by April 20, 2012 0 comments

My first tryst with a tablet happened thanks to exchange4media (e4m) group co-owner Anurag Batra’s gift of an iPad two years back. It was the very first version of Steve Jobs’s gift to mankind, and I was delighted to have received it along with a few other colleagues at e4m.

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I had been a diehard Nokia user — having owned a dozen of them ever since mobile telephony was introduced in Mumbai, so had no exposure to apps via iPhones. Since I wasn’t much into music, especially of the pirated variety, I never used the iPod in the house. So while iTunes resided on my desktop at home, I hardly accessed it.

Being iTunes-illiterate, my two-week-old iPad was as functional as, say, a cellphone is without a SIM card. I was worried about punching in my credit card number so I figured a loophole that if you insert a US address, you can get an iTunes account without sharing your plastic identity. It took me just a few days to get a hang of the iPad and also figure that it’s no good for me. At least not that version of the iPad. With 32 GB, it was powerful but could be connected only via Wi-Fi. I couldn’t blame Monsieur Batra for giving me a lowgrade version, as at that time (early April 2010) the 3G add-on wasn’t out.

So I passed on the tab to my wife and daughter, both of whom took to it instantly. It was (and still is) their companion at study; my wife keeps it by her side when reading papers for digging deeper into issues and my daughter and her friends love downloading apps.

I did use it as my bedside buddy to access mails and for surfing the web. A few months down the line, I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab for myself. I thought the 7-inch screen was friendlier and could fit into my kurta pocket. Or even that of my trousers. It was truly handy and the ads promised some fantastic 3G connectivity bliss.

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I bought it for Rs 26,000, and used it extensively for some 10 hours, only to realise that it’s not made for me. It was outsized for my pockets and the 3G sucked. So all those features that ads promised were useless. Moreover, of the two tabs I had, the iPad was far better. I thought the mails downloaded faster, and for my work, iPad was cooler.

I guess one of the reasons why I’ve not taken to both tablets is that I prefer the BlackBerry for mails. Also, I’m not really a touch phone person, though now in the absence of any good keyboard-based smartphone, I bought an iPhone 4 some six months back, essentially to keep up with the fantastic world of apps (Pssst. I’ve just cleared the third level at Angry Birds Smile ).

I presented the Galaxy Tab to my colleague and MxMIndia’s sales head when he secured the first revenue deal, and find him using it very extensively. For me, the tablet needs to be handy, easy to use, smart to look at and very, very powerful. Is the iPad that? No it isn’t. Nor are any of the variations available on shop shelves. And, no, not even the new iPad.

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