As Apple prepares to launch the iPad in the UK at the end of this month, I’m tapping out this post using the “magical” new device from my office in Bournemouth, UK.
Yes, I got hold of a US iPad a month before it was due to go on sale here and I couldn’t be happier.
How? I went down the same route as many a frustrated, European fanboy and threw some money at eBay. This flagrant disregard for the safety of my hard earned pennies came about after the excellent BundleBox.com stopped taking any more iPad orders just short of my payday.
The positives are obvious. I’m playing with an iPad right now, I’m the envy of my peers and I’m getting a head start on other UK-based tech freelancers who are, no doubt, pre-ordering today. The negatives? I could have saved £100 pounds if I had waited or, for the same price as I bought my 32GB Wi-Fi model, I could have bought a 32GB Wi-Fi & 3G iPad.
But I’m still happy, for these three reasons:
1. If, a couple of weeks ago, someone had told me I could have an iPad in my hands the next day for an additional £100 “handling fee”, I would have bitten their arm off. This is effectively what I did although, to the best of my knowledge, the charming eBay seller who shipped me the device still has both his upper limbs.
2. The brilliant guys at Three.co.uk have loaned me a MiFi portable Wi-Fi hotspot for a feature I’m writing, so 3G on the move isn’t a problem for me right now. It also means the iPad is starting to “pay for itself” through freelance work already.
3. My girlfriend LOVES this thing. I can see me upgrading to the 3G at some point in the next year and I know my original will go to a good home while keeping domestic peace for a few months.
My next question is, do I head down the same route for the iPad accessories I now MUST have or actually be patient and go to a local Apple Store this time? Given how long this post took to write on the iPad’s “virtual keyboard”, I’m starting to see a UPS delivery in my near future...
EDIT: The accessories are now available for pre-order on the UK Apple Store. Looks like I’ll be doing that then!