Pro, con iPad opinions run the gamut

There is little middle ground in opinion for and against the Apple iPad.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read

Defining the iPad is a work in progress. Toward that end, readers made strong arguments for and against the iPad in response to a post one day after sales of the device began.

In that earlier blog, I listed some of the reasons buyers gave for lining up to purchase the iPad on April 3, the first day of sales. The reasons and reader responses to those reasons are worth a second look since the iPad, like the iPhone, is one of those products that could alter the computing landscape permanently.

How exactly this will play out is of course still unclear. One reader, however, argued that the iPad will create a more pronounced "schism" between those who "create a lot of content"--i.e., people who use more powerful Macs and PCs--and "all the rest"--the latter defined as people who use small, highly-mobile computers like the iPad and Netbook for media consumption and light productivity.

Apple Store in southern California on first day of iPad sales. Brooke Crothers

Comments were varied, running the gamut from readers who thought the device was redundant and/or impractical to those who thought it to be a worthy purchase.

Here's a sampling, pro and con:

  • Hard to justify: "I love Apple products....However I can't justify purchasing this device...A novelty product."
  • Steamroller: "Apple haters, technical scowlers, squinters, and grouches--eat your hearts out because the IPad is going to take over the world."
  • Productivity versus consumption: "My home computer will suffice for the number crunching, code compiling and media encoding needs. The iPad will be my encyclopedia, mailbox, newspaper, library, music jukebox, video player for the home and on the go."
  • Regression: "People are paying for something that does less than what we've been doing before...Because we want to be able to do two things at once (multitasking)...that makes us nerds?"
  • Better than a Kindle: "Much as I hate to admit it, I'm likely to be an early adopter as soon as the 3G arrives...I have to read & review a lot of academic papers on the go. Not a great use for a laptop, iPhone is too small, notetaking on the Kindle (and PDF handling) way too limited."
  • Useless: "The more i read about the iPad, the more it angers me...its SO useless. a 500 dollar + device, for really really bad reasons. High end netbooks, that can do multitudes more, are cheaper. I can't wait till more people realize how bad this device is, and it plummets."
  • Apple allure: "One glaringly obvious reason is missing from this list. 'Because it's from apple.' Like apple, hate it, or anything in between, you still have to recognize...brand loyalists who would buy any product Steve Jobs waved in front of their faces because it was the latest greatest thing."