iPad? I did.

The Apple iPad had a huge amount of hype and criticism before it ever launched. And quite honestly, I was on the fence about it. In the end, though, I went to my local Best Buy Saturday morning and bought one.

iPad in hte kitchen, one of its homes.

iPad in hte kitchen, one of its homes.

I spent a lot of time thinking about and researching before making that decision. And here are the reasons I decided to buy one. First, I do a lot of travel, and am tired of always having my laptop bag at my feet, Tired of feeling even more cramped in an airline seat trying to use a laptop. Tired of carrying magazines and books when I travel. Tired of doing email, browsing the web and watching movies and TV shows on a tiny iPhone screen. Plus, there are apps that will let me write Word docs, work on Excel spreadsheets and review PowerPoint presentations, which is most of what I need to do on the computer while on an airplane. And the second reason is that for a long time now I’ve wanted to have some easy way to check email and browse the web on the main floor of our house without having to go to a computer and wake it up.

I seriously considered getting a netbook. After all, it would cost less, weigh a bit more (and be larger when open), but give me fairly full functionality for what I need to do. Here’s what kept me from doing that. I already have several laptop computers. And I didn’t want to have to maintain another one. System and software updates, drivers, virus protection, etc. etc. And that’s one of the things I loved about my Treo and my iPhone. They didn’t require me to do much of anything but turn them on and use them.

Is the iPad perfect? No. I’d love it to be 1/2-pound lighter. Wish it didn’t have a glass screen. Wish it had a camera (for video conferencing). And I wish there were an easier way to use it to store photos and documents. But I’ve got to say, in just a few days I’ve come to really like it. It’s fast. I can be checking something on the web before my other computers could even wake up. It’s small. The virtual keyboard works well. And I’m looking forward to traveling with it. Friday morning when I board my flight, I’ll toss the bag with my camera gear and laptop into the overhead, and take my seat with the iPad. And that’s when I think I’m going to really enjoy it!

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