"Found" money - buy an iPad, Kindle, Android, or other?

An interesting situation has come up where I suddenly have $600 coming to me in "found money". (It's not an IRS tax refund, but a similar "found money" situation.) Rather than just chuck it into the bank, I've been thinking about what to do with it. Get an iPad? An Android phone? A Kindle? Or since I don't currently own a tv, maybe a nice 32" flat panel?

I thought about all of those things, but what I really need today is a nice starter SLR camera that I can use to take much better pictures for my website about living in Alaska. Currently priced at $560, this Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera seems to be the leading purchase candidate:

I don't know much about cameras, but if you do, and would like to offer your opinion on this camera versus others in the "Under $600 price range", please leave a comment below, or send me an email using the Contact form link above.

An iPad -- for my mom?

Interesting, a couple thoughts about the iPad came up during this thought process. (Here is my early iPad design review.) The first is that I have no desire to get one for myself. I'm sure it's a great product, and despite some of my rumblings about Apple, I have a great respect for their innovation, engineering, and manufacturing. But as I suddenly have an extra $600 in my pocket, I laid in bed thinking about it last night, and I have no desire to buy an iPad, which really surprised me.

(On the other hand, I would love to have a new MacBook Pro. Too bad $600 won't get me there.)

I have to say, I thought more about buying a Kindle or Kindle DX than an iPad, but that's when I thought their prices were much lower. If a Kindle was $99 I'd buy one, but at $259 for the Kindle and $489 for the Kindle DX, neither of those are going to happen. (I was going to write "not going to happen any time soon", but really, at those prices, it is more accurate to just say "not going to happen".)

The final thought I had about the iPad last night was about buying one for my mom. (I won't give away my mother's age, but I'm 46 years old.) She doesn't do anything on the internet, but she does like to read and watch tv shows and movies, so if she could do those things, and have a couple of games she could play, that might be cool. The funny thing is that the simple "one thing at a time" touchscreen iPad UI makes it a better device for her than any other netbook.

So I leave you with that parting thought: Today, April 22, 2010, the iPad seems like a better device for my mom than it is for me.

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