iPad SchmiPad: Who Needs Another Device?

I think I’ve decided – the iPad just isn’t for me. I move around too much. I’m an on-the-go type of guy, and for that I’ve already found my two trusty devices – my 12″ netbook and my iPhone. Between the two, I have everything I need, but maybe that’s the problem with all of us techies, tech writers and early adopters, us serious content creators and code-o-philes, looking at and reviewing these new devices: they’re just not for us.

This post is part of a pro/con series written with ReadWriteWeb’s Marshall Kirkpatrick, who argues that he waited a year to buy an iPhone, and this time, he’s going to be first in line. Click here to read his counter-point article Life’s Too Short: I’m Getting an iPad Right Away.

The iPad is for that 75% to 85% of the rest of the population, the couch sitters and TV watchers, the full-time employees who don’t blog, code or anything of the sort. They watch videos, read articles, send quick notes to friends and family on Facebook, play some online Scrabble and call it a day. The iPad is for the average Internet user.

For me, the more technical, content creator type of user, the iPhone and netbook combination is where it’s at. On the go, the iPhone can handle quick microblogging, photos, chatting, location-based services, video, information retrieval and even very basic content creation and interaction, with things like the Facebook app. Unlike the netbook, it’s always on and readily available in my side pocket.

The netbook is the perfect compliment to the iPhone. It weighs three pounds, is about an inch thick at its widest point, and it has a few of my favorite, most used features – a mouse (with both a right and left button), a keyboard (nearly full-sized, even), a web cam (though I’m not personally big for being on camera) and multitasking. If I’m going to actually sit myself down and get on the Internet, I’m going to be doing five things at once, likely typing like a madman the whole while. I’m cutting and pasting, switching from one app to another, one tab to another, and editing photos along the way.

So my question becomes, where does the iPad fit into this equation? The answer for me is “nowhere”.

But I certainly don’t think that the answer is “nowhere” for all of us.

The iPad will make the perfect coffee table item, the ideal traveling media center and the great reading-on-the-train-to-work solution. It will be an always-on device that you reach for quickly, when you want to know a mid-conversation answer or you’re sitting around watching TV and want to visit the website that just popped on screen.

But, until it will compete with my netbook, as Steve Jobs so aptly pointed out it wasn’t going to do, it won’t be doing anything for me.

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