Why Get An iPad

Why get an iPad?  This is something I hear a lot these days. I have some answers to that very question I’ll just spill the beans right off the bat: To Save Money.  Huh?  Yes, you can save a lot of money getting an iPad and I’m going to show you exactly what I mean.  So, if you are wondering why you should get an iPad, here’s one very good reason.

The Assumption

First of all lets assume you already were going purchase something.  For the sake of argument lets say you were already going to purchase a laptop, desktop or iPad.  And it doesn’t matter whether you get a PC or Mac.  Great, now that needed to get some form of computing device, let’s move on to the question of getting an iPad.

The Technical Reasons

It should be no secret that the iPad is light, has great battery life, and therefore makes a great travel companion.  It goes without saying that a laptop can do the very same thing (just a little heavier and a little less battery life).  But what about those moving parts?  The iPad has none.  The only moving part on the iPad is the little volume lever on the side.  Internally, there no moving parts. This means (in general) less chance for breakage.  Laptops are slowly getting to this point with SSD hard drives and the exclusion of CD/DVD drives.

These are purely technical reasons why getting an iPad might be a good idea but this does not answer the real reason for getting an iPad.

The Monetary Reasons

Let’s assume a laptop (PC or Mac) and an iPad sit next to each other.  You can’t decide which one to get.  The technical reasons are not convincing you which device to settle with.  How about the monetary reasons.

Whichever device you choose, there comes a point where you need to actually make it do something for you.  Online applications are growing in usage but it’s still not as easy to use them “offline” and so let’s say you decide to get some software.  For the most part you will need the following:

  • Productivity Suite (Office, iWork, Etc.)
  • Photo Editing
  • Games (we all have at least one favorite)
  • Utility-type applications
  • Anti-Virus
  • Miscellaneous Software for work, school, personal

How much will you spend purchasing that for your laptop? (yes, there are free versions of all this software but lets assume the most typical situation).  You are likely into it a few hundred dollars if not a lot more depending on your choice of software.  Looking over the course of a year or two and you can expect to spend even more.

How much will you spend outfitting the iPad with those same types of apps?  A lot less.  A whole lot less.  iWork costs $79.99 retail and it costs just $30 to get all three apps.  Photo editing software can cost hundreds of dollars.  For the iPad? You can pick up amazing photo editing apps for around $9.99 or less.  Check out a few of these must have iPad apps and see how the prices differ from their laptop/desktop counterparts.

This does not even take into account if you are a musician or artist.  A full blown synthesizer app for the iPad can run about $20 and nearly 4 times that amount for the desktop version.

People love software and they also like trying out software.  We just don’t like paying the huge prices for it.  This is why bit torrent is so popular.  But look at the app store. 34,000 (and counting) iPad apps.  And you will be hard pressed to find ones that cost nearly what regular priced software costs for laptops or desktops.  Heck, we even did an article on 175 Free iPad games and some of these games were actually amazingly fun and complex.

iPad For Business

If any of the above reasons do not make a strong enough case for the iPad, take a look at our iPad for business page and then look at this list of the things that “real” business owners are using their iPad for:

So…Why Get An iPad

Let’s circle back again to the  main question, “Why Get an iPad?”.  If it isn’t for the technical reason then consider the overall monetary savings on software alone.  And if that does not strike you then consider the business use of the iPad.  Yes, the apps are not for everyone and they are no where near the complexity of their larger counterparts, but they are getting better and better and as that happens I believe you will see them be able to achieve many if not all of the same things the desktop versions can do.

The iPad is not for everyone.  It is still vastly a consumption device but if you are thinking about why to get an iPad, considers a few of the ways you can do all of the things listed above on one single device that weighs a mere 1.5 lbs and lasts a good 10 hours on one charge.

Have you wondered about getting an iPad? What made your decision to get one or not?


  1. Larry says:

    O.K., the assumption is that I’m going to purchase a laptop, desktop or iPad. Your arguments make sense and I would buy an iPad. BUT…. my old laptop and desktop are both old PowerPC’s running OS 10.4!

    With that in mind, it seems that I would have to go with a new laptop or desktop anyway to support the iPad!

    Any other options?

    1. Shane says:

      Hi Larry. Thanks for the comment! Well….here’s a question? Can your current version of OS and power pc support iTunes? If it can then that’s all the iPad needs. Essentially it uses iTunes and not the operating system. So in that case you would still be able to go with the iPad!

      1. Larry says:

        Thanks for the quick reply. I’ve got iTunes 9.2.1 but on Apple’s iPad tech spec page they imply that you need BOTH Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later and iTunes 9.1 or later! I might be able to upgrade to 10.5.8 if I could find a disk but I would then lose my classic OS and I have about 20 or so years of old WordPerfect for Mac documents that I’ll probably never use again but would hate to lose access to.

        1. Shane says:

          Hi Larry. You are more than welcome! Wow, 20 years of documents is impressive enough! I do not know why they say OS 10.5.8 unless that is a prerequisite for the version of iTunes that will support the iPad. However, that being said, the Apple Store can set it up for you – the issue there being you won’t be able to completely sync it.
          On another note, you could get a free dropbox account online and store all your documents (they give you 2GB free) without ever worrying about losing them :-)

  2. Phillip says:

    Thanks for a a great article and very useful links to other pages. I just read the one on essential iPad Apps. I was on the fence about using the 16BG/3G iPad I just won at a conference vs selling it on eBay.
    I surrently use a Lenovo x200 at work (docked to a nice monitor & keyboard) and have a lighter/more powerful X201S for home use. BUT, why not use something that’s 1/2 the wt and 2x the battery life?

    Several other articles have hinted here and there about the usefulness of the iPad, but I wasn’t convinced. Now I am!

    1. Phillip says:

      oops – I meant Currently…

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