Friday, April 2, 2010
Most writers I know seem to be immune to iPad hysteria.
Why? For us the iPad is a toy, not a tool. It's for fun, not for work.
Write on its flat screen keyboard? Are you kidding? We need a tactile keyboard, one that gives us the feedback of a satisfying click when a key is struck accurately.
Most of us need to print out what we've written. You can't do that with an iPad. You have to upload your work to a computer attached to a printer. (Some of us who write on the road carry small portable printers in our briefcases or glove boxes so that we can quickly print out a fresh new passage for editing on paper as well as for secure storage.)
E-mail? We do that with our Blackberrys and Sidekicks.
Apps? We do that with our iPhones and iPod Touches, too.
E-books? Ditto. (I just finished reading the 14th book on my iTouch, Candice Millard's River of Doubt. What a hair-raising experience that book is.)
The iPad, however, does those last five things wondrously well, and is bound be a splendid entertainment machine for a great many people, even though it is larger than a smartphone, is utterly unpocketable, and needs something to be carried in. (It won't be long before you see upscale commuters ostentatiously bearing them in "man purses" from Hermes, Gucci and Ralph Lauren.)
Even I might get an iPad someday. But not for work on the road.
For that I'll carry a Macbook in the car and a Toshiba netbook on planes and trains.