Nerds On Call: iPad 2, Is it time to get one?

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What is it about the iPad that is so alluring to husbands everywhere? Every time an iPad commercial comes on, you get jabbed in the ribs as he announces for the hundredth time “I need one of those!” It’s like living with a toddler when the “Tickle Me Elmo” was introduced. You look at his fairly new laptop, while you ice your ribs, and wonder, “What’s the big deal?”

On Wednesday, Apple revealed the newest generation, the iPad 2. Was it worth the anticipation? Let NERDS unravel the hype so you can decide if it’s time to jump on board.

What’s New? Front and rear facing cameras will finally allow you to use Facetime, so you can video chat with any Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch or fellow iPad owner. The rear camera is HD, allowing you to capture high def photos and video. A new dual core processor will make it twice as fast as the original iPad. The iPad 2 will be 15% lighter and 33% thinner, making it even easier to toss in your carry-on bag. Improved graphics capability will give you crisper video and better app and game play. Those who have a penchant for white electronics can finally get an iPad to match their iPod – it will now be available in white AND black. If you have an Apple TV, you will be able to use one-click streaming to send content from your iPad to your TV. Finally, it will have an optional HMDIi adapter that will allow you to connect your iPad to your high def TV or computer to view content, or use your iPad for presentations.

Should I wait to buy an iPad?
That depends on if the new features are important to you. If not, NERDS everywhere were excited to learn that Apple is immediately dropping the price of the current 16GB iPads from $499 to $399, which means they will be available for even less on resale markets like eBay and Amazon Marketplace. Frugal NERDS, willing to live without the faster processor and cameras for video chat, finally have a hope of convincing their wives that the iPad is a must-have item.

Why should I want one? For all the hype, it doesn’t do anything that you can’t already do with your laptop or Smartphone. Yet the iPad is a device that NERDS most often hear described as something you can’t explain why you need, but once you have it you won’t want to live without it. Imagine you’re in your kitchen and want to find a recipe to use the dill withering in your crisper drawer. You could pull out your laptop, connect to the internet, find a recipe online, and attempt to cook dinner without knocking your laptop off the counter or spilling olive oil on the keyboard. You could take out your Smartphone launch your browser, hunt down the same recipe, and attempt to make it reading the tiny script between the banner ads, not quite compatible with mobile browsing. On the other hand, an iPad never fully shuts down, so you’d just pick it up, click on your KitchenMonki app, find your recipe, and follow the step by step instructions with full color photos on the 10” display. The iPad isn’t so much about doing something you haven’t been able to do before; it’s about doing it better.

Can I use it to replace my laptop?
If you use your laptop primarily to surf the net, manage your calendar or contacts, or play games, the iPad can absolutely replace your laptop while improving your experience. Easier, faster, lighter, with access to the app store for countless games and tools, the iPad is like a smart phone with a larger display and easier interface. You can even connect a keyboard and mouse if you want to type a letter to grandma. But if you spend a lot of time using Word, Excel, or complex business applications, the iPad is more of a supplemental entertainment tool than a replacement to your laptop.

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About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at
About Nerds On Call: Established in a spare room in Redding, Calif., in March 2004, Nerds On Call offers on-site computer and laptop repair services to consumers and businesses. Nerds On Call provides trouble-shooting for PCs and Macs, home and office networks, printers, iPods® and MP3 players, handheld devices and cell phones, home theaters and game systems, and virtually every other form of digital entertainment. In 2009, 2010, & 2011 the company was named to Inc. magazine’s list of 5000 fastest growing private companies. With 7 locations across California and Oregon, Nerds On Call serves more than 40,000 satisfied customers per year. For more information, visit or call 1-800-919-NERD.