Jan 27, 2010

The iPad!

So Apple just announced the iPad.  Horrible name aside let’s get down to it!

(Specs from http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/)

The Screen

The iPad has a 9.7” LED-Backlit glossy display, 1024 by 768 pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch….That’s a pretty gorgeous display when compared to the iPhone’s paltry 480 by 320.  The resolution is in the same range as a netbook, like the Dell Mini 10, or HP Mini 2140.  Granted, they have slightly higher resoltuions (1366 by 768) but in the general vicinity.  Hmm…seems netbook-y to me…

The Processor

I think this is the highlight of the hardware for me.  This is the first Apple product to have a processor from the chip company they bought, P.A. Semi.  I’m guessing it is some kind of ARM variant, but I’m not really sure…I’ll have to wait for someone to actually tear one apart to find out.   I think it is safe to say that from the hands on videos I’ve seen, it is a pretty impressive chip.  I think it’ll power the next generation of iDevices.


Now, here is where it gets interesting.  Here is the chart from their site:

Wi-Fi only$499$599$699
Wi-Fi + 3G$629$729$829

I am really impressed that the pricing for the base model, which isn’t too shabby, is under 500 bucks.  The 3G radio as an option is nice.  I don’t think I would ever sue it, but the data would be month to month, but again…AT&T?  I think I’ll stick with WI-FI since I don’t think if I got one it would leave my house.


iBooks is a new app.  It shows all the books you have on a Digital Bookshelf, which is visually awesome.  The animations of pages flipping is smooth and sexy, but how couldn’t it be better than e-ink?  It uses epub format, which is nice.  I’m sure it’ll have DRM up the wazoo, but if it could load the free, public domain books…Sweet!

Things that make me sad/confused

While I am tempted by it, there are a few things that are bugging me.

1) “Best Browsing Experience”  Now, I’m sure the Browsing will be good, but without flash or Silverlight it makes it a harder sell for me.  Two of the things I would use it for would be watching hulu (flash), or Netflix(Silverlight) …so now my uses are already limited.

2) MultiTasking  I like to do more than one thing at a time.  Maybe I’d be cooking in the kitchen preparing a recipe I don’t know by heart and listening to Pandora or Some streaming site (probably not since a lot of them use Flash…see #1) and to have it stop the music while I’m looking back a the website or app would be pointless to me.

3) Plugs, plugs, plugs.  Since the iPad is a gigantic iPhone, the only real connetor is the iDock.  That means no SD or USB ports.  To use those, you need to plug the connector in…which means another thing for me to keep track of.

Overall, the device is lust-worthy.  The dead simple interface, ability to run iPhone apps, and the new e-reader app  makes it a hard device to dismiss.  Yet, the lack of multi-tasking, Myriad of Connectors, and inability to playback Hulu and Netflix make it a non-starter for me, especially at the ~$500 price point.  There are a handful of new Android tablets (possibly the new Archos 7) that are coming in at  lower price points, but undoubtedly won't have the same Sex appeal as the iPad <shudder>.  Then again...if it is living in my living room/kitchen, as long as it can do what I need it to do, I'm not sure I care if it ever puts on a nice dress.


Dan said...

Here's what I don't get about devices with screens: Why so much bezel? I generally don't understand why there is so much space between the edge of the device and the screen itself.

I can see some space being necessary for support, but it just seems to me that there should be some improvement in the ability to have a large screen and small bezel.

..it's called a bezel, right?

markus said...

There's so much bezel so that when you are holding it, you don't want to hit a button or turn a page, or perform some action. I think they put so much so there is ample room for people to grab it without activating the screen.

Donetta Breitling said...

Lots of of bloggers aren't very pleased with this new iPad.There was too much hype about it and lots of blogers got turned off.You see, I actually see lots of the awesome potential uses of the device. Third-party applications for playing music, games, newsprints and magazine and books, tons of cool stuff, but IMHO they failed to sell it very well (excluding the books). It smells rather unfinished

Dan said...

Makes sense for a capacitative screen - and especially something like the Appple Tablet (loathe the real name :P)

markus said...

Good points Donetta:
I don't disagree that there is a lot of potential for this device. The thing I think that is getting to me now, after a few days to digest, is the thing Apple delivered isn't that compelling. Yes, Thinking about all the things that WILL come out (third party apps, OS 4) will make this device a lot better. I understand that using the iPhone OS will make the device run faster and Save battery life, but if this is supposed to be my third device, it isn't living up to that. I don't think that a virtual keyboard will give me the best email experience. I don't think not being able to run AIM/gtalk while Writing a blog post, Or emailing is the best experience. Running one app at a time makes sense for a phone, but for a multimedia tablet, I think it falls flat.