell Media Center PC connected to monitors that can do Netflix “Watch Now” right now. Do we really need a portable device too?
So I may not be Apple’s ideal customer, and despite the hype and how sexy and cool the thing appears to be, it just doesn’t feel practical to buy one right now. Plus I can’t get the image of it as one of those calculators with super large buttons that old people use out of my head. Don’t get me wrong. I’m tempted. And if I actually tried one I might break down and buy one anyways, but thus far I’ve yet to jump on the iPad bandwagon with the rest of the cool kids. Not that they need my money anyways though as it seems that these things are doing a pretty good job of selling themselves.