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Category: Opinion

The iPad reviewed

First off, I know I said I wasn’t going to get an iPad. That decision was based on the hype and buzz about it, after laying hands on one myself, though, I’ve got to say I was simply wrong. Probably not about my concerns, as I still feel they are valid, but about my decision not to get one.
 
What it all boils down to is this; do I think it is worth paying the cost, and accepting the limitations for what I get?
 
Quite obviously, my answer to that is yes. If it hadn’t been, you would not have been reading this, now would you? The question to answer, then, is not if, but why it is worth it to do so.
 
This post will be part rationalisation, part review, and I ask you to bear with me in that respect. Still, though, here goes…
 

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The iPad

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 iPad

 
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:
 

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