In these days of tight economic conditions, disposable income is the exception, not the rule. So, in order to buy the next best toy or gadget, one must liquidate older items in order to keep the gadget inventory current. I recently sold multiple items on both eBay and Craigslist (like an old graphics card, some unused golf clubs, and a couple of collector edition books). I netted some guilt-free disposable income but had no particular destination for the cash. So, since we’ve had such good luck on Craigslist, I decided to begin nosing around, checking prices on this and that.
Since I’m an Apple apologist, I decided to research an Apple iPad, specifically the 3G variety (which allows Internet connection away from wi-fi hot-spots). The 16GB version (entry level) goes for $629 on the Apple Store but I found one going for $450 on Craigslist. Long story short, I managed to chat the owner down to $350 for a 16GB, 3G model which is only three months old. Sure, it has a couple of minor scratches on the back panel but screen is pristine and the unit is completely functional — for almost half the price! Initially, I was skeptical of the iPad use-case in my own life. I could not see how it would benefit me but after having now for around three weeks, I’m finding it harder and harder to resell. Why? Because its functionality covers a wide variety of uses and it is just darn handy to have around.
Examples of use includes a great Craigslist app which allows fast, easy and organized scanning of local items for sale. It seamlessly syncs with my Dropbox application, allowing access to any file stored in the cloud. There are sketching apps, business productivity apps, star gazing apps, and movie trailer apps. Heck, though I’m not much of a political junkie, I grabbed the ABC Election Results app so I could watch returns in real time on the iPad. I’m even writing this piece on a blue tooth keyboard associated with Writer, an excellent streamlined writing app for the iPad. The longer I keep this thing around, the more I like it. Truth be told, I may sell this only to get the larger version (this the 16GB model, Apple also sells the 32GB [$729] and 64GB [$829] 3G models). However, at the highest price point, one might as well just go for the latest Apple 11″ Macbook Air because that is full blown computer which weighs barely 2.3 pounds.
So, if you have a chance to “rent” an iPad, or even borrow one from a friend (I’ve loaned this out to a college friend a couple of weekends ago), then take one for a test drive. See if this gadget fits your lifestyle. You might be surprised. It won’t replace your computer but it can certainly become a great extension to your mobile computing world.