I admit it: I had tablet envy! Here's how I overcame it.

I admit it: I had tablet envy! Here's how I overcame it.

Summary: After all this tablet envy, it turns out I just don't want one. At all.

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This is a cautionary/therapeutic tale for those of you who, like me, have wrestled with a most horrible condition known as "tablet envy:" the desire to own your fellow man/woman's tablet device, despite the fact that you know you don't need it and you probably won't use it past the first week you buy it! You just really, really, really want one. Ergo, if, like me, you finally do decide to take the plunge and buy one, you may want to consider the approach I took which left me out only ~$50 shy of what I put into the venture when all was said and done. Remember when Apple announced the iPad? I do. The name was a joke, people (including me) were bagging on it as being an over-sized iPod Touch, and the price was right on-par for Apple products (see: overpriced). Despite those points, I still wanted one. Why? Because, right on-par for Apple products, it looked attractive and I just wanted one, darn it! Plus, there were a number of apps from my iPod Touch that I wanted to see on a larger device. But I refrained, unable to justify the cost for something I felt would be an extremely temporary experience. Fast-forward to about 2 months ago and I'd finally had enough. Since the launch of the iPad, a number of companies put out their own tablets at significantly lower price points than the iPad, so I decided it was time to do the deal and feed the monster inside of me that craved a tablet. And just what did I decide to buy, you ask? Good question! I went with a NOOK Color -- Barnes and Noble's version of a Kindle, essentially. But why would I go with a Kindle-like device if I wanted a fully-functional tablet? Because they're only $250 and there's an extremely active community of enthusiasts who have figured out how to install a custom Android mod on the thing. Translation: For $250, you end up with an Android-powered tablet that's been compared (specs-wise) to a $500 Galaxy Tab. That said, while the NOOK Color has its shortcomings, if you're just shooting for appeasing your inner tablet monster and testing the waters, this is definitely the way to go. And, really, you can get in at less than $200 with all the work done for you of modding the NOOK Color if you just buy one pre-modded off of eBay, but that comes with risks all its own. So, how did I end up out of ~$50? Well, put simply, I sold it to our very own social business guru, Rich Harris. I'm curious to see what he thinks about it, but as for me, I used the device for maybe two weeks straight. I loaded it with games, games, and more games. And you know what? I knew that's exactly what I was going to do! I knew that I wouldn't use it for reading ebooks, browsing the Web, productivity apps, or anything else. But I had stalled long enough and thought to myself, "You know what? I can get in at a reasonable price point and see if I actually will utilize the device for more than the games I have on my Android phone." Nope. My favorite part of the device was using a Nintendo emulator on it. I mean, I loved all the games I played on it, but it was exceptionally great playing Nintendo games on a hand-held screen that size. However, I've never been a fan of soft-controls, so that limited me to only really enjoying games where you don't have to be a wiz on the D-pad (Ninja Gaiden, Contra, R.C. Pro Am, etc. -- those games are OUT). So, that's about it! Quite underwhelming, isn't it? As you can see, I really had no business buying a tablet, and I knew it. But I still wanted one anyway, what with all the tablet stimuli out there these days. All-in-all, I've totally cured myself of tablet envy! Now, when I see someone with an iPad or something of the sort, I think to myself, "SUCCESS!" And that's about the time I look over at someone else who has some sort of gadget or doohickey I really want, despite knowing I probably wouldn't use it, either. What a vicious cycle gadget envy is, no? Anyone out there with a surefire cure for that? A bit of Buddhist philosophy, perhaps? :) Now, how about you? I'm curious to hear any similar tales/experiences on the subject of tablets. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! -Stephen Chapman
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Topics: Tablets, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

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26 comments
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  • iPad 1 is just $50 more than Nook..

    .. same price or less if you got ot used.. and completely blows the doors off of it in performance, features, apps etc... common sense could not have been used in that decision process.. makes no sense logically or economically..
    doctorSpoc
    • RE: I admit it: I had tablet envy! Here's how I overcame it.

      @doctorSpoc
      +1. iPad 1 is much better than nook color. It is like comparing a gadget with rock.
      Ram U
    • Uh, no.

      @doctorSpoc. If you can find me an Ipad for $219, then please give us a link. Ipad 1 for $319 < Nook $169 modded.

      But let us still compare the two. Ipad vs Nook Modded
      Neither of them have cameras. They both have Bluetooth and WIFI. For extra the Ipad has 3g. The Nook has a brick-and-mortar store for hands on assistance. The Ipad has no physical connectivity (SD card, HDMI, etc) and neither does the Nook save the SD card slot. The first Ipad was undeniably clunky, much fatter than the new Ipad, and weighs almost a half pound more than the Nook. The Android appstore is large, but snack size compared to the App Store. We all know about the UI for both systems, Ipad=simple gratifying and a bit boring, Android= intuitive, desktop like, difficult with learning curve

      Did I miss anything? No? Then why is the other more money? When I tried the Ipad, I did everything possible on it in 10 minutes, and I was done. Most people (25 million) said "That's simple" I was like "That's it?" Plus you have to pay for EVERY SINGLE APP that demands a price in the App Store. This was a deal breaker for me. Thanks to Androids open source, you can either download apps form the Market, or free from the internet. Many app developers release their Apps for free for testing on the web when it'd usually cost in the market.

      I have a modded Nook and I'm still finding new things to do on it, like play Zelda or Mario kart with a PS3 controller.

      As for tablet envy; you can't have it if you have a Tab you never get tired of. Apple consumers constantly have tablet envy because a new iOS device comes out every 8 months, outdating their own device.

      The Modding community releases different opperating systems DAILY. Things are never old and never outdated. The author here kind of missed out on something special here.

      Sent from my Nook using a Bluetooth keyboard.
      Fat Albert 1
      • games on a Nook... LMMFAO... that's a joke right?

        @Fat Albert 1 ...one question..where do you put the food for the hamster running on a wheel that runs the processor on a Nook.. lol.. Nook = slow as molasses.. you guys are funny and cheap.. nope.. i'm not spending 99 cents.. i'm going to scour the internet.. do you guys work or have family.. how do you have so much time to waste modding and looking for 99 cent apps for free.. you know how ridiculous you sound? are you serious? tell me you are joking..
        doctorSpoc
      • RE: I admit it: I had tablet envy! Here's how I overcame it.

        @Fat Albert 1 No one can have valid opinion on a product after spending 10 mins with it. Plus as a dev, I like it when people actually pay for what I release when I put a price on it. It's like being paid for work done.
        IAmMarty
      • Uh huh, No

        @doctorSpoc ... You were the one that said you could find an Ipad for 219 dollars. Hit the road to looney land. And please, let me add this up for you.

        Each iOS owner downloads 60 apps <http://www.macstories.net/news/on-average-each-ios-device-has-downloaded-60-apps/>
        The average price for an app on the iPad is $4.67! <http://www.tuaw.com/2010/05/04/average-ipad-app-price-is-1-more-than-iphone-apps/>

        Now lets see, 60x 4.57 is... $274 and 20 cents. Not going to have 60 apps? OK, even if you get half that with 10 free apps you're still dishing out over 91 dollars. This crap can add up like coffee. And after spending a minimum of 319 dollars on your iPad, simplicity isn't too simple on this thing, no matter what the UI is.

        And then to have it outdated in 8-12 months. No. The Nook is automatically overclocked to 1100 mhz and the option to push higher. I've even been able to play dual core Tegra 2 games flawlessly. NOVA 2, Asphalt 6, BIA2, Modern Combat, Backbreaker THD, Samurai Vengence THD, Riptide GP, and just about any N64 and PS1 game. That right there would probably put you back 50 dollars without even the N64 and PS1 emulator

        @IAmMarty you should have a talk with doctorSpoc about judging too quickly. And while your at it, explain to me what I missed on the iPad 1. I think doctorSpoc has tablet envy...
        Fat Albert 1
      • You're complaining about paying for apps?

        Why?

        You're choosing to not go for free alternatives, you're the one at fault.
        Michael Alan Goff
  • I love my iPad

    I never touched a Mac for ten years or more, 100% Windows & Linux. A student told me to get an iPad and he was right! It is so much faster & easier to use Twitter, read Kindle books, surf the Web, & do email. Always on the Internet with 3G inside, and the battery lasts all day. From the first day I got it it replaced 80% - 90% of my PC use, and that has not changed a bit 3 months later.
    sbowne@...
    • RE: I admit it: I had tablet envy! Here's how I overcame it.

      @sbowne@... can you write an email on a iPad or any other tablet without getting annoyed ?
      AdnanPirota
  • Message has been deleted.

    fashiongile
  • I had a very similar problem, Stephen.

    I had a bad case of car envy. I saw people driving around in cars and I wanted one really, really, REALLY bad. So to see if I would like a car, I got a go-cart for $200. I had fun for a couple of weeks driving it around and around the block, then I sold it. But that experience showed me that cars aren't at all what they're cracked up to be. Now I look at people in cars and think to myself "SUCCESS!" What good are cars if all you can do is drive around and around the block in them? So now I am totally cured of car envy, and I feel much better.
    Userama
    • RE: I admit it: I had tablet envy! Here's how I overcame it.

      @Userama Brilliant!
      Jeremy-UK
    • RE: I admit it: I had tablet envy! Here's how I overcame it.

      @Userama lol
      IAmMarty
  • RE: I admit it: I had tablet envy! Here's how I overcame it.

    You can actually activate the bluetooth when you root it allowing you to use the wii controller and accessories (including the classic controller for n64 games) instead of those horrible soft controls.
    Nooterbooter
  • RE: I admit it: I had tablet envy! Here's how I overcame it.

    I agree its a bit silly comparing something that wasn't even designed to be a general purpose tablet with an iPad, That said my ipad mostly sits on my desk now I can't see any real point in using a tablet unless you are out and about since my PC does all it will do and more - on the other side of the desk is a netbook equally unused!

    I cant understand how anyone would want to use a touch screen (or a touch pad) anytime they had access to full size keyboard and mouse!
    cymru999
    • RE: I admit it: I had tablet envy! Here's how I overcame it.

      @cymru999 Yep if you're a person who is always near a computer, a second display is probably as useful.
      Jeremy-UK
  • RE: I admit it: I had tablet envy! Here's how I overcame it.

    Grow up! This is quite the most pathetic entry on ZDNet today (and that's saying something). So you're STILL ragging on a product you haven't used? You did use some cheap 'knockoff' that you hacked together yourself and when that was [word fail me here, let's just say it wasn't very good and leave it at that shall we?] you decided this was a reason the iPad wasn't worth having. Am I paraphrasing correctly?

    Even now you think this witless behaviour worthy of a blog entry? Argh!
    Jeremy-UK
    • RE: I admit it: I had tablet envy! Here's how I overcame it.

      @Jeremy-UK tablets are nothing more than too-large smartphones, he is right and he actually cured me too :)
      AdnanPirota
  • Overpriced?

    Do you want to back that up with some shop and compare with other comparable tablets or you just going to go with that old and tired generalization about Apple?
    sportmac
  • RE: I admit it: I had tablet envy! Here's how I overcame it.

    I could understand if you had bought one of the cheap Android tablets and complained how you didn't like it or need it, but buying a Nook for this article is ridiculous. I bought a 7" Galaxy Tab since I find myself using my phone for everything but I wanted a bigger screen. I still use it and find it very capable. However, I use it for more than just games. In your article you only tried using this as a Nintendo DS! If you only want to play games buy a PSP or DS instead. If you want to use a tablet for real work and social networking and web then buy a real tablet.

    This is very spotty "reporting".
    Cyberpyr8