Friday, 29 January 2010

One Word about the iPad

Disappointed.

And in more detail: There’s nothing the iPad can do which both my Asus Eee PC netbooks can’t do, but there is a lot the Eees can do that the iPad can’t (there is, of course, the question of "how"). I can go into further details and talk about the iPad's closed architecture but someone else has done a good job of discussing the differences already (here).
Personally, I was looking forward to the iPad as a promising e-book reader. Yet it seems we have ourselves a device that is technically inferior to the Kindle when it comes to reading (the iPad sports a conventional screen while the Kindle uses a completely different technology that refreshes much slower but offers a reading experience much superior to conventional books). The iPad also maintains the Kindle’s main drawback, which is that the e-books you buy can only be viewed on the Kindle and transferring them from one platform to another is either a major pain or completely impossible. In other words, the e-books you buy are actually on a short term loan because once your iPad dies so will they. Unless the publisher decides to take the books away from you earlier using some DRM (although I have to add Apple has abandoned DRM on its music).
In summary: I was hoping for a cheap Mac tablet; instead we got a big iPhone. On the positive side, less than two years ago most people considered the iPhone to be just another phone; today I own one and the phone part is one of its least used elements – the iPhone’s magic comes from successfully integrating the internet to a super mobile platform. I suspect the same would apply with the iPad: the Apple glamor would get it off the door, and somewhere along the line a killer app would be found to make it the next next best thing.

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