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The iPad: Success or Failure?

  • Jan 28, 2010
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Well, the Apple is finally out of the bag today as the mythical "iPad" is unveiled.  But did the public receive the news as Steve intended?  Was the "shock" good, bad, or ugly? Perhaps it's too early to tell whether the iPad will be a success or failure because time is needed to see how things look when the dust settles.   But, it's not too early to discuss first impressions... so here's the 'skinny' on the iPad.

The Good:
-It's thin and light... only 1.5 pounds, 10 inch screen, and only .5 inches thick.
-LED back-lit Multi-touch screen & long battery life (10 hours estimated)
-Built-in Wifi, and 3G enabled (with a compatible sim card)
-Runs most ipod touch/iphone apps, built-in bluetooth
-Built-in Speakers, Microphone, headphone jack, mp3 and video functions
-The price is lower than expected, starting at $499
-External keyboard compatible

The Bad:

-No wide-screen display (despite what the Apple website says, 1024-by-768 is NOT wide-screen)
-Internal Battery, and having to use a dock connector to charge.
-1Ghz processor is pretty underpowered these days.
-No DVD, CD, or Blu-ray drive.
-No HDMI output
-No Camera (means no photo or video capture)

The Ugly:

-The iPad does not run a full operating system... it runs apps, like the iPod Touch & iPhone.
-It's dependence on custom hardware accessories like camera connection kit, video output adapters...etc.

The Roundup:
Ok, I'm just going to say it. Ready? Here it goes:  While I think that the iPad can serve many functions, I believe that it's pretty much just a large iPod Touch.  I'm sure that many will try to dispute this fact, but if you really stand back and look at all of it's features (runs apps, internal battery, needs to be docked to another computer to upload/download data...etc) I think you'd agree.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing... but I think that most people expected it to be a standalone computer that could run the Apple OS and compete against other Laptops.  It's dependence on being able to just run apps hinders it's ability to reach it's full potential.  Sure, there are apps out there to do office work (iWork) and other useful stuff, but then the iPad is also limited by it's 1Ghz CPU.  Any way you look at it, it's just not as powerful or useful as a full fledged computer.  It's more like another  fun "toy" to play games and kill time with.  With that said, if you already own a pod Touch or phone... is there really enough of a reason to get this thing?  I'll leave that up to you to decide.  As for me, I find it a little bit disappointing (just saying!).

One thing is for sure though, the low introductory price for the wifi only version of the iPad ($499) will definitely set the standard for tablet pc prices... and that's a very good thing indeed. It means that if competitors want to successfully sell similar products, they may have to sell theirs for even less.  Whatever the outcome (success or failure),  Apple has changed the market of touch-screen tablet devices forever.

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January 29, 2010
It is affordable. But I'm not impressed with the look. As for the functions, we'll have to wait and see ;-) Have you test drive it yet??!!
January 28, 2010
I thought this was a weird product to unveil right now while everyone is penny-pinching. Yes, all of Apple's products are pretty unnecessary (meaning, you don't really NEEEEEED them, technically) but I think this is the worst of them all. Everyone I know is looking for jobs, not impulse-buying electronics.

Overall though, I'm interested to see if they adapt this to be used by graphic designers in the place of a graphics tablet and computer - it could really cut out a step for them.

I'm waiting to see how this product evolves..I'm sure once people actually buy it and have it we will have a better understanding of what it's good for!

Thanks for the review!
January 28, 2010
I have always wanted one of these but never have been brave enough to get one. Nice review. Harold
January 28, 2010
Great review, El Duke! I really did expect the iPad to be a total desktop or laptop replacement, but it looks like it's just a Kindle with more space and function. Or like you said, a super sized iPod Touch.  I think I'm slightly disappointed in it because my expectations for it were different, even though they were based on rumors.  I'm sure that the bad and the ugly that you pointed out will be taken care of over the next several generations if this thing takes off.

In my iPhone 3GS review, I quoted a thinkgeek tweet, which said, "Today in Geek History: In 2001, Apple presents $400 5 gig iPod; RIAA calls it fad & majestically backflips into pool of cds".  I think people are being too harsh on the iPad as they were the iPod when it first came out, and look at iPods now.  I bet the iPad is going through the same thing and that it will be a success.
January 28, 2010
It is exactly what we expect from Apple. They weren't targeting the tablet market or making a new laptop...they were going after the products like Amazon's Kindle and B&N's Nook. With that said Apple produced a far superior product with only a slight mark up in price. If you can only buy 1 an Amazon Kindle, B&N's Nook or the iPad, which do you buy? Hands down it is the iPad.
January 28, 2010
I agree that if I were to choose between a Kindle or iPad, I would choose an iPad too... but only because it does much more than a Kindle can do. But here's the thing, if you already have an iPod touch or iPhone, you can get the free Kindle app and use it as a ebook reader too. So in that way, I'm not sure if it would be worth it to pay another $500 for essentially a larger iPod touch. For those who don't have an ipod Touch or iPhone, it may be well worth it though. Thank you for your thoughts and feedback!
January 28, 2010
I'm not going to sit down with a cup of coffee and read the New York Times on my iPhone or iPod Touch every morning. It might be good here and there (in a cab, waiting in line / airports, etc.) but it's not an everyday solution IMHO. Size does matter and I think it significantly changes the experience and the apps that we'll see down the road. At $499, this is only marginally more expensive than Amazon's Kindle DX which only has 4GB of storage compared to 16GB + everything else the iPad has. I do think they are targeting both the tablet and ebook market here... Google's Chrome OS is going to be very similar in that it's not a full OS. The difference with Apple is the better experience, lifestyle brand and polish they put into their products + a huge app store that makes the lack of a full OS a non-factor. The iPod wasn't revolutionary, MP3 players had been around for years but who calls it an MP3 player anymore? iPod has become synonymous with portable music.
January 28, 2010
If it works properly, it will be a big help to seniors, who rely on computers to send their e-mail or surf the web! Older eyes you know. Also reading books on a big screen is a great thing for us!
January 28, 2010
why wouldn't you just use a laptop? cheaper and bigger screens as you can see with my review of a toshiba laptop at best buy 

I don't know much about the eReaders, but can you not read books on a regular computer?
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About the reviewer
Duc Truong ()
I'm a man with many hobbies. I work a full-time job in the field of 'Lyophilization' for a small Pharmacuetical company. It's a dream job because it gives me lots of days off to pursue … more
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About this product


The iPad  is a tablet  computing device product from Apple Inc. The device was announced on January 27, 2010, at a press conference at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts  in San Francisco. The device was rumored for several months, with iSlate  and iTablet among rumored names.
The device is expected to incorporate a 10-inch (26 centimeter) multi-touch display made by Innolux, a subsidiary of Foxconn. The price is expected to be more than the iPhone but less than an Apple notebook computer.

The iPad's lowest grade model with a 16GB hard drive will run for $499 dollars with the 32 GB running for $599 and the 64GB running at $699.  Buyers will also have the opportunity to purchase the iPad with 3G connectivity with the lowest grade model starting at $629 and going up.  The Wi-Fi models will ship in late March while the 3G models will ship in April.

 Yair Reiner claims the iSlate will compete in the market against dedicated e-book devices such as the Barnes & Noble nook and the Amazon Kindle while offering 70% of revenue to publishers, the same arrangement accorded developers of the App Store. These arrangements would also extend to print publishers who currently receive less in digital work royalties from companies like Amazon.com.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISlate
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Brand: Apple
Category: Tablets, Computers

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