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5 Reasons I’m not buying an iPad

Celebrating my first iPhone… a year and a half after my American neighbours.

I’m going to be a total party-pooper and say, “nay” on purchasing the new Apple iPad. “Ohh, but it’s so shiny and new. You know you’ll want one when you see it,” say the fanboys. True, it is shiny and new, but I still don’t want one.

That doesn’t mean that I won’t sweat and quiver a little when I hold an iPad in my hot little hands, but the moment will be fleeting and easily replaced when I grasp the 16-35mm f/2.8 I have my eye on.

Besides feeling mentally bloated with the sheer number of iPad related articles in my RSS reader, chatter on Twitter & Facebook, and unboxing and app preview videos on YouTube, I actually feel quite underwhelmed by the product. Here are the reasons why I’m not buying an iPad:

1. The iPad is not available in Canada yet.

Canadians and International customers are snubbed again. It’s like the iPhone all over again. All the Americans grinning with their new fancy toy, saying, “Haha. Want one of these? Hey? Want one? Well, you can’t have it. So ha!” What’s the deal? I live 1 1/2 hours from the US border. Couldn’t just pop a few in an air canon and send some our way?

2. I already own an iPhone.

I love my iPhone. It’s light and small and fits in my back pocket. It has 3G so I can use it outside of my house when I actually need to be connected to the internet and google maps, as I have the tendency to wander. It has a plethora of cool apps and I can even take pictures with it!

3. Any gadget without a camera is useless to me.

It should be a rule that every gadget has a camera. If I could take pictures with my toaster I would. Think about it. Toaster cam. Actually, add a video camera to that and live stream it on YouTube. Done.

4. I own a laptop.

I get it. Laptops are heavy to truck around. Even the Air can weigh you down after a while. But, laptops can actually do useful things like run Photoshop and Final Cut and they have actually have real keyboards that are attached to them! And honestly, who would ever go on a trip without their laptop?

I am an extreme multi-tasker. When I am on a long plane ride, I don’t watch movies or play solitaire, I edit photos or videos. If all I could do was look at pictures and videos and flick them around, I would become so frustrated.

5. I don’t have $500-$800 kicking around in my back pocket.

As a photographer I have a long list of “Things I need” that should and will go before buying something as frivalous as an iPad. Sure it’s cool, but I’m going to be honest with myself and my financial situation and groceries unfortunately have to come before gadgets.

It’s not that I don’t think it’s cool, it is just a completely impractical product for me. Honestly, I just don’t think I’m the right demographic for the iPad. For me, functionality and simplicity trumps any shiny, new fun thing.

What about you? Are you gonna buy the iPad or save your money and buy a sweet new lens?

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  • Reply
    April 2, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    I had originally not planned on getting one for reasons 1, 2, and 4. But then I saw screenshots of a few apps on it and somewhat changed my mind.

    But, being Canadian, we get three extra weeks to decide. Another reason it pays not to be American.

  • Reply
    Alex Atienza (alexdpx)
    April 2, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    Like you, I prefer substance above style. I think the iPad is a cool toy. Well, yeah, it’s only a toy . . . a very expensive toy.

  • Reply
    Thomas Marthinsen
    April 2, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    I’m with you on this one! I just don’t see the use for an appliance like the iPad. But my mother wants one, mostly because it looks so nice. A good enough reason, I guess, but I’ll spend the money on lenses!

  • Reply
    Scott Ferguson
    April 2, 2010 at 11:57 PM

    You have your eye on a 16-35mm f/1.8? Do you have a link? :) I haven’t seen that yet!

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    April 3, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    @Scott Ferguson: @Scott Ferguson: Oops! i meant the f/2.8. can’t even imagine what a 16-35mm f/1.8 lens would cost ;-/

  • Reply
    Richard @ Keeping Exotic Pets
    April 3, 2010 at 12:49 AM

    I agree with you that I shalln’t be buying an iPad. I’m concerned about damage to the screen as opposed to my trusty laptop where the screen is protected. And I too like to do numerous things at the same time so the lack of “multitasking” ability would drive me mad too. The iPad *looks* lovely but for me just isn’t practical enough.

  • Reply
    Martin Berglund
    April 3, 2010 at 1:49 AM

    Let’s say you did have $500-$800 kicking around in your back pocket. Would you buy one then? :P

    The 16-35mm f/2.8 looks nice (and expensive), so I understand your reasoning for not getting the iPad. I will be getting one. It is a gift, so it’s not making a big dent in my lens budget :)

    What made you want the 16-35m f/2.8?

  • Reply
    Sascha Vogt
    April 3, 2010 at 1:57 AM

    Everything I could do with an iPad I can do with the equipment I have. And the the equipment I have usually has a blind-typeable keyboard with tactile orientation-aids. I like to feel the keys while typing. To be honest I consider the iPad as a picture-frame with a better OS. And for that it is – like all picture-frames – way too expensive.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 2:35 AM

    I have Ipad .! But Ipad Os is not Mac os .Ipad is have windows 7 OS.!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 3:10 AM

    I couldn’t agree more Lisa. I have a 13inch MacBook Pro which is my only computer and like you I am always multitasking when on the computer. The different between a 10inch iPad that does very little and a 13inch MacBook Pro that does practically everything I ever need is to much and therefore it will render the iPad useless to me.

    However still can’t get past the fact they are really cool and I will probably bow to pressure and buy in the near future anyway only for it to be left on the desk at home useless.

    P.S. we are always the same as you over here in the UK, we have to wait until USA has had things for while before we get them released. When it is due in Canada? End of April here in the UK.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 4:53 AM


    Awww, and you were so cute!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 5:14 AM

    You are so right for the 16-35 it’s just awesome on a 5DmkII (i own this combo :3)

    I’m in France so i have the same problem than you for the availability of the product but hopefully a friend can buy one for me.

    I’ll mostly use the iPad for reading comics and ebooks which will be way more comfortable than on a computer display, less expansive and i will no longer have troubles with physical storage ^^”
    It will kind of Kindle but with way more features and possibilities for almost the same price than the DX one

  • Reply
    Mike Page
    April 3, 2010 at 5:21 AM

    I’ll pass on the iPad myself as well. But, they’re still getting my money as I’ve decided to leave my old Macbook Pro on the desk, and buy a new Macbook Air for my scurrying around.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 5:41 AM

    I don’t have the money for one right now either, and I’m in the same boat, in that I have a lot of other things I need or want right now that would take precedent.

    I would totally love if one fell in my lap though… that would be incredibly welcome, but it won’t happen. :)

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 6:04 AM

    Perfectly valid reasoning. I’ll be getting one for exactly one reason: in-flight entertainment. My aging eyes make it increasingly difficult to watch movies or play games on my iPhone for more than a few minutes, and 21st-century seat pitch on airliners makes it impossible to open a laptop any more (unless I get lucky and score an exit row or an upgrade). The iPad solves both of these problems.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 6:27 AM

    Excellent post!
    *runs off to check out the toaster*

  • Reply
    Brent Pennington
    April 3, 2010 at 6:32 AM

    Aside from the fact that I’m anti-Apple in the first place, I agree with your reasons (well, except the Canada thing…that’s not really an issue for me). This whole notion of tablets in interesting, but you can’t actually do anything useful on them, so what’s the point?

    And as far as the 16-35mm goes, you might want to check into an older 17-35mm L. I just got one and it rocks – and minty used, they’re half the price of the new 16-35!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 6:36 AM

    If you think you can get a 16-35 f2.8 for the cost of a basic ipad, I want to find your secret lens supplier! As a photographer myself, I have a multitude of options that give me portability and simplicity of use fir presenting my portfolio.

    I have a laptop computer in addition to my desktop computer because it’s not practical to lug the big machine around. So the laptop provides an effective alternative.

    But, 90% of the time when I’m traveling, I don’t even need the full power of my laptop. I’m making presentations, reviewing my portfolio or just keeping up with my fellow photographers/cients. So, this seems to be the took for the job.

    Just as you wouldn’t use just one lens for all shots, there’s always a place for the proper tool.

  • Reply
    Jorge Quinteros
    April 3, 2010 at 6:40 AM

    When it was announced, I was completely convinced that I was not the target audience for this device and even now I’m struggling to justify the purchase of one and a lot of that has to do with hearing how many people are getting one.

    I understand your point about the device not having a camera but then again, the iPhone obviously has one and I don’t ever consider it as a device that I would use on vacation or something as my only source to capture moments. For that, I rely either on my D90 or Canon G11.

    So in essence, at least for me, it’s not the lack of camera that has stopped me from getting one but what will be highly based on the amazing apps that will be developed for it, specifically the photography ones.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 6:45 AM

    I honestly don’t see the appeal. I do want the iphone though. My brother has one and although it’s cool, I can live without it as well. Definitely would rather have a new lens than the ipad. It’s just new so of course people are dying to have it.

  • Reply
    Mike Keller
    April 3, 2010 at 7:08 AM

    I am an American and I’m not getting an iPad. This week in the NY Times, David Pogue reviewed the iPad (one review for “techies” and one for “everyone else”), and the final comment was that the iPad is a great, cool new kind of device for consuming stuff. (books, videos, apps) But like you, I want devices that allow me to create, and aren’t restricted by choices made by management. (no Flash? no USB?)

    I can do more with a netbook than with an iPad.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 7:14 AM

    On point 4, I’ve never managed to get a laptop to have a meaningful battery life for flights. I’ve owned Windows and Mac laptops, they all died well before the flight is done. I’ve also never flown in an airplane with a decent power jack at the seat. Photoshop and Final Cut would end the battery even quicker.

    I think point 3 might be addressed on the next update, though I think it might be the most awkward camera ever, though pretty cool to see the image preview on a 10″ screen.

  • Reply
    Motion Groove
    April 3, 2010 at 7:26 AM

    I don’t see point in owning an IPad if you own a laptop, especially if you have an IPhone as well. It’s just more money out of your wallet for basically no reason and it’s pretty expensive for what it does. You could basically buy a laptop for the price on an IPad. No thanks.

    ** I’m sure it will sell out like crazy, there are enough gadget seekers out there who buy anything electronic, but not me. No thanks!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 7:47 AM

    I agree with you Lisa, I think I’ll go to the Oakridge mall Apple store and get my curiosity filled there. Save my money.

  • Reply
    Ahmed Eid
    April 3, 2010 at 7:48 AM

    Ha! Just had this conversation with my wife last night
    Definitely going to get a lens instead…the iPad is cool, but unnecessary if you ask me

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 7:49 AM

    You live 1 1/2 *what* from the US border? Miles? Kilometers? Hours? Light-years?

  • Reply
    Byron Servies
    April 3, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    Now, see, those are rational reasons. Me, I won’t be getting one until I can pay cash for a 3G model later this year. Unless, of course, I find a used Nikkor 28mm f1.4 for a reasonable price somewhere.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 8:37 AM

    I’m in the same boat as you. I have very little expendable income right now so what I do have is going toward photo gear and not an ipad. I would love to have an ipad if someone were to give it to me… Well, actually, I would probably just sell it and spend the money on a lens. :D

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    While I usually also drool for any gadget shiny and new, this is one gadget I will have to pass up… for now. I mostly hate the idea of a better one coming out soon and I would be stuck with the outdated one which always happens! My Bday is coming soon so I may have to reconsider this soon… like Martin said, a gift doesn’t cost anything! ;)

  • Reply
    Robin Horn (Powerkey)
    April 3, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    I totaly agree with #3 and financialy agree with #5. However, I do not think the iPad is a toy. Well, at least not long term.   

    I own an iPhone and even though it can do a lot, the small screen and keyboard make it less than ideal for me. I also own a laptop but most of what I use it for on-the-go could be done on a much lighter, smaller iPad.    

    Coupled with the shear number of media companies that have announced intent to support the iPad by releasing apps or formatting media for it, I think the iPad is shaping up to be more than the sum of it’s parts.

    Especialy now, as magazines are dropping like flies (even a few major ones), I see the iPad as a great alternative. Publishing a magazine on the iPad eliminates long lead times and expensive distribution for the publisher and adds rich content and interactivity for the reader. [Wow! The 80’s called and they want their buzzwords back.] 

    However, the most significant item in the ‘Pro’ column for me has to be the oportunity. As an aspiring developer, I see the iPad as a great Plan B paying for my life as I see it through my viewfinder. 

    Or, maybe I just drank the Kool-aid. ;-)

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    I agree with you. My wife does have one coming sometime this morning from UPS; but her usage is different than what I can picture myself using it for. I wouldn’t turn down a free one, and I may end up buying a 2nd generation, but I just can’t see how it fits into my life at this point.

  • Reply
    James White
    April 3, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    Well done, Lisa. Being your distant neighbor in Halifax, I agree with all the points you made here, especially the part about Photoshop. Much love to Macbooks and iPhones.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    I agree for the most part. But mainly on cost. The device itself can make for an amazing way to meet clients and share your portfolio, far more interactive than scrolling through on a laptop.

    I also see it being useful for going over contracts and what not, editing on the fly, and signing off on them. Not sure how, but an app might come up. Or just use pages. Of course, I’ve found clients like to approach this differently, so may be moot.

    I don’t travel much, so my editing is done at home. I was looking for a netbook, but they are indeed a bit slow. The iPad (or device like it) seems to fit what I need on a portable level.

    But again, this all goes back to cost. $500-$800 is a nice chunk of change that can go toward the 135L I want, or 70-200 IS/OS.. or upgrade my crop backup to match my 5Dc. Or get a 60D to play with video.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    I will definitely go for a lens instead of an iPad. I have no need to sit on the couch and balance this baby on my lap (the mb warms my legs… way better) and as I’m only driving 8 minutes with public transportation, I have no use for it in there as well.

    by now ;-))

  • Reply
    Doc Breger
    April 3, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    I’m with you Lisa. There are more important things in life to be spending that kind of money on…like food! Like you, I also have an iPhone 3GS. What more do you need when you travel beyond the range of a WiFi signal?!?

    Save your money folks. It’s not all that…at least in my opinion. Oh yeah. Sorry Apple doesn’t think enough of our friends to the North to launch the iPad in North America…all at once.

  • Reply
    Bobby Johnson
    April 3, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    I just ordered a (Canon) 50 f/1.2 this week. Much like yourself, I prefer functionality over flash. I’ll be shooting with that fab new lens next week while the ‘fanboys’ are playing with their latest gizmo.

    Thanks for a practical, sensible response to the hype.

    – Bama

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    I will buy an Ipad, but I just will use it for Books, magazines subscriptions and comics, because ido read alot and I don’t room anymore to stock all this :)

  • Reply
    Dennis Bjørn Petersen
    April 3, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    A friend of mine is currently in the States. Until today it was the plan that he should bring an iPad back to me.

    Unfortunately I just found out that the 3G version doesn’t come out until later this month :-/

    I’m still not 100% convinced that I want one, but I got money back from my taxes so… ;)

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    I agree!! I have an iPhone which is awesome, always connected, and very portable. The lack of a camera did the iPad in for me. Eagerly awaiting this years improved iPhone!

  • Reply
    Rod Christiansen
    April 3, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    Great rule about all gadgets having a camera! The iPad is missing one…. but I am getting one. Too many things I can see myself using it for.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Amen Lisa! iPad is fail when we already own iPhones and Macbook Pro’s. P.S. you spelled Frivolous wrong. I figured you like to know those kinda things…

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    It’s just another useless thing to trow money on.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    While I’m pro Apple, I just can not get into the close ecosystem that apple creates around this. Unless there is some supper set of applications that a small tablet like device would make sense I don’t suspect I will be purchasing one soon.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    I’m 63 retired, worked in electronics and computers all my life and all exited about the IPad. At my age I should be in my garden no?

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    I know I’ll eventually get one, but rather than drop the cash I’ll use it as a reward for progressing my photography business. So as soon as a wedding will pay for an iPad I’ll probably own one. Well that’s if I’ve picked up my 16-35 2.8… ya gotta stick to the priorities.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    Some may say lens are a toy. Of
    course I have both including new ipad

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    My wife and I both bought one. We travel frequently and don’t want to lug around the hefty laptop and I don’t want to watch movies on the Iphone. My Iphone is almost exclusively used for tweeting and phone calls.

    I’m reading on twitter that a lot of people are complaining (@alexalbrecht for one) are saying that the Ipad won’t charge on a PC usb 2.0 port while it will charge on a Mac. This does indeed sound like a “aww…cmon apple” moment.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    I completely agree with you. I believe that tech industry is specialist in developing needs which we do not really need, and the ipad is now at the top of the list of unuseful gadgets. Congratulations for being so coherent

    I also agree with Brent Pennington about the older 17-35L. I did not switch to the 16-35 and no one of my clients has complained so far.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    Totally agree. Maybe In the future with camera, multitask and a decent Spanish keyboard.

    Take care Lisa.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    Totally agree. Maybe In the future with camera, multitask and a decent Spanish keyboard.

    Take Lisa

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