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What Would Sydney Do With an iPad?

28 Jan, 2010 By: Stephanie Prange

stephanie prange

Whenever I contemplate new technology from Apple, I like to think of my daughter Sydney (11), and what she would do with it. She got an iPod Touch (8GB) for Christmas and hasn’t put it down much since. She LOVES Apple devices and has had an iPod of some sort since she was 8.

Apple this week unveiled its much-hyped iPad, a 9.7-inch touch-screen device that allows for Web browsing, plays movies, music and games, and can run more than 140,000 applications. The iPad is half an inch thick, weighs 1.5 pounds and has a battery life of 10 hours. The device will be available in late March at $499 for a 16 GB model, $599 for a 32GB model and $699 for a 64 GB model. The device has Wi-Fi, however Apple is also releasing versions with both wireless and 3G, with pre-paid data plans available through AT&T. Those models will come in April and will be priced at $629, $729 and $829. Apple also introduced a new iBooks application for iPad, as well as a version of iWork.

Now, just about the only thing Sydney can’t do with well her Touch that she could do with the iPad is read online books. She watches movies on the Touch, plays music and emails her friends through our Wi-Fi connection at home. Still, if we got her the lowest-priced model iPad she’d double her gigabytes for $300 more and have a much bigger screen on which to watch movies.

But where would she be able to use it? Certainly not at school. I wouldn’t let her haul around a screen in her backpack that looks like it would crack the minute she dropped it on the floor. And I can’t exactly see her pulling it out to email someone or listen to music. The Touch is a better device for that.

She might be able to use it at home to watch movies in her room on a bigger screen than the Touch when the other two HDTVs and the laptop are in use. But that’s not often.

Now, if Sydney were in high school or college, she could replace her laptop with the iPad, but I’m not so sure it measures up in terms of capacity and speed. It’s lighter, but you pay for that in power.

As devices go, the iPad looks pretty cool, but is it the kind of hybrid device that will revolutionize media? I just don’t know. For every iPhone and iPod success from Apple, there’s always the cautionary tale of AppleTV. That device was going to revolutionize media in the home but quickly became a footnote.

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