// 27.Jan.2010

Apple iPad: First Thoughts

Apple have finally unveiled a tablet computer, the iPad. The anticipation leading up to this launch and the speculation surrounding it has been truly staggering. Yet I find myself strangely underwhelmed by the device.

Personally I have no need of a tablet computer, none at all. So this essay might appear to be a little negative. I was really hoping for something other than a tablet from this latest Apple event. So my heart sank as soon as Steve Jobs (who still looks awfully thin) mentioned tablets.

I followed the presentation via engadget's liveblog and I twittered my thoughts as the event unfolded. A slightly abridged transcript of my notes follows:

  1. It's called the iPad...
  2. I feel strangely disappointed - I've got no use for a tablet.
  3. There's gotta be more to the iPad than this... surely... come on Steve, what are you holding back?
  4. So far it all looks pretty standard stuff. It's like a big iPhone, but without the phone...
  5. 1GHz Apple A4 chip... whoa, that's new. Where the f*&^ did that come from?
  6. Hmm... this chip could be the big news...
  7. Runs all iPhone apps unmodified... yeah, yeah... blah, blah, blah... what about that chip?
  8. Game graphics are really slick... So what's the A4 - a CPU, a GPU... is it both?
  9. Still unimpressed with the iPad... waiting for the big news...
  10. Unsurprisingly it's an e-book reader too. Nothing so far that hadn't been anticipated.
  11. USB, Wi-fi and 3G...
  12. No contract, unlimited data, deal with AT&T (US) @ $29.99/mnth. Euro deals in place June/July. All models unlocked, use GSM µSIMs
  13. 64GB + wi-fi + 3G = $829 = around £800 here in the UK. Naw, I'm not too keen. £299 would have been easier to swallow.
  14. Ah... keyboard dock is interesting... now you've got a handy little portable terminal... now that's more like it.
  15. Suddenly £800 (± a few quid) doesn't seem so bad. It's almost a netbook!!!
  16. Wonder how well that screen copes with greasy fingerprints?
  17. I'm really underwhelmed. The Apple guys are talking about a "magical device" at an "unbelievable price"...
  18. ... "our most advanced technology" and a "revolutionary device" - I can't help wonder, "am I missing something?"
  19. No cameras, no GPS - so no augmented reality...
  20. A missed opportunity methinks.
  21. Silly me: of course geo-location can be achieved via 3G and GSM. Wouldn't expect that to be as accurate as GPS though.
  22. Specs on Apple's website confirm that there is GPS.
  23. There's Bluetooth too. So wireless sync with PC could be possible.
  24. There is a camera connection kit too. So suddenly there's a few more possibilities.
  25. 1.6lbs and .5" thick - that's pretty good. It'll be easy to transport at least.
  26. Okay. I'm somewhat intrigued. But I don't think I'll be rushing out to buy one. I'd prefer a MacBook Pro.
  27. Back to that camera thing, despite the camera connection kit, augmented reality won't be too good without an integral camera.
  28. So who is the iPad aimed at? What sort of customer does Apple see here, apart from the fan-boyz?
  29. No multi-tasking on the iPad!!! Screen resolution 1024x768. First [hands on] reports tell us that it's really fast and responsive.
  30. engadget reports that the on-screen keyboard is "good, not great. Not quite as responsive as it looked in the demos."

So there you have it. If you wanted a tablet then I'm sure you're jumping through hoops right now. But for myself, well I think I'll keep saving for that new MacBook Pro.

Last Revision: January 28th, 2010 at 13:50
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