Magical iPad? More like a Maxipad.

Unbelievable. I will start by saying that I am an Apple fan. I bought my first one in like 1983...or something like that. Anyway, always been a Macintosh user. Love it. And the iPhone is cool, but I don't have AT&T. The iTouch is fun for my daughter, but she had to buy it with her own money. I do draw the line somewhere.

So now...the iPad. What a stupid name for a stupid device. A giant iTouch that does more than the regular.... In other words, a Maxipad. Sorry, but that's what the name invokes in me. Normally I'm not really a fan of sophomoric humor or gratuitous stupidity, but I'm making an exception here.

If you haven't seen it...take a look.

I admit, I am not a technogeek. I am pretty dim-witted when it comes to all the new gadgets. But really, I'm not a moron.

Just look at all the iPad does. Hmmm. Shows photos. Ooooh. Plays videos. Aaaaaah. It's an eReader. Woooo Hooo. Been there done that. Plays games. Uh Huh.

Maybe we should talk about what it doesn't do. First, too big to clip on a beltloop, you'll need a maxi-clamp (that one is courtesy of my daughter.) Can't take photos. And most of all, you can't call home. I mean really. Here I thought the big news was going to be you could Video Chat or at least phone home on this lightweight device with the big screen. I waited and waited for the big finale. And waited some more. Never happened. I had money in hand, people....this was the big one. Or not.

So exactly what is the point. It doesn't weigh as much? You can add $30 a month for service to your phone bill? And they have their own online ebook store? Now I have nothing against ebooks. They serve their purpose. Can't lug a library on the plane with you. Or into a waiting room. But at home? Sitting in front of the fireplace curled up with your ebook reader????

Have you ever seen a child hug a Kindle? Any parent will tell you how their little ones loves books so much they will hug them fiercely and say read it again! Read it again! Don't think it works that way with ebooks. Plus who's gonna buy a kindle for every bathroom! And I'm not ignorant regarding the environmental impact of printing, but we know how to print responsibly, and few people every throw away their books. They are lovingly read over and over again, collected, sold, fact the only example of a bookless society I can think of right at this moment is Soylent Green, where books were a thing of the past thanks to environmental catastrophe.

Me, I'm a Barnes and Noble kind of gal. Love that store. It's a beaut. I love books. Not eBooks. Books. I have a huge collection, old, new... They smell good.

And next week while avid readers browse the shelves at our local B&N, my daughter and other local students will be at the piano they set up to provide a little musical interlude for their literary, cultured, patrons. They have books, Starbucks AND local talent.

Can't really do that on the new iPad. Can you play the iTunes in the background while you use iBooks? They didn't mention that. They never showed any multi-tasking. Combined with the stupid name, makes me think this thing is a guy's invention all the way. A little Bach with your Shakespeare? Probably not. Shakespeare is best read in hardcover anyway, with big gilded lettering on the spine, and calligraphy font on the title page.

Then there's the money. $499 plus $30 a month. Hmmm. That's about $860 the first year. For an overgrown iTouch. Because that's just the "starter" model. Fully loaded add another $400 bucks. And then there is the whole AT&T thing. What did I just say? I don't have an iPhone cause I don't have AT&T. uh, duh, guess I won't have an iPad either.

But wait, there's a whole new dock! with a keyboard? So you can use it well, just like your iMac sitting on the desk. The one that cost about the same and does a whole lot more?

I know, everyone is a bit disappointed. But does anyone else notice what this is really about? It's marketing 101 folks. Give them something that makes them come back for more. The App Store. The iBook Store. The iTunes Store. The NYTimes and cohorts. Ka-ching. AT&T contract. iWorks updates and upgrades. Ka-ching. You can buy hundreds of tunes and thousands of books and never actually have something tangible to show for it. And Apple used to represent the counterculture. Hmm. Nice image if they can get anyone to believe them anymore.

So, Apple, Mr. Jobs in particular, let me know when you have something truly magical and revolutionary to report.

For now, I'll use what I've got. It's called a laptop, or in Apple world, a Macbook. And it's paid for.

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