I was resisting calling this my new “toy” because I knew as soon as I did, everyone around me was going to give me crap for buying something else I don’t need, but I decided that as much as it is a toy, it’s also a functional device in my opinion. In fact, I actually resisted buying an iPad since it came out for the very reason that I didn’t have a use for one. However, now…I think I found my use.
First of all, who would have ever thought that a 13″ MacBook would prove to be too big and the “oh-so-great” iPhone would become too small? Well, it has happened. I’ve been stuck between these two devices for at least 2 years now trying to figure out what works best for me. Don’t get me wrong though–I’m not implying that an iPad will replace my MacBook and of course it can’t replace the iPhone, but at least now I have a third choice.
Naturally, the iPhone is a phone first. From there it just gets insane with all the apps and capabilities. This device is a perfect pocket device for being mobile and having access to crazy amounts of information (via the Internet) and functionality (via the apps). Adding to this, you have a camera that supports video and stills. I’m using the iPhone 4 and aside from the iPhone 4 antenna issues and the ‘No Sim Card’ problem, which I fixed by the way, the phone has proved to be a perfect replacement for my 3GS. I mean, generally it’s the same phone, but some minor spec changes and much faster.
Now if the phone is all you have, you’re doing ok. The device is functional on a very small scale and is perfect because even if you don’t use any apps or the Internet, you still have a very nice telephone in your pocket and that’s why you bought it in the first place, right?
What I use it for:
- Phone calls: Am I the last one on Earth that uses a smartphone to place actual calls (as opposed to just texting all day)?
- Texting: I find texting to be faster than emailing and it works great in situations where you can’t be on the phone.
- Email: I have 5 email accounts being accessed all day long including my work address.
- Internet: The Internet is great, but because of the small screen, it’s limited. I use it to look things up and maybe read a few blogs here and there.
- Apps: While I do have a few functional apps (mainly account and financial managing apps), I’ve noticed that most of my apps are either pointless (virtual Zippo® lighter) or are games.
Whenever I’m doing something on my phone, but I need an actual computer to finish the task or if I just require a bigger screen, I jump on my MacBook. I bought the computer in October of 2008 right when the aluminum designs came out and immediately fell in love with it. When shopping for laptops, I’ve always looked for something that was sleek and felt solid. At the time, I was leaning toward OSX because I wanted to acquire knowledge about Mac for my customer’s benefit. I have been a Windows user since version 3.1, so I have no ill-will toward Microsoft!
The MacBook is the perfect complement to iPhone because for the general apps (Mail, Safari, iPhoto, etc) they use the same software. To know one is to know the other. This was equally important to me because I like things to work and I like things to match. I love my MacBook. It has single-handedly replaced my old laptop and my desktop in one fell swoop. I even installed Windows 7 on it thinking that I would still want to use Windows, but as time goes by, I use Windows less and less. In fact, I still have my desktop pc and when I rarely turn it on, it’s only because I have to use a few Windows-only programs.
The problem with the MacBook is that it’s still not very portable. And by portable, I mean I wouldn’t want to take it to dinner and set it up on the table for all to see how nerdy I am and I don’t like using it in the car because it’s a little cumbersome to move around with.
What I use it for:
- Office work: Just like everybody else, I do basic office work on here using Microsoft Office and sometimes iWork.
- Internet: I couldn’t live without the Internet and no matter what you’re accessing it from, there is no replacement for a full computer as an Internet device.
- Blogging: This entire website was created and managed on my MacBook through WordPress.
- Email: Just like my iPhone, I have all my email accounts setup throught IMAP or Exchange.
- Photo/Video editing: While my MacBook is not a powerhouse in the graphics department, I can get by doing basic video editing and photo editing is no problem at all.
- Music: My iTunes is packed with over 50gb of music, but more and more, I’m finding myself using digital music services like Pandora.
You can see that managing photos or watching movies has been omitted from the list above. As for photos, I do have them stored on my MacBook, but I find myself never really showing them to anyone because it’s a little too much to lug my laptop around and plug in the charger while we all huddle around the screen. For movies, I can’t say that I’ve ever found a need to put a DVD in and watch a movie. I either rip it to iTunes or use Netflix to stream them.
It all comes down to this. I started writing this post before I even got my iPad and I didn’t publish it because I wanted to finish writing it on the iPad itself through the free WordPress app. I will say I was a little skeptical about typing on this thing, but I’m already getting used to it. I wouldn’t recommend writing a lengthily school report on it, but it’s nice to have when you’re on the go.
And that brings me to my final point. What exactly do I need an iPad for?
First and foremost, I’ll say it again–I never bought this device with the intentions of replacing my MacBook or my iPhone. All I wanted was something to go in-between. The best thing about the iPad is that it does half of what the MacBook can do, the same way an iPhone can do it, but on a bigger screen.
What I use it for:
- Internet: The Internet is full blown here (sans Flash) and it’s a perfect tool to access it when you’re not able to whip out your laptop and you don’t want to be stuck on your small phone screen.
- Email: Getting email is the same with any device, so there’s not much that’s different.
- Blogging: I can’t always use my laptop due to size and battery limitations, so the iPad allows exceptional blogging capabilities when on the go.
- Travel: I no longer have to bring my laptop with me when I hit the road! Any expansive project I need to work on can wait until I get home.
- Video: This is more for traveling again. Videos on the go with a 10-hr battery.
- Notes: Sometimes it’s obnoxious to be tapping away on a laptop while your face is hidden behind a monitor, so the iPad makes the perfect replacement for a pad of paper and a pen.
- Apps: My favorite iPad apps cover items like researching, saving notes, word processing, astronomy, news, blogging, magazines, etc.
I think overall, I made a great purchase. I didn’t want to pay the price, which is far greater than some better performing netbooks, but since I was already leaning toward iOS and I already owned an iPhone 4 and MacBook, the most logical choice was to stick with a tried and true brand.
I have found specific uses for each of these devices and even though the iPad is still about 50/50 functionality/convenience, I think if you’re considering buying one, it might be worth it if you don’t want to leave home without being connected…properly.
Take a look at the best prices from Amazon for an Apple iPad.Last updated: September 09, 2010