I prefer laptops overall, with my main workstation at home and work being one and the same. But for that reason I have a handsome but hefty 15-inch Macbook Pro, so that I can have enough power to do just about anything I require at work or play. But as convenient as it might be for carrying around an extremely capable workstation, more and more I felt as though I am frequently driving a moving van to the grocer. Sure a netbook would have fit the bill for many tasks, but I have gone well out of my way over the years to keep Windows at a distance, choosing to increase my blood pressure in more fruitful pursuits like stabbing myself or antagonizing feral dogs. Sure, they can run Linux quite well, but all the platform's worthwhile GUIs go out of their way to perform just like Windows. I have also lusted after a Kindle for some time, but couldn't bring myself to afford that kind of cash for an empty book. Furthermore, Alton Brown would never forgive me for purchasing a single-tasker, nor would the shoulder that bears the burden of my already corpulent satchel.
I chose instead to stick it out a bit longer. Just as I still wait for Apple to release a home server product as elegant as Windows Home Server (take heed, I complimented a Windows product!), so did I wait for the day that they would somehow magically shrink the Macbook in some as yet undefined metaphysical vortex to allow me to stop hefting the battery-devouring laptop to the first 90 minutes of my four hours of Tuesday meetings. I am hopeful that such a day has arrived.
I've only had my iPad for a short time, but I am already quite impressed. The prospect of having something that can quite effectively accomplish the roles of agile laptop, book reader, music player, movie player, portfolio and more is more than a little compelling. I love new toys and new opportunities to shake up and enhance my process, and what better way than at the cutting edge.
Sure, version 2 will be better, faster, stronger, better in bed. So will version 7, but I am not going to sit idly by and watch everyone else have all the fun as I grumble sour grapes. I am delighted to be at the front of the line, potentially making mistakes and wasting money in the name of progress and whimsy. But despite what others may think, I am confident that this is the beginning of an exciting time for computing, and I, for one, am glad to be in the thick of it.
Greg Lincoln is the Production Director for Themis Media and resident Mac user, and neither plays games on his workstation nor attempts to edit text documents on his Xbox 360.