I enjoyed using an iPad for over a year. I had the first version and later acquired an iPad 2. However, I think I’m finally done with it. It’s not a bad device, and may even be the best tablet on the market. It’s great for browsing the Web, playing games, and works fine for watching videos and listening to podcasts and music.
I never found myself using it much for video – I prefer a larger screen (laptop or TV). It was OK for listening to music but the speakers aren’t very good. I never used it to listen to music as much as I have my iPhone and iPod.
The iPad’s capabilities overlap those of the iPhone and a laptop.
And that’s also the problem with the iPad. It lacks the portability of a smartphone and the capabilities of a laptop.
For some individuals it may the perfect device. If you only need to consume media while traveling, read e-mail and Websites, or touch-up documents then it might work fine, especially if you don’t have a smartphone and/or a laptop.
However, for those of us that do have both of those, it can become a burden. I stopped using it to check e-mail after only a couple of months of owning one. Simply put, I got tired of downloading the same e-mail messages on my phone, laptop, and then also on my iPad.
Creating documents is a tedious task. It’s somewhat more manageable using the iPad keyboard dock (and probably other keyboards). Personally, I think that if a device requires a clunky accessory for efficient input then it’s already failed at content creation.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a horrible device and many people will find a good use for it. But in my life it’s just one more device to cart around and update.
I never had a problem with my music purchases being chained to iTunes or an iPod, back when removing DRM was very challenging. I could deal with it (and there were ways to get it out of iTunes). But I find the lack of portability for purchased apps to be a step backward. Now that I’ve stopped using the iPad I have several good apps that are useless. I may have spent over $100 on iPad apps (maybe even more).
Yes, I knew that was a risk when I purchased them. I can’t blame Apple for this, but it’s one more reason I’m no longer interested in the iPad.
I have the same limitation with iPhone apps, but the iPhone has the advantage of being very portable so I can more easily accept the fact that one day my purchases may be useless. It’s always in my pocket.
My experience and opinion won’t apply to everyone and I don’t think that people should stop buying them. However, I’ve seen many professionals in different fields consider ditching their laptops for iPads. I just don’t think the iPad comes close to being a laptop replacement. In a work environment it may work great for running specialized apps tailored to certain tasks or for presenting information, but I don’t think it’s an efficient device overall.
Back to the issue of overlap – at the end of the day the iPad doesn’t really do anything unique. The overlap itself is the problem. There isn’t a single task the iPad can perform that I cannot also do with my iPhone or my laptop. It would have to be capable of performing several unique tasks to maintain my interest.
Here’s the main reason I don’t need an iPad: I always have my iPhone and MacBook Pro within reach.