The iPad isn’t very good for the things I thought it would be good for.

But it’s great at doing things I’d never considered.

An iPad will not replace your notebook or netbook, and it’s really pretty crummy when it comes to handling e-mail. The keyboard is adequate for typing a word or name in a Google search, but if I had to write a 1,000 word article on it, I’d probably write the next column about how high an iPad can bounce.

Battery life is phenomenal, but the charging time can be insufferable. And the supplied charger cord is shorter than my patience.

It’s clear we’ll never get along. I should have known that the attraction was nothing more than a flirtation; a passing fancy. A brief affair, at best. Tender, passionate and—hey, wait a minute!

Then why is it that I the first thing I do nearly every morning is turn on the iPad? She responds instantly, telling me the weather, the headlines, the traffic. Sometimes even playing a song or pinging a website for me so I can fact-check a story idea that surfaced the night before.

And why, then, at nightfall, as I lie in bed, why do I hoist her slender torso above me and—risking facial lacerations should my grip fail—read a chapter or two of a classic book I downloaded for free, or check to see if anyone has bothered to post a comment on this blog?

With an iPad my nine-year-old daughter can fly a P-51 Mustang, bowl a strike, review the Periodic Table of Elements, see her school in a satellite photo, read Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, draw cartoons, watch the Three Stooges, watch Tom & Jerry, watch more Three Stooges, buy flowers for her mother, listen to our local police band Public Safety traffic, play chess, read Don Quixote, do Sudoku, shop for shoes (yes, it’s starts around eight or nine), review Betty Crocker recipes, find a nearby diner, beat daddy at knock-hockey, land the Space Shuttle, win at Pac Man, watch figure skating, and do something new and entirely different tomorrow.

Nope, the iPad isn’t very good for the things I thought it would be good for. But it’s great at doing things I’m not smart enough to think of.

—Jon Sienkiewicz

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