So I finally did it. I spent my money on an iPad. I wanted to get one back in the Spring when the iPad 2 was released but due to the short supply of iPads back then I couldn’t get my hands on one. For some reason I didn’t want to pre-order one and get it three weeks later. I wanted to walk into the store, hand them my cash, and walk out with an iPad. Since I couldn’t do that I decided to replace my six year old laptop before buying an iPad. So I had to wait and save up some more money.

It’s a weird thing. I prefer to save my money until I have enough to buy something with cash rather than use credit but often after I’ve saved the money I don’t want to spend it. It takes me a long time to save up enough money for a laptop or an iPad so I seem to grow attached to the money. Even though the object is what I’m saving the money to buy somehow the object becomes less important when I have the money to buy it. Not always but sometimes. It’s probably that whole money equals power thing. Even on a small scale having the money to buy something you want can give you a sense of power. Actually having the thing is less powerful. The human mind is mysterious.

Another reason I was less than quick to buy the iPad this Fall was that I lost my vision for what I wanted to do with the thing. As a creative tool that is. I had some ideas last Spring but now I’m not sure what they all were. I remember being intrigued by the idea of video on the iPad. Not watching but shooting and editing it. That’s a pretty neat idea. You can shoot video on the iPad and with iMovie you can edit it too. I imagined that I could leave in the morning for one of my trips to Bryant Park and have some sort of finished video piece before I get home. That sounds cool and maybe one day I’ll be able to pull it off.

I had some other ideas for how to used the iPad creatively but I can’t remember them. Oh well, I’ll have to think them up again. I do want to be able to use the iPad as a portfolio of sorts for my artwork but that’s an obvious idea and not really using it as a creative force. I’ve been messing around with how to present my work on the iPad and I think I’m going to have to make PDF books out of my stuff. Right now I have a bunch of my art set up as individual photos. I tried that out right away and it works but when I eventually transfer my lifelong collection of snapshots and photographs onto the iPad my artwork will get a bit lost in the shuffle and harder to find. I think it’ll be easier to find in the iPad’s PDF book section. It’ll take some time to set it all up so I’m not sure yet.

I like navigating around the photos and artwork with my fingers. It’s something that just plain works. Pinch and spread your fingers to zoom in and out and flip your fingers left or right to see the previous or next piece. It’s easy and intuitive plus it’s very satisfying. It gives me a real sense of control and interaction with what I’m looking at. We all like to “See” things with our hands so the iPad works really well in scratching that itch. It’s kind of amazing that way.

One thing you have to realize before buying an iPad is that not only is it expensive but it’s more expensive than you think because of all the stuff you’ll want to buy to accompany it. I bought a lot. First of all the “Smart Cover” that Apple makes that magnetically attaches itself to the machine, covers the screen when not in use, and can be used as a stand costs $40. It’s really neat and I wanted one but forty bucks is a steep price. It seems to be more like a $20 item but there isn’t another thing like it so forty bucks it is.

Almost everything else that I wanted with the iPad was in the $30 price range. I never bothered with an iPod dock since an iPod is small and easy enough to lay down on my desk but I shelled out thirty bucks for an iPad dock. I want the iPad standing rather than lying down. I also bought the camera connector so I could transfer photos from my camera’s SD card right to the iPad. That was it for my in store purchases. The iPad plus another $100 dollars for three things. But that wasn’t the end.

When I got home I, of course, wanted to buy some iPad apps. Most apps are cheap but buy a bunch of them and they add up. I think I dropped about $35 on apps during the first week. One of the apps was SketchBook Pro. Being an artist that one was a must since it’s for drawing on the iPad. After buying that app I went online and bought a $20 stylus so that I didn’t have to draw with my finger. That’s fairly cheap for a stylus of this sort and someday I may get a better one but that’s it for now.

Since I bought the Smart Cover I didn’t want to buy any kind of portfolio/hard cover for the thing. Those cases make the iPad twice its size and since I’m the only one using mine it really doesn’t need the type of protection a family iPad would. But I did want a bag to carry the iPad in. Having had to carry lots of art and camera supplies in the past I like bags to carry stuff in. I’m always looking for a new bag but I’m usually disappointed. They’re always too big, too small, don’t have enough pockets, are made of the wrong material, or are badly structured. I’m picky.

Luckily my cousin recently got an iPad and had a bag with it that I liked. And it was cheap. Twenty dollars. A Kensington iPad sling bag. It wasn’t ideal since I don’t like the black plastic fabric that it and most cheap bags are made out of but it’s a good size. It fit’s the iPad snugly and has room for a medium sized sketchbook and a pocket camera. Plus it has an outside pocket for a phone, pens, or whatever. The bag is a little ugly but it’s more functional than others I’ve seen.

So it was an extra $100 dollars at the store and another $75 once I got the thing home. With an iPad starting at $500 that’s a significant chunk of change more. Not that anyone has to buy any of those extras but most want to. That’s why you have to add it all up before hand when getting one of these. They can be more expensive than you think.