iPad… is there a gap to fill?

IMG_0139I’ve been shying away from reading commentary today about the iPad, mostly because I wanted to form my opinions in a vacuum (like I always do 🙂 ) on the device.

I’ll say in retrospect that I am one of those people who thinks a tablet computer is generally a bad idea… at least as a mass-produced consumer good. Apart from specialized vertical markets, I’ve just not been convinced that I’d have a reason to use such a device…

…and then there’s the e-book reader.

I can’t get thrilled about e-book readers, either. Certainly, I read enough books (see my pictured current bathroom reading stack) that I ought to appreciate the idea of a single, compact reading device, but I just like books. Equally certainly, I read a heck of a lot of material on a computer screen, so I’ve not got an aversion to screen-reading. The Kindle and the Sony ebook reader both leave me flat. As a small electric device, it will never be where I want it to be, while books are scattered about my house, ready for me to pick up and start reading.

So, given that I don’t like tablets and I don’t like e-books, will the iPad change my mind?

Maybe… but only just.

My iPhone, which I’ve now had nearly two years, was a game-changing device. Most of my e-mail correspondence is done on it. 20% of my blogging, nearly 100% of my Facebooking and 60-70% of my daily news reading is done on it.

I do these things because it’s on my hip or at least within arm’s reach most of the day from the time I get up until the time I go to bed.

I heave learned to rely on it being at hand. No more do I have to get up and toddle into the computer room to look something up or to kill some time reading news. Some might call that laziness, but I call it convenience. I also find that, with constant access, I look more things up. In short, I use more internet time now that I have the iPhone.

Given that, I can say that it would be nice to be using a larger screen, so, provided that the iPad becomes the world’s most expensive coffee table book and I keep it constantly next to my sofa… I might just find it a useful and cool device.

I’ll likely not be running out to the buy one any time soon.