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The Top Seven Impulse Buys More Useful Than an iPad

by bradiger   April 21, 2010 at 10:00AM  |  Views: 4,693

When the iPad was unveiled back in January, Steve Jobs described the new tablet computer as “truly magical.” But now that the iPad has been out for a few weeks and some of the “magic” surrounding Apple’s new tablet has settled down a bit, it occurred to us that there are a number of other things you can get for the same amount of money (or less) that will put your coin to far better use.

Photo: AFP/Stringer/Getty Images


7. 25 Cases of Beer

Photo: Timothy Allen/Axiom Photographic Agency/Getty Images

So, you've got about 500 bucks burning a hole in your pocket. What to do? The iPad might seem like the move to make - the tech world is all aflutter about it - but at the end of the day, is it really going to provide you more joy than, say, three raging parties worth of beer?

Judging from my own observations, experiences that have been fueled by alcohol tend to be far more "magical" than those facilitated by tech products. And of course, while purchasing either of these is an exercise in excess, the main advantage of the beer is that the buyer's remorse won't set in until the day after you buy it.

6. A Dirt Bike

Photo: Cavan Images/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Hop on Craigslist and you'll quickly find that awesome dirt bikes can be for less cash than even the lowest-spec'd iPad. Not only will the dirt bike force you into the sunlight of the outside world, you'll almost certainly look cooler popping wheelies and doing sweet jumps than you will trying to awkwardly contort your body into a comfortable position to use the iPad for any extended amount of time. 

And you can rest assured that the bike will accept fuel from any gas pump, it's compatible with all the major road surfaces and, unless you already have an ATV or another motorcycle, owning it won't feel shamefully redundant. 

5. PlayStation 3

Photo: Sony

While it is slightly less portable, the PlayStation 3 makes up for its mobile shortcomings with far more versatility than the iPad. A new PS3 costs 40% less than the bottom-tier iPad does, and not only do you get a Adobe Flash compatible web browsing experience, you also get a Blu-ray player, a gaming platform that's actually enjoyable for gaming, and more hard drive space.

Your cat might find it less fascinating though, so that might be something to you'll want to consider if Internet stardom is really the ultimate goal here.

4. The HP Slate

Photo: HP

While we're not really sold on the tablet craze yet, if you simply have to have a tablet PC right now, HP's offering has quite a bit of functionality that the iPad lacks.

While it starts at fifty bucks more than the iPad, the Slate promises an SD card slot, supports 1080p video playback, sports a beefy 1.6Ghz Atom processor, and it has two cameras (instead of zero).

The biggest drawback to the Slate at the moment is that it won't be on store shelves until this summer, so while the final decision in this faceoff might have to wait a few more months, it would be tough to argue that the Slate won't offer more usefulness than a similarly-priced iPad would.


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