Magical - or mediocre? You decide
Heads or Fails Apple's iPad is out. The pre-orders are inbound - if they haven't arrived already - and it's in the shops.
Apple reckons we'll flock to its "magical" device to use it as a browsing tool, as a media player, as an e-book reader, as a handheld games console, as a social media centric communicator and perhaps as all of the above.
Early signs show it is indeed making its way as a very portable, long running, touchscreen netbook. And even an SSD-based netbook - if you find one these days - doesn't boot up or come out of sleep as quickly as the iPad does. It really is a 'pick up and use' tool.
But it's expensive, and out of the box it's locked down by its manufacturer.
The screen may be gorgeous but it's has an old 4:3 aspect ratio not a modern, 16:9 one. There's no webcam. It's too heavy to hold comfortably for extended periods of time.
And, darn it, it doesn't multitask worth a damn.
So, iPad: magical or mediocre?
Heads or fails - you decide. Vote now and have your say in the forum.
Better than I thought...
...but still not much good for anything. Had a look at one yesterday, and it does look quite fancy, but it's still fairly pointless. Pretty much trademark Apple- stylish, but possibly less useful because of that.
It's a FAIL from me.
It's simply for geeks who need gadgets to make themselves feel better.
What could have been.. or can be
I'm amazed that other manufacturers have so much difficulty taking on the Jobsian cult. There are some clear themes in all of Apple's recent releases that make them a pleasure to use and desirable to own. Some of it is far from rocket science, but takes a willingness to put in the effort to deliver. Yet the rival products from a variety of well financed and experienced companies consistently fall into the "it's nice but it's not an Apple" camp.
Apple doesn't lead on the technical front, nor on price - but it understands the user experience. How is that so hard? The iPad is a perfect example - we use a 12 month old netbook that is a far better machine, cheaper, faster and with broader functionality - yet the iPad is the object of desire when the netbook is just a (very well designed) tool.
My only conclusion has to be that a single visionary produces far better product than a committee, and whilst geeks have gone mainstream, they still have trouble understanding normal users. If Apple's rivals want to beat apple, they need to set up skunkworks projects led by 'users champions' rather than market segment analysts and idiot savant geeks, and see them through to the high street where the impact can be felt. Anything else is just making hay whilst the boat sinks(*).
(*) Yes, I know, but it'll stick in your head.
It's a well executed and unique gadget, the first of its kind, and already the first purebred tablet computer to get anywhere close to mass-market appeal, despite countless attempts in the past. The antipathy and willingness for it to fail in places like this only goes to show what a mountain it's up against, and what an ultimately brave move it was for Apple to even attempt this rather than just stick to traditional macs and non-giant iphones - this is what innovation is all about at the end of the day, surprising people and challenging them on what it is they think they want.
If Apple had simply brought out a Mac-styled netbook, they might have sold a few, but they wouldn't really have added to anything that wasn't already out there on the market. That may have been what some potential customers would have expected if asked what Apple should build, but it's like the old Henry Ford quote - "If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for faster horses"
The iPad is already a success, and deservedly so.
I just don't understand it.
Why not just buy a netbook (the Asus 1005HA-H I bought last summer for £250 is awesome with real 9hrs battery life)?
People will buy it though. But people would probably buy a turd so long as it was multitouch and an apple logo.