So I wake to the news this morning that Apple have released the greatest piece of technology in the history of the entire universe. The iPad.
I'll start with the pros.
This thing looks great. Kudos to Apple's design team, they really know how to package up that shiny aluminium and glass.
Big screen with an incredible ability to sense touch. If it works in real life as well as it does in Apple's launch video* then this thing will certainly have quite the WOW factor.
Apps. Apps, apps and more apps. Since the launch of the ubiquitous iPhone it seems we haven't really been living at all - not until we got all of them iApps. There's a freaken app for just about everything, and the new iPad will be able to handle them all 'right outta the box'.
I love when Apple says 'right outta the box'.
For it's great looking design it is really only a larger version of the iTouch. Nothing really new or revolutionary about it. What about a device that utilises the entire footprint as useable screen area? Why the black border?
Lack of multi-tasking. Apparently (and I won't know how this goes for sure until I've tried it myself) this thing is super fast... however even a low spec netbook is fast when you're only performing one task at a time. This thing won't even let you listen to your playlist as you send email (apparently). F@#$ that!
Memory. Flash memory is awesome. My girlfriend's Macbook Pro has flash memory and it runs quiet as a mouse with laryngitis and as cool as the very blog you are reading presently. But there's only a maximum of 64GB on these things. 64GB is a handy amount, but a decent iTunes library I would guess would be around 40GB, not including movies and e-books (which is supposed to be a big part of this thing's appeal), and pretty much useless considering the next con:
No SD card slot. That's right, if you wanted to keep your iTunes library or other stored media on a card to expand your iPad's memory - you can't. Because there isn't one. Whaaaa?
Huge scratchable screen. This is where this thing will live and die. Even netbooks have screens that are protected by the folding keyboard. This thing is a huge "oh my GOD I just ran a key down my iPad" waiting to happen. sure you can buy the funky faux-leather pouch for it, but it sure looks like they could fit a keypad in that flap kinda making it look a bit more like a... traditional laptop computer!!
Plenty of people are going to want one of these. Heck, if my lucky numbers came up one of these days I'd get one just for fun. But if you've already got an iPhone, and an iTouch, and an iPod, and a MacBook Air and an iMac... seriously, I can't see why in a million years you'd need one of these.
I'm not averse to the whole notion of e-readers. I think they'll eventually become something of a revolution. this device may be part of accelerating that revolution, but this device sure don't seem to me to be revolutionary in its own right.
I am very interested to see what happens with this little baby. Now that's cool.
*Apple's recent history of using stop motion video technology to 'speed up' the appearance of the apps on their devices (such as iPhone's advertising) does not engender an overwhelming trust in their claims of speed.
Until next time,