Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pondering the iPad

I probably count as an Apple fanboy. At least, if enthusiasm for Apple gadgets is the measuring stick. But my enthusiasm is not unqualified--I wouldn't touch an Apple TV and I've never owned a Mac. When it comes to the iphone and ipod touch, though, there's just no comparison with anything else, and my kids will stand with me in my dedication to ipod funness.

When I got my ipod touch about a year ago, I also got an HP Touchsmart PC. I lamented at the time that Apple didn't have a tablet for me to buy, because I would have loved to just get something just like the ipod touch, but with a bigger screen and a keyboard accessory. The touchsmart seemed the best existing alternative, and it has turned out to be a huge disappointment. They say it has multi-touch, but it doesn't work. Everything a touch screen is really good for (besides handwriting), it does really really poorly.

With all the Internet buzz about the iPad, most of the commentary has missed what I think is the real point. This device is not everything to everyone. It does a limited number of things--the most common and pervasive things people need to do on-the-go--and it does them better than anything else. People keep comparing it to the *capabilities* of a netbook rather than the actual usability of a netbook. As someone who has owned tablets from Fujitsu and HP as well as a netbook for many years, I can tell you they ALL are horrible in terms of responsiveness.

People are disappointed it doesn't multi-task, it doesn't have a camera, and its software is tightly controlled by Apple. In my mind, these are the very design choices that let Apple make something that works so well. Multi-tasking on my PC is great, but also means that most of the programs I install try to slip an applet into the taskbar, squandering system resources and making the everyday things I do stutter and pause. It's just not worth it.

So, there. Call me a fanboy, but I'm excited for the iPad.


Natalie said...

Glad to hear someone is into it. I haven't heard many good things about it (although I haven't heard from anyone that knows what they are talking about). Once you get it and try it out, write another review so we can all hear how it really works.

Melanie said...

Amen!!! we are all for Apple being well, Apple and controlling their product, like you said, so it can work so well! We are sold on Mac's and will never change!! You an considered us fanboys too!

Amber said...

I was thinking about you on the announcement day, and what your review would be. It's been on my mind ever since. I used to own a Palm pilot many years ago and loved it... I'm guessing the iPod touch and the iPad as well are very similar to the Palm with lots more capabilities as the technologies improve and change.

So... question is, have you signed up to be notified when it's available? $499 sounds like a really great price for it!

Coach said...

Yeah, I know when it'll be released, and I'm already pondering the possibility. It's a lot of money, but I do have a little bit of a sluch fund for gadgets that most people won't know about, but Amber most certainly can guess. :-)