|Posted on April 5, 2010 at 2:52 PM|
Unless you’ve been living in a technology-free bunker well under ground or just emerged from an extended coma – and if so, welcome! Glad you stopped by! Now drink some orange juice! – you know that this weekend witnessed the release of “the next big thing.” That big thing, of course, is Apple’s new tablet computer, the iPad.
Now, I am no stranger to technology. My house is often bulging with the latest gadgets and gizmos waiting to be reviewed. And when it comes to owning cool gear, many would consider me just shy of being a Pasha. But for all the cool gear I own, none has ever filled me with the raging, green-jealousy monster like new gifts from Apple.
When it comes to creating hype, desire and longing, no one does it like Steve Jobs. El Jobso doesn’t create products, but rather lifestyles. You have a computer (PC) because you have to; work or school demands it and the PC is just another tool like a hammer or a plunger for slogging through your day. Alternatively, you have a Mac because that’s who you are. You’re with it and owning iThings doesn't make you cool and hip, it just shows the world that you are. Whipping out your iPhone and finger-swiping through page after page of apps exudes an air of, “Yes, I am cooler than you, but don’t let that stop you from buying me a drink and listening to my next screenplay pitch.”
I’ve long wanted an iPhone. The first time I encountered one “in the wild” was on a plane flight. The poor bastard sitting next to me happened to have one – which he probably started regretting once I spotted it – and I questioned him for nearly the entire flight. (OK, my wife would say I “interrogated” him, but those Casino Royale allusions to genital mutilation were really just empty threats. It is in my obsessive nature to be unable to let go once I sink my mental teeth into something.) And yet as much as iLust over it, I find myself unable to pull the trigger on actually buying an iPhone. iWant. iNeed. iLove, But, iCan’t. I just refuse to embrace a $100 monthly cell phone bill. Also, the ATT reception in our area licks balls; the entire office area at CTA is an iPhone-free zone with absolutely zero reception, meaning that I would need to leave the phone in another room to get reception, and you know it would just get stolen. Plus, I hear from many users that the iPhone, while quite possibly the technological Messiah in many respects, is often spiteful and untrustworthy as a “phone,” more like techno Judas.
Then I turned my hardcore, pipe hittin’ obsession to the iTouch. Here was essentially an iPhone, but without those pesky phone or service charges getting in the way of my love which is pure and true. However, I have an 80 Gig iPod and the Touch only comes in 64 Gig-flavor, so I would have to ditch like 25% of my library to switch over. iHurt! Each year I’ve been waiting for the magic elves at Apple to up the memory ante on the Touch, but so far that hasn’t been up Jobs' black, turtlenecked sleeves.
So this weekend, I went to Best Buy on launch day and iHeld an iPad. They had a table with five of them lined up and I just strolled right up and loving embraced it. The embrace soon turned into a fondle, which quickly segued to a full on grope. The screen was so big and sharp and bright. Photos grew and shrank and whisked by with the simplest finger gesture. I browsed the Web on the big virtual keypad. I looked at books with its eReader app. It was like the part of me that had always been missing turned up, and it was being sold at Best Buy.
Did I buy one? Not yet. But allready I feel that tiny seed of desire growing; rapidly germinating and preparing to sprout into a mighty Sequoia of desire that won’t be denied.
The logical side of my brain says, “You don’t need it. It's just a $600 toy!” And, damn you left brain! I know it’s all true. The iPad would be virtually useless for any serious typing, computing or actual “work.” Creating e-mails would be hunt-and-peck affairs, limiting how much you would actually send (possibly a good thing if you are prone to electronic drunk-filled rants). There are tons of great apps, but am I really going to carry this around in what amounts to a man-bag or –shudder – murse? Plus, it still maxes out at 64 Gigs, meaning that some of my music would be left behind, and that is just so un-Navy SEAL.
Then, after a sudden, violent donkey punch, right brain comes in all smooth, confident and enabling. You just know that he drinks French wine, wears tailored shirts, drives a British sports car and hops out of bed looking *great*. He reminds me that nearly every piece of gear I review features an i-app, and that I could write the whole thing off. “It’s business, man. Plus, you look like such a ween telling the PR people you don't have an iPhone.” And, hey, do you really need to take all your music with you? Maybe leaving Def Leppard and all that classical music behind wouldn’t kill anyone. And if you don’t want to e-mail or write, then don’t! Just know that iPad is there with those features -- and hundreds of others -- if you decide you need them. Plus, you know how cool it would be to watch Netflix movies with the free App they just released. Right? Right?!?
If you’re like me and you can’t get enough of the iPad, Rapid Repair has a great tear-down of the iPad, letting you know how they cram all that magic into such a tiny space. (Spoiler: It’s not nano-bots of magic fairies!)