I think these naysayers (mostly tech people) are missing the point. Sure, in the absolute the iPad is basically a larger iPod touch with optional 3G. What’s the big deal? I think it’s greater than the sum of its parts, like many other Apple products…
Overall, the iPad announcement met my expectations. I have some concerns and reservations (see below), but how could anyone not be excited about a 1/2″ thick, 1.5 lbs computer with a 9.7″ capacitive touchscreen? This is Star Trek grade tech come to life :)
First, let’s look at the hardware. As an engineer I don’t think anyone else could have pulled off a device like this – not for $500!
There’s never been anything this thin with a color screen that size (at least not self-contained or self-powered). There’s never been a capacitive touchscreen this large yet this precise. Not to mention, only a handful of manufacturers have the expertise to custom design a processor.
Then there’s Apple’s legendary industrial design. Those who have used the iPad report that it looks and feels fantastic. That’s no surprise, really – it’s all glass and aluminum! But what other hardware in this price range match this level of crafsmanship? Maybe some phones.
Second, let’s look at the software. For both users and developers it’s an easy platform to jump into since it’s based on the iPhone OS.
But after watching the video of the event, I think something’s missing. The software looks unfinished to me, and I write code for living. It feels like Apple avoided showing some things, like notifications.
I think there’s more to it, and I’m not the only one. Maybe multitasking is still in the cards? As for the lack of Flash, I’m not surprised – it’s both a blessing and a curse…
Third, let’s look at the optional 3G. It’s not been mentioned much, but it’s probably the most disruptive aspect of the iPad.
The device’s 3G radio is unlocked – hurray :) Of course, it uses a 3FF SIM instead of a regular SIM, but it’s easy to cut a regular SIM down to 3FF SIM size and use an adapter to go back and forth.
AT&T’s unlimited data plan for the iPad is $30 per month, and is contract free. That’s very reasonable pricing, and frankly rather unexpected. Sure, AT&T’s not ideal, but it’s nice to see Apple sticking to GSM.
To wrap it up here’s my score sheet.
- Thin & light
- Über sexy
- Glass & aluminum
- Gorgeous IPS capacitive touchscreen
- Super fast
- Good battery life
- Runs iPhone OS and apps
- No Flash
- WiFi a/b/g/n
- Bluetooth with keyboard support
- Unlocked 3G radio
- GPS on 3G radio
- No multitasking?
- No notifications?
- No widgets on the home screen
- No Flash
- No webcam
- Mono speaker
- No USB port for peripherals
- No SD card slot
- 3FF SIM instead of regular SIM