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Yesterday, Apple announced the long-anticipated, much hyped iPad. Looking like an overgrown iPhone, it sports a 9.7″ screen, with a resolution of 1024×768, multi-touch and your choice of WLAN (all models) 3G (some models) and 16, 32 or 64 GB memory.
A commenter at NRK Beta said it was disappointing that it didn’t have some sort of eInk technology. Now, while eInk is GREAT for reading comfort and battery time, it has a deadly flaw for a device like the iPad; it has a screen refresh rate on par with, well a book (never mind the fact that eInk is so far only available as black and wh … err … gray).
To me, the iPad is NOT ideal for reading, for the exact same reasons why a device with eInk is; backlight and screen refresh. The backlight and screen refresh makes your eyes go tired much quicker, and, eInk having neither, it is actually like reading off darkish paper.
The book function being less than interesting to me, my interest, which, I admit, is piqued, is fading. As a websurfing device, well, it just doesn’t fo it for me. If I want an instant-on, touch screen device, I’ll use my phone. If I want to seriously surf the web, I want a computer, complete with a mouse and a keyboard.
Playing music? Sure, I could, but why not use an iPod or a Creative Zen; they’re smaller and have better power usage times. As for reading and editing documents, I’d rather have a computer to edit and either paper or eInk to read, so that’s out. Photo viewing and editing? Again, I want a computer.
The form factor looks good, but I am still critical of both the weight and how long the battery will last. I notice that, like the iPod and iPhone, the iPad does not look like you can exchange the battery yourself, which I find a curious choice. Sure, for a tiny unit like the shuffle, I can understand it, but for an everyday usage unit like the iPhone? I don’t get it.
Using iPhone OS is an obvious, albeit exciting choice. Apple are basically saying that the iPhone OS is mature enough and powerful enough to be used on this kind of device. Also, by all accounts, it does exactly what an OS for a device like this should do; IT JUST WORKS.
While the tech geek in me goes “OOOH! SHINY!”, the sensible guy sitting somewhere deep down, right next door to the justification department, is going “Meh. Yet another device I have no use for.” And that, really, is what it all boils down to, isn’t it? The answer to the question “Do I have any real use for this?”
When all’s told, my interest is piqued, but I am not convinced, and I doubt that I will shell out the $499-$699 for one of these units. There are three main reasons for this:
- To a certain degree, Apple=Lock-in. Now, if they’d announced an Android version in addition to the iPhone OS version, I might be more interested. Now, Apple is obviously never going to do that, which is fine, but it is, to me, an argument in the “Cons” column. I also keep in mind the problems with applications in the App Store, and I assume that Apple will, in practice, have total control over the iPad, and what’s on it.
- Not enough connection options
- Once more, I’m annoyed at Apple’s insistence on using their own proprietary solutions for connection and charging, as well as the fact that they have not included what I would have thought was an obvious feature for a device such as this; a memory card reader. The counter argument, I suppose, is what memory card format to choose, which I would counter by telling them to give us an SD(HC) reader, which is likely to cover the needs of most users.
- To me, the iPad would be too big and heavy to use as any kind of music device, while it’s too small for a lot of other tasks, such as photo viewing and (especially) editing, document editing and web browsing.
In the end, to me it comes down to this: If I have a small-ish laptop (say 13.3″) and my ebook, I am covered, and with better battery capacity than I would have with the iPad. Sure, I’d lug around more weight, but I don’t always have my laptop with me. I almost always have my ebook with me.