28 January 2010


Living in the future

Apple iPad at Flickr.comNot having seen or touched Apple's new iPad myself, I can't contribute much new to the vast conversation that has been swirling around this device over the past day. But I can say two things:

  • Until yesterday I would have planned to replace my current MacBook with another laptop when it wears out. I’d now consider getting an iMac (or even maybe a Mac Mini) as a primary computer, and using an iPad as a living room/kitchen/bedtime/on the road companion device. In the roughly-$2000 price range you could get a 15-inch MacBook Pro, or a 21-inch iMac, plus an iPad. I can see a lot of power users and tech heads going that route.
  • We'll get used to it, but iPad is a dumb name. On a lark, I started a Facebook group suggesting that we call it the Slabapple, which is also a dumb name I made up, but which I think is less dumb than iPad. Feel free to join us, for whatever that's worth.

The key thing, I think, is that this is the first version of the device. My guess is that it will have legs, and that—as happened with the iPhone—whatever iPad is available in two or three years will have everyone forgetting the many complaints about today's version.

P.S. Oh, and this (via Jeff Croft).

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it is kind of nice, but I think it's overpriced.

It's not as convenient as a mobile (iphone) and it's not as powerful as a netbook (multitasking) and the (text)input is certainly not as nice as a laptop or netbook (without the keyboard dock).

Essentially it's an iPod touch with a bigger screen. I don't think the bigger screen is worth double the pricetag.
And i forgot to mention... as an ebook reader the battery life is nowhere NEAR the competition. 7 DAYS with the Kindle.
The thing is, it's not a mobile phone, or a netbook, or a laptop. It's trying to be something else, and I think it may have succeeded, even in version 1.

$500 doesn't seem overpriced to me, especially for an Apple product. And those who've used one say that it's a substantially different and better experience than a simply-bigger iPod Touch (BTW, the top-of-the-line Touch is already $400). I'm not saying it's perfect by any means, but it looks to be a pretty interesting first-version product.

Secondly, my Kindle 2 doesn't get anywhere near 7 days from a single charge, certainly not with Whispernet running. I've seen those claims, but I'm not getting that result myself.

Yes, if I were going hiking somewhere there was no power available, a Kindle would do a better job, but plugging in daily doesn't bother most people for multi-function devices. The key downside as an ebook reader is that a backlit screen will probably be much more fatiguing to read than e-ink. Then again, I stare at a laptop all day without too much pain.
You took the words out of my mouth. Or at least my mind. The iPad makes a desktop computer a feasible solution for me. And a desktop might be a more powerful computer for gaming or whatnot.

I do think that it's missing two key elements to make it a truly mobile solution. iChat and the accompanying built in webcam.
For what it is worth I am happy with my 3 macs - an iMac, a mini and MBP.
3 quick points...

We can't compare the baseline (16gb) iPad ($500) with the top of the line (64gb) iPod touch ($400). Apples to apples, it's still more than double the price.

The argument that "its not bad for an apple device" is silly to me. They're all overpriced for what they give you. You're paying for marketing that's it. Yes the quality is superb, but so is the quality of many other products that are out there that don't cost half as much.

Multitasking is still the biggest problem, regardless of 'user experience.' I find even blogging requires multiple windows, multiple tabs multiple copy/pastes, notepads open, picture editing, etc. Without multitasking these tasks become obnoxious.
I guess we'll each have to see how it works when we get our hands on one to try it.