Why I bought an iPad 2

Summary:Even though I am heavily invested in the Android tablet space, frustration drove me to purchase an iPad 2.

There are a few tablets around my office that I have used in every aspect of my life and work. These include Android tablets big and small, a BlackBerry PlayBook, and even an HP TouchPad sitting quietly in its Touchstone dock. I have used at least a dozen different Android tablets in addition to the two I own. I use tablets heavily, and have grown increasingly frustrated over the inconsistent user experience. That is why I just bought an iPad 2.

I find the HP TouchPad to be far ahead of all Android Honeycomb tablets as the user experience provided by webOS is much better than that of Honeycomb. Sadly, HP has orphaned the TouchPad, and it makes no sense to use it as my main tablet. I need my mobile devices to evolve, in both system capability and apps available, and that's not going to happen for the TouchPad.

Given the TouchPad's awful situation, lately I have turned back to the Android tablet for my daily tablet fix. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a sweet piece of hardware, but it is saddled with the mess that is Honeycomb. The same Android inconsistent performance and implementation that drove me to the iPhone 4S, has now driven me to the iPad 2.

Tablets are very personal devices as they are used in the hands. Laggy performance, inconsistent app controls, and long app load times add up to a jarring, annoying user experience. A key ingredient for a tablet to be well received is smooth operation. When you tap something on the screen, the expected action should happen immediately. When you scroll down a long list or web page, that should happen with fluid motion. That is not the case with Android tablets.

A bit of history is needed to set the stage for the iPad 2 purchase. I bought the original iPad when it was first launched, and instantly felt it was going to start the tablet craze that followed. I liked using the iPad, even though there weren't a lot of good apps for it back then, and it became an integral part of my gadget usage.

When the original Galaxy Tab arrived, I was drawn to the 7-inch form that better fit how I used tablets at the time. I picked up one with integrated 3G from Sprint, and I still use it today. When I hit the point that I was using the smaller Tab most of the time, I sold the iPad as it was just sitting there.

Owning the original iPad played a role in the purchase of the iPad 2. I was already invested in the iOS ecosystem, through the earlier iPad ownership and the iPhone 4S I recently bought. Every app I have ever bought in the App Store was sitting there waiting to install on the new iPad 2. I didn't have to invest a single cent to get going with the new iPad 2.

I will be detailing my usage of the iPad 2 in the future, but rest assured I am quite happy with the purchase. The hardware is typical Apple quality, and the software works as expected. It is smooth and snappy, and already impacting my work in a positive way. It just works.

See also:

Topics: Laptops, Android, Hardware, iPad, Mobility, Tablets

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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