Apple finally made the announcement about their new touch screen (“tablet”) computer called the iPad yesterday and today, every tech site on the ‘Net seems immersed in commentary and speculation about how the device will measure up, how much it looks like an oversized iPhone, and who can best guess the “big picture” on the thing.
Let’s look at an iPad reality check instead.
As we reported yesterday, McGraw-Hill’s CEO leaked information about the device that he probably shouldn’t have. That seems to have angered Steve Jobs, Apple’s big man, because at the product announcement event yesterday, the McGraw-Hill logo was significantly missing from Jobs’ slide presentation. Uh-oh.
Further, Apple could find themselves in some legal hot water over the iPad’s name, since Fujitsu came out with a product of exactly the same name in 2002, as shown here by the New York Times. Maybe Apple should consider renaming the device before its release. Perhaps the Apple iPhoneXL (for Xtra Large)?
A few things that some might find disheartening about the iPad are the lack of a camera, the lack of anything remotely resembling the stylus-style inputs of true “touch screens” (it has a virtual keyboard instead), and that it has no video out (HDMI) for watching video on a real screen.
Other missing components include the ability to play Flash and is missing standard ports for plug-ins–everything needs an adapter. Also, like the iPhone, the iPad is locked into the 3G network of AT&T and friends. That’s probably the number one consumer complaint for the iPhone and Apple totally ignores it. Again.
There are a lot of other things to make this device a no-go for a lot of people. The inability to run apps other than officially approved iTunes Store offerings and the inability to multi-task are big ones. These are probably the number one reason the iPad will not be seen as anything but a glorified toy by most of us. I mean, for $499, we can get a pretty decent and similarly-sized netbook computer that can do everything the iPad can’t. So why spend the money on the iPad? Is a touch screen really all that and a bag of chips?
I don’t think so. Disappointing, for sure. I’m a big iPhone fan, but for the price, I see no reason to spend money on something that’s much less portable and has few trade-offs to make up for it.