Pricing: Heard Ya Got Robbed

Let's quickly recap Apple's iPad pricing. The base model only supports WiFi and starts at $499. It also comes with 16GB of MLC NAND flash for app/photos/music/video storage. You can double that capacity for an extra $100, or take it up to 64GB for $200. Note that these two upgrades alone work out to be $6.25 and $3.13 per GB. Intel will sell you an 80GB X25-M for $2.75 per GB.

The accessories also take you for a ride. Want a case? That's $39. The case is actually more important than you think because it doubles as a stand, which is useful for typing while laying down or for watching videos on.

Apple iPad 16GB 32GB 64GB
WiFi $499 $599 $699
3G $629 $729 $829

Keyboard? That's $69 for the wireless version or $69 for the keyboard dock. Either way, Apple is getting its $69 from you if you want a physical keyboard. This is also useful if you want to do a lot of typing on the iPad.

 

Want to put pictures on it from your camera? Apple will sell you a $29 camera connection kit with a dock-to-SD card reader and dock-to-USB port adapter. Otherwise you'll need to carry around a computer to sync your iPad to.

There's also an optional VGA output, but no digital outputs (HDMI, DVI, DP). It looks like the A4 is missing a TMDS as all of its optional outputs are analog (VGA, composite, component).

So the $499 base price is really more like $530 or $600 depending on what sort of use you want to get out of it. This is a new category of device, but I just feel that Apple is being a little too aggressive on the profiteering with the iPad (we'll get to the app store in a bit).

Later this month Apple will be shipping 3G enabled versions of the iPad. The 3G adder will set you back $130 and isn't retrofittable. AT&T is the sole provider of data service for the iPad, but the pricing is actually fairly reasonable:

Apple iPad 3G 250MB per Month Unlimited
Monthly Data Charge $14.99 $29.99

Anyway you slice it, it costs a lot to get into this concert.

Like a netbook, the iPad isn't a Mac/PC replacement but rather something you buy as a second, third or fourth computer. The problem is unless one of those computers is a notebook, the iPad doesn't really serve as a replacement for a powerful mobile computer. It's more of a notebook alternative depending on your needs, and at times it can be a great one. If you've got a desktop and a notebook then the iPad could fit in as a third device, but if you don't have a notebook the iPad is no notebook replacement as you’ll soon see.

It's a Tablet Running a Touch OS It Was Meant For You
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  • stcredzero - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    The review authors are displaying the case configured incorrectly, in picture after picture. The flap needs to be tucked in! This makes the case much more usable in the vertical, taller orientation as a stand. Also, who would set the case up as a stand and try to type in portrait orientation? That's like complaining your car can't do highway speeds in reverse! That's not what it's for!

    Tuck the flap in, then review the case. It's much better that way!
    Reply
  • TemplarGR - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    I would like to thank Anand for this terrific and just review. Most reviews i have read so far are biased in favour of Apple, but this is just right.

    It is the only review so far that describes the total cost of ownership of this device. This device is a luxury item, an expensive toy. The starting price is a joke. 499 dollars for 16gb disk, no 3G, no camera, lack of apps? When you add the additional costs this device brings, it is way overpriced compared to a netbook or tablet pc. An EePc costs 300 while being more complete and far more powerful. And yes it draws more power, but i believe there are netbooks out there with 10+ battery life. I have to admit it also has a better display than most netbooks though.

    I like some aspects of the iPad. I really like the touch interface for certain uses. I believe Apple has done a terrific job with its UI. The problem is that Apple charges a lot for just a touch UI compared to netbooks.

    Since i am a Linux user and a programmer, i wouldn't buy it anyway. I am against Apple's closed ecosystem practice. But i like Apple's contributions to modern device and UI design.

    The reason i am critical of Apple is that i do not like companies which make a practice to sell on hype and marketing instead of tech. Apple is almost like a cult. There are reviews out there(Ars for example) that say that luck of multitasking is a nice feature and makes their lives easier. This is almost pathetic.

    I was afraid that Anand was under Apple's influence but i am happy i was wrong and he reviewed it for what it is, a luxury item not able to replace current devices. Thank you Anand!
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    Is what I gleaned from that review. A nice looking screen isn't useful if the rest of the device is pretty much useless.

    There's maybe a single use case, and that's if you want to watch h264 encoded video miles from civilisation. Even then, I'd argue a netbook and a couple of spare batteries would always serve you better.
    Reply
  • nquo - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    thoughts on iPad and its potential:
    http://nquo.posterous.com/ipad-bigger-than-a-big-i...
    Reply
  • Jalek99 - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    Every local news report I saw today featured iPads. The anchors showing pictures on the device when they have the usual corner of the window or the huge monitors behind them.

    Then Jimmy Fallon showing some app on one...
    The manufactured buzz is far more negative for me than anything the device itself merits.
    Reply
  • Mike1111 - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    He was asking for 720p on the IPHONE! This can be done by using a 3rd party file manager that allows you to transfer videos to the iPhone without iTunes and then select them inside the app. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    Ahh, you are indeed correct sir. I didn't do the encode for the iPhone, I'm assuming we just re-encoded again. ;)

    -Brian
    Reply
  • SunLord - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    Did you know an apple store employee can pick a $499 ipad up for $350 which leads me to think per the norm for apple we be getting ripped off. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    Well, no shit, it's an extremely low cost computer (with the possible exception of the screen) priced with a high price point. Reply
  • manicfreak - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    From some of the articles out there, the gross profit for the ipad can be anywhere from 50-60%. I'm not a fan of Apple's product, but I do admire their ability to get almost anyone from the media and the bloggers to hype up their underperformed, overpriced product. Reply

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