My iPad has been slow this year: it’s the first retina iPad model, which is three and a half years old, so no surprise that it’s showing its age. So, before this year’s event, I was sure I’d be ordering a new iPad; I was hoping it would do something interesting with force touch (maybe to make typing feel more natural somehow?), and I was vaguely curious about the rumored large model.

But: no new regular-sized iPad, the large model exists but doesn’t have force touch, and it costs almost a thousand dollars. The pen sounds neat, but in practice I don’t see myself using it; and I’ve thought in the past that I’d use keyboards with iPads but they’ve never stuck with me (I don’t even bring them along on vacation any more), and it looks like the keyboard only works in landscape mode, which I heartily disapprove of.

Force touch (which I should now call 3D touch) does seem cool, and like something that will be a regular part of all their devices starting next year. Still, I’m not sure that I’ll miss it if I get an iPad without it. And, like I said, I had been thinking that I might prefer the larger iPad: most of the time, the regular one is the right size, but if I’m reading PDFs formatted for 8.5×11 paper, then the regular iPad is too small. Still, that’s a minority case: most books I read are significantly narrower than that, and in fact magazines that are the size of the large iPad generally print their text in two columns, which suggests that the large iPad would be too large for maximal reading comfort. And, of course, the large one is heavier, though no heavier than the original iPad model was, which was light enough for me.

I guess I’ll wait until the iPad Pro is released, and play with it in stores to see how I like it? If not, though, my best guess is that I’ll wait. Maybe I’ll get an iPad Air 2—they sounded like quite good machines last year, after all—but I kind of doubt it. And the main situation in which I notice my iPad being slow is when I’m looking at web pages; maybe content blockers will help with that? Also, I’m not completely convinced that Apple will stick with a fall release schedule for their iPads; if the Air 3 shows up in the spring (with 3d touch, and with the ability to support the pencil) then that’s probably what I would want.


This (combined with the fact that we just bought a Wii U, which cost more than I expected) is also getting me thinking about how much money I want to spend on this sort of thing: it’s not like I couldn’t afford to buy an iPad this year and another one a couple of years later. But I don’t want to get in the habit of doing that sort of purchase: right now, I’m in the part of the startup growth company salary cycle where salaries are higher and stock compensation is lower, and not only do I not want to get used to that phase of the salary cycle, we also have a kid who will be starting college soon. (And while we’re not planning to retire any time soon, we also need to be prepared when that happens!) So I should pick where I’m spending money, and default to sending raises and bonuses straight to savings instead of to gadget purchases.

Alternatively, if I am going to spend a thousand dollars on something this year, then a new guitar might be a better choice. A zippier iPad would be nice, but getting to experience a different sound while having a guitar that can change tunings on its own would have its own benefits, too…

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