The iPad Itch

It’s like an annoying skin infection — just when you think you’ve got it beat, it comes back even worse. As more people I know give in and buy iPads, I find myself wondering if I’m missing out on something. And now there are so many options for tablets, some of which are actually affordable (think Kobo Vox and Kindle Fire, although the latter isn’t actually available in Canada yet). Should I do it? Would a tablet be the perfect all-in-one mobile device? Can you believe I’m even having these thoughts after going through this same debate with myself months ago and buying a netbook?

But here’s the thing: there is no perfect all-in-one mobile device. I’m seriously tempted by the Kindle Fire, if only because I love my current Kindle and getting one with color and web browsing capability sounds pretty cool. But there’s always a trade-off. The Fire doesn’t use the e-ink screen I’ve come to love, and its battery is advertised as lasting for about eight hours of continuous reading — my current Kindle can go an entire month on a single charge. (I’ve heard from a few iPhone 4 users who complain that they have to charge the thing every day and a half — how handy is that?)

I’m almost equally tempted by the iPad (damn that itch!) but in my saner moments I know it’s not for me. I already have an iPod Touch, which does almost everything the iPad can do, with the added benefit of fitting in my pocket. I can listen to music, watch movies, play games, even check email and surf the web if I wanted to (although I generally don’t — that screen is pretty small). The iPad won’t even fit in my purse, much less my pocket, and its price tag is insane.

So the iPod is my portable entertainment device. And my Kindle is my e-book reader. And my netbook is my portable blogging machine (it has a real keyboard and an easy way to upload photos — take that, tablets!) And even though it means carrying around three different devices and three different charging cords, they each serve their own purposes. So I guess I need to be content with that.