I bought an Apple iPad for two reasons: sentimental reasons and business reasons.
First, the sentimental. Twenty years ago when I worked at Wang Laboratories, I was involved in the development of a tablet PC (we called them pen PCs in those days). The Guide was a 386-based tablet with a 20 MB hard drive. It was the second production tablet PC in the market; NCR beat us to release by about two weeks.
It was called The Guide because the specification for it–I kid you not–was the electronic book described in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Unlike other tablet PCs at the time, The Guide was not a notebook with a digitizer slapped on it. Instead, it really tried to be an electronic helper–it included a modem, you could send faxes with it, and you could dictate memos via a built-in digital recorder. However, while the goal was laudable, it just wasn’t possible given the state of technology in 1990. I bought the iPad, in part, because I felt that it finally delivered on what we were trying to do two decades ago.
The business reasons. I attend conferences and day-long meetings that rarely supply electricity (or good WiFi, for that matter). If I bring my laptop, I can take notes for half a day and then my battery runs out. Also, because I can rarely connect to the Internet I can’t watch my e-mail. The iPad fixes both those problems: it has a battery life of 9+ hours and the 3G version can get e-mail anywhere.
In addition, one of my co-workers told me, “The iPad has completely changed how I read content. Instead of sitting at my desk with my PC, I load my iPad with reports and read them sitting in a chair. It’s so much more enjoyable.” And he’s right. In the past month, I’ve read more tweets and RSS feeds than I’ve read all year. And given that I need to stay on top of what’s happening in the IT world, that’s a good thing.
So those were my reasons for buying an iPad, and I’m glad I did.