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3 Reasons I'm Not Pre-Ordering an iPad

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that today's the day you can order -- make that pre-order -- an iPad, with delivery expected on April 3. (That girlish squeal you just heard came from our own Dave "Early Adopter" Johnson.)

As a technology writer, businessman, and longtime gadget geek, I've spent the last six weeks trying to decide if I should plunk down the ol' credit card. Final decision: no. Here's why:

  1. It's $500! And that's for the low-end, Wi-Fi-only model with just 16GB of storage. Even my iPhone has 32GB, so just to equal that I'd be looking at $600 (plus sales tax). That is not an impulse-buy price.
  2. It's a first-generation product. Remember the original iPhone? It was nice, but it pales in comparison with the newer models. The iPad 2 will almost certainly have a camera, among other desirable features, so why would I pull the trigger now?
  3. It's a toy. Maybe I'm being short-sighted, but at the moment I can't conceive of any practical value the iPad offers. Everything it can do, I do already on my iPhone. I might use it as a Web tablet while lounging around the house, but I can't recall a time when I've been sitting on the couch thinking, "You know what would be great right now? A 10-inch Web browser that lacks a keyboard. And Flash."
Will I take a trip to my local Apple Store on April 3 to grope an iPad in person? Absolutely I will. Maybe seeing and holding and using it will spark some "must have this" feelings -- but I kinda doubt it.

I said it before and I'll say it again: The iPad is interesting, but it's not a business tool. Until Apple drops the price ($299 seems about right) and gives the iPhone OS some much-needed overhauling, my money's staying in my pocket.

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