How I'm Using My iPad (Hint: Not How You Think)

Last Updated Jun 18, 2010 9:52 AM EDT

I've been an iPad owner for nearly two months now. In that time, I've talked about some amazing iPad business apps, more amazing iPad business apps, how to pair an iPad with a Virgin Mobile aircard, and even how giving away an iPad can be good for business.

The question is, how has the iPad fit into my work and personal life? How do I use the thing day-to-day?

Answer: I don't.


Make no mistake; I like the iPad. I think it has a cool factor that's off the charts, and I can see how it may yet evolve into a viable replacement for at least some mobile PCs. (I think its best chances lie in vertical markets -- schools, hospitals, restaurants, etc.)

But I often go days without even touching it. Why? Because just as I noted a few months ago, I have no practical use for a tablet. Sure, the Netflix app is cool, but usually I just watch the TV, thanks. As an e-book reader (I'm a big fan of e-books), the iPad is too heavy.

I suspect I'd use it more if I didn't already own an iPhone, which remains my go-to device for e-mail, the Web, Twitter, e-books, games, and apps in general. As for travel, I need a keyboard, plain and simple. Any work I do on the road involves typing, and lots of it.

So there you have it. I bought the iPad so I could write about it, but if that wasn't a requirement, I'd go back in time and save my $599 (I foolishly sprang for the 32GB model).

Do you own an iPad? If so, are you using it much? Tell me how -- or why not -- in the comments. In the meantime, be sure to read about Dave's love affair with his iPad (keeping in mind this is the same guy who thought robot dogs were cool).

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.