Sergio Vazques
Sergio Vazques Courtesy photo

If you watched the 52nd Grammy Awards show, you would have seen Stephen Colbert use a new Apple product in announcing nominees, a simple yet effective way for Apple to advertise its new toy in front of millions of people.

An oversized iTouch was released April 3, clinging to a new name as the Apple iPad. This device is considered to be a tablet computer, not a laptop, nor an eBook but somewhere in between.

Yes, it's the latest tech toy out there, but is this iPad really worth purchasing?

The wildly famous iPhone already exists and has yet to reach its peak in the Smartphone and touch-screen cell phone market.

The iTouch is physically identical but is only a music player with no cell phone capabilities. Now, Apple begins to rise to the top of a less known tech category, the tablet PC. At first glance, and I believe most people will undoubtedly concur with me on this, it is a giant iPhone or iTouch.

The iPad seems to simply be a web-browsing portable touch screen, and what most believe a better eBook. The net book capabilities of the iPad are extraordinary. No doubt about that; even our librarian here at RAL seems to be awed by its iBook app.

"If I were traveling, [the iPad] would be very handy," librarian Joan Enders said.

From a teenager's point of view, I don't think this device is really worth purchasing. We are not as into e-books. From the responses of most of my peers, the book-reading application does not amuse them whatsoever.

If you are looking to buy a new laptop, say for work, schoolwork or college, do not set your sights on the revolutionary iPad. Not yet, at least. Users of Excel, Word and other Mac and PC applications should not buy an iPad to replace those computers.

Say you're a student here at RAL. Using the iPad for typing up your Senior Paper, numerous essays assigned in College Comp or a research paper, would not be the best idea.

The iPad has a notepad you could use for a senior project, but it's not like a Word document; it's write and save. With a desktop or laptop, you can print out a paper. For the Mac, they want you to buy their products, their cables and other things.

All the programs in school accounts use Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point. The iPad doesn't come with those, so you have to download or purchase them.

Another reason I think it can't replace desktops or laptops yet is cost. If you're a student in high-school spending $500-$800 on a device that wouldn't benefit much for school and is a too big to be carried around as a music player, then it doesn't sound like the ideal purchase.

"I think it's a cool thing, but I don't think I'd buy it," RAL senior Taylor Froberg said. "I already have the iPhone from Apple, and that pretty much does everything I need. But hey, if someone were to give it to me for a present, I wouldn't be mad, but that's a different story," Froberg said.

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