Confidence is built upon credibility, something Apple really earned thanks to the first iPod. Apple gained the mainstream credibility to introduce a product, say it's going to be the best thing ever, and have customers give it the benefit of the doubt.

Credibility is a finite good however. Promise the world and deliver beans instead too many times and you'll find yourself back to square one. Luckily for Apple, that hasn't happened yet.

The iPod gave Apple credibility, but Mac OS X, Mac hardware and eventually the iPhone all made deposits in that bank. That's not to say that Apple devices are flawless, but the company has won the confidence of a huge part of the market.

The road to the iPad announcement was riddled with rumors and unsubstantiated claims of what the Apple tablet would do. It was to be the replacement for everything from cable TV to netbooks. Hype is a difficult thing to control, but in the case of the iPad, the market's expectations were beyond unrealistic.

The hopeful child in all of us wanted to believe. We wanted to believe that Apple would introduce something truly revolutionary, something that would let us do anything we ever wanted to do. We just didn't know what that was, but we believed that there was a slight chance Apple might make it happen.

What followed on January 27, 2010, the day of the iPad announcement, was a collection of excitement, disappointment and confusion.

I do have to place some (a lot?) of the blame on Apple. By saying nothing, confirming nothing (short of threatening law suits) Apple let the hype get carried away. And I'm not totally convinced that Apple itself wasn't behind some of the leaks in order to generate free marketing for this device. The worst? Jobs calling the iPad magical. If the device was shipping today with no ergonomics issues, no slowdowns, no crashes and with a full list of heavy hitter apps (real ones, not just ones that showed us what the iPad could do in the future), then I'd call it magical. You can't call something magical if it just promises magic at some point in the future. Well, you can, but then you'll anger a lot of people who oppose to such liberal use of language.

You have to hand it to Apple PR though. Through careful planning and seeding of review units, it managed to end up in all of the right hands a few days prior to its launch.

It had been on every single late night talk show in the span of a couple days. It even made it to the grammys earlier this year. Folks looking to catch a break would kill for the sort of free publicity apples iPad has received. It has celebrity status without even adopting any orphans.

And like a celebrity, the iPad is very polarizing.

The iPad, even moreso than the iPhone, is not the end all, be all universal device for everyone. In fact, unlike the iPhone, it doesn't replace any existing device in your life. It's an addition. There are things it does beautifully, things it does ok, and things it just plain can’t do. Today, I'll try to take you through all of that as best I can.

It's a Tablet Running a Touch OS
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  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    I definitely appreciate the corrections :) Fixed!

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • odditude - Friday, April 09, 2010 - link

    Bottom of P12: "Most developers just got access to the iPad on " - unfinished fragment Reply
  • afkrotch - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    I found a bunch of errors in the article, but I chalked it up to him trying to use the iPad for actual work. Something it apparently sucks at. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, April 09, 2010 - link

    lol, I thought the article might have been a little rushed, kinda like the iPad. Great insight and content, but could have stood for a little more editing. Reply
  • CyberMonk - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    According to Apple, you're incorrect about the iPad not having an oleophobic coating. From the iPad's tech specs page: "Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating" Reply
  • solipsism - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    3rd-party accessory are allowed. Bluetooth keyboards already work with it and Apple licenses the iPod Dock Connector port so there is nothing stopping anyone else from selling their own keyboard, dock, or whatever, which I hope they do as the one Apple supplies has no option for folding down for easy travel.

    You can even use a simple USB-A(f)-to-USB-A(f) coupler for syncing your photos instead of paying for Apple's adapters. There are other options that already exist in this arena for USB.
    Reply
  • Grump642 - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    Think I will hold on till the HP Slate comes out. It will have most of the things on it that the iPad is missing. Reply
  • afkrotch - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    If the HP Slate runs Win7, I'd be all over it. I picked up a HP TM2, but the touchpad was broken on it. I went for a replacement, but none available. I'm waiting for more to come in stock, hopefully that's before the Slate comes out.

    I tend to jump right into purchases and I'd rather see how the Slate does. If it comes out before the TM2 comes in stock, that might not happen.
    Reply
  • joe_dude - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    That was a very detailed review. Only disagree on the gaming aspect. While the touch interface is cool, the CPU, GPU & memory seriously limits its potential. Others have already mention that.

    http://www.gamesradar.com/f/real-gamers-review-the...

    Nothing against retro-gaming, but Worms, C&C, RE4, Scrabble, etc. are netbook quality at best.
    Reply
  • ekul - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    Anand,

    An excellent article as usual. While most of the ipad reviews have been quite through you have managed to discuss elements of the device no one else has touched on.

    That said I have to disagree with your plea for a moorestown cpu. Even with moorestown being so much more efficient than regular atom based systems it can't touch a cortex a8 for idle or load power draw. Combine that with smaller packaging for arm, lower costs and true SoC designs and it isn't even a contest. The price is lower performance but I'll take the trade for battery life.

    Keeping ipad the same architecture as existing iphone OS devices is a big bonus as well, lowering development costs for both apple and app developers. ARM is also providing an excellent upgrade path from a8 to the a9 SoCs that are sampling now and should be in devices shortly.

    Once there is a true SoC design based on atom it might be worth considering but for now it's just not ready
    Reply

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