The iPad 2: Why Apple has finally convinced me to buy a tablet

When Apple first introduced the iPad in early 2010, I wasn't convinced. However, after today's announcement, I think I'm going to jump on the bandwagon. Here's why.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

When Apple first introduced the iPad in early 2010, I wasn't convinced. However, after today's announcement, I think I'm going to jump on the bandwagon. Here's why.

To start, I'm going to explain why I was so adamantly opposed to buying the first iPad.

First, I refuse to buy first-generation Apple products anymore. I learned this mistake all too well with the iPod mini, which never even made it to a third generation. The biggest problem I had with that device (as well as with a 12-inch PowerBook and 13-inch MacBook), the battery diminished within months. I can't count how many times I traded it in at the Apple Store for a new one (thanks to AppleCare's extended warranty), but I know it was at least on three occasions within the span of a year.

I will admit, however, that I haven't always taken my own advice. I did buy the first-generation iPhone with its shiny silver backside in December 2007, six months after the wunderkind was released. However, I caved, which I don't entirely regret it as it was my first smartphone and at the time it felt like it changed my life. Nevertheless, the iPhone 3G made its debut only six months later, and I was stuck with the Edge network and only 8GB of storage space until I got the iPhone 4 in August 2010.

Secondly, I refuse to buy products just because they have the Apple name brand attached. I will disclose that I own a 13-inch MacBook Pro, following the two aforementioned laptops. So obviously, I'm not going to deny that I'm a bit of a Mac lover. But the biggest example I can provide here is Apple TV. I was actually quite excited about this one prior to the announcement of the second-generation box as I do have a couple of season passes (Glee and Gossip Girl - don't hate me). Yet, I was hoping the new Apple TV would have its own hard drive so I wouldn't have to try to stream content from my computer to my television. Once the latest Apple TV was introduced last September with the rental model, I said, "forget it."

This is how I felt about the iPad. I was excited about it, but then it lacked many of the specs I hoped for - namely a front-facing camera and an SD card slot. It's also become clear that Apple usually steps up the specs on a second-generation product while making the price more attractive to consumers. I just wasn't ready to pay $499 for 16GB of SSD space, so I was definitely going to wait. I wanted a larger portable device so I could get work done while traveling, but I was quite opposed to the idea of typing on a touch screen.

To remedy that situation, I bought an HP Mini 110 on Black Friday last year. While it is a fine netbook with plenty of storage space and it worked well enough, I'm not a netbook person. I'm an impatient person - especially when it comes to slow technology. Processors on netbooks just aren't fast enough for me yet, either when it comes to toggling between multiple windows, editing photos or watching movies on an airplane.

I also wanted an e-book reader. The primary reasons as to why I bought the Nook Color was because it fit in any bag easily and I could read magazines in their proper form rather than just the text available on the electronic ink version of the Nook or the Amazon Kindle.

However, I would prefer to have one gadget instead of two, and it would be nice to be able to sync all of my information across all of my portable devices: my MacBook Pro, my iPhone 4 and now...and iPad 2. Today's announcement really convinced me that I need to downsize my gadget inventory and just give in to buying a tablet already.

Not only are two cameras present (as rumored previously), but the iPad 2 will be sporting an A5 chip with dual-core processors that are promised to be faster than the A4 but use the same amount of power consumption. I've played around with the first-gen iPad, so I have no reservations about how speedy the iPad 2 will be with this 2x faster CPU and 9x faster graphics.

Although I didn't get my SD card slot (nor price drops), the iPad 2 is still very travel-friendly with the same 10-hour battery life but also because of a 33% thinner body and 1.3-pound weight.

As for that touch screen, I've convinced myself that I should just spring for the external portable keyboard. I forgot that I had done this with a Sony Clié handheld in college to take notes, and it worked quite well for me then. It's worth a shot now.

So come March 11, I am very likely to place an order for an iPad 2. Will you be buying the iPad 2 as well?

Editorial standards