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Posted at 10:33 AM ET, 12/10/2010

Wrapping up our gadget guidance -- and reopening the 'Should I get an iPad now?' question

By Rob Pegoraro

Another year of gadget-shopping help is in the books... I mean, on the Web. We posted the last of my Web-only features Wednesday night.

You can browse through them all on our holiday-guide page, but here's a simple list of my contributions:

* How to choose a smartphone

* HDTVs, Blu-ray players, Web-media receivers and other video devices

* Laptop, desktop and netbook computers (i.e., "this year's version of Mac or PC?")

* The iPad and all the non-iPad tablet computers

* Cameras, MP3 players and GPS receivers

But wait, there's more!

* Mike Musgrove offered his picks of the best sequel video game titles and compared Microsoft's Xbox Kinect to Sony's PlayStation Move.

* Tom Ham gave his choice of the 10 best new (non-sequel) games.

* KidsPost suggests good games for the younger set.

So can those of us in the newsroom all rest -- more accurately, finally get started on our own shopping? Not quite.

For one thing, the tech industry hasn't stopped working. Our new assistant, Hayley Tsukayama, has a writeup here about increasingly detailed reports of new iPad features -- front and back cameras and possibly an SD Card slot. (Hayley will be helping Cecilia Kang and me, filling in gaps in our blog coverage with more breaking tech news.)

To answer the inevitable "Should I get an iPad now if a new one's about to ship?" question: I don't really know. It would be crazy to unveil a brand-new version of a hot-selling tech product only weeks after Christmas, -the one-year anniversary of the iPad's introduction. But that's what these "iPad 2" reports suggest will happen. Thing is, Apple could probably get away with it, as Internet cartoonist Matthew Inman (aka The Oatmeal) memorably satirized in his comic "What it's like to own an Apple product." So maybe you should be looking at getting that special someone a new pair of skis or a nice sweater instead.

For another thing, I've got two Web chats left in which I can offer further tech-procurement help. This week's chat starts at noon and runs until 1, followed by one more on Friday the 17th at the same time. You can submit your questions to today's chat now. Or you can post them in the comments below.

By Rob Pegoraro  | December 10, 2010; 10:33 AM ET
Categories:  Computers, Gadgets, Mobile, Music, Recommended reading, TV, Tips, Video  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: First whispers of the iPad2?
Next: PostPoints tip: Things to avoid buying in stores: cables and flash-memory storage

Comments

"HDTVs, Blu-ray players," 404's...

Posted by: wiredog | December 10, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

@wiredog: Good catch. Link is fixed now.

- RP

Posted by: robpegoraro | December 10, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I would not get an iPad now. I would also not get an iPad later.

I have never seen a product succeed so wildly on nothing more than hype. The iPad has all the disadvantages that relate to portability of a laptop computer but none of the versatility. The iPad has all the disadvantages that relate to power and usability of a smartphone but none of the portability. Its success is the triumph of hype and style over any shred of substance.

I tried an iPad -- the top-of-the-line model -- in a Verizon store in a head-to-head web browsing contest against my HTC Droid Incredible. It took the iPad FOUR TIMES as long to display a web page.

I've never seen a product so utterly useless in my whole life.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | December 11, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I haven't seen any reports that suggest to me the iPad2 will be all that much more wonderful than the iPad1. The current version has a small, cheap little accessory that is a card reader so no big deal there. The thing is too big and cumbersome, really, to be useful as a camera (forward facing camera) and would be redundant if you own an iPhone 4 as many iPad geeks (myself included) do.

Thinner and lighter (and/or cheaper) would be better but not enough to make anybody wait--after all, soon after you get an iPad2 there will be rumors of the iPad3.

By the way, I just have to comment on the statement above, " iPad has all the disadvantages that relate to power and usability of a smartphone but none of the portability. Its success is the triumph of hype and style over any shred of substance."

The iPad is a media device which no smart phone, because of size, can really be. For me, anyway, it is a very useful (not perfect--biggest deficiency is inability to display Flash video) travel device which allows me to watch movies and TV shows in airports, train stations and on planes/trains; can store and display maps and schedules, allows me to read my favorite news sources (and an occasional book) enroute, can be consulted about where to dine (Zagat Guide) and tells me where I am (GPS). Mine fits in a winter coat pocket, but the screen is large enough to actually enjoy the video, see he maps without a magnifying glass and read any book or newspaper.

Posted by: BTinSF | December 11, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

To answer the inevitable "Should I get an iPad now if a new one's about to ship?" question: I don't really know. It would be crazy to unveil a brand-new version of a hot-selling tech product only weeks after Christmas....
--- --- ---

What?
Rob, come on now... every electronic thing you buy is already out-of-date and will-be-replaced-by-a-newer-version.

Posted by: kkrimmer | December 11, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

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