iPad 2: diametrically dissonant dueling impressions

Sections: Features, iPad, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, Opinions and Editorials

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It’s interesting—although not especially helpful to those of us pondering whether join the tablet-based iOS revolution—that different folks can have such diametrically contradictory impressions of the iPad. On the one hand, there are those trying to persuade you to take up the tablet clearly ordained by the Almighty, while others just as emphatically warn against wasting your hard-earned dollars on what amounts to a clever but frivolous toy.

For example Acid-For-Blood blogger Brinstar, who professes not to be a particular Apple fan and has never previously owned an Apple product, initially had no interest in an iPad either, a device for which she could imagine little use beyond things for which she already had other satusfactory gadgets. However, her employer decided to give iPads to all of its employees as an end-of-the-year holiday bonus. She didn’t use hers, and instead returned it to the Apple Store for a credit, deciding to await the iPad 2.

Four months later, she’s had her iPad 2 for a couple of weeks, and apparently can’t say enough good about it, commenting understatedly: “This thing is awesome. I love it. I never expected to be this pleased with an Apple device,” and adding that she’s finding a load of uses and experiencing conveniences she never realized he missed because she didn’t have them before he had an iPad. More specifically, she says the main benefit she derives from her iPad is convenience, she’s really happy about that, and in general says she’s more favorably disposed toward Apple products than she used to be. She still thinks the iPad is too expensive, but since she got hers for free, is grateful for the generosity of her employer.

On the other hand, There’s the Thousand Bars blogger Bar Man, who says he thinks the reason everyone raves about the iPad so much is that after spending the time and money to acquire one, they can’t admit they may have made a mistake.

He’s evidently unsatisfied with his iPad, for a variety of reasons he inventories in the blog. Some of his grievances are indisputably factual. There is no USB port (a major and frustrating iPad shortcoming) and, of course, the standard complaint about the missing Flash Player support, which even many iPad fans lament.

Bar Man concedes he’s still on a steep learning curve and hopes things will get better, but observes that Microsoft would be ripped to shreds by Apple users if their applications and operating systems were half as buggy, in his humble opinion, of course.

One observation is that Brinstar’s enthusiastic endorsement of the iPad isn’t based on trying to justify a regretted expenditure, since she got hers for free. However, it seems clear that individual impressions of the iPad are highly subjective and idiosyncratic. The problem for me is trying to figure out where I stand on this spectrum before I lay down my roughly C$600 counting tax.

My real dilemma is trying to decide whether I should spend that amount on iPad or put it toward buying an Apple Certified Refurbished 11.6 inch MacBook Air for less than Can$400 more. The latter is a machine I’m 98% certain I would love, being a consummate laptop aficionado from way back who also likes small computers.

Decisions, decisions.

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  • André

    just an FYI…Brinstar's a woman.

  • Kirk Hiner

    Thanks, Andre.