With the iPad launch looming, pre-orders shipping, I figured I should drop my .02 on Apple's latest craze. Let me start by saying, like most everyone else, I've never even touched the thing. I did spend some time checking out Apple's guided tour videos for a bit more information, and like any other mactard I watched the keynote announcement as well.
In brief, I want it and I'm sure I'll eventually have one. But I do have a few qualms. Let me start with the good:
- Simplicity. For 90% of what people do on their home computers daily, the iPad will do it simpler and dare I say better. Email, photos, surfing the net, facebook, twitter; you bet. And in a light weight and gorgeous package.
- More than web. The iPad will have people exploring more about the web with the App store. Games, utilities (a large digital cook book anyone?) and other handy tools that people just don't have or think about when using their laptop. DJ's and Electronic artists are going to love this thing as well. Daft Punk probably already has 5. The possibilities are really endless.
- Books. I really think this will get people reading again. Because its a multipurpose device, and Apple is providing a very robust book store, there will be not 1 iPad out there that doesn't have a book on it. I think it will also make reading fun again. Oh yes, comics are books too.
While there is plenty more to like about the iPad, I do have a few bones to pick.
- Aspect Ratio. I understand why the iPad is the size it is, I get it... books. But in a day and age where widescreen is king (FINALLY), this really seems like a step backwards. Not to mention the return of the dreaded "black bars" that everyone hated about widescreen movies on 4:3 standard TV sets. Welcome back 1990.
- Where is the iSight? This also seems like a no-brainer. Apple went to the effort of putting in an iSight in all of its portable products (and not so portable too), why would they leave it out of this incredible device? I'd love to sit on my couch and video chat with my mom. Peace out phone calls. Aren't we in the 21st century? Didn't everyone think we'd have flying cars or at the very least video phones (that people want to use) by now? I'm baffled by this one.
- That huge black bezel. This is a small one since you have to hold the thing somehow, but I don't care for this general trend Apple has going for all of its displays. Sure the black is less obtrusive, but in the end, its still a huge bezel. I want my screen to go edge to edge (however maybe I wouldn't like it.. who knows).
I could talk more about price and the different models, but the only thing I'll mention about that is that there is that not everyone is going to want 3G service and GPS. Sure it will be handy, and it will be nice for some users, its a cool offering, but I think we have pretty good WIFI around here for most people on the go.
I'm very excited for the iPad, and I'd love to be able to buy one for all my Moms (I have 3+). Its perfect for them and will be so very much less frustrating (I'd bet they would all be addicted to it actually). I think the iPad will do for computers what the iPhone has done for smart phones. Best wishes Apple, and hopefully I'll have mine soon.