So, I’m Getting an iPad After All

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I said that I was giving up on video games but I wasn’t going to sell the ones I had? Yeah, so I put all of my video games in a big box about a week ago and shipped them off to Gazelle. The tipping point came last week, when my wife and I took a day trip to our local medium-sized town, and I spent some time playing with tablets at Best Buy. I came to the sudden realization that I needed an iPad, and I was willing to give up my many video games to get it. Having put two and two together, the conclusion was simple. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

First of all, tablets. Back when I was originally going to get an iPad but then I ended up with a laptop instead, there weren’t really many options other than an iPad. When the iPad 2 first came out, there was pretty much the Motorola Xoom and, well, nothing. Now, there’s a plethora of different options. At my local Best Buy (and presumably every Best Buy) there is a large table set up with numerous tablets on display. These include a number of Android Honeycomb tablets, such as the Motorola Xoom, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Acer Iconia Tab A500, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, and the Toshiba Thrive. There’s also the Blackberry Playbook which runs RIM’s QNX operating system,  the HP TouchPad that runs HP’s WebOS, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab which runs a pre-Honeycomb version of Android. Plus, there’s a couple of other generic Android tablets that are too ugly and too painfully sluggish to bother mentioning here.

Now, there’s a part of me that roots for the underdog. I have a tendency to be attracted to the unpopular thing simply because it’s unpopular, and to be repelled by the popular thing simply because it’s popular. That’s a large part of the reason why I bought five Zunes, and resisted buying an iPod for so long, and it’s why I grew up listening to bands like Zao and Emperor instead of bands like Nirvana or 311 or Korn or whatever. So I’ve really found myself drawn to Honeycomb tablets in general, and to the Acer Iconia Tab in particular. Honeycomb tablets have gotten a bit of a bad rap on tech review websites, and the Iconia Tab in particular is kind of a thick, ugly tablet with a mediocre screen. Even so, there’s something about it that I love. Maybe it’s the fact that I have an Acer laptop. Maybe it’s the fact that it costs a hundred dollars less than an iPad. If there was a Netflix app for it I’d probably buy it instead of an iPad.

Be that as it may, I can’t deny that the iPad is the most popular tablet for one simple reason: it’s the best. My last couple of trips to Best Buy have really driven that home. Having played with all of the various tablets available, I feel the need to compare them with a terrible food analogy. I would say that the Playbook and the TouchPad are like a great loaf of multigrain bread that’s covered with mold. The Honeycomb tablets are like a delicious, greasy pizza with pepperoni, ham, bacon, mushrooms and olives, but no Italian sausage, which happens to be my absolute favorite topping. Finally, the iPad 2 is like my mother’s lasagna, i.e., the best food I could possibly imagine. It’s just leaps and bounds better than every other tablet on the market, and there’s nothing on the foreseeable horizon that could possibly change that, except for, of course, the inevitable iPad 3.

So that’s that. But what about the other part? Why did I decide to sell all of my video games right after I wrote a blog post saying that I wasn’t going to sell all of my video games? Well, as I mentioned earlier, I had a bit of an epiphany while I was playing with an iPad at Best Buy last week. As I was browsing the internets and checking out various apps and desperately wanting an iPad to call my very own, I realized that I had a bunch of video games at home that were just sitting on a shelf collecting dust. I also realized that if I sold all those video games, I would probably have enough money to buy myself an iPad. And I was right.

Now, granted, my video games are still in a big box on their way to Gazelle. So it’s entirely possible that I’ve greatly overestimated the condition of my stuff and Gazelle will write me an email that says somthing like, “Um, yeah. We’ll give you, like, 300 bucks for this stuff.” In which case I probably won’t be buying an iPad anytime soon, since they cost at least $500. But I’m pretty confident that I evaluated my stuff fairly, so hopefully Gazelle will give me what they said they’re going to give me, which was about $600.

So there you have it. It will soon be iPad time around these here parts. I’m very excited to figure out how I’m going to use it. I already know that it will be my main Netflix device. I also imagine that it’s going to become my main web-browsing device. I haven’t decided if I want to do my writing on it or not, though. I may just keep using my laptop for that, or maybe I’ll invest in a Bluetooth keyboard at some point and see what happens.

My only hope with all of this is that some other newfangled tablet doesn’t come out in the next couple of months and make me wish that I had waited. Supposedly Amazon is coming out with a new tablet soon that could be a game-changer. There have also been persistent rumors that the iPad 3 is coming sometime this fall. I hope I don’t have any reason to regret getting an iPad 2 now, but if I do, then so be it.

I suppose I could always just sell my iPad 2 to Gazelle and buy something else.

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