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I Can’t Decide

Posted on: October 5, 2010

As I came back to reality last week, after an incredible week of biking in Puglia

 

I came across an intriguing article in the Wall Street Journal about people’s decision-making habits or, perhaps more accurately, the tendency of some to delay decision-making due to ambivalence.

As I read it, ambivalence about decisions is a sign of maturity. And as I interpret it, that means I must be quite mature, given my inability to make some personal decisions lately.

You see, it all started with the iPad.  When it was first launched, it looked to me like a glorified iPod touch.  But, as I’ve watched the sales numbers rack up (see the latest eye-popping projections here) and I’ve peered over the shoulders of friends and colleagues entranced with its seemingly magical properties, I began to do research on all the fabulous ways it’s being used for everything from basic PowerPoint presentations to the development of super-slick digitally published content. As I learned more about this marvel of a device, I found the argument for succumbing to iPad-mania growing ever stronger.

Then last Monday, when my weekly must-read, the New Yorker, announced that they will begin publishing on the iPad,

I thought, “That’s it, I’m in.”
And, so I was.

At least until I saw the Research in Motion announcement that very same day about the launch of Playbook, the new tablet for the BlackBerry crowd.

It looks like it’ll have some sweet features such as a camera and the ability to play Flash. Better yet, it’ll connect to and share resources with — what is for me — the ultimate indispensable gadget and a constant companion — my BlackBerry Tour.

So, as I look at it, there are today two very viable contenders for my tablet dollar — the user-friendly iPad with its sleek design and aura of cool v. the much more practical PlayBook with a set of functions that fits hand-in-glove with things I’m already doing all day, every day.

Although it is a truism of direct marketing that choice depresses response, I think my own hesitation is just that, certainly not a decision to do nothing at all. For as soon as I thought to write about this topic, the tablet product announcements began in earnest — including recent announcements from Dell and Microsoft — as they try to grab their share of the spotlight among all the new entrants in the coming tablet wars lining up for battle.

As we witness a proliferation of gadgets which may, ultimately, replace the PC and the smartphone, there are definite benefits to NOT being an early adopter. For as the tech titans battle it out for market share and pile on the features, we all win as consumers.

That much is clearly decided.

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1 Response to "I Can’t Decide"

Sometimes, we are just waiting for the right choice to show up. As an avid fan of my HTC Incredible, and an early adopter, I am just waiting for the tablet that has Android or Chrome OS to jump in. It would help if it could really replace my laptop, since every time I travel to South Africa I lose a laptop to virus or power surge. In this case, choice does not depress response, I just don’t have the desired choice yet. And I am willing to wait for a platform I have grown to count on.

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