Steve Jobs is going to run into trouble with these acronyms. I already have trouble distinguishing between IPod and Iphone, IPad is just going to add another confusing gizmo term out there.. should have stuck with Mac Tablet, Steve. There’s something about Ipad that sounds almost… menstrual.
If you’re not a Luddite, you know that the big Ipad launch is happening right now, as I type. The following pictures are copyright 2010, Gizmodo, from the live streamcast of the Ipad Product launch. The pictures were captured from Gizmodo’s streaming video and are used strictly in accordance with fair usage standards.
What is this Ipad thing? What are you, some kind of monk? It’s the new portable/handheld/PDA substitute/Reader/media player/Smart Tablet/whatsis. If you have heard me rhapsodize about the Ipod Touch I got for Christmas, think of the same thing, only writ large. Why is it a good thing? Well, you might like the fact that ITouch and IPhone operating systems all run the same operating system– and the apps that work on them will work on an Ipad as well. The new Ipad, we are told, is a revolutionary new product that will take aim at Netbooks, mobile devices, smartphones and laptops. All at once. Along the way, it will cure AIDS, solve world hunger, end global warming, and finally fix that stubborn Middle Eastern thing.
The Ipad will be big– not as big as a desktop or conventional laptop, but about as big as a pad of paper, lettersized, more or less. That’s MUCH more readable than the Iphone, not quite as good as the stretch flatscreen I’m using right now as I type.
What will it do? Pretty much anything and everything an Iphone can, for starters. With a much larger, tablet sized screen:
The high-resolution, 9.7 inch LED-backlit, IPS display on iPad is remarkably crisp and vivid. Which makes it perfect for web browsing, watching movies, or showing off photos. It’s also been designed to work in any orientation — portrait or landscape. And because it uses a display technology called IPS (in-plane switching), it has a wide, 178° viewing angle. So you can hold it almost any way you want, and still get a brilliant picture, with excellent color and contrast. — The Apple Website
All the standard Ipod and Iphone classic stuff you would expect is incorporated, it plays music, video, takes dictation, has access to the Apps store, blah de blah de.. I don’t for a second think these aren’t valuable features, but really, the IPod Touch I just got for Christmas does all that, as well. That shouldn’t be that impressive. I’d be more impressed if it were a solid, functional substitute for a real laptop. It isn’t. The Ipad, in this generation, fails on a few key points. No USB, no expansion memory, touch screen keyboard (I’m sorry, I’m not doing well with a touch screen keyboard and these giant banana fingers– it’s not the same as typing at a keyboard). I would not want to actually write with an IPad for protracted periods of time, personally– touch screens are fatiguing after a while. because you have to be certain where your fingertips are going all the time, whereas I can type on a keyboard with my eyes shut.
The Ipad will connect to the Internet via Wireless and 3G, but not direct ethernet:
With built-in 802.11n, iPad can take advantage of the fastest Wi-Fi networks. And it’ll automatically locate available Wi-Fi networks, which you can easily join with a few simple taps. iPad also comes with Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, which lets you connect to devices like wireless headphones or the Apple Wireless Keyboard.
iPad will also be available in a 3G model, with super-fast data speeds up to 7.2 Mbps.3 So if you’re traveling, or you happen to be somewhere that doesn’t have a Wi-Fi network, you can still get a fast connection for surfing the web, downloading email, or getting directions. — From the Ipad Website
Like the ITouch (or Ipod Touch, I can’t figure out if “ITouch” is official or not), the IPad will come in various sizes and flavors, priced to move. this was the most meaningful slide in the presentation for me:
Surprisingly, considering some of Apple’s past launches, I was not goggling in Sticker Shock on this one. These are very reasonable prices compared to laptops in the main stream market right NOW. A bit pricey compared to netbooks, for the most part, but it does appear to be a leap forward in technology from where I am sitting– but technology to do what? Office documents? Writing? Editing digital movies? Processing digital images? Making presentations? Definitely not. There are far easier to use and more affordable platforms for those tasks– including lower priced netbooks. Where the Tablet (excuse me, IPad) will certainly shine is when it is compared to cheaper netbooks is in the rapidly accelerating market for digital book readers and the ever present market for web browsing. This gizmo will handle both tasks swimmingly– it sports a much bigger sized web browser space than an Iphone or most Netbooks, and it is sized roughly twice as big as a Kindle. Indeed, it is the latter application that I think Apple is gambling on– that the Ipad will be a Kindle-killer. We’ll see. I rather like the Kindle/Sony E-reader electronic paperwhite display for reading with, and I have yet to see the Ipad’s new screen to see if it’s better or worse.
At the end of the day, this sort of sums it up for me, courtesy of G4G Interactive:
Will I buy one? I’m tempted despite all the hype and hoo-haw. I like the e-reader application of seeing an entire page on the tablet.. yet, I find I might be limiting myself to trying to make a glorified toy work the way I need to work when I’m using a laptop. Of course, I can pick up some of the accessories like a keyboard and a hard shell case.. at which point, it’s a laptop! Huh???