Is the iPad for You?

JQ on CBS on the iPad

Apple's iPad is now on sale and while it may not revolutionize computing or replace the laptop computer, it does offer a different way to read magazines, watch videos, and surf the Web.

Warning: The first version is only for gadget addicts with unlimited amounts of disposable income. Yes, the second (better) version is already planned for release later this month. It will add the capability of getting online using AT&T's $30-a-month, cellular data service. The version that went on sale this week is Wi-Fi only.

If you're an avid reader, Amazon's Kindle or Barnes & Noble's Nook will make you much happier. They are easier on the eyes for hours of reading, cost less than half of what the cheapest model of the iPad costs (Apple's prices start at $500), and include free wireless access for buying and downloading books (the books are also less expensive). Those who like to sit on the couch and squeeze in a little work during commercial breaks also may not be happy with the iPad. There's no keyboard and the on-screen virtual keyboard is awkward. Twitter fans and e-mail addicts will be frustrated. Moreover, you can buy a laptop for the same amount of money as an iPad but with a lot more features, including a camera, DVD drive, USB ports for connecting other devices, and, of course, a keyboard.

So who will love the iPad? I think gamers, especially casual gamers will be enthralled. The games cost less than those for consoles like the Sony PlayStation 3, are easier to play, and look stunning on the iPad. Also, people who hate their iPhones will be happier with the iPad. Why? Because it will run all those applicatons that folks love on the iPhone, but it doesn't have the terrible cell phone (because, it doesn't have a phone at all–although you can use Skype on it).

For more on the iPad, watch John Quain on CBS News, above.


You can also follow updates on Twitter.


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About jquain

Technology reporter, writer, and television correspondent, JQ has been covering the computer, communications, and consumer electronics industries for more than 25 years.A contributor to The New York Times, Popular Mechanics, PC Magazine, U.S. News & World Report and many other publications, JQ appears on CBS News television program Up to the Minute and on Fox Business.
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