Like many folks, the iPad intrigued me because it was the next-gen, latest and greatest from Apple. I didn’t purchase it for a number of reasons, but I have many thoughts on it that worth considering if you’re curious about the iPad.
Steve Jobs positioned the iPad to compete against industry-accepted Netbooks. I find this product positioning made the iPad inferior to Netbooks currently on the market. Ideally, the iPad competes with the Nook and the Kindle.
I find the iPad limiting because it doesn’t multi-task, meaning you can only open one application at a time. As an example, this is important because I can’t fire up Pandora while cranking through email. If anything jailbreaking my iPhone taught me, it’s the power of multitasking.
While the iPad supports wireless, this isn’t enough. Not enough places support wireless connectivity, and even if they do, they charge a premium for it. The example of airports come to mind – and I don’t see it being very convenient to purchase wireless to check email. Pulling your iPhone out is a much better alternative.
The screen is another weak area in my opinion. In a matter of minutes, it will be filled with smudges from the oils on your fingers and collect dust. Sure, a screen protector could be used, but the fidelity of the screen is hindered.
The optional 3G radio that could be bundled will most likely result in an additional monthly fee for service when those start shipping out. It would be fantastic to clone my SIM card for AT&T and use 3G on it – but knowing AT&T, they won’t do this because it doesn’t generate revenue.
Adobe Flash is important to have on the iPad as many websites use it to support multimedia, advertising and other semi-critical functions. Despite the Adobe & Apple rumors, there is no Flash support and this is a let-down for most web users.
With all that said, I do have to acknowledge why the iPad is attractive.
I enjoy the clean, simple and familiar iPhone-like interface. The email client has some nice enhancements and the UI is clean and powerful. The fact that out of the box, someone can read books, listen to music, watch movies, write text, browse the web and do email makes it usable for many people. As much as I’ve shared all the above reasons not to get an iPad, for $500, you do get a lot for it. Only if you can justify dropping that much for a large iPod Touch.
I probably won’t be getting an iPad anytime soon, but I saw it first-hand and all these point stick. I see it as being a supplement for someone who already has an iTunes account, familiar with the Mac family and merely wants a quick gadget to check emails, watch multimedia and browse the web with. No way would it be a complete Netbook replacement.
With all this said, Apple has a huge opportunity to listen to the feedback critics have shared and make substantial improvements. As with any first-generation of anything, it will be inferior to updated revisions of it. I expect the next rendition of the iPad to include 3G natively, multitasking and Flash support. A camera would be nice to make it truly convenient to do video, too.
What do you think?