Why you need an iPad

The Apple iPad 2.

So last week we suggested you don’t really need an iPad. And that’s still true – in the sense that you don’t need an iPad to, you know, breathe.

Still, maybe you’re a little more positively disposed to Apple’s tablet than some people around here – but you need a little extra convincing. Apple’s own ads for the iPad are a little bit, shall we say, glossy and Generation Y. What about some of the more down-to-earth benefits?

10. Simple and, for the most part, reliable

Computers, because of their extraordinary flexibility, are also very complex. You can get yourself into all kinds of trouble, fiddling with your computer. And that complexity also has an effect on reliability.

The iPad, on the other hand, keeps things simple: tap icons to do stuff. Yes, it’s less flexible than a full notebook or desktop PC, but it has no moving parts, no removable battery to get dislodged, and no plethora of ports or indeed keyboard to get gunked up.

And if the iPad does start to slow down or stutter, a quick restart (by turning the tablet all the way off) clears up most issues. And because – as of iOS 5 – all your data is stored in the cloud, you can ‘factory restore’ the iPad anytime, reload your apps and other content and keep on going!

9. Instant-on is an antidote for the age of the ‘boot up’

“Let me show you this funny video on YouTube!” you cry to a busy family member, and then you both stand there twitching while the PC takes three or four minutes to boot up, by which point no one’s in the mood for funny cats anymore.

The iPad has a sophisticated “suspend” function which draws very little battery power, but which lets you reactivate the tablet in a fraction of a second: push the home button, slide to unlock, and you’re ready to go.

It makes the iPad as fast to use as a kitchen noticeboard, or a notepad by the phone, or a home weather station on the wall. And with apps for all those things, you won’t have to keep a kitchen drawer half-full of half-empty ball-point pens.

8. Silence is golden!

The faster the computer, the more heat its CPU generates. The more heat from its CPU, the more you need to cool it. And unless you’re some kind of super-nerd, your computer is air-cooled. And that means fans. Lots of fans. Whining, whirring fans. Sometimes so loud they interfere with quiet scenes in movies.

Even super-slim notebooks can have teeny-tiny fans in them. Mostly you won’t hear them, but there’ll always be that quiet time in bed when that little fan will kick in…

The iPad on the other hand, runs completely silent. Its more specialised CPU is dedicated to doing a few tasks really well, rather than every task okay. It needs less raw power, so it generates less heat.

Think this isn’t really a big issue? When your device makes a noise, it reminds you you’re using a machine. And when you’re reminded of that, you start thinking about how this isn’t as good as a paper book, or an old-school magazine, or maybe surfing the net on a big display with a full keyboard is better, etc…