Why I need an iPad

How to justify the purchase of an iPad.

A guest blog by PPUG's Bob Snow.

I still have my 2G iPhone and am trying to wrap my head around getting an iPad and have it be justified. Then Apple announcement that iPhone 4.0 software would leave my iPhone unsupported.

Eureka!

I could pawn my 2G iPhone off on my spouse and go cold turkey with a dumb phone until the 3G iPad arrives. The Mrs moves from a Razr V3 to the world of smartphones. She has all of the same aha experiences I had three years ago with the new to her iPhone. I have a Razr again (Oh boy!). All I need is a Bluetooth headset and I am good to go.

Now for the convoluted rationalizations that make this all hang together.

I cannot justify two data plans. In fact my usage of the EDGE-only iPhone averages about 70MB per month with an unlimited $20 plan. I will opt for the $15/250MB plan on my new iPad and I'll save $5 per month.

I use my iPhone to make (maybe) three phone calls a day. No texting. About an hour of reading email, web surfing and listening to music during my light rail commute each day. I keep five hundred photos on my iPhone and use a few dozen apps. I would like to try reading books and watching TV shows on my commute on the bigger screen. No more squinting at tiny web pages.

Long weekend vacations always create a dilemma. To bring the MacBook or not to bring the MacBook. Will there be outrageous Wi-Fi room charges? Is there a PC for guests to use? Do I want to unplug all the cables and lug a computer on vacation? Hell no, I almost always bring my iPhone with Urban Spoon and make due with the tiny screen.

I brown bag my lunch, so I carry a messenger bag to and from work. The iPad will fit nicely, but what about the other times? Will I be lugging around the messenger bag as a sort of man-purse when I would normally just travel with a wallet in one pocket and iPhone in the other?

If the iPad had phone functionality it would be much easier to justify! I would just pair it with a headset and have all my needs met. I will miss the seamless ability to answer a phone call by pushing a button, only to have my music start back up as I end the call. Should I just wait for the next iPhone rumored to have twice the screen resolution and faster processor? Similar issues plagued me when I purchased my very first 128k Mac, QuickTake 100 camera, Newton Message Pad and 1G iPod. No regrets. Well, maybe just the Newton.