Saratoga Springs resident Jean Kaplansky plans on buying an Apple iPad Saturday. Possibly.
When the highly anticipated device finally becomes available in the Capital Region, and she can see it at the Apple Store in Crossgates Mall, she’ll decide if she’s actually going to complete her purchase.
Depending on the configuration, the iPad costs between $499 and $829, and gives users the ability to surf the Internet, watch high-definition videos, listen to music, read eBooks and use other features using the device’s multi-touch interface.
“I just want to get my hands on one,” said Kaplansky, 39. “If I’m not impressed then I have the option of walking away. I just didn’t want to be one of those people who coughed up $500 for something I’ve never seen.”
Kaplansky reserved an iPad through Apple’s Web site for free. It will be held for her until 3 p.m. Saturday.
She still hasn’t figured out what her primary use for the device will be and whether it will be for work or play, or both. For now she sees the iPad as one huge iPod Touch, which itself is a music player married with the abilities of a pocket computer with gaming capabilities and built-in Wi-Fi.
The iPad will be available at the Apple store and most Best Buy stores beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.
This weekend, Apple retail stores will offer a personal setup service for every customer who buys the 1.5 pound device.
The free service includes helping consumers customize their iPad by setting up e-mail and loading applications. The stores are also expected to offer iPad workshops to help consumers learn more about the product.
Kaplansky has been an e-book user since the late 1990s.
“They had e-book readers shortly after they came out with the first Palm [phone],” said Kaplansky, who also owns two Sony eReaders and a Barnes & Noble nook. She owns several other Apple products, including an iPhone, a MacBook and a Mac mini.
The main feature Kaplansky is hoping to get the best use of is the iPad’s screen. The overall size is about 9.5 by 7.5 inches, with a much bigger screen than a smart phone or an electronic book reader.
“One of the things I’m hoping to see is if I can read technical documentation with more ease than I can currently do so on either one of my readers or on my Barnes and Noble nook. iPhones aren’t good for reading technical documentation in PDF size. It’s just not very efficient, whereas if you have a larger screen you have a better chance of not having to pan around or magnify as much.”
She would also like to see if the iPad has annotation features that give her ability to highlight, a feature limited in electronic readers, she said.
Since she plans on using the iPad mostly for work, Kaplansky didn’t seem as interested in the iPad’s numerous applications or the premise of reading newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and others in electronic layout form.
“I really don’t read newspapers. I read stuff online. If I want to see something in a local newspaper, I’m more likely to look it up online,” she said.