I reported earlier in the week about all the buzz surrounding the Apple iPad, and what it could mean for portable computers. The hype was so high, was it even possible to meet expectations? No, but hype is always high for products like this. As long as Apple released a product that offered some innovation they would be good. So, how did they do? Let’s take a look at our score sheet.
- Design – Execept for a large bezel, the design has a sleek looking form factor. The Apple iPad looks a lot like what you would expect from the makers of the iPhone.
- 3G Capable – Starting in April you can buy an iPad which will connect to your AT&T plan.
- Battery Life – Is a decent 10 hours, with a month of standby time.
- NO Multitasking – This is one of the most frustrating things about the iPad. You want to check your email while listening to your music library? Too bad. You want to run your Pandora app while writing a report in iWork? Too bad. This has to be one of the biggest oversights of the whole project. In a device this size it is unthinkable to be able to run multiple apps.
- 4:3 Ratio Screen – These days 16:9 screens are the norm, especially for media devices. Why would you go back to a screen size that is heading towards obsolete?
- No Flash – So much of the web has some sort of flash integration in them. It is just a part of every day web surfing these days. It was blatantly obvious in the keynote address that Jobs gave, when he loaded a page with an unloaded flash object on it.
- Proprietary Inputs and Outputs – Want to plug in an external keyboard or camera? Too bad, you’ll need to buy an adapter to be able to use it. USB is the standard, there is no excuse not to have it other than to bolster your already large profit margins.
- iPhone OS – Sure the iPhone OS is already a stripped down version of Leopard, but it isn’t good enough for a device this size. If you are going to boast about the speed of your processor, then allow it to handle a full OS (with multitasking please)!
- No Camera or Mic – It might be a minor quibble, but these days things like a camera and a mic should be standard. Look at any netbook you are competing against, and smack dab in the middle you will see a camera and mic.
- No Expandable Memory – This is one that really comes down to a profit model. To go from the 16GB to the 32GB model costs you $100. Prices at the moment for you to add another SD card of 16 GBs? About $35-40 on Amazon.
- Price – Why spend $500-900 on a tablet that doesn’t even do multiple functions when you can get a netbook for a much more reasonable price?
Most of the tech industry seems to be on the same page, the iPad is a major failure on paper. It is basically Apple’s iPhone blown up to a 10 inch screen, and some slightly more powerful processors. I bought a nice little netbook last year for $299 which has a 1.7 GHz Atom Processor, 1GB RAM, 160 GB HD, a camera, and runs a full OS. I think I’ll wait on touch screen tablet until they can offer me a product worth my money and time.
If you are interested in going a step forward, instead of a step back I’d take a look at one of the new dual core netbooks currently coming out. A lot more bang for your buck.