Tuesday, June 19, 2012

iPad & I

The iPad is amazing, I can't wait for my Windows 8 tablet.

Contradictory? Allow me to explain.

I am not an Apple user, or even a fan. I'm still bitter about what Steve Jobs did to the Apple II. But Jobs has shuffled off this mortal coil and times marches on. I bought a Kindle Fire for Christmas and founding was an awesome tease about what tablet computing could be like. Here was a single device that could carry my entire (growing) ebook library, a selection of music, and be used for mundane tasks like note taking.

But as a tablet, the Fire has serious limitations, not the least of which is that for more serious work, it's just too small. That meant looking at the tablet market at large, and the more I looked the more it became clear that right now, there is no tablet market, there's an iPad market.

All of the Android tablets looked nice, but all seemed half baked. There's even a sense of baked in obsolescence with several of them. With great reluctance, I turned to the iPad.

Specifically the iPad 2. The entire brouhaha over the Retina display is overwrought. Yes, it's stunning and gorgeous, but at the cost of weight, heat, and reduced battery life. I put the new iPad next to the iPad 2 and comparing the apps I planned on using I saw, with my eyes, little to no difference. Thus, a new iPad 2 entered my life, the first Apple product I have ever bought (my annoyance about the Apple II is philosophical; I was an Atari 800 user).

The iPad does most everything the Kindle Fire can do and everything else I wanted a tablet for. I'm typing this post (and recent reviews, for what it's worth) on the iPad using Blogsy. I tried IA Writer for creative writing, but have moved to Daedalus (stacks rock, sync with Dropbox is perfect). And the built in calendar app is just fine for my purposes. I've lost access to Amazon video and because of Apple's restrictions I can't buy books via the Kindle app, but overall the trade up has been worth it.

So why am I going to replace the iPad with a Windows 8 tablet? Because I'm not an Apple user. As a result, the iPad feels like a kludge plugging into my existing network of devices. I have a Windows 7 desktop, a Windows 7 laptop, an Xbox, a Zune (yes, I'm the one), and a Windows Phone phone. All of these talk to each other and interact. The iPad is the outsider.

The forthcoming Win8 tablets will tie right into my existing set of toys. The RT version will even come with a set of productivity apps baked in, making it immediately useful.

Will it have the same vast array of apps available? Well, duh, no, not immediately and maybe never. (I find it amusing that Apple fans use that argument, the same one PC users used against them. Shoe, meet the other foot.) I'll keep the iPad around for games I may buy, but for productivity Win8 RT comes out of the box ready to go.

And if you've given the announced Microsoft Surface a fair look, you know that it already trumps the iPad in several regards.

So, hurray for tablets, jolly good job, iPad, and bring on the Surface!

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