So, what’s the dork opinion on the iPad?

iPadimageYou want to know, don’t you? You want to know which way to jump. Should you join the ‘OMG the iPad is RUBBISH! And it sounds like a SANITARY TOWEL!’ group, or go for the ‘OMG Apple have done it AGAIN! They have created something so excellent I wasn’t even aware I needed one UNTIL NOW!’ folks? Truth is, I’m not sure.

I’ve had a good think about which camp I sit in. In fact, I was most pre-occupied by it at about 5am this morning, but I just don’t seem to be able to come to a conclusion (I would understand at this point if you’d be wondering why you or I would bother with the rest of this article, but stay with me).

I’m not sure I get it.

So it’s an internet tablet, Steve says can be sitting in the kitchen waiting for you to buy your movie tickets. But it’s also a work tool that warrants its own copy of iWork? And it’s ‘the best internet browsing experience you’ve ever had’. But it doesn’t play Flash video. And typing with the on-screen keyboard is so freakin’ easy. But there’s a physical keyboard accessory you can buy. I’m not sure even Steve really understands this product.

In a presentation even more packed with superlatives than your average Apple love-in, he gave the impression that he was struggling to talk up something that was actually only quite good. In fact, after three minutes of watching him browse various web pages (‘and I can just put my finger on any of these pictures of animals, and look at any animal I like’… dude, seriously?) I was beginning to wonder if he had some kind of time slot he was struggling to fill.

There’s no help as to who this product is aimed at when it comes to pricing – taking the US conversions (UK pricing has yet to be announced) you could pay £310 for a 16GB WiFi version, or up to £514 for a 64GB WiFi and 3G enabled version. So prices start at a costly treat price, and go up to a considered investment price. They’re two quite different things.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens now – Apple don’t really do failure (not recently, anyway), but then up until now the world hasn’t really done tablet PCs.

It’s Steve vs the World. And I have no idea who my money is on.

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Comments

  1. says

    Have you ever wished the screen was bigger on your iPhone or iPod Touch? If so, then the iPad is for you. Otherwise, it offers nothing…iBook won’t even be available in the UK for quite some time yet.

  2. says

    With regards to all the things the iPad is supposed to do, It’s a bit like buying a very expensive specialist fly hammer to squash a house fly, when a normal hammer (that you have lying in a cupboard) would do perfectly well at the task. And even then the normal hammer would be overkill.

    Does that make sense?

  3. pinktech says

    Meh.

    I think it’s a great entertainment device for commuters stuck on long train or plane rides. But I’m a Mac fangirl with a job and an expensive photography hobby, and it’s not the device I was hoping for.

    For the job, could I do data entry, answer emails in a style acceptable to my boss (ie, using You in lieu of U), and writing short reports? Maybe. I’m not convinced that touch screen typing will be fast or ergonomic enough. There are times when I’m walking around cradling a netbook in my left arm while the right hand hunts and pecks; clearly a tablet would be easier then. But how easy will it be to find a flat surface where I could see the device and type without breaking my wrists? The keyboard dock would be an option when you get back home/to the office/hotel, but on the go, I don’t want to carry two devices.

    For the photo hobby, uh, what if your camera don’t use SD cards? I’m an Aperture user who shoots RAW with a CF toting dSLR. When I travel, I’d love a light weight computer to view my images and back them up to a portable hard drive; when you shoot RAW, 16 gigs is easily one day of shooting. But the camera kit dock is only for SD, and I can’t tie up my camera and drain it’s battery for 15 minutes while 8 gigs of image files upload via USB. And, assuming there was room for them on the iPad, how to I get them backed up on a portable hard drive? How do you view files already on that drive? A pair of USB ports, even in a dock, would have solved a lot of issues.

    Even if some clever engineer comes up with a USB hub for the dock connector, is there a native app for viewing those RAW images? iWork is nice, how ’bout an iAperture or even i-iPhoto? When you’re in the field or on vacation, all you need to do is view, keyword, and delete the junk. A light version for $10 would be lovely.

    Like I said, it’s a nice entertainment device. I was really hoping for a computer. I guess I’ll be sticking with my little XP netbook.

  4. says

    One of the best things about new Apple products is that as soon as you see them, you just KNOW they would be GREAT in your life. Like the perfect apartment, you can instantly visualise yourself living with a new Apple iWhatever.

    Um, except for this one. You can debate the fineries of what it’s got or hasn’t got, but fundamentally, I just don’t get what it’s for. And every time I visualise myself using it, I also find myself visualising putting it down in frustration.

  5. Rob says

    The above comments was pertty much spot on. Juts before the ipod touch came out i longed for a small web surfer for emails that was better suited than my useless nokia at the time – went and used an ipod touch and was instantly sold – it was EXACTLY what i needed. Having used my iPod for video the Touch was a welcomed ‘advance’ with a bigger screen etc for those without an iPhone.

    But this…? What is the point. I have a Dell Mini 9 thats runing OS X and i love it, i had really hoped it would be something about 7″ thats running OSX, all be it very slowly. Apple are simply trying to tie more people into the Apps store with this thing. If this is all they were going to do they would have been better off making it a 7″ touch….its too big to put in a pocket, and for its size lacks soooooo much. No Bluetooth, No 16:9, No USB, No HDMI, No Flash…simply put, NO GOOD and NO WAY…would i waste my money on it.

    I love Apple kit, have 3 macs, but id sooner spend my money on any of the netbooks out there – Sony have those lovely lttle ones for roughly the same price which would do anything the iPad is supposed to do, play Flash and let you put and transfer files onto it via USB all this has over netbooks is a touchscreen….

    Apple should have basically come out with a MBair without a keyboard instead of this likely to be overall an iFlop.

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