And Jobs came forth and gave us the Pad . The good names like Tablet and Slate were already taken and Pad fits in the iP theme so cutting a long story short, iPad it is. In the usual list style:
It’s big. It’s carry in a bag big. The screen is nearly 10” and there’s a bit of border so it’s about the size of a big netbook. It’s clearly designed to be much closer to a macbook than an ipod despite the fact it’s an overgrown iPod. The screen is IPS which I never seen upclose but I’m told is brilliant and has excellent colour accuracy. That means it’s perfect for delivering digital versions of high quality, glossy magazines. And that’s obviously part of the plan as are books which might not work so well. The buying experience is itunes simple but the price point seems higher than amazon and the screen might not be easy on eyes for long reading periods. In the end it might just be down to Apple’s ability to negotiate price and DRM.
This truly the best “handheld” Internet experience simply for sheer screen quality. And the builtin apps, from Mail to iPhoto seem great but if Apple wants to the iPad to muscle out netbooks it needs to be much less controlling about apps than it is on the iPhone. The first step is there, the 3G version is carrier unlocked and the fact Apple got a prepaid (and unsubsidized) data plan from AT&T (which by the way is not cheap, is just normal Europe rates) is a first great step towards a less restrictive approach to apps. Communication apps like Skype or Fring (or Google Voice) shouldn’t have any issue going into the iPad. Of course the lack of a front facing camera will always hurt on that side (it will never get a videocall button like my N900 has) and Apple’s bold (and strategic) stand against Flash will kill some of the market (no Farmville for you!) but in the end the overall experience will probably come out ahead.
The iWork version actually looks useful which is much more than I expected. And each app is $10. And you have VGA out via the dock connector. That adds up to a clear and bullseye shot on Microsoft’s cash cow. If you’re a sales guy doing a pitch at a client you better show up with an iPad and a micro projector. Only losers use Toshibas and PowerPoint. And you better use the stunning Keynote transitions instead of the crappy PowerPoint animations too. All the cool kids are doing it!
No business guy will use an iPad as primary computer. College students on the other hand will. Why should you carry around a bunch of huge books when you can have them all inside less than 1kg ? And the PadWork (that’s what I call iWork on the iPad) is probably GoodEnough. The case and keyboard dock look custom made for this market and the fact is good deal cheaper than a MacBook doesn’t hurt either. What might hurt on this market is the lack of Flash and videoconferencing. There seems to be USB host “connection kit” so there might be a webcam dock in the not so distant future.
Will I get one right away ? Definitely not. Will I get one when the netbook we use around the house kicks the bucket ? Depends if the wife kicked the Farmville habit or not. Will it be the 3G version ? Most certainly yes!