One of my faithful readers, Pat of A New Day, left me the following message:
“Okay, I have an idea for you. I think you should so some Dear Sharechair type post and I’ll submit the first letter.”
I am very excited because I would like to buy my husband an I-Pad for Father’s Day but not sure if it would be the right thing for him. He likes to play solitaire, check e-mails, and read newspapers (on-line). He also occasionally does some surfing of the web. Do you think he would like an i-pad. Which one would be best for him?
Well, I accepted the challenge, and I’m also tossing it out to everyone. I’ll share my thoughts, but as I’ve pointed out before, I am NOT in any way an expert on anything. Just a person who enjoys all these gadgets and truly believes that they enhance our lives. So I hope that anyone who reads this post feels comfortable to jump right in and tell Pat what YOU think, too.
So … let’s get on with helping Pat.
First of all, she wants to know if her husband would like an iPad.
Well, Pat, I don’t know your hubby, but I’m guessing he’s a retired guy, and if he likes to play solitaire, read news on-line, check email and do some surfing, I’d say yes yes and yes because with an iPad he’ll be able to do all those things (and so much more) from the comfort of his favorite chair.
All the news sources have apps of their own, feeding news onto the iPad with glorious presentation. And then there are other news apps such as Flipboard (subject of a future blogpost) which can be personalized so that all the news that HE wants to read will be right at his fingertips.
And if he enjoys solitaire, he’ll probably enjoy a good number of other similar types of games, and there are many many many others for him explore and enjoy. (Much of the fun is the hunt for great apps.)
And let’s not forget to mention the videos he can watch, the music he can play, and the productivity apps he can use to plan the garden, budget the expenses, or plan for travel. Oh yes… it also takes pictures and video.
He can draw on it, edit photos, shoot and edit movies of his own, or rent a blockbuster to watch on a plane. And of course he can surf the web.
Bottom line for “will he like it?”: if he enjoys fiddling with a computer to play a few games or to surf the web, I do think he would enjoy an iPad. It is everything he likes already, and so much more.
Pat’s next question was “Which one would be best for him?”
This is a great question, and to determine the answer, you have to make a number of choices.
WiFi only or 3G?
This is REALLY important. For your husband to thoroughly enjoy his iPad, you should have wireless in your home. (If you don’t have it already, it is not hard to do. Your internet company might install it for you (it is just a little box) or you can buy the device yourself at Staples or Best Buy and easily install it with only a minimal bit of computer knowledge.)
“WiFi only” means that it will only access the internet from a wireless environment. If your house has wireless, once you put your password into your iPad, it will remember it always, and always be connected to the internet in your house. When you travel, many hotels offer free wireless, or places like Panera, McDonalds and Starbucks, and the iPad will connect easily in all of these places.
“3G” means your iPad is ALSO equipped to connect with the internet without wifi. But this costs extra money, and uses data.
I would recommend starting with a WiFi-only model in your wireless-enabled home. No extra charges to worry about.
Another consideration is the color choice: White or black? No opinion from me on the color. They both work
Next consideration is memory.
The original, tablet sized iPad comes in 4 memory sizes. 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. For your husband, just starting out, I think the 16GB would be just fine, and if you wanted to splurge for a little more, the 32GB would be all he would ever need. No more. The bigger sizes (industrial strength!) are for those who do a lot of video work on the iPad or intensive video gaming. For your husband’s reading pleasure, internet surfing, and solitaire-type playing, the 16GB should be fine. If you anticipate lots of photos or videos going on it, then splurge up to the 32GB.
Next consideration: Regular sized or Mini?
I’m going to stick my neck out here and even though I don’t know your husband, I’m going to suggest the regular sized iPad. The mini is the same device, just smaller. I’m guessing the ‘portable’ aspect of the smaller iPad is not nearly as important as the the larger screen is on the regular one. Aging eyes = bigger screen.
Wifi only or Wifi plus 3G? I’d suggest starting with Wifi only. (Personally, I have a WiFi only model and I’ve never regretted that choice.)
Color? No opinion from me
Memory? 16GB or 32GB
Regular or Mini? Regular (bigger screen, better to see!)
Note to Pat: Now, armed with this information, I suggest you go and visit an Apple store. I checked, and I see there is one in your area. I guarantee the folks there will be VERY helpful and will answer all your questions. You can play around on each of the models and I’m sure that will be helpful to you in making your decision.
I’m sure that Pat will welcome any and all other opinions.