Former digital editor at The Takeaway, former producer at The Brian Lehrer Show.
The iPad is exhausting.
I've wasted hours at the office showing off applications. Here's how Netflix streams instant videos. Here's how big the keyboard is. No it doesn't have a phone, but here's how Skype works. And then there are the meetings that take 10 minutes longer with all the demo requests. The cooing and aahing when all I want to do is take notes on the virtual legal pad.
Ok, I can't say I don't like the attention. I can't say that the lines forming by my cubicle and the bursts of hyperbole don't help me justify my decision to drop $500 on a device that in many ways is just a bigger version than the iPhone in my pocket.
And I can't say it wouldn't be a great tool for finding a date.
At least that was a theory I wanted to test. On Wednesday, I conducted an experiment to see if the iPad could be the electronic equivalent of a borrowed puppy on the streets of New York.
Up until now, I've been wary about flaunting my new gadget in public. I tucked it away in a backpack. I bought a case that made it look like an oversized diary. I even considered hiding it in a magazine. But today, I brandished it on sidewalks, coffee shops, and bars in all its metallic glory.
The result? It's a babe magnet.
My first stop was a hip cafe on Sullivan Street that's usually a second home for NYU students. When I walked in, I felt the glare of a dozen eyes peering from behind Macbooks at the slender rectangle under my arm. When I sat down and tapped away at the screen, the woman next to me fired off questions. I might as well have had a chihuahua rather than a mini-computer.
I left the cafe, and was approached by two men who started drooling over the device. One told me he was a math professor who was shy and would this help him meet women? I told him about the reaction in the cafe.
I found a nearby coffee shop where I was asked about it at least five times: How heavy is it? Can I touch it? Can you read books? I gave my well-honed replies and took a seat beside a woman with a laptop. I asked her if she was getting Wi-Fi okay and the iPad became a dog again.
At the Whole Foods checkout line, it was more about stares of curiosity than outspoken comments. At a book shop called The Strand, I was accused of being sacrilegious.
My last stop was a bar in Brooklyn. Not 30 seconds after I put the iPad on a table, a self-described Apple fanboy asked to hold it. He was offering me a beer when two women emerged from behind him and screamed and pointed. They all wanted a go.
The final comment came on my way home. Crossing the road, a man in a car rolled down his window and shouted, “How much for the iPad?” I told him it wasn't for sale.
This one unscientific experiment on the streets of New York suggests success for the much-hyped device, but who knows how quickly the novelty will wear off?
Until then, if you're looking for a dating aid, leave your friend's dog alone and borrow an iPad.
Listen to reactions to the iPad around New York (recorded on an iPad application):