Is an iPad Worth the Money?
Plenty of people parted with $499 or more on Saturday, the first day the was available. Will they get their money’s worth? Like everything else, it depends. In part, it depends on what they intend to use it for.
If you want to use the iPad to read blogs and e-books, watch movies, or surf non-Flash-filled web sites (and you don’t already have something that you’re using to do that on) it’s probably worth the money.
If you’re a blogger who might want to use it to write posts while traveling instead of lugging a laptop with you, it might also be worth it. It depends though on how well you and the virtual keyboard get along.
As an experiment, I’ve written this whole post (to this point) on the iPad. It seems to work best laying sideways on my lap, while I use two hands and 2-3 fingers each. I’d thought it would be easier to blog with than my iPhone, which I can quickly type out posts on with one finger, but that’s not the case.
Using WordPress in a browser presents the same kind of problems that it does on the iPhone; namely that there is no vertical scroll bar, so you have to do the post in one shot, or do it elsewhere, make edits, and then paste it in. I have yet to try out the WordPress app, which sounds promising.
This isn’t the kind of purchase I would normally make, since I don’t foresee using it for much of anything other than testing out iPad-optimized apps and blogging while traveling. (Which I don’t do nearly as much of as I would like.) Had I not needed it for my business, I would have stuck with using our free-but-ancient laptop for any traveling; or an internet kiosk.
Like anything, when deciding whether or not an item is worth the money, I go through a mental checklist of sorts:
- Do I already have something that will do this?
- What will I use it for?
- How often will I use it? If not very often, could I borrow or rent something that will do the same thing instead of buying this?
- Do I have space for it?
- Do I have the money for it?
- If I don’t buy it today, will I still remember and want it next month?
If the answers to any of those questions are unsatisfactory, I don’t (usually!) buy it.
How do you go about deciding if a potential purchase is worth the money?