My Kindle is safe…for now

by Jeff Hilimire on January 28, 2010

I love my Kindle. It’s a great device. I’ve read many books on it, taken it to the beach and actually put a big zip lock over it so I can read it without getting sand it in (have you done that?). It’s a great device, no doubt about it.

But it’s ANOTHER device. My iPhone, Macbook Air and the Kindle. That’s three devices that I use a lot and my hope was that the iPad would possibly allow me to consolidate that list to two. Typically I end up leaving my Kindle at home when I travel because I really don’t want to bring two devices in my laptop bag and one in my pocket.  But to that end, when I travel I typically need my laptop for email, maybe tweaking a presentation, writing some blogs, using Twitter…and that’s about it.  And most of that I can actually do on the iPhone.  So I was hoping that the iPad would be the device that could bring the Kindle and my Air together to make a great short-travel device (and for that matter, a great sit-on-the-couch device).

And watching this video compells me even more to try the iPad, but its missing a few things that I really would need to make it the no-brainer that the iPhone is.

  • Camera.  The fact that I can’t iChat (I’d say Skype but Apple would probably try to block Skype so I’d even settle just for iChat) with my family on the iPad while I’m traveling is just dumb. My guess is that Apple knows this and either needed to get this device out as quickly as possible, needed to keep the price down or most likely, wants us all to buy a new iPad in 9 months when they roll out the camera version.
  • A non-app OS.  I need to run Mail with Exchange.  I need to be able to run Firefox and use the tools I’m used to when web browsing and not be locked into Safari.  And so forth and so on.
  • I need multi-tasking.  To be clear, I don’t need multi-tasking on the iPhone the way that iPhone Haters proclaim it as a deal-breaker for them.  That’s absurd, I can easily switch from app to app with no problem on the iPhone and screen size makes it so I’d almost never be using two apps at the same time.  Would it be nice to run Pandora while emailing? Sure.  Is it critical?  No.  But on the iPad, I’d want to be able to have for example Tweetie on the right side running in column view with Mail open on the left side.  I’m sure they’ll correct this going forward.

That’s probably about it.  I need to get my hands on one so I can see if it is a sufficient device to travel with.  Since most everything I do is “in the cloud” — email and calendar on exchange, wordpress, twitter, contacts via Plaxo — it wouldn’t be a big deal to sync up my iPad with my laptop so that I could travel and not miss anything.  As long as iTunes syncs between the two which I’m not sure about yet.

  • lewisa

    Watching that video, it's pretty compelling. As someone who sits at a computer most of the day, I don't really need the web on my phone, so I don't have an iphone. Also, I don't have much time for music, so no Ipod. I'm more of a news junkie and book reader, so I guess the iPad is targetted at me as it would let me take the web to the couch without a bulky, inaptly-named laptop. I like that the interface doesn't require a mouse and appears to be very intuitive. Who knows…maybe if I have $500 lying around (unlikely) I'll take the plunge.

  • xibis

    How about an SD card slot, FLASH compatibility, an e-ink/low light mode for ebooks so my eyes don't fry reading an LED screen for hours, and finally why not open the OS to different video formats. Not everyone likes quicktime.

  • bradmeriwether

    I agree with everything you listed above. Plus – a browser that isn't Flash enabled. I'll wait to see what kind of updates they make to it in the next year.

  • Jeff Hilimire

    Yeah Lewis, I think that's where I'm landing. Seems like there might be a place in my life especially if I didn't have a Kindle. What I really want is something to read newspaper and magazines on. The size and color display of the iPad seems like it will be great for magazine reading.

  • Jeff Hilimire

    All good points. Apple is always hesitant to let you have SD memory slots because then why would you ever buy the upgraded, more memory model! In fact, I now am certain they didn't make this iPad have Mac OS because suddenly you actually might not buy a Macbook or an iMac. They want this to be a 3rd device in your hands rather than a replacement for their more expensive products.

  • xibis

    I think the FLASH move is a mistake but then again, I never bet against Steve Jobs. With HTML5 being called the FLASH killer, Jobs may win this battle.

  • xibis

    I honestly think that the iPad is going to become the sofa and travel computer. It is a quick easy way to consume content, email, web, video, music, etc. It will never replace a laptop/personal computer. But like you said above, I'm not carrying an ipad with my MacbookPro, Kindle and iPhone.

  • Joe Koufman

    Get this hot new Apple tablet instead!

  • Joe Koufman

    You should get this hot new tablet from Apple:

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