The iPad Cometh:
In keeping with my trend of avoiding movie reviews (and covering for The Jolly Gamesman, who has a crippling fear of the wrath of Steve Jobs), I am taking time this week to indulge in my obsession for all things technological, and review a device you may not have heard of…..the iPad. (Let’s be honest, before the first sentence of this review, you knew whether or not you were going to buy one. I am not going to try and sway you one way or another. I’m just going to share my impressions of this long-awaited and much anticipated device.)
On January 27th, 2010, I woke up with the specific purpose of sitting in front of a computer, and watching the live feed of the great unveiling of Apple’s latest and greatest. It really didn’t matter what they showed; I was going to buy one. Since my very first computer in 1989, I have been a Mac user. They’re not always the best tool for the job, they’re not ever the cheapest, but they’re sexy, cool, and just plain fun. To be fair, I’ve used different products, but I always come back to Apple. But, to be honest, they could have slapped a logo on an overripe banana, and I still would have scratched my chin pensively, and thought hard about whether or not I wanted one.
Fact: I wanted an iPad. So a week ago, I did what so many Canadians have done, and I drove down to the States and purchased one. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far. Like I said earlier, you knew how you felt about the iPad before reading anything about it. Everyone did. But I can’t count how many forums I’ve stumbled across with people arguing and swearing about how much they hate the iPad, or how it’s nowhere near as good as this or that. Those that hate it, hate Apple. Plain and simple. They hate it because they think it makes them cool to speak against a company that has become insanely popular. Here’s the thing: Apple is insanely popular because they know what the hell they’re doing. And the haters aren’t cool, they’re just missing out.
Sure it isn’t a portable gaming device like the PSP is, but it approaches games unlike anything else and guess what… they’re fun as hell! It isn’t a productivity monster like a laptop, but it is a portable HD screen that you can work on, receive and write emails on (better than any computer I’ve used recently), listen to your music on, watch videos on, look at pictures on, and read books on. It’s ok for something to be new and that’s exactly what the iPad is. It’s not like anything else out there. So no, it isn’t a laptop or a gaming device, or a computer, or a conventional tablet. Get over it. Because it’s all of the above.
Buying an iPad:
The absolute worst thing about the iPad, is the Apple staff you have to go through to get one. If at all possible, avoid talking to them… EVER. They have absolutely no useful information to offer, and my experience has been that every single one of them is a pathological liar. They don’t just drink the kool-aid; they get together and chug it by the gallon through funnels. I’ve never seen so many minimum-wage retail employees with such a false sense of superiority. Schlepping products that sell themselves isn’t going to get you invited to Steve Jobs’ place for dinner, or get you controlling shares in Apple stock, but for some reason, they have to maintain the attitude that they will always know more than you.
They will never give you an answer as to when anything is coming in. If something is sold out, they cannot admit that their store is short and help you find one elsewhere; instead they will claim that the whole country is experiencing a drought and there’s no point in searching.
Case in point: when I was looking for my iPad, I was assured beyond any doubt, at the first store, that not only was Washington State completely sold out, but I’d be lucky if I found any in Oregon either. The next store,15 minutes away, had a bunch, but sadly they were sold out of the model I wanted. After they assured me that no one on earth had any of that particular model, the very next store 40 minutes away had tons of every model. So despite the entire West Coast being “sold out,” I was able to find one without even having to go all the way to Seattle.
To avoid the fiasco I faced, here is a handy step-by step guide for you to, sanely and safely, get in and get your iPad:
1. Walk in, forcibly grab the first cultist you see, and say “iPad. Wifi (or 3G). 64 GB (or 16, or 32).” Under no circumstances should you ever look any of them in the eyes.
2. Pay if they have the one you want. Proceed to Step 3, if they don’t.
3. Get the hell out of there.
4. Go home and play with it, or go to the next store if you walked out empty handed and repeat Step 1.
If you have any questions on how to use it, use Google. If you want to know who sells them, use Google. And if you want to know how much fun I had with this device once I got mine home, come back tomorrow and read all about it.