ImagesThat’s what John Swansburg says in this article in Slate. He tells us why and then asks his fellow writers to convince him of why he should love it. It’s very cute and there is, in my opinion, a lot of truth in what he says. I have an iPad and I guess I would re-write the headline as: I hate my iPad on Tuesday, but then love it on Wednesday. Here’s a snippet:

I admit that I bought my iPad for the wrong reasons. I got one because it seemed like everyone I knew had gotten one for Christmas and, well, I felt left out. I didn’t think about how it would fit in with the gadgets I already owned (laptop, Kindle, iPhone), and I didn’t borrow a friend’s and take it on a test drive. Now I just feel annoyed, having spent $600 on a device that hasn’t done anything to improve my life. A salad spinner would have been a better investment, and I don’t even eat that much salad. …

Vexed by these shortcomings, I turned to my Slate colleagues, many of whom are enthusiastic supporters of the device. I hoped they could explain the tablet’s appeal. Here’s the e-mail thread that ensued:

Me: I hate my iPad. What am I doing wrong?


  1. I tend to agree with Swansburg: iPads have their uses, but they’re not that great shakes. I mostly use mine as my fast web appliance, allowing me to quickly check the weather, the commuter train schedule, look up a quick fact on Google or visit a web page, in less time than it takes me to boot up my laptop. But I largely agree with his assessment of its limitations.

    In fact, I feel faint every time I see those films of Oprah being reduced to a crying teenager over an iPad. But maybe she’s never used a smartphone, a laptop or a Nook Color… I wouldn’t know.

  2. Or, in other words – One size doesn’t fit all.

    It’s not the best analogy but… It’s like buying a car. Not everyone wants or needs the same kind of car, even ignoring price. That’s why there are multiple car companies. They’ve found their niche selling to the people who want what they have to offer.Which is what Apple has done.

    14 million iPads sold to date may SEEM like a large number but what percentage of the actual buying public, worldwide, that can afford one is that?

    At some point, some other consumer electronics company will figure out how to sell large quantities of a similar device to another segment of that buying public and they’ll do it because they’ll find buyers wanting something different. Users looking for a different approach or solution.

    Hasn’t happened yet but it will. Eventually. The slate ( it’s not really a tablet. Tablets are still not quite there yet. ) market is still young.

  3. I never did figure out an exact use case for my iPad, although reading the daily news with my coffee while lounging and highlighting the heck out of PDF files seem to be the main things I do.

    Even so, the thing is never more than arm’s reach away from me at least 80% of the time, so I guess I’m realizing ROI.

    Could I live without it? Probably. Is it addictive like cigarettes? Definitely.

  4. “I hate my iPad on Tuesday, but then love it on Wednesday”

    Why isn’t the article headed “I LOVE my iPad” ? I guess it wouldn’t provoke many hits ……. Hmmmmm

    Mr Swansburg”
    “I bought my iPad for the wrong reasons”

    This guys seems like a bit of a dipstick to me. he buys it for no reason and then he finds he has no use for it … duh ?

    He can’t type on it ? How lame. It took me about three days to conquer that.

    No device can satisfy needs that a user doesn’t have. To imagine otherwise is idiotic.

    I read every day on my iPad. I buy and read eBooks. I read 5 email addresses as I travel. I write all of my replies on it, some very long, as I travel. I create presentations and show them. I browse the web and read the news. I watch movies on trains and in cafes. I get flight and travel information. I have all of my music with me for relaxing listening. I play brilliant games. I have access to all of my home files and reference materials as I travel. I don’t need any laptop any more.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail