First off, a disclaimer: I am not an Apple fanboy lol. I do not have an Apple sticker on my bumper, do not own any Apple devices at all… no iPhones, not even an iPod. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way… As some of you may know, this weekend was the much anticipated launch of the Apple iPad. It is essentially a multi-touch tablet, a bridge between an iPod and a laptop. If you haven’t played with it, stop by your local Apple Store or Best Buy (I spent 3hrs fooling around with the iPad). It is pretty cool and really fun.
Click through to read what I thought (good and bad points) of the iPad… from the point of view of a gadget junky geek head (yours truly).
The iPad is a really, really, really cool device. You may not think much of it as you read this, but that’s because you’re not holding one at this exact moment! Because once you have it in your hands.. wow, the cool factor shoots through the roof. Remember how fun it was in kindergarten when Miss Johnson first showed you how to finger paint? Can’t remember back that far? lol. Remember the last time you handed your baby nephews a bucket of paint and just told them to have at it? OMG, the look on their faces… it’s heaven on earth right? THAT’s how much fun the iPad is. Computers reach a whole new level of entertainment when navigated through your finger tips. So primitive, but so engaging and fun.
You know how in every sci-fi movie you see gadgets that make you think “wow, that’s cool”? Well, I honestly think that Apple is the company that will take us there. The company just oozes creativity; every mobile device they make have been ground breaking technological achievements. To tell you the truth, Apple’s profit margin on these mobile devices are so huge I wouldn’t be surprised if they called it quits on everything else (hardware, software) and just focused on mobile devices.
Before you people think I’ve gone mad… let me at least say that the iPad is NOT a laptop replacement (at least not yet). Laptops have more processing power in them; they wont be going anywhere just yet. So what place does the iPad take? It takes the podium as the coolest media consumption device ever.
The iPad will bring kids back out of their bedrooms and back into the living room. Why are kids stuck in the bedroom nowadays? TOP reason… that’s where their computers are. What do they do on the computer most of the time? Surf the web, update their myspace / facebook and chat with friends. The iPad allows you to do all this… while still enjoying TV or a movie in the living room. It is so lightweight and powerful, there’s been nothing like it before. It has a beautiful screen that makes it perfect for showing off your photos with friends, social networking on the web, casual music (iPod’s small size still makes it better), reading e-books, and watching videos/TV online. Because it is an actual thin lightweight tablet… you’ll be more inclined to use it in bed, on the couch, in the car, at the park… basically everywhere you wanted to take your laptop to but didn’t because it was too troublesome.
Anyways, enough ranting and raving. Here are the highlights that I personally like.
- Showing off photos: Wow. Hands down the greatest device ever to do this with. Flip, flip, flip.. grab, twist zoom… flip the iPad over to show your friends and the screen automatically orients itself. Just amazing. You can use it as an uber expensive digital picture frame if you want.
- Surfing the web: Update twitter, myspace, facebook easily. Surfing the web hasn’t been this fun in a long while.. it’s fast and responsive too. It’s amazing how interactive the web can be when driven by your finger tips. No longer will you have to sit at your desk or have your laptop cook your thighs (not healthy for us guys, you know what I mean right fellas?! lol)
- Watching videos: Watch TV shows and movies anywhere. Amazing quality too! If you’re at the electronics store fooling around with the iPad… make sure you check out the free iPad app “ABC Player”. It should be pre-installed already. See the quality of the streaming videos and you’ll fall in love with the possibilities. It’s only a matter of time before HULU and the other broadcast stations turn their iPad apps on!
What’s another reason I like this feature so much? I’m a Netflix user… and with the Netflix iPad app, I can stream movies straight to the iPad. Sometimes I just want to sit in bed and watch a movie w/o having to turn on the whole TV / Stereo system thingy. Plug in your headset and now you wont have to annoy anyone else not watching your movie. I am going to love this TV-movies feature a lot.
- Reading e-books: Amazon and Sony readers just took a big punch in the gut. Ouch. Those screens are black and white. The iPad is rich high-res color. Wanna turn the page? Just flip it.. so primitive huh? Apple’s iBookstore uses a different format than Amazon’s Kindle, so thus, their book library will be small at first… but it’s only a matter of time until the momentum swings in favor of the iPad. Wow, Apple is positioning themselves well as an e-commerce gateway to the mobile devices huh? Remember when everyone said there is no way in hell people would ever pay for music again after what Napster opened up? Hello iPod, hello iTunes… good bye Napster. Like I said, Apple will be that company that takes mobile devices “there”.
- 10hr long battery life: Battery performance is a must have if you want to be a true mobile device. I’m glad they took care of this.
Now that I’ve mentioned the GOOD things… it wouldn’t be fair for me to write this without mentioning some of the BAD things that many have been complaining about.
- No on-board webcam: Wow, you would think this would’ve been a no brainer. A 9″ screen tablet with webcam would be perfect. But how else will they get you to buy the iPad version 2 right? lol
- No USB ports: Can’t easily plug in an external HD or other accessories.
- Web surfing doesn’t support “Flash” videos. The “Flash” video platform.. even though it is everywhere, is old, and it’s a CPU hog. That’s my guess for why they chose not to support it. Apple decided to use a different “more HTML standardized” approach (ahh the irony) to display videos.This doesn’t mean you can’t watch youtube. You can still enjoy all of youtube’s splendor via the Youtube iPad app. You youtubers can breathe normally now.
- Cant install any of your own apps: As I mentioned earlier, the iPad isn’t a laptop. You will not be able to install any application you want. Only applications from the Apple app store will work. (almost all the iPhone apps should work)
- Still using slow 3G: I’m sure once Apple’s contract with AT&T ends, they will explore the other faster networks like Sprint’s 4G (10x faster than 3G). Rumor has it AT&T has been slow to build it’s 4G network and Apple’s not happy. I’m sure the future versions of iPads will adapt to what’s available at that time. You can technically take advantage of the 4G networks today, but that’s a whole other topic.
- it’s not an OLED display: the LED backlit LCD display is beautiful.. don’t get me wrong. But have you ever seen an OLED display? As the song goes… “Gizz in my pants!”
Well, that’s it. This is what I thought of the iPad while fooling around with it for 3 hours. Did I buy one? No I resisted lol… I’m waiting for the 3G version coming out in a few weeks; this way I can truly go mobile with it. I can’t wait to see what all the app developers out there come up with for the iPad though (especially photography related apps). They will definitely flex the capabilities of the iPad. The future looks fun with devices like the iPad. Imagine the next versions of the iPad, beefier CPU, camera, more storage… I can’t wait… Beam me up Scottie!