My thoughts on the Apple iPad
It’s a horrible name. Just horrible. Makes me cringe just thinking about it. Can’t imagine what they were thinking, but my first guess is that there was some sort of legal reason they couldn’t use something like iTablet, iSlate or even iScreen.
Hell, even iWhattheheck is better.
My initial reaction to the ebook ability of it was “Cool!” But then I started thinking about eyestrain and how the non-e-ink screen would make reading for long periods at a time a chore. I sit in front of a computer for 12 to 16 hours a day and reading long-form content like books or magazines on a computer screen is very straining to my eyes. I just don’t know how many ebooks I could read on this before my eyes just stopped focusing. Also, since it doesn’t have a keyboard, writing anything more than a quick email would become tedious really fast. Its lack of a cover for the screen makes it hard to simply shove into a bag and it’s too big to easily fit in a pocket. It has a painting program, but as a graphic artist I’ve found that small screens are no good for comfortable editing of artwork or photos, especially at high resolutions.
Now, I know that there’s a keyboard dock and a cover being sold separately, but if you’re going to get those, why not just get a netbook and be done with it?
They’ve released the iWork suite for the iPad, but other than viewing the files and doing quick, simple edits, I fail to see the point. For example, can anyone imagine writing a long report in pages using an on-screen keyboard? Or how about creating and editing a big spreadsheet? And Keynote? Really? How is that useful? You can’t hook the iPad to a projector which means you need to prop up the iPad to show the presentation to others and since it’s a touchscreen you’d have to hold it or stay close enough to touch it to advance the slides which basically means YOU become the tripod. And a 10″ screen means your audience would need to be almost in your lap to see anything on the slide that you’re talking about.
I’m lost as to why someone would spend the money on iWork for the iPad.
I’m just not sure what need this thing fills for the average user other than being a bigger screen to play your cool iTouch/iPhone apps on. I mean, the iPad might be great for watching videos or playing app games, but so is an iTouch/iPhone. Heck, the iTouch and iPhone seem to be a better choice since they run the same apps as the iPad (for now) and are more portable and cheaper. And, just like the iTouch/iPhone, the iPad doesn’t have the ability to multitask, so you can’t even surf the web while listening to music. It seems to me that for everything the iPad does, from playing games to surfing the internet, an iPhone or iTouch would be cheaper, more portable and better. An iTouch/iPhone does almost the same things as the iPad and is more portable and in the case of the iPhone, also makes phone calls. And if you wanted something more “powerful” then Netbooks have larger hard drives, built-in keyboards, can play Flash, usually have a built-in camera for Skyping and can play videos and music just as well as the iPad. Hell, if you just want to watch movies on a bigger screen, Archos has been making media players for years.
So, I’m left wondering why anyone would buy the iPad other than it’s “New” and “Cool”.
Overall, it just seems like a big, less portable iTouch and I don’t understand what need it fills for the average user that isn’t already met by another device. I’m not saying it won’t be cool and great and awesome, I’m just not sure YET why someone would buy it OTHER than it’s a cool new toy. Maybe I’m missing the Great AHA moment, but I just don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a damn cool looking device and I almost instinctively want one just because it looks sleek and sexy and sweet. But if I can’t figure out a reason for it to exist, or a way to use it in my everyday life, I just can’t see myself spending money on it. And ultimately, because I don’t know myself, I can only wonder what the early adapters out there who buy it will actually wind up using it for. Movie viewing device? Internet surfing tablet? Fancy universal remote control? Flat surface to snort coke off of? I don’t know and right now I can’t even begin to guess.
What would you use it for?