Some months ago, one of my first kittensharks articles was a review of Amazon’s Kindle Fire; I discussed the purchase in terms of what made me decide to buy it instead of an iPad ($$$) and what I found useful about it in terms of my life and how I would be using it. These are pretty general terms for a review, and I still think that, at that time, I made the right decision. Things changed a few months later and I needed more productivity than the Kindle Fire could provide, so I was forced to make a change in devices. Here is the story about how and why I bought an iPad as well as a description of its usefulness to me.
At the time I made the Kindle Fire purchase, all I really needed it for was to absorb media and do some mild browsing online. I didn’t feel like lugging tons of DVDs and books with me on my frequent trips, so the obvious answer was a tablet. The Kindle Fire price was right, and it easily integrated with the Amazon store, so I was able to do everything I wanted on the fly. Pretty sweet, right?
Eventually, my job required me to be able to do a lot more production work using a database to create and print lists, produce multiple documents a day and so on. I do have a MacBook, but it’s getting old and I wasn’t sure it would make it through the campaign; if it didn’t, I’d have been screwed (it did – holla @ Apple!). My Wacom Tablet was also starting to die after 6 glorious years together. This was a dark time for me. At this point, not only did I need a huge increase in functionality of my tablet device, but I also wanted to be able to draw and paint digitally without having to spend another $500 on a Wacom Tablet. The answer seemed obvious: iPad. It could do everything I needed it to do; the only real block in purchasing it, aside from spending extra cash, was that I had already made a decision not to buy one six months before.
Needless to say, I got over the block. I saved a little money by purchasing iPad 2 (I didn’t need retina display), so that was $100 I kept. I also sold my Kindle Fire to a friend for a cool $100 and used the money to buy a Zagg Bluetooth keyboard case for iPad (which I got for half off a $50) and a stylus to paint with. One $9.99 Art Rage drawing app later, and I was set. As I investigated other productivity apps, I found Pages and Documents, which both make excellent substitutes for Word on my MacBook. I made it through a very intense campaign almost exclusively using my iPad. It also freed up the MacBook for volunteer use, and all in all, it only cost me about $300 total.
Since then, I have gone ahead and purchased a new Wacom Tablet, but I only bought the Bamboo Capture (review coming soon) for $100 instead of the much nicer Intuos models I had used before. I still use Art Rage on iPad, but I hated knowing how much money Photoshop cost me and not using it was killing me. The moral of the story is this: iPad fills every need I have right now, and I don’t think I’d be comfortable with any other product. It’s fast; the battery life is excellent, and I can still use everything I bought on Amazon via the Amazon Apps available for Apple products in App Store. #Winning