How could Steve/Apple ever possibly have topped all the hype the preceded the announcement of the iPad? He was up against a real challenge.
Well, in some ways, Apple did top it—for one, the price is really, really aggressive. In other areas, the announcement was exactly what we expected. And that, in my opinion, is why the iPad is getting poor reviews from so many people, though they haven’t used it yet. Like a kid on Christmas eve, they had just gotten too overwrought in anticipation of all that candy they had hoped for!
I can see how the iPad could knock off the ebook readers and the netbooks all with one fell swoop. Maybe even the TabletPCs (remember, I’ve had a Toshiba TabletPC for 5 years).
First, here’s what I like about it:
- I love the glossy and really bright screens. (I only have one “old” non-glossy screen left in my office.)
- I love the multi-touch gestures. My iPhone is the first device I’ve been able to interact with in the way I really wanted to – touching the screen. My MacBook gets close, though, because of the multi-touch (example: two-finger wipe to scroll up or down) gestures that make it so fast to operate!
- I love the size of the screen (and consequently the device). I read ebooks on my iPhone now, and they’re just a tad too small (that is, I’m having to swipe to turn a “pages” every 1 or 2 seconds), so having 4x the screen real-estate will be wonderful.
- I’m impressed that they were able to put the iWork suite on the iPad. I use Pages and Keynote a lot, and from the demos I’ve seen, these will be pretty easy to use on the iPad. I love the idea of using the iPad to draft presentations and documents while I’m on a flight from here to Delhi.
- Battery life. 10 hours sounds great and we’ll probably get 6 hours in real life, but if I can keep it charged up while I’m in that airplane, then I’m one happy camper. (More and more flights I’m on have power plugs now, and I’m starting to choose airlines and flights based on whether they have a plug under my seat so I can run the computer. One question—can I plug the iPad into the airplane charger?)
- Did I say price? I think $499 is really good as a starting price. I just received, as a gift from its manufacturer, an electronic pictureframe that’s priced higher than that, and it only does pictures. And it’s more than a high-end Kindle, but it does a lot more than a Kindle!
And what’s questionable about it:
- Only running one app at a time. I absolutely can’t stand this on my iPhone. What a pain! But, I don’t think this is going to get fixed any time soon.
- No microphone. They’d better fix this—I want to record interviews and notes, and I want to use the iPad as a speaker phone (thru Skype if not through real 3G phone). Maybe the iPhone headset (which has a microphone) will be usable in the production models—that would be OK.
Will I get one. Yes, most certainly at some point. Certainly not the first or second or even third production models, but I’ll bet you I’ll be working with an iPad before then end of 2010.
Read what I’ve said about my use of ebooks and ebook prices. Also read this note about what Amazon is saying about prices higher than $9.99.