Friday, December 24, 2010

My Review Of The iPad 3G

Yes, you read that right. Mac Fan Boys and Apple worshippers alike, come closer. Grab your Tall Caramel Mocha Latte, your grease laden iPhone, your yet-unread articles on blogging for profit, and light a candle.

Like a child asking for the car for the first time, or like an announcement that a Hollywood couple, married 7 months, is getting divorced, the question from my wife hit me like a ton of bricks: "I want an iPad for Christmas."

Clearly she hadn't read my thrashing of this device, the darling of every Starbucks dwelling lawyer, the toy that would cause over aged children to write hundreds of tweets praising it as a new God to worship.

My first thought was that this was a natural request of hers, being that she is a non-practicing lawyer.

Nonetheless, my ego aside, trashed by my disappointment she didn't know of my non-approval of the big touch screen wonder, I accepted that I would possibly be buying the new silver bullet of the flip-flop wearing lawyer crowd.

"Why," (In Nancy Kerrigan tone) "Why do you want an iPad?"

"So when we travel I can read my email." Many emails regarding my office administration go to my wife because, well, I don't need to explain all that, it's pretty self-explanatory. "And I would like not to be tied to my desktop."

I asked "what about getting me clients with it?" Her confused look made me realize she didn't know the power of this (toy) machine.

Many don't understand my hate for this device, so let me clear that up. I think the iPad is an interesting utility. Not interesting enough to order one and wait at home for it's delivery, or stand in line with all the other "we don't have to be at work - ever - so we can sleep out at the Apple store for their new release that we can't afford, and don't need, but will buy anyway," folks.

It is not the iPad I detest, it's the comical obsession.

So I went to the Apple store. I always laugh, and almost want to cry when I go there. It looks like a human rat laboratory. Dozens of people playing with machines, and then dozens of people playing with machines.

I was an anomaly there. I walked in, found the youngest, thinnest, pale faced (what's with that hair) person with an iPhone and said: "I want to buy an iPad."

"And I want 3G."

Here started the anti-sales job. See, I wanted to spend $629, and he was thinking more like $499. I hesitated to tell him I actually had a job, and the extra buck twenty nine was something I could handle.

"You know there's wireless everywhere?"

Before he could say "like at Starbucks," I said, "not in my car while I'm driving to North Carolina."


That ended that, and I was saved from telling him that my wife doesn't drink coffee, and that I only go to Starbucks for coffee. No need to get him angry at me.

So after a stop at the local rip-off wrapping place, I headed home, hat in hand, chin lowered, and now part of that group of minions to the God that is Steve Jobs.

I actually gave it to my wife during Hanukkah-me being Jewish, her being Catholic (to the offense of several of my over-affected Jewish friends).

Oh was she happy. Which is really all that matters, even if I abdicated my principals and bowed to the societal wonderment that is "slide to open."

Oh, the review.

Well, I typed half this blog post on it, then couldn't do it anymore. You Apple people are taking typo to an all new level. I can't do it. So now I'm pleasantly finishing this on my in-law's Compaq with a 13 inch monitor.

I like the ability to enlarge the screen by spreading your fingers (yes I know Apple dorks, you've been doing that for years), and I like the "turn it and it will turn with you," thing. I have some issues with the ability to view certain legal documents from certain websites, but let's not get into things that most iPad users have no need to do.

I like that seamless sending and receiving email is available without having to go to a website, although setting it up was a bit difficult. (I use Microsoft Exchange as opposed to everyone else who (idolizes) uses Google Mail (is it down again?))

I can't imagine not having 3G, being tied to home, or that coffee place, or some other Bohemian location that takes in lawyers like a homeless shelter.

I haven't downloaded much, don't expect to either. It's not mine, and I won't be taking my iPad to work, I'll stick with taking my daughter to work, on take your daughter to work day.

So please don't respond with a list of "apps" that will change my life. This was bought for a specific purpose - so my wife could check in at my office, and of course, check Fandango for the latest movies.

So drink a toast, wipe a tear, there's an iPad in the Tannebaum household. Somewhere.

Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.Share/Save/Bookmark


shg said...

Some of us, not too many but some, don't feel compelled to be at the beck and call of anyone with our email address. We remember the days when we would check our messages when our focus wasn't otherwise occupied with doing lawyerly things.

To this day, I carry a cellphone whose number remains a mystery, since I use it only to call out, then shut it off then my call is over. It doesn't receive pictures, or youtubes, or even funny jokes forwarded by Wall Streeters. It has no personalized ring tone. When I touch my fingers to the screen, the only thing that happens is it gets a fingerprint.

Would you like whipped with your mocha frappucino?

My Law License said...


Do you feel limited when you're out of the office and trying to answer questions on AVVO or check on your LinkedIn connections?

Eric L. Mayer said...

Christmas arrived once more, and the old curmudgeon at Simple Justice sat hunched over his keyboard. It was an old keyboard, once white, now stained a light, tannish brown. Some keys were missing, but he didn't care. He'd never need to use "PrintScr" again. Not with his latest version of DOS. The large, yellowed computer box sat under his desk, streaked with shoe polish from being kicked on particularly trying days. The words, UNIVAC displayed faintly on its face next to the 5 1/4 inch floppy drive.

The faint light from the green, monochrome screen made his face look ruddy, but he didn't care. He was alone. Just he and his blawg.

Tonight, he wouldn't be disturbed. His phone, with its crystalish, rotary dial never rang at this time of night, and the cell phone, mandated by his wife, sat silent, turned off. The words JITTERBUG glowed lightly in bold cursive. AARP said it was the best phone. By god, if AARP says it's good, then it must be damn good.

He tried to play nicely with others. He really did. He even opened a contest for the best blawg post, but that brought him nothing but despair. Some guy named Jamison shat upon the page with dozens of submissions, tearing a hole in the bandwidth. One of the posts, he suspected, was from ESPN, and not a blawg at all.

Tonight was the night when everyone across the blawgosphere would get their new toys. There were touch things. There were internet things. There were books in computers. There was legal research that looked like Google. There were Judges who, starting tonight, would start accepting motions filed over email. There were gadgets and gizmos. Some with apples, and some with other, glowing displays. To him, they were all fruity. The bile welled-up in his throat.

"Merry F-ing Christmas" he thought to himself as he prodded the yellowed keys. He'd be done in a few minutes with this post. Free again, for awhile.

Then, he'd do what he always did at this festive time of year while everyone else dreamed of gifts with lithium-ion batteries. He'd replace the pocket parts on all of his federal reporters. In these days of electronic unhappiness, it was the one thing that gave him sheer glee, if only for a while.

shg said...

Merry F-ing Christmas, Eric.

Venkat said...

You gotta download Angry Birds - excellent productivity app!

Also, congrats on the iPad.

Twitter Fail said...

I don't own an ipod, ipad, iphone, or any other i-dash items. I work with, and on, computers all day long, and purchase technology that helps me do my job faster, better, or more efficiently. Swishing, swiping, and bumping fists with Apple aficionados doesn't save me time or make me money; the two most important criteria for every electronics purchase.

I'm disappointed to see you've wandered over to the dark side, even if you were coerced. I heard that once you've purchased an i-anything, your life will never be the same.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for the very informative review of the iPad 3G. Reading this post makes me want to drive to the mall and fight off the mall zombies to get this game-changing product, post haste. It also inspired me to come up with a new buzzword for 2011: "Flawg": noun. a blawg which shamelessly promotes legal tech products in the absence of anything remotely legal to discuss; "Flawger": n: an unemployed Starbucks lawyer who blawgs incessantly about the latest legal gadgets in the desperate hope of getting a)friends; b) clients c) SEO traffic and/or d) a BigLaw job and/or e) a free iPad.

Gregory Luce said...

Fine, I'll play Apple apologist. What's up with you guys? Are you playing some old school retro cool tech thing? Let me guess, you all loved the late 1970s and all of the 1980s, which was a good decade for your life and maybe for your practice. You dabbled in some computer-related stuff, maybe even did some messing around with building simple electronics, like a crude robotic dog made out of a tin can.

Then you got a Commodore PET and have never looked back. Sure, Apple was its main competitor but you in your retro-cool-tech-chic said "who needs to pay twice the amount when I can have my all-in-one with 4kb of ROM. I built my own robotic dog that shits screws!" When IBM introduced the PC and MS-DOS came out, you embraced their "granularity," despite Apple Macs being released soon thereafter with a better interface and a faster processor. Again, you said, who needs a graphic user interface? Those are for effeminate lab rats. Besides, I've got my command line and I know how to use it, LOADFIX C: /home/stories file2020l.

Oh, and during this time you were probably way into Sonic Youth and the New York noise rock scene, but you then ceremoniously and loudly announced in 1990 that the band sold out by signing with Geffen and releasing Goo.

So, go ahead, wait for your PC to boot up and the phone calls to come in on your Doro PhoneEasy with the fingerprints. By the time you get things working and you start your daily game of Twister-like keyboard shortcuts and "I wish I still had DOS" manipulations, I've already ordered my skinny no whip mocha with an extra shot, sat down among my brethren with my iPad and Droid X, written out two cover letters, sent off five resumes, and tweeted about the experience. Beat that.

shg said...

"written out two cover letters, sent off five resumes, and tweeted about the experience."

Yep. You got us there. It's been thirty years since I had to worry about sending out a resume. I've been too busy reading the resumes cutting edge mac-loving Starbucks guys like you send out hoping to get a job with a curmudgeon like me.

JScura said...

I'm not an Apple disciple, but I am a sucker for gadgets. I bought my iPad for non-professional use with tempered expectations. In my experience, the iPad will not impact the core of your practice in any measurable way. I would never use it for legal doc preparation, nor would I rely on it for serious research or even a blog post. People that are adept enough can probably figure out a way to "sync" their entire lives...I prefer a weekly printout of my MS Outlook.

Here are a few times the iPad can be very useful, especially for attorneys that spend significant time in Court. If nothing more, having one handy can make your day a little more enjoyable.

Down/Travel Time- While waiting for the Judge to come back from his/her extended birthday lunch, you can quickly run through your favorite blawgs or pull up some recent caselaw. Possibilities unlimited.

On the Road Time- A number of free apps can help with maps, directions, and finding a decent sushi joint when you take a case or CLE seminar three hours from home. This is not a substitute for a personal recommendation...but sometimes, nobody feels like chatting up the new guy.

Oh Crap Time- Again, I would not recommend reliance on the iPad for substantive legal work, however, the first app I purchased contained my jurisdiction's entire criminal and motor vehicle code. As I purchased it, I envisioned a suppression hearing where the officer mentions for the first time that the stop was for some obscure moving violation, like "improperly placed truck nuts"(please tell me they aren't a NJ phenomenon). It hasn't happened yet, but the entire code is there if I need it in a pinch.

Ken said...

There is a line at which opposition to an annoying affectation itself becomes an annoying affectation. You're in danger of bowling over Comic Book Guy in your zeal to rush over that line.

I don't use my iPad at Starbucks. I probably use it 70% for fun and 30% for work. However, that 30% is actually useful. I like being able to take vast quantities of documents with me, and access them simply (thanks to apps like DropBox and GoodReader), without lugging them physically or lugging a laptop. I like the email capability, which is easier to use than a handheld, but more convenient than a laptop. I like carrying a handy reference of frequently used statutes that is not heavy.

But I'm not an Apple evangelist, and I put it in an ugly rubber case and don't flash it around, so I may not be in your target crowd.