Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wants vs. needs

This is a phrase that I use with my wife a lot, mostly when we're discussing things like houses and cars and other LARGE purchases.  And given that we live what I would consider to be an above-average upper-middle-class lifestyle, the line between what we want and what we need blurs considerably.

If you visit here even infrequently you are likely aware that I love gadgets, particularly those of the Apple variety.  I'm on my second Mac computer (current model is a Macbook Air, the ultra-light-and-thin portable), have owned more than one iPod (right now I have an iPod Nano, which about the size of a postage stamp and not much thicker).  And at my insistence, when my wife was due for a cellphone upgrade, we got her an iPhone, and she's extremely happy with this.

I also have an iPad.  Original version, bought it two Christmases ago.  64 GB storage memory, no cellular connection, just Wi-Fi.  I tried to use it as my travel computer for work, even, although I found there were a handful of things that I couldn't do easily with it, so the Macbook Air comes in very handy for business travel.

But I love the thing.  It resides mostly on the shelf of the table next to my favorite living room chair.  I have it in hand off-and-on for several hours each evening, surfing the web, looking up something my wife and I were wondering about, etc.  I'm a pretty good example of how folks are using this, whether it's as a part of another activity (like watching TV) or otherwise.

Unless you've been living in a cave, Apple is due to bring out a new iPad tomorrow.  The new guy promises to have a ridiculously sharp and vivid display screen (and let's face it, the entire device is screen, since it's touch-based) that will reproduce text, video and photos in crisp detail while maintaining an already astounding 10 hours of battery life between charges.

So, of course, I have to have this.

I didn't run out and buy an iPad 2.  Had only had my original model for about four months when it came out, and, since I wasn't all that interested in a camera, that was about all mine was missing.  Sure, the new model was thinner and lighter, but it's not as though the original was inches thicker or pounds heavier!

So I've been weighing the options.  Thought about not getting it, selling my iPad and getting another iPod Touch (I sold mine for about 65% of original purchase price when I bought the iPad) and using that to entertain me when I travel.

But my wife astutely pointed out, "You love that thing.  You use it ALL THE TIME.  You have to get the new one."

Boy, if that's not an invitation to disaster.....

So I've listed my current item on Craigslist (my exploits successfully selling various items there have been documented previously) for roughly half of what I paid, and I may have an interested party.  That would make this whole thing a bit easier.  So we'll see.

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