Why I’m still holding off on the iPad

By now I’ve been positive enough about the iPad to attract fanboy accusations, but the truth is I’m still not sold yet. Yes, I’m highly impressed by it, but if I bought every gadget that impressed me, I’d have a whole lot of junk and lot more holes in my clothes. So what’s keeping it out of reach for me?

This moment of self-reflection is spurred on by Xavier’s question to me in last night’s podcast as to whether handling the iPad has changed my mind about getting one. It hasn’t. Several reviewers have commented since the beginning that you need to get your hands on the iPad to really appreciate it. That’s probably true for many, but I tend to be good at understanding things without needing to get hands-on. Case in point, I bought my first two tablets without having handled them beforehand and was not disappointed. When I do buy an iPad, it could be the first time I’ve handled a tablet before buying it.

Wait, I’m still buying one? Yes, I already admitted as much earlier. I love the feel of the device. It works for me on several levels. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t happening, but I’m not in a rush to get one either. I could wait until the 3G model, until the 4.0 software, until next year’s upgrade, or even further. Ideally, I’ll be waiting until it gets an active digitizer, but unless they buy out Wacom, I don’t see that happening for at least another couple of years.

As I told Amy, it’s hard to love a format that can’t properly display the work I’ve done. It’s also hard to love a format that can’t allow me to create my work. As an inker and ink blogger, I am highly reliant on pen input for content creation. Unless I can come up with a compelling solution for inking on an iPad (and I am thinking about it), it’s not the perfect device for me.

In the meantime, it’s a matter of waiting to see if something else tips me over. I’ve been content to go without comic books for several years, partly to budget and partly to a growing aversion to collecting stuff. Gaming doesn’t usually entice me, but tabletop gaming via the iPad could. Working for The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, I am the gadget guru and could be called upon to investigate the iPad, which works much better for our color PDF format than grayscale e-ink displays. Reasons from jobs past and present (yes, they’re all job-related reasons) could push me to buy an iPad sometime soon. Until then, I’m good without one.