Unless you've been living under a rock

You will have seen, heard and read the buzz about the Apple iPad. What it is, what it does and why you should buy it. This post is not about all that - it’s covered in excruciating detail elsewhere on your favourite tech site. Ever since the iPad was just a rumour, and since it was officially announced, we have been arguing about it at work. Whose going to buy one? Who is an idiot for wanting to buy one? Who is an idiot for not wanting to buy one?

Note: I should mention that I do happen to own an iPhone (via an O2 two year(!) contract), and I think it is probably the best mobile phone I've ever owned, however, I will take some convincing to enter into another two year contract again. But I digress. I have a couple of old iPods, nothing else: I am not a fanboy.

The niche that the iPad and devices like it fill is undoubtedly there, or else these products would not be developed. The key thing here is “…and devices like it…”. There isn’t just the iPad to consider.  This is the fantastic thing about our society: we have a huge freedom of choice in our purchasing decisions. We are free to evaluate, consider and weigh all the pros and cons of a particular product before we make the commitment to purchase.

Unless you are an Apple fanboy

In which case, you have already sub-concisiously made the decision to purchase anything with an Apple logo on. Are you an Apple fan boy? You have a Mac of some discription. You bought (and probably still have) a first-gen iPod. You bought an iTouch the day it was release. You were the first in your office to get an iPhone. You were the first to upgrade to an iPhone 3G. You were the first to upgrade to an iPhone 3GS. You hammer F5 on your favourite liveblog of an Apple event. You wouldn’t even consider buying a laptop from Asus, Acer or Dell (or whoever) which as powerful and costs half the price of something which has a fucking Apple logo on it.

Fanboy. Acolyte. Get out. You have already made your choice. You cannot win an arguement with someone who fanatically believes they are right.

Open minded? Continue from here

For those who are prepared to broaden our horizons, there is a bewildering array of choice just around the corner. Rather than rehash other people’s hard work from around the interweb, and because I’m lazy, I refer you to this article on About.com: http://portables.about.com/od/otherdevices/tp/Slate_tablet_roundup.htm, which offers a succinct highlight of varous slate tablet computers. Engadget also has some details of Microsofts offering, the ‘Courier’, which looks promising.

In Conclusion

You do not have to kneel at the alter of the cult of Apple. You have a choice. Use it wisely.