Thursday, January 28, 2010

The iPad

It's called an iPad and "iTampons" is trending on twitter right now. Looks like an enlarged iPod touch.

Important things to note:

* It does not have an USB port or any other port other its own, which means you need to buy an _adapter_ to connect a USB device.

* Priced at $499 for the basest model which comes without 3G. With 3G, it is $630 and remember, this is AT&T. What this means is that you do not have the option to use a different service provider. For the two weeks that I have been on the AT&T network, I can tell you that it is, without a doubt, the _worst_ network I have seen anywhere. Forget about taking calls indoors anywhere. You want any voice clarity, you have to go outside! Of course, this is voice data and not 3G but I would assume that it would be just as bad. And what about other countries? So, if I take it back to India, the only way I can use the internet is to connect to a wifi network? No way I can use my USB modem? Will my USB modem even work if I buy the USB adapter and connect it to the iPad via that? I would doubt it. For $630, you can get yourselves a really good, powerful laptop that will allow you to do lots more than the iPad ever will.

* Still no flash. So, basically, if you want to watch videos online, it is either youtube or vimeo or any other html5 compliant website. No Daily Show for me. :(
Importantly, you cannot play any free flash games, ie, no FarmVille. :(

* What about battery life? Apple products have some of the worst battery life in any electronics. There is no reason why they should have such a pathetic battery life but they do and for some reason people forget that for a mobile device to be truly mobile, you shouldn't have to carry your charger every where you go.

* Lots of comparisons with Kindle. With the Kindle DX selling at $489, it was inevitable. But remember the DX comes with 3G support! So, it is competing with the iPad that is at $630! The Kindle is definitely overpriced but that will change very soon. I do not think they can sustain that price with the iPad deceptively marketing itself as something priced close to it. Kindle DX's battery life is supposed to be a week, which is impressive. Of course, Kindle is an e-book reader and is designed to be so whereas the iPad looks like it is designed to be.. actually, I have no clue as to what it is designed to be.

As a compulsive email checker on my mobile phone, I know how useful it is to have a device that allows you to surf the net but touchscreen devices are always limited and if you want to something which will involve a little bit of typing, a touchscreen device is a pain in the ass. There is no way you can type on a touchscreen as fast as a physical keyboard. Also, there is no way you can _type_ in a moving vehicle. Even a phone with a numberpad and predictive text is better for typing while in a vehicle than a touchscreen! So, yes, I am not convinced that the iPad is really worth the money. I believe a nice netbook, which is priced around $300, will do the job and much more than an iPad.

Nothing revolutionary, IMO. Just an overpriced toy.

Full disclosure: I own an iPod, which I think is a very good music player and a portable hard disk. I used a MacBook for over an year and would prefer it to a Windows laptop anyday.


Varun S said...

Calling itself a tablet, this device has no stylus. As you said, its just a glorified iPod Touch with a large screen.

Varun S said...

btw, seems like Farmville works, someone (from farmville) demo'ed farmville in the event.

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