April 1, 2010, - 4:35 pm

Will You Buy an IPad? Why I Probably Won’t

By Debbie Schlussel

On Saturday, the latest Steve Jobs Apple techno gadget goes on sale.  But I doubt I’ll buy an IPad, at least not for a while. Even with the relatively competitive $500 price and the relatively light weight/easy to carry tablet design.


For me, the biggest problem is the idea of reading books on it, which would be one of the bigger reasons for buying it.  You can’t resell the book.  You can’t turn the pages and easily flip back to another page because they all look the same and you’re instead touch-screening back to find something.  Also, I do most of my book reading on the Jewish Sabbath.  Under our religious laws, we can’t use electronics on the Sabbath, so that’s out for me.  I need the physical, tangible real thing–a bound book.

And there are problems with issues such as–when you buy a better, later model of the IPad later on–whether or not you can transfer the book to your new IPad.  I just can’t imagine the term “curling up with an IPad,” the way you would with an actual bound, published book.  My eyes would get tired of staring into the lighted keyboard.  If there’s ever a black-out, like there was back in 2003, you won’t be able to recharge or power your IPad, once it runs out, so then, book reading will be totally out, if you don’t have the real thing.

And then there are other things.  I wonder how typing on it and transferring images to a website works.  I doubt it will be easier than using the PC platform I have now.  Probably, it will be harder.

Yes, these are minor problems, many of which affect only a minuscule group of people during instances which rarely occur.  But they make the purchase less attractive to me.

So how about you?  They are expecting to sell between 200,000 and 300,000 IPads on Saturday.  Will you be in line on April 3rd or thereafter, trying to acquire the latest “it thing” in computers?  Why or why not?

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44 Responses

The answer is, “NO!” One word: Newton.

Yiddish Steel on April 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm

If I had $500 to spare, I would pick up an extra laptop. Also, why tempt a thief on public transit or coffee place? This item also appears to be quite fragile, which would be unsuitable for rough and ready use.

Worry01 on April 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm

If electric power is a problem then there are option for ac converters to charge or run any machines in your home. There are even tub spot lights for redirecting sunlight in dark corners of the home so you’ll never touch a switch there again.

I do share the tangible love for having the real deal. In fact, I use the books as a break from the techno-world and the harshness of long hour in front of the screen.

I can see this for what they are selling it for, “entertainment”.

Atlee Yarrow on April 1, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Good points, Debbie. I have actually been thinking of getting a 17″ Macbook. The little entry level model is kind of too small as it is. Did some checking and the refurbished ones are pretty reasonable compared to new. Like $600 more reasonable.

Joe on April 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm

There are some technical reasons to not buy this product.

You cannot run multiple apps at the same time.

It has an Apple A4 processor that only has a speed of 1GHz. Good luck running any complex programs.

There is NO camera. Why make a mobile product like this and not include a camera? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

There are NO USB ports.

Jarhead on April 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm

The books I read won’t be available on the Ipad and I doubt if Soldier of Fortune will be available either.

So,I’m not interested.

No USB Ports?
So no printer hookup?

ebayer on April 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Have you heard of Blue Tooth? Don’t need ports.

    Mayme on April 3, 2010 at 4:32 pm

If you need ports and 7-in-1 card readers and cameras and to run complex programs, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, then you need something else. This isn’t a laptop replacement. Jeez, you Mac-bashers have been at it for over 30 years – how do you find time between hunting for drivers, dealing with viruses and dealing with BSODs and genuine advantage hoops you have to jump through – LOLing.

DS_ROCKS! on April 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    DS_ROCKS – wow, you Apple users really get defensive about your inferior computers.

    Jarhead on April 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm

iPad, it sounds like something you find in the feminine hygiene aisle at CVS.

Tempus_Fugit on April 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    That’s funny right there …

    MarkAbbott on June 3, 2010 at 12:30 am

ebayer- it uses a new concept called wireless technology. I have a wireless printer that serves all the computers in my house. It’s MAGICKAL.

DS_ROCKS! on April 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm

“So no printer hookup?”

Uhm, this is an Apple geek device. No self-respecting Appleophile won’t have a printer connected to WiFi on their network. Oh, wait, if they have a printer connected to their computer it is on the WiFi network.

The camera will come, this is v1.0.

lane on April 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm

No way. It’s just an ipod touch on steroids. Can’t multitask and can’t Flash.

Oscar on April 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I love my MacBook. I won’t be buying a regular laptop anytime soon. I had to scrap my e machine after less than 2 years. My little MacBook has been great for 2 1/2 yrs with NO visits to the repair shop. I use it everyday for routine stuff. I don’t do a lot that’s possible on it because it’s not that big of a deal to me. Updates have to be done but I’ve had like 5 freeze ups (blue screen) and it is a snap to cure.

Joe on April 1, 2010 at 5:59 pm

I would bet they’d find a way to transfer the contents to a newer IPad. They do it with regular desktops.

Having said that, I would never get an IPad. I like to read the actual physical books also, and the main reason is the variety. I like to read books sometimes that are off the beaten track, and those books probably won’t be on IPads. And as you said, the books are less awkward, so I’ll just keep going to libraries and on occasion buying from Amazon.

Little Al on April 1, 2010 at 6:04 pm

I wouldn’t buy an I-pad either. I’ve also noticed, that many times when I read text on a screen, it tires my eyes, and often I actually misread the text. And, I can’t actually “study” a text when it’s on an electronic screen — there’s something about studying a text on paper that cannot be duplicated electronically (I also remember the approximate place or location in a printed page of text — or I’ll recall, “oh, I read that near the beginning of the book” or “I read that at the end” — with a book you can remember where a segment of text was located in space…(I recall once reading an ancient writer who compared the reading of a book to going on a journey in time and space — again with a book, you pick it up and can “know” where you are in that time/space journey or trip. This can’t be done using electronic media.

J.S. on April 1, 2010 at 6:34 pm

i’d get one just to have (if i had a ton of extra money to buy stuff with) – i don’t necessarily see you w/ an ipad, but i think you ought to consider becoming a mac person as everything you do on your computer will be easier/more efficient/faster and generally better. a laptop to be specific. everything is more intuitive on a mac. also, it’s nice to be able to take it w/ you somewhere, if needed – even if it’s into another room, or a coffee shop for a change of scenery. it’s nice to not be tied to a desk and to blog blog on the road, if needed.

check it out – it’s beautiful:


david on April 1, 2010 at 6:50 pm

You can forget about getting that signed first edition.

Harry on April 1, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I was going to buy one after reviewing this site: http://www.apple.com/ipad/guided-tours/

But I won’t be purchasing an iPad until after the November midterm elections. I have vowed to do everything I can to legally stop the ObamaNation that is destroying America.

DemocRATS are doing everything they can to pump federal dollars into the economy to buy the votes of radicals and morons. Consumer spending is over 2/3’s (68%) of our economy.

If consumers would stop as much discretionary spending as possible for the next 7 months, Obama will become powerless as a result of further serious declines in the economy.

Deepening of the Recession would insure a GOP 2/3 majority in Congress. Even the morons will vote their pocketbook. Libtards constitute less than 1/3 of the voters. As a Libertarian, I admit that the GOP is the only hope at this point.

Short term pain for long term gain to save the Republic from liberal fascism is the only solution to this ObamaNation.

BonzerWolf on April 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Oh, I forgot. I have the first generation of the Kindle and I highly recommend the Kindle for reading books and newspapers. I would not recommend it for surfing the web or email, even though it comes with FREE wireless connection to the Sprint Network.

BonzerWolf on April 1, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Meh. It’s a giant iPhone.

It’s a big, over-hyped toy.

I’ll be interested after the second edition comes out, after all the supposed “iPad-Killers” come out. Apple needs real competition and Apple has a huge problem with it’s value/cost equations. There’s laptops out right now that kick the living snot out of the iPad and do it for much cheaper. Most netbooks are more capable AND have a real keyboard.

Still, it will be interesting to see what the next generation looks like.

Kresh on April 1, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Word of advice is to not buy expensive gadgets on their first release. It’s usually better to wait until bugs have been worked out, upgrades have been made and the price has dropped.

Kar on April 1, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    That is actually very wise. You buy 1.0 of anything, you’re paying for the privilege of beta-ing their stuff…

    Anne-Elisabeth on April 2, 2010 at 5:58 pm

I use a netbook on the go. Its pretty powerful for my needs. The iPad is Apple’s answer to the netbook. Its two main drawbacks are lack of a keyboard and the fact it can’t display flash content. Linux does a good job of rendering the web and I use it because its free, configurable and stable. With Apple, you buy both the hardware and the operating system. With a netbook, you can download and install one of the thousands of free distros. The preferred desktop environments are LXDE and XFCE. That way they can run better than GNOME or KDE without choking.

NormanF on April 1, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Hi Debbie,

I agree with you.
Better buy a small laptop.
I have one already: the Fujitsu-Siemens P7120
with a low energy processor, and it does not need/have
any noisy fans at all. The screen is only 10.6 inches,
but great to look at with high a 1280 x 768 resolution.
Fujitsu-Siemens made one more update of my PC called
P7230, but after that Fujitsi and Siemens split their
coopertions. It was a pity because I think it is the best
small laptop series ever built.

A good argument for not buying the I-Pad is simply how many
gadgets do you need? A good, small laptop is superior to the

Pål on April 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm

I’ve got an iPhone and a MacPro. The iPhone I use for email and news when I’m away from home. If I want to take a book to read… I take it. I simply don’t see the need for an iPad… yet, anyhow…

Cameron Reddy on April 1, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Al Gore is on the BOD and they are big Libs there at corporate. Look at the staff favorites for podcasts in iTunes, blech.

Don on April 1, 2010 at 11:35 pm

“And there are problems with issues such as–when you buy a better, later model of the IPad later on–whether or not you can transfer the book to your new IPad.”

Yes, you absolutely can. Apple’s Digital Rights Management is called FairPlay, the movies, TV shows and now books have it (songs no longer do) It means you can have them in up to 5 different computers, but an unlimited number of iPods/iPhones/iPads. And that doesn’t include the books from Project Gutenberg. Which doesn’t have DRM, and are legal and free in an iPad friendly format.

I will be getting an iPad when the next batch is shipped (April 12th). I love the design. I love the functionality and I’ve been waiting for an eReader who could play books and comicbooks, as well as doing some light work when I don’t want to carry the laptop and the iPhone is not enough.

The iPad is the future of computing.

X-Te on April 2, 2010 at 4:27 am

C’mon Debbie, this is America, not the EU or USSR. No one will be forcing you to buy an iPad or health insurance. Oh, wait. Well, half of that is true.

I don’t want to be too harsh, but how can one love the functionality of a device one hasn’t seen?

tehag on April 2, 2010 at 7:37 am

Buy an iPad….not for me. As more than a few have mentioned I like the real thing in my hands (books, don’t go there, but a few already have….sigh). I’ve not seen their (Apples) book list’s, but I’m sure that it will grow as the demand picks up.
I live by one rule concerning most things. Never but something the first year it comes out, and NEVER but .0 software. There will ALWAYS be an update soon after the initial release.

As always, Unix/Linux rocks……’nuff said….

Ed on April 2, 2010 at 10:34 am

Aesthetics, aside I won;t be buying any device that purports to displace the book. Books can be passed along, shared, adorn my bookshelves like trophies and friends and I just can’t see myself taking an iPad to the bathroom.

Publishers now hate that they can’t get paid EVERY TIME someone new touches a book. Once they saw DRM they CRAVED it. The iPad is Jobs’ response.

But it’s also clear that publishers will be moving the industry towards digital reproduction. Almost zero cost of production as contrast to mowing down trees, making pulp, pollution from paper plants, printing presses, inks, (hey, no more union goon press operators … I’m going to have to think about that), binding, glues, paper cutters and possibility of work related injuries, distribution warehouses, transportation costs, RETURNS … you’d have to know something about the book business to know what part Returns (or, Pulls as they’re known) play in the whole Balance Sheet equation of faux-federal taxes and specialized legislation. The list of why Books are on the way out is considerable. When a book can be digitally typeset and then endlessly reproduced at nearly zero cost, shipped and purchased at the flick of key, it’s a no-brainer that books as we’ve known them are relegated to the dustbin of history.

I don’t like it one damn bit.

Besides, books don’t hurt my eyes. Trying to read a video screen for any appreciable length of time messes up my brain and strains my eyes. Books don’t.

One last thing … I don’t live the kind of life that is in the gravity field of Apps, social media, SMS, etc. I live a real life out in God’s own nature tending my beeves, hunting game, growing real crops and breathing non-city air. Although this is typed on a G5, with a new 27″ iMac next to it and my home office is quite the model of hidden wires and wireless equipment … clean and uncluttered … if it all went Poof in the night, I’d be just fine. Life is good. I don’t usually need much of what the world wants to sell me.

Jack on April 2, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Jack, it’s a machine. Plastic, glass and silicon. It doesn’t “purport” to do anything. It just enables you to have another option. I own at least 6,000 paper books – haven’t counted them in a while and I buy more all the time. But I’ll also get an iPad…

    Anne-Elisabeth on April 2, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Another thing, with a digital “book” it’s as if you’re perpetually stuck on page one. An actual book, on the other hand, say a 500 or 600 page work — you make progress as you read through it. And you can see your progress — it’s visible as you continue to turn the pages. Again, with an electronic book — you’re stuck on page one (metaphorically).

J.S. on April 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    @J.S.: Of course an eBook 1. keeps the page you left it at and 2. tells you how far you’ve got into the book, in pages or percentage of total text. What software were you using?

    Anne-Elisabeth on April 2, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Gee I guess I’m just an old timer. I like books. If there is some interesting or significant paragraph or I can highlight it, make notes in the margins, whatever. I like to shop on Amazon where I get buy used books sometimes for as little as three or four cents. I just bought a book this morning, by Lucy Dawidowicz, for .003 and, of course $4.00 for shipping but hey it’s practically brand new for around four bucks. And if I lose it, or it gets wet, or I drop it in the toilet it’s not that big of a loss. And if the power goes out I can light a candle and continue to read.

kenny komodo on April 2, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Thanks for pointing out the shortcomings of this new technology. Printed books will be around for centuries to come.
I can order a used book for pennies on the dollar. If I leave my book on the plane I simply reorder a copy for little or no gelt.
The books I read are not readily available on Kindle and I doubt they ever will be available. I can store the books I like on a shelf and relive my pleasure from reading them at a quick glance.
One huge benefit from these downloadable sources is technical books and instruction. If you are a doctor and need to refresh yourself on their disease process, you can do it right at the nurses’ station. The medical libraries in the nation are undergoing “shrinkage” (I hope you girls know what “shrinkage is.”) as they transform themselves into all computer based knowledge.

Tim on April 2, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Well, I’ll buy one. I already have an iPhone, and I read books on it all the time. (I like paper books too; but I like the convenience of weightless when I travel, because I always like to travel with LOTS of books.) Other advantages: the Search function (pretty nifty when you’re 700 pages into War And Peace and you can’t remember if Vassili Grigorievich is the son or the cousin of Anna Ivanovna), and of course the fact that you can read it in bed without keeping someone else awake with your bedside lamp.

Second, if it works like an iPhone, of course you can transfer books from it to another machine – I have all my eBooks saved on an external drive so if something crashes, they won’t be lost. I use the Stanza app on the iPhone, and it opens pretty much any format available out there, including the open source ePubs at Project Gutenberg – 40,000-plus classics in the public domain. (That’s why I’ll never buy a Kindle – the format is completely proprietary.) Any document you have in Word or HTML can also be made into an eBook. For years I read eBooks on my pocket PC, which was a serviceable but unromantic iPAQ from HP, and these were in Microsoft Reader format, *.LIT, which Stanza reads – I’ve loaded them all onto my iPhone and expect to load them onto the iPad.

Bur really, the iPad will be brilliant for newspapers and movies/series. That’s where a good screen matters. And it’ll be good enough to work on the hop, rather than an unwieldy and heavy laptop.

Anne-Elisabeth on April 2, 2010 at 5:48 pm

I guess I am just very old school. I could never read a book on any system, it is just not my style. To me there is nothing like a good book, pretty book marker and a nice hot cup of tea.

sharon on April 2, 2010 at 9:35 pm

YES, I will buy one! My husband has an iTouch, I have a Mac Air and my son has an iPod. We’ve been a Mac family since the 80s; we bought the second Mac to come out. We own Apple stock, too.

Mayme on April 3, 2010 at 4:30 pm

I will never buy an Apple product. They are over priced and not any better.

Ken Blazek on April 4, 2010 at 8:26 am

What is it with people today. They all buy into every god damn thing people advertise to them. No one seems to do do research and look into stuff to see if its worth it. If they see a big company that they worship or celeb with it they go “OMG Like I need this now Like right now Oh eM Ge”.. Seriously this goes to Microsoft and Macintosh users stop worshiping your evil companies products and actually compare and contrast them.

I never understand why the iPhone is so popular, you are forced to use their store for applications. If you want something for behind closed doors, most likely its been deleted because they need to keep a PG scene.

I will prolly never buy any product from apple “New” or directly from them due to the lock-downs on most of their products and the price.

If I wanted a device that was a touchscreen and could use random applications I’d prolly buy a smartphone from Verizon.

Xionos on April 5, 2010 at 3:08 am

Let’s get some things straight. The iPad is NOT a laptop replacement. It’s a consumer device mostly directed at media consumption rather then media creation. As Steve Jobs pointed out, it’s something between a smart phone and a laptop.

To date, Apple has enabled transferring iTunes Store purchases (music, video, apps) from an (usually older) device to another (usually newer) device without any problems.

If the iPad had a video camera (iChat) I would have got it for my 74 year old mother. She got a new laptop (HP with Vista) from her sister. She can’t get her head around using it. Two years down the road and she can barely use Skype with her grandkids.

I guess I’ll wait for v2 (with the camera) unless somebody comes out with a work around (external camera).

Eliezer on April 5, 2010 at 7:26 am


Michael on November 23, 2010 at 11:07 am

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