Apples and Oranges, and why the iPad is the toy for you.

31 01 2010

So it’s been a few days since the Announcement many-a-geek were waiting for. We have the iPad. Hooray.

Once thing I dislike about the current sources for information on these Gadgets is that they’re filled with ‘bad’ geek opinions, and in the iPad’s case there are many flaming rants about why this product is mediocre and unimaginative.

What have we heard about the iPad: No camera, no multi-tasking, no Flash content, too much easel, closed eco-system, it’s just like the iPhone but bigger so why have both, etc, etc… I have to admit when I received my iTouch last March I could not help but to be impressed with it, however I wanted something that was bigger and offered a little more.

Here’s what the iPad is going to do:

  • Hold your Music, Photos and play your movies in HD (at 720)
  • Offer you iWorks, so you can use it as a backup to your laptop.
  • Give you 10 hours of eBook reading between charges.
  • iPhone-like Web Experience.
  • Add-ons will allow you to plug Camera cards, USB device and soon a Display.

Let’s address some concerns:

Multitasking. The iPad is basically a Netbook and eReader combined. If we look at most people’s habits you might have a web browser with Facebook, or a chat program running while working in on a document or watching a movie. The iPhone has a system called ‘Push’ which has been around since OS 3, which is a way for the device to not have to run a full app in order for you to get updates, instead Push runs in the background while you use other applications.

Right away, Multitasking is a non-issue. These applications have a way to keep you up to date while you work or entertain yourself in other applications. Safari keeps the last page you had open when you ‘exit’, or move over to another Application. There are ways to have quick application switching and launch times are so small most applications that it’s hard to put this as a disadvantage. If we compare it to a Netbook experience, the 60 second load times experienced with Windows are just as time wasteful. Another thing to keep in mind is as of yet, there aren’t any tablets that use Windows Touch screen capabilities in an intuitive way. The desktop space on a Windows tablet device is still a Mouse-like interaction with your device.

The price, $499. Just to compare, the Kindle DX which is an only an eBook reader is $489. The Kindle is a great device but it’s only an eBook reader. What most people expect Tablets to be a hybrid device. Asus has had a great success with their EEe PCs and I love the EEe, but it’s still a little bulky and doesn’t do a great job at entertaining me, it’s mostly a way to surf the internet a little better than on my iTouch.

The iPad wasn’t meant to be a mediocre Netbook. Personally I have wanted something that was just like my iTouch but bigger and had a bit more power. So far by the looks of things the iPad will be a great Netbook and eReader all-in-one for the price of a Netbook.

If you’re due for an upgraded Netbook, eReader or laptop you may consider the iPad as an option. Like anything new it’s nice to be safe and wait a few months after release for them to work out any consumer bugs, however if you’re like me and would like an eReader and Netbook, you probably started saving today.

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