Steve Wozniak is a brilliant guy and someone that’s tough for geeks not to love. While the Woz while he was en route to judge a high school robotics competition, he made some remarks to Business Week reporter Dan Lyons that are way off.
In response to Lyons asking if he thinks the iPad will be a big hit, Wozniak said:
The iPad could lower the cost of acquiring computers for students. I think it’s going to be huge in the education market. Think about students going off to college. They want an Apple product, but their parents don’t want to spend that much. Now they have the ideal thing. They can go to college and someone may have a whacked-out $6,000 laptop, but the guy with the iPad will get all the attention.
Is this really how college students and parents should be shopping for computers? If a kid is so set on getting something with an Apple logo they should get a refurbished MacBook. If money really is the primary concern, they should avoid Apple products all together. The iPad is more expensive than the cheapest PCs, assuming kids need more than 16GB of storage and the keyboard dock.
And do we really need to worry about who’s getting all the attention because of the label on the back of their device?
Any parent that sends their kid to college with just an iPad would be doing them a great disservice. One of the most valuable skills (hopefully) learned in college is how to use computers as work tools. The iPad is clearly a device geared towards enjoying multimedia content and creating relatively simple documents. Deep experience with a full desktop OS and industry-specific applications go a long way when applying for your first job, even if all you need for your line of work is a browser and productivity applications.
I don’t think the iPad is a bad device and I’ll probably end up buying an iPad at some point despite not really needing one.
There are a lot better ways to impress friends in college than just flashing an Apple logo. I personally think that the guy with the $6,000 laptop will be better armed to impress people if that’s his thing.