Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

Summary: On Monday morning, I shipped my original iPad out to a buyer. Two days later, I'm counting the hours until I can buy a new one.

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On Monday morning, I shipped my original iPad out to a buyer. Two days later, I'm counting the hours until I can buy a new one.

I thought it was a good idea at the time.

On the day of the iPad 2 announcement, the folks at Gazelle.com contacted me and told me they would begin offering cold, hard cash for original iPads. Not only did I decide to write an article about it, but I figured I'd try the service myself. At that time, early in the day, prices were at their high, so I didn't hesitate in accepting their offer.

Hours later, shortly after the announcement, Apple dropped their iPad 1 prices significantly, dumping remaining inventory on the reseller channel, and the secondary market on used devices hit rock bottom. Thankfully, Gazelle is still committing to "lock in" their original offer provided my device is in the condition I said it was in, so I'm expecting to get a decent amount of cash back to put towards an iPad 2.

Still, the experience has been bittersweet. I immediately noticed something the morning after I had it shipped out to Gazelle. I was having ... issues.

The first thing I did when I woke up in the morning was reach for my iPad on my nightstand. It wasn't there.

"Honey, where's my iPad?"

"You had me send it out USPS to that Gazelle place in Boston. You went nuts backing it up to my PC and wiping it yesterday, and then packed it up, remember?"

"Oh crap. Right. Gazelle."

So I wouldn't be reading the morning news items in bed. Nor would I be sitting down and having breakfast, drinking my coffee in the living room, and looking at my emails on my iPad. It would have to wait until I trundled downstairs in front of my main workstation. The cold, dark basement dungeon I call my Home Office.

Sure, I could have grabbed my Droid. But man, it's not the same. I could review my emails on the thing, but I rarely do more than make simple, terse replies on it. Hell, on an iPad, you can compose pretty long messages on it and nobody would have any idea you were on a tablet as opposed to your PC, unless you have "Sent from my iPad" in your signature.

And yeah, I am one of those jackasses that actually does that.

And reading news and web pages on a smartphone? Even on the largest of smartphone screens, such as on a HTC EVO 4G with a 4.3" display, it's still nowhere near as natural and comfortable a reading device as a 10" tablet. On an iPad, I have my choice of reading real web sites in their natural, non-mobile presentation.

On an Android phone? Not so much.

And the full screen news reader apps? Sure, I got Pulse on both my Droid and on my ... well, I had it on my iPad. But man, it isn't the same on a smartphone! News360! Flipbook! Instapaper! Bloomberg! CNN! Google News! The New York Times! Full-screen goodness that I don't have to squint at at 7:30AM!

The funny thing is, I didn't have an iPad a year ago. Tablets were the stuff of science fiction. I got up in the morning, I grabbed my Droid. I squinted at it, and saw there were things that needed my attention. I ran downstairs to my dungeon and went straight to work, all bleary-eyed. Sometime in the next hour, my wife would knock on my door and bring me breakfast.

Maybe if I was lucky, in a few hours, she'd bring me lunch, or I'd rush upstairs, wolf it down in about 15 minutes and return to my PC taskmaster.

I didn't get to hang out in my living room on my nice comfy couch and start the day gracefully, and have the flexibility of leaving my office and still be able to work in a much less stressful environment.

With the iPad, I could go upstairs for a few hours, read work documents and mess with presentations with my colleagues on conference calls and author a few blog posts for ZDNet -- either lying down on the couch in the living room or even cuddled up in bed with my dogs during the cold winter.

Being able to escape the confines of the office, with my iPad I'd be just as productive as I would be typing in front of my main Linux workstation right now. In some ways, I can be even more productive, since it allows me to be more task-focused.

And when I'm travelling? Although I have a notebook computer for doing serious work at the office and in customer environments, the iPad is still the biggest friend I have. I use it in airport lounges, on the airplane, and in hotel rooms at night as my most trusted companion and most valued entertainment device.

Nothing beats the iPad for looking at customer deliverables, PDF files and reading technical material such as design documents and component diagrams. Or even catching up with a nice book or finding out about the local restaurant and club scene. And you can't beat the games and the apps on an iPad.

For watching movies lying in bed in your hotel suite, the iPad is fantastic. Sure, notebook computers can do all these things, but not with nearly as much comfort and ease. And when I got sick and practically incapacitated, The iPad was invaluable for researching about some nasty bug I caught.

Since my iPad went away, I've been staying up later at night. I stay downstairs until midnight, browsing the web and working on articles. This wasn't the case when my iPad was here. I'd shut down my workstation at about 8, and go upstairs and hang out with my wife.

Sure, maybe I wouldn't be paying attention to everything she was doing, but I'd least be in the same room, switching back and forth between converstation and focusing on research or snippets of content consumption on my iPad.

Heck, she could watch one of her stupid "Dancing with the Chef Survivor" shows and at least I could pretend to be interested, instead of holing myself up in my office for hours and hours on end.

So, when does iPad 2 go on sale, exactly? 5PM Friday? Where can I get one? An Apple Store? Target? Best Buy? WHY DIDN'T YOU DO PRE-ORDERS, STEVE JOBS???? WHY??? I'M LOST! LOST I TELL YOU! I CAN'T WAIT ANOTHER 48 HOURS!

Has the iPad or another tablet device made a huge impact in improving the quality of your life? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

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

About

Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

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94 comments
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  • get a laptop, much more useful

    instead of going to main workstation - The cold, dark basement dungeon call Home Office.
    FADS_z
    • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

      @FADS_z
      Exactly...
      mjlaverty@...
    • Read the article

      @FADS_z
      He has a laptop but finds that it is not as pleasant to use as his tablet.
      use_what_works_4_U
      • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

        @macadam

        That's not @FADS_z's point. If he has a laptop that he can place on the kitchen table or in the living room, why does he need to go to his allegedly miserable basement office to surf the web? We all get that he feels a toy gadget is more useful than a real PC.
        aep528
      • The point

        @aep528<br>And you have failed to grasp my point which is that reading is fundamental, while trolling is even less productive than "a toy gadget". Had FADS_z wanted to make the point then the cogent reply would be along the lines of 'use your laptop' rather than implying that the author has not the tools for the job.<br><br>Either way, Jason has had his iPad for the best part of a year now. He is an IT professional and most certainly no fan of Apple products (in general). Yet in the time that he's had the iPad, it has transformed his daily life to such a degree that the lack has become a significant sore spot for him. You, FADS_z, and many others may choose to denigrate the iPad as "a toy gadget" but I have seen this device being used in the field for highly technical work and it does change the game. I don't own one yet, but I am trying to keep an open mind. When someone with a year's hands on experience writes a piece like this I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt. Anyone who hasn't used the device <i>for any appreciable amount of time</i> is just a less informed (often totally uninformed) heckler.
        use_what_works_4_U
      • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

        @macadam Not as pleasant? What does that mean? What he really is saying is that he doesn't want to use his laptop because he doesn't want to admit that it's more useful and face up to the fact that he doesn't "need" the iPad.
        mrxxxman
      • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

        Really? Or is he just trying to convince himself more than the reader of his lame article. Please, I use my Macbook Pro in bed all the time, no problem and it's very pleasant. It's actually easier to type in bed on a laptop than it is on an iPad. Try it sometime and you'll see.
        mrxxxman
      • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

        @mrxxxman
        So what you are saying is that because his personal preference is different than yours, he is automatically a liar? Really? Only YOU know what is correct for the entire world?

        I have typed with a laptop and a touch device (granted a phone so not quite the same) in bed and it is easier to do with the laptop. So what? I would tend to use a touch device differently than a laptop anyway.
        Your opinion is valid, and I don't disagree that it's easy to use a laptop in bed. Jason's opinion is just as valid for him as yours is for you, though. Apparently your ego won't allow for differences of opinion, though.

        P.S. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pleasant
        use_what_works_4_U
      • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

        @macadam My takeaway was, despite the recent article on Lifehacker trying to defend the iPad as a content creation device, the author is making the case that the iPad is good for... looking at stuff. Other than his mention of sending e-mails, almost everything else is reading emails, reading news, reading PDFs, watching movies, etc. I'm not sure if that's the case the author wished to make, however. Especially with the repeated comments about how he could have done this or that on his Droid, after reading this I'm left unshaken in my initial impression that the current crop of tablets are giant smart phones without the phone.
        jgm@...
    • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

      @FADS_z AMEN
      ItsTheBottomLine
    • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

      With the iPad's interactive display and using it without lifting a lid to close or open I think its worth it. The new iPad 2 really is a masterpiece by Apple with more features that consumers could use anytime and anywhere. Tablets seems good but we want more than just that.

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  • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

    Or you could use a WP7 phone. I wake up, read the tech news, do my emails and it's just as good or bad for typing as the iPad. ;-)

    Of course, if I need to do real work, I grab the Win 7 netbook.
    tonymcs@...
    • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

      @tonymcs@...
      You mean there is a 10" WP7 phone? Which one?

      Yes, of course I am being cheeky. You cannot compare a small phone display on any device with a 10" iPad screen. As for using a netbook rather than an iPad, well, sadly, you just don't understand . . .
      Wakemewhentrollsgone
      • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

        @ptorning But the issue is is good enough. 4.3" still might be too small, but I use my 5" Dell Streak now more than I use my Macbook Pro for a whole number of things especially email and web browsing. The 5" screen at 800x480 is more than good enough to do what I need on it and I take it with me everywhere. Oh, btw, it's also my cell phone.
        mrxxxman
    • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

      @tonymcs@...
      LAME!
      Hasam1991
    • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

      @tonymcs@...

      I'd like to take the time and Welcome WP7 users to 2007. Were before the option of tablets, many just reached over and grab the iPhone (Android came later) to read web, do emails etc from bed.

      MS may eventually see the light and release a WP7 tablet in 2014, were we will welcome you once again tonymcs.
      dave95.
      • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

        @dave95. Before 2007 user would use their PDA to read email, surf the web, listen to music, open office documents of all types and without paying fees one pays today to have internet access on mobile devices all you needed was a wireless access point or a RJ45 connection with a touch screen to top it off. Now they may not have been as advance aas your smart phone is today but there should be a davice like it today that is not tied to any of todays wireless commu ication companys especially since WiFi is become accessible free thru many places starting with the workplace.
        jerryelp
    • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

      @tonymcs@... For real work, Win 7 Netbook is the best.
      High Altitude
      • You have GOT to be kidding!

        @High Altitude
        I had a Windows 7 netbook (Dell Mini 10v) and for anything more than simple word processing it was terribly slow. Heaven forbid I should try to do anything graphically complex with the device in that set up. I put Ubuntu on it and it got much faster and more usable. In the end the <i>only</i> advantage for web-based tasks that it has over my EVO Shift (even on 3G let alone 4G or WiFi) is the screen size. When it comes to spreadsheets, graphical manipulation (I create a lot of documents with marked up screen grabs), or video playback, the Dell stalls, stutters, and/or just plain takes a long time to finish a task.

        I have nothing against netbooks, and I think Windows 7 is a fantastic OS overall. Having said that, the "netbooks are the answer and will set you free" crowd really make me laugh.
        use_what_works_4_U
    • RE: Apple iPad withdrawal: Why I want my tablet back, now!

      @tonymcs@... You mean the WP7 phone I have yet to see in public since release? I was in Houston and Mexico last week, all I saw at the airport and resort were blackberries, iPhones, and Android phones..<br><br>ZERO WP7.

      I'm starting to think the Windows Mobile device owners are on a limited budget and can't afford to travel, they hide in their homes out of fear of ridicule...kind of like Zune owners who never went to the social.
      Brick Tamland