Final Words

Apple drew a line in the sand with the iPad. It set expectations for performance, price point, usability, ergonomics, display and quality of apps. It's rare that Apple does this. Normally Apple capitalizes on the mistakes of those who came before it by using failure as a blueprint for success. The fact that Apple is taking a different route with the iPad does say something about where Apple views this business going. As the computing market grows and incorporates new users, the need for simpler as well as more powerful/complex compute devices grows. Apple appears to be going after the former early on. Perhaps it wants the iPad to be to the tablet, what the Eee PC was to the netbook.

As a piece of hardware, the iPad generally does its job well. We could always use more processing power, which is made more evident by the larger screen and thus higher user demands on the system (Intel did have a point with restricting Atom's usage to smaller screen devices only). The lack of any integrated camera is bothersome but I doubt at this point we'd have a great video chat application to use given the current state of the iPad app union.

The nickel and diming on accessories is annoying, especially given that you'll probably need at least one of them. Not to mention that you should be prepared to spend at least 10 - 20% extra on apps as soon as you get the device. Apple did a good job with the $499 entry level price point, but the extras and any additional flash memory you might want come at extortionist prices. I don't expect Apple to really do anything about it given there's no competition in this segment right now.

It's an issue because the iPad can't currently replace any existing device you own. It lacks the voice features of a smartphone, and it lacks the flexibility/performance/ergonomics of a notebook. This is a 2nd, 3rd or 4th computer, and as such the expenditure is in addition to your existing computer budget.

Although it doesn't replace any of your existing devices, there are some things the iPad does much better than anything you might own today. Web browsing, photo viewing, reading email, any passive usage scenarios where you're primarily clicking on things and getting feedback, the iPad excels at. You do lose Flash support so if that's an issue to you stop now. But personally, I don't find the lack of Flash a problem assuming that companies like Hulu are working on HTML5 versions of their web portals.

I do like the idea of the away-from-the-PC (or Mac) computing the iPad offers. It's a different type of device; one that's more comfortable to just read websites on, or lightly peruse email with.

I can see myself leaving the notebook at home and taking the iPad on some short trips, both business and personal, as long as I don't need to do any photo editing or publishing from the road. For my purposes, I'm better served by the forthcoming 3G model. But I'd still need my desktop, and I'd still need my notebook for when I needed to get actual work done on the go. This goes back to my earlier point though, the iPad is a luxury, a convenience, not a necessity. It augments my current digital lifestyle and I'd argue that it improves it, but it doesn't replace anything in it.

That could quickly change depending on the types of apps we see crop up for the device. Photographers are already very interested in the device, but you'd win their hearts if you could make the iPad a productivity tool. Home automation is just begging to be enabled via the iPad. Companies like Crestron and AMX supply ridiculously poor touch screen interfaces to their very expensive home automation installations. The iPad would be the perfect HA controller. It's a great information consumption device today, and with the right developers working on it (many of which are) it could be a great productivity device tomorrow.

Gaming on the iPad
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  • vol7ron - Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - link

    There's been rumors the iPhone 4g will be talked about tomorrow by Apple. Do you have any insight into this?

    vol7ron
    Reply
  • Griswold - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4g Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    I don't understand the point of this link?
    Perhaps you want to look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone

    Data Network Technology and iPhone technology are not synonymous.
    Reply
  • A5 - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    Unless AT&T has suddenly deployed a 4G network (or they're going to Sprint), then this new phone isn't going to be called the iPhone 4G. Also, the stuff they're announcing tomorrow are the features of iPhone OS 4.0, not new iPhone hardware. Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    I'd rather not hear about the hardware at this point, but it'd be nice to say that Apple would up the clock on the 3GS (what I have). Hearing about the OS 4.0 is nice.

    I thought the "G" has nothing to do do with the wireless technology network. While they both stand for "generation", Apple's iPhone/OS pair will still be called the iPhone 4G, regardless if it runs on 3G Network or CDMA technology, or if the OS is upgraded afterwards; if this is confusing, think about the iPhone 2G - it runs on the 3G network and can be upgraded to OS 3.0, but it is still a iPhone 2G due to the initial hardware/OS release.

    -----

    The developer meeting was actually quite nice. There were a few surprises, but nothing huge - just a bunch of much-needed updates :) There will more-than-likely be a few more OS4.0 goodies come June with the official iPhone 4G release.
    Reply
  • Internet User - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    That's incorrect. The naming conventions that Apple typically uses were thrown out the window. The first generation iPhone runs on the 2G EDGE network. The 3G (second gen) and 3GS (third gen) both run on the 3G network. We don't know what the fourth iteration will be called. It won't run on a 4G network, but it will be the 4G iPhone. Reply
  • vol7ron - Friday, April 9, 2010 - link

    Perhaps you are right, but I thought I remember hearing Jobs talk about the naming that went into the iPhone.

    Technically, I think that what happened supports your argument, but we've all seen companies change their logical naming patterns. The first iPhone, as with any first generation, was called the "iPhone", with no suffixed 1G or 2G. It wasn't until the 3G came out (on OS 2.0), where there was question about its name. I think what was talked about was that the beta versions were considered 1G; the first retail release was considered 2G; and the second was 3G.

    The 3GS is where it really breaks that argument, because the 3GS was released with 3.0, so technically it would be called the iPhone 4G. Instead they stuck with the "3G" and added the "S", which they said stands for "speed". However, those "2G" phones that were upgraded to OS 3.0, still work with the 3G network, but are still considered "iPhone" (w/o the suffix, but still unofficially: iPhone 2G).

    In either case, I'm willing to say that I'm wrong, since a lot of it is vague memory. That, and the fact that this article is about the iPad and not the iPhone :) I was just a little curious about OS 4.0, but I was offered an exclusive direct link on the developers briefing, so I found everything out anyhow.

    vol7ron
    Reply
  • nilepez - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    I don't know about AT&T, but Verizon began testing LTE last year and is deploying LTE in some markets this year. Until Apple announces they're partnering with Verizon (or Sprint) or we see FCC submissions, I'll assume it's vaporware....and frankly, I'm not switching from my Sero plan for a phone. Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - link

    Page 2: Since this isn't the 1980s, the iPad only has three four physical buttons on the device.

    I might be reading it wrong but the "three four" seemed out of place. Maybe that was supposed to be a "three or four", or perhaps you were going to come back to it?

    vol7ron
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - link

    Page 5: "Tap it twice while you're playing music and playback controls appear, Also when..."
    Perhaps there should be a period where the comma is and a comma after "Also"?

    BTW, not purposefully checking for errors, just looking out for ya.
    vol7ron
    Reply

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