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Should I buy an iPad?
June 17, 2010 5:05 PM   Subscribe

Give me reasons to get an iPad. I've been on the fence for a while, give me the reasons why I should get one.
posted by AngryLlama to Computers & Internet (25 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Here are some answers to What To Do With An iPad.
posted by axismundi at 5:09 PM on June 17, 2010


It's new and different and really cool and fun.
posted by whiskeyspider at 5:12 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's nice if you are fussy about carrying too much weight around — like the weight of a normal laptop — but don't mind carrying some kind of medium-sized bag, because it won't fit in your pocket like an iPhone. It's good if you like to read in a reclining position, and a laptop feels too hot or heavy for that.

It's basically an iPhone with a bigger screen, except that it isn't a phone. It would be really good if you like to watch movies while traveling. The screen is really crisp and clear.

I wouldn't make a huge deal out of it, though. I use a desktop, a laptop, an iPad, and an iPhone, and the iPad is the least essential of the four. I see them as four different size screens, with varying utility depending mostly on mobility and my physical position.
posted by Alizaria at 5:17 PM on June 17, 2010


The low-level spotlight of general envy in coffee shops and public places.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 5:18 PM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I JUST got one. What you do with it really depends on what type of activities you normally do with gadgets. I got one mainly because I'm obsessed with gadgets, but so far, this is what I've used it for:

Calendar - This app is really perfect for the type of OCD on-the-go rearranging of schedules and tasks that I'm prone to do. I thought the iPod touch calendar app was great, until I used this one.

Reading or watching videos in bed/on the couch/wherever - For a lot of the media I consume, I don't need to be sitting in front of a computer. I have all the long articles I want to read saved to Instapaper, and I can just plop down on a couch and go through it. Much more comfortable than holding a laptop in my lap.

Comic Books - Cloudreaders accepts .cbr files transferred directly from your computer, and reads them beautifully. The pinch-to-zoom interface is great for reading comics, and it feels more natural holding it in your hand than reading on the screen. Similarly, Goodreader accepts PDF files transferred directly. Who needs iBooks?

Entertainment - It's got some pretty kickass games. I use my iPod touch/iPad mostly as a productivity suite setup, but even so, some of the games available are pretty incredible.

Editing on the go - I have Wordpress and Evernote set up, and if I have a few moments free I can go through some of the files I'm working on using the iPad, instead of being tethered to my desk.

Miscellaneous apps - I know this sounds cliche, but there's literally a world of apps out there. I've got sketching apps and piano apps and voice memo apps... the selection for iPad is smaller than the selection for the iPod/iPhone, but you can still pretty much find anything you're looking for. And it's just fun to explore. The form factor is much more suited to exploring than the iPod touch.

Those are the main things I can think of, and I've only had mine for a day. At first I was hesitant because while I really wanted one, I already had an iPod and it did seem like a totally needless indulgence, but it's already becoming pretty indispensable to my routine.
posted by Phire at 5:23 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Because everyone has an iPhone nowadays. This is the new hotness.

Because it's only $499. That's not really too bad for a luxury good.

Because it doesn't feel like a computer, which is good if you work all day on a computer.

Because it basically has no bugs (except some other people have wifi issues), and hasn't even had any updates since it was release two months ago.

Because any updates will make it even better.

Because you want something new and a slightly faster computer just doesn't do it anymore.

Because the battery lasts forever.

Because you like explaining to people why you bought something.

Because when it's sitting on your bed, you think "wow, this is like the future".
posted by smackfu at 5:28 PM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


You should get one if you have things you do on the side that could benefit from iPad apps. I do some volunteer work on the side, and now three people I work with have shown up with iPads because of a specific app or two that make things more convenient -- storing digital texts being one example.

Also, when we meet together we don't sit around a table and are often meeting in different rooms. Using a laptop or netbook in that situation is actually very difficult.

That's about the best I can say for the non-consumer side of it. I purchased a netbook myself because I already have a considerable amount of software I wrote myself that won't run on the iPad.

I do wish sometimes for an excuse to buy one, but I have to say that as a mainly-consumer device, I really worry that the money (not typically bound to $499 as suggested above) would feel wasted. You can actually do a lot with $800.
posted by circular at 5:34 PM on June 17, 2010


Do you commute by public transport? My journey is now so much more enjoyable. Reading, movies or TV shows. The trip now seems to take half the time. I get the occasional panic attack when I look up and have to work out whether I've passed my station.
Do you cook much? I cook every day and although I have a lot of cook books it's somewhat tedious to search through them for new recipes to try. Epicurious to the rescue. Browse or search until you find something that suits, then dock the iPad up on the benchtop. Ingredients (auto-generated shopping list too), recipe and tips from people that have already cooked the dish - all there to hand.
posted by unliteral at 5:39 PM on June 17, 2010


Because when you're dog-ass sick for nine days straight, the laptop is too much of a bitch to drag into bed with you.

Because when you're at work, it's easier to take your iPad and your O'Reilly ebooks with you than to haul your entire shelf of reference to the office. (I don't have a fixed office location; your mileage may vary.)

Because you could fuck around with having a Nook and a Kindle and and and, or you could just have the Nook, Kindle, and iBooks apps on your iPad and never worry about how you're going to snag an ebook.

Because you only have to think about plugging the stupid thing in about once every two or three days if you're using it a lot.

Because having Sketchbook Pro at a geek-friendly concert means being able to draw little love notes to the performers on your iPad and wave it around during the obligatory "hold up your lighter app" moment.

(I may have done that last one to asavage and friends at w00tstock. I may also have drawn a giant penis shooting fire out the top on it. I regret nothing, and I had them autograph it after the show to boot. Obviously, that link is NSFW.)
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 5:42 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, actually, looking this up for a friend:

You could get a note-taking app like this or this and get a capacitive stylus and use it to take handwritten notes in meetings. I'd say that's pretty impressive.
posted by Phire at 5:46 PM on June 17, 2010


Hey, I know this is going to sound snarky but I don't really mean it to be . . . if you need to ask people to convince you to buy something -- and to come up with the reasons you need it -- maybe you don't really need it. Especially if that thing costs $500 (without the apps).

I'm just sayin', because I've definitely been seduced by fancy new things I didn't need and then later felt like a schmuck who wasted their money. If you really had enough disposable income for an iPad maybe you wouldn't need to ask us this?
posted by imalaowai at 6:59 PM on June 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


I started a new job on Monday and during my first meeting with the creative team - there were 6 of them and me, the developer. Every single one of them had an iPad and I thought it was silly... until of course I realized that their iPads basically replaced their blackberries. While at work, they never really get phone calls, but they get an insane amount of email so managing email and their calendars on their iPads versus a small Blackberry was a much better experience. It made me jealous. Needless to say, I've already submitted my PO for one.

Before Monday, I couldn't care less about an iPad.
posted by SoulOnIce at 7:12 PM on June 17, 2010


Because there are certain computing activities that are more safely done on an iPad than on a P.C. If you know what I mean.
posted by megatherium at 7:16 PM on June 17, 2010


Oh, actually, looking this up for a friend:

You could get a note-taking app like this or this and get a capacitive stylus and use it to take handwritten notes in meetings. I'd say that's pretty impressive.


It's great that there's a stylus. Now I might get one!
posted by jgirl at 9:32 PM on June 17, 2010


I know you/someone deleted my comment for being snarky, but this is why I'm against a purchase (personally) of an iPad:

First, it's a big world out there and an iPad is another screen to look at, that takes me out of it. I don't need another distraction from really living.

Secondly, I own many Apple products, typing this on a Macbook, hooked up to an iPod - yadda yadda. But, the Macbook brings in money - it pays for itself. the iPod helps with grueling workouts - workouts that help me not hurt myself when I'm doing grueling events outside - or when I can't get to sleep. I do enjoy books on tape. Without someone else in bed, it's the only way I've found I can get to sleep
Nothing the iPad does, are things I want. Read books? Love to read books, but books as they are, are working for me. Check email? I like the idea that I have to be at a computer to do that. I don't like being on an extended stay away and being able to check email. I have a phone, people call it - my job does not need to follow me.

Draw? I have a sketchbook? Take notes? The same? Surf the web? Same as email.

Then I think of the price - $500 to $700 and I go and think of my first point - rather than look at illuminated squares *even more*, I think it would be better to use that money to travel somewhere I haven't and experience something. Wealth is experience, not flashy toys. Wisdom is tied to experience, not being able to Wikipedia something or see a map of somewhere you're at.

I know I'm in the gross minority with these thoughts, but lifestyle devices are people who want this type of lifestyle. I'm not sure I do. I think, what I personally want is freedom *from* these things. Maybe your lifestyle is different.

I also summed all this up, a little more succinctly, here

posted by alex_skazat at 9:44 PM on June 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


So far it's the best thing we have for holding and working with your entire electronic life in one place.
posted by Pamelayne at 9:53 PM on June 17, 2010


Since you are posting here, which implies a certain level of technological competance, the following is probably not relevant to your case, however, for the sake of adding another argument: my mother-in-law is extremely technophobic and the only way we have managed to convince her to start to use the web has been to get her an iPad.

The simplicity of the interface, combined with the convenient size, has meant she has taken to this like a duck to water. After quickly getting used to the touch screen, she is now watching movies, checking the weather, listening to the radio, using email, reading newspapers, etc.

We were in two minds whether to get her a netbook or an iPad, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the iPad wins hands down for ease of use and fitness for purpose. Yes, it's not cheap, but for it is certainly a price worth paying to open a whole new world up for someone who would not normally consider touching a computer.

So, as I say, this is probably not really relevant to your case (if you have a iPhone or Touch, then you have basically experienced the iPad, albeit with a cramped screen), however if you were someone for whom computers were a mystery, getting an iPad would be like finally getting that jet-pack you were always promised.
posted by oclipa at 12:48 AM on June 18, 2010


I'm in banking, and using my iPad to juggle several hundred finance and economics PDFs.

Easy to carry, easy to read, easy to get material onto (and off should that be necessary) the iPad.

I teach finance part time, and have found it a very nice platform for Power Point slides as well. I don't present from the iPad, but it is much easier to review sides before a presentation on the iPad than a Macbook.

I bought an iPad for my wife as well, and we're both using them as lightweight browsing platforms. Watching a movie, together, if we've got a question about any aspect its pretty easy to hop up onto IMDB right away. We've got notebooks as well (CrunchBang Linux on Aspire Ones) and even though they book quickly they aren't as fast as iPads to get to the browser.

I loaded my iPad with several movies as well, just to try it out, and was floored at the screen quality. Now I use it from time to time in bed to watch a movie or video podcast.

I realise you might not be interested, but Financial Time has a digital edition that is priced "right" - about one half of the print copy. I can read the entire newspaper before leaving my flat in the AM if I'd like to, or just take it with me for reading on the go.

It also excels at travel; we live in London but keep a second flat in Amsterdam and its a hell of a lot easier to pack an iPad for one of our visits that our Macbooks.

I purchased the WiFi versions as I already had a MiFi, which you might want to carefully consider. At least in London it was optimal for us to go with the MiFi / iPad combination rather than 3G - especially so as our MiFi is on a much faster 4G provider.
posted by Mutant at 2:19 AM on June 18, 2010


Because you want one.

Seriously, life is too short to not indulge yourself once in a while. Don't make it a compulsive habit or anything, but treat yourself to something nice, particularly when it's something that could actually improve your productivity.
posted by quin at 10:12 AM on June 18, 2010


I borrowed an ipad the other day, just to try it out. I found gmail and google reader mostly unusable, in either mobile or regular view. I would try to scroll the page with my finger and instead the whole freaking screen image would move, leaving a blank area where the additional content should have been. For my eyes, the text could have been clearer. In general I found it just a little too fuzzy. Other than that, Netflix worked and looked awesome! I mean, wow. Something that small and thin that delivers streaming video with beautiful detail and without fans or heating up is a feat. That said, it's not for me. Maybe if/when it gets the retina display and I can figure out a way to install adblocking features without jailbreaking I'll reconsider.
posted by malaprohibita at 4:44 PM on June 18, 2010


Give me reasons to get an iPad.
This was the question.
Your response should have been: Netflix worked and looked awesome! I mean, wow. Something that small and thin that delivers streaming video with beautiful detail and without fans or heating up is a feat.
posted by unliteral at 11:52 AM on June 19, 2010


I'm a huge internet-nerd (like most people on this site) and find myself using my laptop all the time at home. Often on my couch or bed. I would *love* a tablet in these situations - much easier to use while curled up, lying on your side, etc.

Also, a good friend has one and it's fun when we're all sitting around shooting the breeze. "Hey, check out this hilarious video!" - handing over a tablet is way easier than a laptop.
posted by radioamy at 12:14 AM on June 20, 2010


Fuck, okay. And the cool factor. There, I said it. I'll just settle with my Macbook and Magic Mouse.
posted by radioamy at 12:14 AM on June 20, 2010


"Hey, check out this hilarious video!"

Except if that video is in Flash, right?
posted by DMelanogaster at 6:44 PM on July 16, 2010


I had work get me one because they're so cool. At the first meeting we went to I fired up the browser and ended up passing it around to the people at my table to show them something related to the meeting. That doesn't happen with a laptop.
posted by mecran01 at 8:25 PM on September 20, 2010


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