September 10, 2011
Conscious Consumption and Late Adoption: My New Tablet
My love for deals is well documented. Sale goggles have dictated purchasing habits in the past. And the other week, when HP announced that they were discontinuing and subsequently discounting their Touchpad tablet, I scrambled to buy two of them (one for me and one for Chris cause he's a far bigger gadget junkie than me). Two of them cost me less than half the price of one Ipad (which is a gadget I have coveted since its release). The main reason I wanted one for so long was so I would have something a bit larger than my iphone to occupy my time in airports and on airplanes. I hate fumbling around with my laptop because it feels risky when you are as clumsy as me. Although WebOs is essentially a dead platform, I am confident that someday I should be able to port Android onto this tablet. And for now I really like WebOs. I also have my iphone for apps unavailable on Touchpad.
In my generalized research I study media and the history of communication technologies. So in many ways it is important that I stay literate and capable with gadgets that are newer. My grad student budget stalled the process of adopting a tablet considerably (as well as the recognition that I had no pressing need for such a device). When I do acquire new means of mediated communication, I enjoy thinking through its history and the potential obsolescences it creates among older, more established media. Long ago I told myself that if I was to acquire a tablet (assuming it would be an ipad) that I would buy a self-conscious cover. Well thankfully the Touchpad knocked off the dimensions of Ipad 1. I think it's just shy of one millimeter of difference in thickness which isn't a big deal for most covers (to be clear the Touchpad is slightly thicker). The openings and buttons are in similar spots. And there are far more interesting accessories options for ipad than for touchpad.
I found these lovely vintage book covers about a day too late. By then I had already settled on (and ordered via ebay at 50% off) a newspaper classifieds print cover from Kate Spade that matched my tote bag. Note that you can find this cover in the outlets too (which take phone orders and ship for a reasonable rate of $5). I love print journalism and subscribe to home delivery. For me a tablet doesn't make newspapers obsolete. But my friends that work in print journalism live with some suspicion and anxiety about the future of their publications. This cover will keep me mindful.