Why I'm Starting to Consider the iPad...
by, 03-01-2010 at 10:00 AM (3164 Views)
iPad was first announced, I was not among the throng of excited Apple groupies who had already made up their minds before Steve Jobs took one step onto the podium that I would be buying this device no matter what it did. I've never quite understood the mentality of if it has XYZ sticker, I simply must have it, and that extends to the iWhatever-the-Hell-They-Come-Up-with-Next. I was a late adopter to the iPod, simply because I never wanted to spend so much money on what amounted to little more than a device to play music on. It took a drastic reduction in prices before I came on board, and that was years after the initial launch. Still, I looked forward with some interest to hear about what Apple would come up with for a new tablet.
As the details of the new iPad poured in, I found myself initially disappointed. What I had hoped for was something greater than just an iPod with a bigger screen. Donít get me wrong -- I get it; it has more computing power and capacity than its smaller cousin. However, what I had hoped for was something more akin to a true computer wrapped in a nice and tight, sexy, Apple shell. I've never been a Macintosh user, but I would have even been extremely happy with something that came with a fully featured Mac OS. So, I found myself less than thrilled with the direction Apple took -- a fact I railed about to friends and coworkers.
Flashing forward to today, why then have I started to soften my stance and consider becoming one of the early adopters? Iíve been thinking about what a boon this could be to my roleplaying experience. More and more RPG publishers have been moving towards PDF publishing Ė- with the notable exception of Wizards of the Coast, who stuck their toe in the tepid waters of electronic publishing and found it too hot for their delicate tastes. Nonetheless, I can still hope that they will change their minds eventually, and in the meantime many of the other major publishers are putting out digital editions of their books, including: White Wolf, Hero Games, Steve Jackson Games, Paizo, and a slew of others. The idea of having my entire RPG library available to bring with me on a single device is extremely appealing. I had hoped that the [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0015TG12Q?ie=UTF8&tag=penandpaperga-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creative ASIN=B0015TG12Q"]Kindle DX[/ame] could be this device, but it is still a black-and-white device and moreover its price point is prohibitively high. The iPad is similarly priced, but as a convergence device, it offers much more to justify its cost.
Consider the myriad applications that are already available from the iTunes library and imagine the possibilities of what kinds of applications we'll see on a device with a larger screen, more power and an expanded SDK. If someone isnít already working on some sort of digital table for the iPad platform, I would be surprised -- and, if they arení't, they should be! The question of whether developers will step up to the plate and start pumping out product for the iPad really seems to be a foregone conclusion though. It is Apple after all, and I did mention the "i" prefix on the name, right? Guaranteed gold.
So, as the release date inches ever closer, I find myself more and more tempted. Sure, I could take a wait and see approach to see how well the iPad takes off, and maybe I will for the first few months. I suspect though that sooner or later, Iíll end up with one of these in my eager hands. For a device with so much promise, $500 just seems like too low a price to pass up.
(BTW, this is all despite its wholly ridiculous name...)