iCan't: 4 Reasons Why Even the iPad 3 Won't Cause Me to Buy One

Categories: Tech

Even Stephen Colbert can't convince me.
In April of last year, I wrote about whether I should buy an iPad. After a few musing paragraphs, I came to the begrudging conclusion that the iPad was likely part of my technological future. Well, it's nearly a year later and still no iPad for me. With the release of the iPad 3 tomorrow (and a probable price drop for the iPad 2), I will be one of the rare Apple buyers who don't get whipped into a frenzy over the latest tablet release and here's why.

4. Price
This is probably the most obvious, but also the most reasonable. For years, Windows users have cried about the cost of the Mac compared to every other computing brand on the planet. Apple has largely ignored those complaints and they were wise to do so. The folks in Cupertino realized long ago that fewer computers sold at a higher price with mega attention to detail (looks, ease of use, even packaging) can net the same kinds of success as selling millions of more lower-priced units can. They also realized that by setting themselves apart so distinctively with the iPhone, iPad and even Mac computers, they created an exclusive club that appeals to their demographic, of which I am firmly in the middle.

Still, a tablet for me is a niche product, not something I'd use all the time. As a result, it makes little sense to drop $500 on an iPad for doing things I can already do with other products. The "cool" factor of it is entirely lost on me at that price. I got a Kindle for Christmas and it's ideal for reading. Beyond that, I have other tools that cover what an iPad does, so why should I spend the extra money again?

3. Storage
I know, I know. Tablets aren't meant for storing large amounts of information and, eventually, we'll have the all-powerful cloud to hold everything. Maybe one day all our data will be stored in the ether but, with deference to Aragon from Lord of the Rings, "It is not this day."

One of the main reasons I could see having a tablet would be the ability to quickly look through -- or show -- photos I had taken. That would make for a handy tool -- essentially a blown-up version of my camera's LCD screen. But, the storage limitations are substantial. Shooting a wedding, for example, I might run through 10, 12, even 16 GB of photos. Very quickly, I'm out of storage and getting that much data to the cloud, even if I had wi-fi, is a slow proposition.

The other reason the iPad might make sense for me would be for travel. If I could easily drop my business info onto the iPad and carry the conveniently sized tablet with me, that would be great. But, alas, the lack of memory thwarts me again and I'm stuck back at square one.

2. There's not always an app for that.
In my business, I spend a huge amount of time working with Adobe products like Dreamweaver and Photoshop, neither of which has a reasonable substitute app available. There are some things that might work in a pinch, but if I wanted those things, why wouldn't I just bring my laptop?

Again, the limitations, at least for me, put the iPad in the realm of toy more than usable computing product.

1. Middle Ground
This is the most important argument against for me: The iPad falls in that middle ground between the power of my laptop and the simple convenience of my iPhone. It has more power than the phone but substantially less than the laptop. The end result is a product that leaves me wanting.

I'm going on vacation this summer and I thought about how convenient an iPad might be. Then I realized that, in the car, it wasn't substantially better than my phone and in a hotel or on a plane, I'd rather just have my laptop with all its stored memory and computing power. There isn't anything about the iPad that sets itself apart enough to make me want to add it to the arsenal of computing products at my disposal.

The bottom line is that the iPad is tremendously cool -- much like Siri. But, I'm not ditching the iPhone 4 I got less than a year ago for the 4S so I can have a preprogrammed computer talk to me and I'm not going to drop $500 on a tablet that doesn't do anything my current technology doesn't already do...and better.

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Dudley "Booger" Dawson
Dudley "Booger" Dawson

If an iPad blows up in a hipster's face in the middle of the woods and screams does anyone care?


I create most of my content as  a university teacher on my MacBook Pro, but I am throughly amazed how often my iPad 2 has become a substitute for the MB Pro. And, yes, I use it for "real work". I use it to tweak PowerPoints and occasionally to create them. It is my main presentation tool and beats lugging around the 15 in. MB Pro with all its vulnerable, moving parts: HD, fans, etc. I use it to play short video clips and display PDFs for my students as well as run presentations. It is instant on and ready to go. Speedy. It is much more convenient for e-mail and sometimes is more convenient for writing docs themselves. It is convenient for "scanning" documents when needed, albeit with a middling low camera. Granted the 16 GB and 32 GB are a bit tight for my needs (as an app and news junky), but the 64 GB has plenty of room. I don't expect to use it to edit video or create a web site. Nevertheless, I use it constantly. Well worth the price. I can only image the iPad 3/iPad HD/iPad whatever will only be more so. Different strokes, I guess. 


I'm not disagreeing with you, per se. Indeed, there's nothing an iPad does that my iPhone 4s doesn't already do faster and better.

But if you have a 2 1/2 year old, the cost-benefit analysis comes out quite a bit differently. My wife, my kid, and I all use it way more than we thought we would. And using something is the best measure of utility.


I'm in the really-dg-it-but-not-for-the-money-so-much crowd.  When HP had their firesale with the $99 touchpads I got one off ebay for $200 (didn't want to wait in line).  The WebOS interface is awesome and it makes a GREAT around the house option for surfing/email/etc.  Ultimately, my point is that at $200 I can justify having it around and really do use it alot.  If $500+ for one or something similar is my only option I can happily stick with lugging out my Macbook.


I bought a first-generation iPad when they dropped in price after the iPad 2 was put on sale. I use it quite a bit, but it's a lounging around the house kind of thing. More of a toy than anything else.

But I don't have an iPhone, so maybe that makes a difference.

Figgy Jones
Figgy Jones

You make a good case, and I'm with you.

Leremy Jin
Leremy Jin

so you're a web developer who still uses Dreamweaver? sorry, but that doesn't compute


It's one of the apps I use, but I didn't think getting into a discussion of code nonsense here with software titles the average person wouldn't recognize wasn't germaine to the discussion. Carry on. 

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