Sunday, April 14, 2013

How Do I Justify Buying an iPad?

All my phones, from 1995 to 2013
I have too many screens in my life. I spend all day at work with my PC's 22" flat panel screen a foot from my face. While there, I frequently check my Android phone for things. I spend roughly 9 hours all said, and I head home. In the car, I have a stereo/backup camera screen in the car, which interfaces with my phone if I want it to. When I get home, I plug my Android phone into the USB cable to my desktop PC with its 23" screen. But I don't turn the PC on when I get home.

If I have sufficient motivation, I may go for a 3-4 mile walk, in which case, I'll unplug that phone, and pop in some earphones for my walk, periodically checking the screen for mail, messages, and to change what I'm listening to. Back home at last, I put the phone back on the PC to charge, get cleaned up, and head to the family room, where I have a 60" DLP HDTV. Off to one side, is my MacBook Pro 15", which will migrate to my lap, to the arm of the couch and back again for as long as I watch whatever I have on the big TV.

This screen lost its marbles last month, so I upgraded
to a newer MacBook Pro
I may make dinner with the big TV running in the background, or maybe take a brief break from screens while I prepare the meal. But more often than not, I'll take my dinner plate into my office, and put it in front of the PC screen. I'll usually turn on the 20" flat panel desk HDTV. I will then spend an obscene amount of time with two screens, maybe three if you count the times I check on the phone. 

You'd think that when I head to the john, I'd be free of screens. But no. I have a  cheapie Andoid 4.0 tablet, bought mostly as a reader, and I'll sometimes take it to the loo to play Scramble or Words With Friends. But because the tablet is so slow, I'm more likely to just take the phone in there for the same purpose. Through all of this time at home, The Other Half is using his own screens (if not sharing mine), and will sit in his own office on his 21" flat panel on his PC,  or lay in bed, watching the 39" HDTV we have in there.
The screen in my car

Doesn't this amount to a less functional version
of my MacBook Pro?
Whew! That's a long way to go to illustrate the absurd amount of time we spend (well, me mostly) with 1, 2 or 3 screens going. In fact, it is a rare moment when I don't have one nearby. In a few weeks, I will be upgrading my phone (a near antique 2010 Evo) for either the HTC One or the Samsung Galaxy S4, either way a 5" screen. I've already upgraded the MacBook, and will shortly be giving The Other Half my i5 PC, and upgrading to Windows 8 in my office.

So, really. How can I justify buying an iPad? I'm never away from a screen, or computing device. And while an iPad would undoubtedly take up less room than my MacBook Pro, I use that puppy. I'm a touch-typist, and use graphics  programs,  both things better suited to a full-fledged computer. Whichever new phone I get,  its near-tablet size will be much larger than my current phone. Other than "I want one," what possible justification do I have for getting an iPad?

Does "because I want one" justify spending hundreds of dollars for a toy? I'll give Apple this much: they have a talent for inventing expensive items you never needed, but really, really want.

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