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Hal Licino

Succumbing to the Tablet’s Siren Song

Jun 12 2012, 12:58 PM by

I’ve been fairly merciless in my coverage of tablets, as I can’t help but look at their utility by my own benchmark (if you’ll excuse the expression.) I make my living on the net by typing 90 wpm sitting bolt upright in front of a 27-inch monitor. So now I’m supposed to make my index finger swoosh around a 9-inch screen and do exactly… what? However, in the greatest reversal since Woodrow Wilson won the White House as a pacifist candidate but almost immediately jumped into WWI, I now have to confess that I am the proud owner of a New iPad.
The Applelicious Siren Song Conscripted Me among the Tabletati
I passed by that strange flat thing at a store displayed next to an older iPad 2 and was immediately struck by the staggering clarity of the retina display. Its Applelicious siren song of “buy me” soon had me marching hypnotized towards the checkout counter: My first Apple device since my old beloved Mac IIci back in the mists of prehistory. Now that I count myself among the tabletati, I found justification in Jessica Benton’s post 5 Reasons You Should Buy A Tablet on her That Tech Chick blog. It’s an article I can point to when my friends laugh at me as I’m engrossed in the device’s visual wonders and walk into a banister.
Five Unparalleled Device Experiences
Benton’s blog post contains these five reasons why tablets offer an unparalleled albeit specific set of unique device experiences (which sadly do not include 90 wpm typing):
  1. Portability – My New iPad has a prodigious battery capacity that kicks sand in the face of my dual-core Dell laptop whose battery icon starts flashing pathetically at barely 40 minutes of use. While you can still be enjoying the charms of the iPad while taxiing to your arrival gate after your trip to Japan, my laptop would be dying when we were barely in the air.

  2. Productivity – Although a tablet wouldn’t be my first choice when compiling a half million cell Excel spreadsheet or applying a filter to a 2 GB Photoshop file, they certainly beat lugging around a laptop when you want to get some use out of your expensive subscription to the New York Times or check The Weather Channel to see what delights global climate change has in store for you tomorrow morning.

  3. Entertainment – The New iPad’s nine-point-something-inch screen limits the visualization breadth of FarmVille’s verdant real estate across my desktop monitor, but it more than makes up for it in clarity that makes my 27-incher “green” with envy. All you have to do is hold the screen close to your face, launch an HD movie, and you’d think you had just paid $18 to see it on IMAX.

  4. Education – Throw out your flash cards toddler parents, you can turn your infant into a true Baby Einstein by using the tablet as your all purpose educational tool, which can be flash-carding the kid one minute and playing Baby Einstein the next. With the advent of e-textbooks, high school and university students can find tablets just as compelling as tykes watching counting octopi.

  5. Social – This is the age where homines sapientes have pretty well given up on the face-to-face contact that marked our evolution and have traded it all in for pixels arrayed on flat screens - so there is no better social companion than a tablet, which you can take anywhere so that on a bus, in a coffee shop, or strolling down the street you can keep up with your elderly mom’s bunion complaints.
My tablet will never replace my keyboard, but I’m definitely a believer now. Apple moves in mysterious ways but none so outright puzzling as their naming convention for my now-preferred companion. The New iPad is the official name, but what happens when they inevitably come out with a later version? Will it be called the New New iPad? Or what happens if I tire of this device and place it on an online classified or auction site for sale? Do I say that I’m selling a Used New iPad?

Posted in Tech Editorial

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