The iPad 2 is now upon us. The first reviews are in, and they are as strong as the reviews for the original iPad which was released a year ago. This time the device is lighter, thinner, more powerful, comes with two cameras, and has the ability to utilize a neat magnetic cover which doubles as a stand. The competition hasnít caught up with the original iPad, and everyone seems to agree that the iPad 2 is even better.
Iím not going to lie to you. I want the iPad 2. Iíve thought about it a lot. What if I sell my current iPad? I purchased a 32GB 3G model last year, but I donít need the extra capacity nor the 3G service since I have a mifi spot Iím already paying for. I could cash in my existing iPad for $350, and purchase a new 16GB iPad for $500 Ė or to put it another way, I can buy the iPad 2 for $150. Trust me, Iíve thought about this a lot. To be just as frank, itís been kind of cool having the latest gadget, and Iíve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of that. Now my iPad will be old, yesterdayís news, and a piece of me is kind of bummed about that.
But Iím not going to buy the iPad 2. Itís a hard decision emotionally, but a really easy one rationally. Let us count the reasons why.
The iPad 2 actually isnít better than the iPad
Technically this isnít true, but practically it is. I donít need a camera on my iPad and wouldnít use it if I had it. A thinner and lighter iPad would be nice, but I would still have to put it down at some point because my arms would get tired. Yes, the dual core processor has been rated faster than the single core chip my device uses. But Iíve been here before. All this talk about the better processing will mean about a second or two quicker page loads and slightly improved app performance. It kind of reminds me of TVs. Go to the store and look at two TVs, one will stick out for you as better than the other. But often you can look at that same TV by itself and feel just fine about it. Unless I plan to use both iPads at the same time, I wonít notice the difference in performance at all.
It would be a hassle to sell my iPad and buy a new one
Not a huge hassle, but more effort than I want to put into it. I work a full time job, have a four year old son, and want to spend time with my wife on top of the time I am using to edit my second book and learn how to play guitar. I donít have a lot of disposable time, and I certainly donít want to spend it on this.
Sometimes you just need to be happy with what youíve got
I love my iPad. I read on it, watch news videos on it, surf the web on it, play games on it, blah, blah, blah. I use the iPad almost every day. I have zero regrets about this purchase. But the fact is that the iPad 2 wonít make me any more productive or happier than my current model does. This is where my rational brain fights with the emotional one. Why do I want the iPad 2 at all? Itís the hype machine. Itís the brilliant Apple marketing that has nothing to do with their ads. Itís the American consumer economy that suggests that almost all the goods we buy are disposable. But theyíre not. Thereís a cost to each electronic purchase we make. An environmental cost and a human cost, not to mention the financial one. I donít mean to get too dark here, but our purchases have consequences and rampant consumerism is a frightening thing. Iím not saying Iím not going to buy electronic equipment anymore because of these things, but I would have to be completely soulless not to recognize the impact of my decisions on the world. Kind of puts that hype machine into perspective, doesnít it?
The iPad 3 will probably be way better
I will buy a new iPad, but it just wonít be every year. Maybe it will every other year, or perhaps less frequently (although Iíd bet on every other year). If the price stays the same, an average of $250 a year for a new pad every two years isnít too bad. Thatís just $20 a month. Dirt cheap compared to some hobbies I know people engage in.
So thatís my thinking. Laying it all out like this, I feel confident about my decision. It makes perfect sense. I canít argue for the purchase of the iPad 2. Yet somehow I get the feeling that on more than one occasion after posting this editorial, I will consider buying the iPad 2 again.