Mini-review of the iPad

I played with an iPad yesterday. Here’s my mini-review. The screen is bright and the touch sensitivity is fantastic. Given that it reminds me the most of an iPhone, it’s surprisingly heavy. It feels dense with potential.

On the childlike-sense-of-wonder-scale (as fake Steve Jobs would say), the iPad is better than the Macbook Air but not as stunning as the iPhone when the iPhone first came out. I played with my wife’s iPhone for just a few minutes before I knew I had to have an iPhone. But I never really cared about the Macbook Air, mainly because the screen resolution was worse than my current laptop. The iPad fits between those two products in the spectrum of desirability for me.

The form factor is… weird. You’re going to feel strange carrying one of these into the grocery store, in the same way you felt weird using your cell phone in the grocery store at first. Leave it to Apple to blaze a trail of coolness though; the iPad will make this form factor acceptable, so you won’t feel quite as strange carrying a tablet into a meeting in a few months. The form factor fundamentally is awkward though: the iPad is book-sized, but much more delicate than a book. A screen this big with no protection will get scratched or scuffed. I’d expect to see plenty of articles about dropped iPads like you did about Wiimotes getting thrown into TVs and windows.

The gadget lover in me wants one, but the part of me that cares about open source and tinkering is stronger. I’m with Cory Doctorow on this one. The iPad is gorgeous, but it’s still not worth it for me. Yesterday, I also bought two books at the bookstore to read on a trip. Walking back to my car with “paper media” felt a bit dorky–why am I buying books on paper in 2010? If I could buy a book digitally and really own it (not just obtain a license to read a book, where the license could be revoked), I’d quickly switch to buying my books digitally. But the success of the Kindle shows that a lot of people care more about the convenience than completely owning what they’re buying digitally.

I think the iPad will be a huge hit. Non-tech-savvy consumers will love it because of the user experience, the simplicity, and the lack of viruses/malware/trojans. It’s like a computer without all the hassles of a typical computer (pre-installed crapware, anti-virus software, inconvenient software upgrades). Lots of tech-savvy consumers will love the iPad for the same reasons, and especially for the polish and user experience. The current iPad lacks a few things (such as a camera), which ensures that future generations of the iPad will also be a huge hit.

But the iPad isn’t for me. I want the ability to run arbitrary programs without paying extra money or getting permission from the computer manufacturer. Almost the only thing you give up when buying an iPad is a degree of openness, and tons of people could care less about that if they get a better user experience in return. I think that the iPad is a magical device built for consumers, but less for makers or tinkerers. I think the world needs more makers, which is why I don’t intend to buy an iPad. That said, I think the typical consumer will love the iPad.

94 Responses to Mini-review of the iPad (Leave a comment)

  1. Its from Apple, and I heard about it a lot, but the idea of buying one never crossed my mind. It would be totally weird if I carry around something like that here in India at the moment.

    Heard 700,000+ iPads are already sold, it will sell a lot anyway.

  2. my 2 cents. That’s exactly what I thought about it.

  3. I have zero Apple products so far, I was considering for Easter to go for an iPhone 3gs or iPad, I picked the iPhone, makes more sense to me to have a smaller ipad with cellphone included.

  4. Jon

    No matter what you or any tech gadget geniuses say, Apple cannot go wrong at the moment and just its pure existence will fire up a demand like no other. But, I doubt I’ll be buying one

  5. Jay

    Good points. Yes, maybe it’s targeting less technical users, while I still prefer a higher spec netbook carrying around. This is because we can still run Linux that has all the software tools we need to do all most everything – and it’s lite and simple too.
    The only time I would like to have an iPad is on the flight traveling 12 hours. iPhone itself is good enough for shot distance traveling. (I wouldn’t carry an iPad on crowded tube, but an iPhone is handy).

  6. Jeff Sawyer

    Great mini-review Matt. It all seems to come down to the question of disposable income or the utility you need. I could imagine my girlfriend being perfectly happy with me taking over her laptop and me giving her an iPad. It does everything she needs afterall.

    Anyway, great great review.

  7. Applications like “gilt” give me enough reason to own devices like the iPad.
    As a web developer I think we need to be on the ball and watch for potential game changing shifts.

    The ecommece experience on mobile devices needs to change, as does the generic web experience.

    5% of my web portfolios visits are from mobile devices, with the iPad I am sure this will rise i small numbers.
    Whilst it may seem an insignificant amount now, it only has room to grow and with that, I think we have a responsibility to make our end user experience perfect, or, near perfect.

  8. One line that sums it all up :-
    iPad is good for consuming products of the Digital Age but not appealing for creating those products themselves

    Sure, watching movies is fun. Playing games with the touch interface is cool and stuff. Reading books is phenominal, what happens to creation of books & games?

    Would be see the next iPad blueprint being made on iPad itself. I guess not. We need regular computers for the “makers” as Matt put it correctly.

  9. David Mulder

    Just thought I would add that at the very least the ipad will force other manufactures (like google) to create comparable products which will hopefully be more open.

  10. It’s going to be fascinating to see how much of a game changer it is.
    I too never went for a Macbook Air but I think the iPad is going to be far closer to the iPhone in the desirability spectrum for me, and many others… if only for the ability to play scrabble on the move!

  11. Simultech

    While I agree completely for the most part, I would have to argue against “the iPad isn’t for makers”. I think its a fantastic platform for makers. The APIs and documentation are rich, and the development environment is fantastic (GDB on the live device? awesome). Its also guaranteed to work on every iPad (and most likely future revisions), which is a big bonus (compared with most other mobile platforms where you have to do a lot of testing on different hardware…screen size and speed specs). And you can reuse most of the code for an iPhone version. I will admit that once your done and have to deal with the appstore it can be quite painful, but it is a bloddy good distribution platform apart from the paperwork involved.

  12. You hit on the main idea that kept me from being enthused about this new product as well. The inability to use whatever software “I” like is a big issue for me. Just about every thing that I use is open source and customized to my own machinations.
    The “tinkerer” in me just couldn’t get my mind around it and all the hype of this over-sized beefy Iphone.

  13. If thats the theory behind your purchase decision, iPhone wasn’t about “openness” too ;)

  14. This is the biggest problem with Apple, they are treating devices like their own playground. I would not mind spending that extra buck to get a device from them, but the fact that I have to jailbreak it everytime they release a new update is totally like a lot of work.

    Take the same example of a tablet running a Windows OS or Linux or for that matter any other OS like Debian or Meego, I can easily install apps I want. The mentality of crowd beyond Apple fanboys is that there are free apps being developed and I want to use it on the device I purchased and made mine by paying a price.

    The problem with Apple (which I have had and which is why I don’t use their devices is that) I don’t want to be tied down by a device manufacturer after I purchase the device, this holds for any other device I buy. I usually wipe out the OS a manufacturer puts on a OEM and install my own licensed OS which is basically not illegal, but according to Apple’s TOS and Licensing it makes it illegal to do that for users, now that is not a real world way to do it.

  15. I find this a bit harsh review though I agree on the screen part. It is too fragile and I feel that my two year old would tear it with her nails.

  16. gabriele vidali

    did u try some other os on it ?
    does it have an embedded projector ?
    i guess in android world it would embed many things with that price

  17. gabriele vidali

    do iphone apps use vector scalable icons so that they correctly appear on any screen size ?
    that’s a silly bug still affecting android, scheiss

  18. “If thats the theory behind your purchase decision, iPhone wasn’t about “openness” too”

    Manoj Kumar, when the original iPhone launched, it was much more open than any other phone. The phone I had before the iPhone needed 5 button clicks to get to the web, and at one point my carrier added a banner ad for themselves, so I also had to click past that to get to the web. The original iPhone also had no notion of native apps; the plan was for every non-Apple app to be a web app. So the original iPhone was a huge step forward in terms of openness in the carrier-handset ecosystem.

  19. The Apple fanboy in me really makes me want to buy an iPad. At the moment though, buying a car is a bit more important. Perhaps in a few months and an iPod later I’ll buy one. Though I’d just have to go for the 32gb model.

  20. Manuel Lemos

    Ipad is unusable precisely because it is heavy as Matt noted. You did not need to buy one to figure that out because the weight specs were published a long time ago. It weights 700 grams, which is twice as much as a thick book (400 pages) and more than twice than Kindle that weights only 300 grams.

    But this will not hold Apple fans that will buy it just because they want to believe very hard that it is not that unusable.

    What will happen is that they will play with it for a while and then give up because nobody can stand very long holding such heavy device holding it in two hands (let alone just one hand). Nobody wants to carry two thick books in their hands. It is too uncomfortable to use for more than a few minutes.

    Apple should have known better that it was too heavy, especially when they wanted to compete with Kindle, which is much lighter.

    For this detail I think iPad deserves the iBrick title more than iPhone did. At least iPhone can be called hand-held, as you can fit it in a pocket and you can even make phone calls.

    Maybe iPad should be renamed Newton 2, for being yet another flop like Newton.

    I guess I am going to buy a Kindle after all.

  21. Manuel,

    Maybe you should skip the kindle and invest in a gym subscription.
    Too heavy, for what, a fairy?
    ;)

  22. If only it had a card reader and a webcam, it would be on my “must have” list – I get the way it works, and it will be amazing when things like home automation really come out – I have started “living in the cloud” a bit more than I expected to a year or two ago, but this is still not quite ready for me yet…. On the negative, I seriously hate iTunes, I hate iCult and I hate the proprietory cables that are expensive to replace (I really need to replace my phones USB cable), my iPhone is literally about to be replaced with a HTC device (desire in the UK) which is a Nexus but with the Sense front end … it has a replaceable battery and a card reader, a universal power / USB cable…

    I think that iPhone set the way for the next generation phones, and the iPad will set the bar for the next generation of iPad type devices, but I want to Video skype on it :-) – simply that!

  23. Andrea

    I know why Matt doesn’t like the iPad so much, he is already beta-testing the forthcoming Gpad :-)

    Anyway, I own an iPhone, and it’s not accettable I should buy a Mac just to code my first “hello world” on it.

  24. I think you’re right. Consumers will accept the iPad. It’s Apple’s entry into the netbook market, and it’s the best netbook execution I’ve seen.

    Your tale about the iphone is cautionary for the open source/ standards community. Apps won on the iphone, not so much because they provide a business model for developers (they don’t) but because they provided the convenience and the packaging consumers wanted.

    At the end of the day, you have to satisfy people’s wants and needs. They value those more than openness which often only has abstract (and distant) meaning in their eyes.

  25. Matt,

    The Archos 7 pad with Android actually has better specs along with the open environment at the same price point as the iPad.

    Also my sense is the iPad will knock down its mainstream koolness factor as it falls into the niche of becoming a defacto grannie computer.

    ,Michael Martin

  26. Ashish

    Ipad may not have all the things we want such as camera or multi-tasking but what it does, it does perfectly.The synergy of hardware plus software is second to none.

    The ipad itself is the result creative makers and I am pretty sure there are lot of people who want to create apps for such a beautifully crafted product.

    The close system of Apple is perfect for this device, sometimes less is better.

    By the way, I am waiting for Chrome OS :)

  27. Matt, I see the iPad as significantly new mobile platform for the web. A lot of ‘mobile’ things that I do not do well on a phone sized screen become elegant on the iPad. Maps, email, ebooks are the easy ones to imagine.

    I think of the iPad as the doppleganger to twitter’s character limit as a mobile solution for the web. Rather than narrowing the web for mobile use, I think the iPad will open it up. As a tinkerer, I am not nearly as concerned with openness of the platform as the openness the platform provides. Because of this I think the iPad’s a ‘must have’ for makers and tinkerers too.

  28. I agree Matt, open source all the way! I looked at the iPad and thought yeah that looks cool… But I don’t really need one… Then I almost thought of buying one as it’s a cool gadget, but then I thought about the whole “you have to buy everything through the app store” BS, and dropped the idea.

    I don’t agree with closed down forced purchase through a hardware manufacture, I own a MacBook, But I can buy or use open source software on it, or even install Linux. I can deal with the iPhone’s app store as I hardly buy or use that many apps on it now.

    Overall I think Apple would be a much better company if they became more open! Instead of trying to lock people down / force them to use specific software. If the iPad had a cut down version of Mac OS I would probably by one… If I could install my own software, Chrome, Firefox, Thunderbird etc. But as it stands I am going to try and avoid the iPad…

  29. Sebastian

    I give you two weeks untill you cave in an get one Matt ;-)

    Your attitude reminds me of my first reaction to the iphone and now i hardly can live without anymore.

  30. “It looks sweet” that is all I have to say.

  31. RE: The current iPad lacks a few things (such as a camera), which ensures that future generations of the iPad will also be a huge hit.

    Given that every phone now has a camera, I don’t the Worlds needs another one :)

  32. Thanks for the review, Matt. I was almost tempted to drive over to the Fruit Basket myself on Saturday, but I was distracted. I would absolutely love it if someone gave me one of these ipads, but I won’t drop the bucks just yet. Hey…it may cost less in a few months, right?

    It is a fun toy folks… a toy, a book reader, a diversion from life, not the Holy Grail of electronics. Really…I don’t see you all complaining that you can’t “tinker” with a wii. And Apple IS a “for profit” company, for crying out loud, so quit all your whining about the open source blah, blah already.

  33. Considering I’m in bed writing my comment on an iPad — I’m a bit biased. After two days use, I really like it. I finally have a way to read multiple newspaper opinion sections at breakfast without stacks of papers. The web experience is great, and I can read in bed without the reading light. I am anxiously waiting for the Apple case, it’s a slippery piece of glass to carry around.

  34. Will

    Matt says “The gadget lover in me wants one, but the part of me that cares about open source and tinkering is stronger”

    see.. I think we are all missing the point .. 99% of us DON’T care how we tinker or get apps into the iPad and we as a culture continue to care less (tech is becoming like electricity, plug in).

    Apple is and continues to be focused on customer experience, which in the cloud based service world, is the point.. Google won this battle with search.. why? superior customer experience (fast, simple design with good results) — did we care about pagerank, etc.. no.. 99% of the world has no idea what that is.

    Apple continues to push the “I win” button..

  35. Kishor Gurtu

    I’m not a tinkerer, just a currency trader. And until the iPhone/iPad/Androids of the world can run MT4, I’m sticking with Windows. kthxbye.

  36. Innovative, PASS.

    Fun to play with for 30 minutes before you go “Why hell did I spend $500+ on half of a computer”, PASS.

    Practical application? FAIL. And in my opinion, it’s a silly device.

    On the other hand, kudos to Apple for thinking outside the box, they’re good at that. And maybe I’ll eat my words, because no one really knows how the consumer market will react to some products, but I have a feeling the iPad will end up on a dusty, electronics-graveyard shelf; tucked neatly next to the LaserDisc player, the Apple Newton, and WebTV.

    I read a rather funny quote on a random tech forum, and I thought you would enjoy it… “I heard google is coming out w/ their own tablet. It’s called the Gspot. It should be rather stimulating.”

  37. Thanks for posting this review. It’s great to have a mini-review that’s quick and easy to read through to get an idea of what the iPad’s like.

    So far I’m not impressed with what I’ve heard about it, because I can’t imagine taking it with me anywhere that I wouldn’t also take my iPhone, therefore negating the need for it. If I were considering buying a Kindle e-Reader or something similar I might think about the iPad instead, but otherwise I don’t see a need for it.

  38. Thanks for the review. I feel that the Apple iPad is a visceral product, and that usually wins people over 9 out of 10 times. The only opportunity I had to quickly play with the iPad was for about 3 minutes, and surfing the web was truly a great experience…

  39. Damian

    I can see why it is a cool product but I don’t think it makes you cool, like the iPhone did. I know strange. My point is, it’s a nice gadget and a bit of fun and it will sell shit loads but it is only iPhone but bigger and without the camera and phone.

  40. I’m one of those people who doesn’t really ‘get’ the iPad, and I think Matt has summed up the exact reason why – it’s for consumers of media, rather than makers or tinkerers of media. I have a £250 Netbook that I can do everything I need to on – editing web code, viewing images, listening to music – and the thoughts of paying twice that amount for something that does less seems odd to me. But based on the coolness factor alone, I would imagine that the iPad will do very well – I guess I’m just not cool!

  41. I am going to buy one for each of my luddite parents.
    The lack of Flash means I can’t use it on the road for my business so I will not be getting one for myself until I figure out a HTML5 system for delivering audio previews on all of my websites to serve to iPhone/iPad users (it is on my todo list though).
    Once I do that it will be perfect for doing customer service from my beach house in Barcelona :-)
    -Mark

  42. Rajendra

    Completely agree with the view that “because of lack of features in the current, even future iPads will be a hit”. The strategy seems to be to scatter/defer the hardware, software upgrades so that none of the device is perfect until they have made enough money! My iphone experience just fortified this. Though I can give benefit of doubt for iphone as there were so many innovations packed in iphone, it was risky investing more in single product for Apple at start, but thats not true regarding iPad. So my personal view is not to be the first few to buy the first generation apple products.

  43. I am still enjoying the iPhone and iPod Touch. Can’t see why I would want to switch to anything larger and bulkier at the moment. If I want bigger, I just use my laptop.

  44. Totally agree with your thoughts minus one, I caved and bought one. I hope to liberate the hardware with help.

  45. It’s amazing, the level Apple has reached now. It can basically design anything and convince people to buy it.

  46. Jan

    In Germany we have to wait until end of april before we can get first hands on. I think it will be a nice gadget for sitting on couch an surf a little bit.
    An open Apple iPad? Never, have to wait for the Gpad with Android ;)

  47. I will buy one for myself if I had enough money!-_-~

  48. I agree with you completely, Matt. I’ve got an iPhone and have toyed around with the Macbook Air, and I feel like the iPad falls in the middle. I’ll probably eventually have to get myself one just to have and cherish for a month or so, but I think I’ll wait ’til the price drops a bit.

  49. I gotta to disagree about comparing the iPad with the MacBook Air.
    How can you compare a laptop based on OS X with a iPod Touch on steroïds ?
    No point going into details, but it’s just not the same at all. Kinda useless to compare them anyway.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m getting an iPad, but I also have a MacBook Air !

  50. Good review that sums up exactly why I don’t want to buy one. I’ll buy one when you can develop an iPad/iPhone/iTouch/Mac App on it and you can install regular mac apps on it.

  51. Hey Matt! You should check out Barnes & Noble’s Nook eReader. It is compatible with ePub and you own the eBooks you buy. I love mine! ;D http://bkite.com/41uad

  52. Booth

    Will (posted at l April 4, 2010 at 9:17 pm) is dead right – 99% of the world are consumers and don’t care to tinker. The iPad is targeted directly at consumption (web, video, Pics, email whatever). Apple will make a killing on this.

  53. Kevin

    I don’t understand the whole ‘tinkerer’s dilemma’ thing when it come to the iPad/iPhone. These are not authoring devices (any more than a Kindle, an Xbox, a Nintendo DS, my car’s navigation system or my wristwatch for that matter). That’s what computers are for.

    They are certainly devices that tinkerer’s can enjoy and create FOR. There are over 130,000 iPhone apps, most of which were written by small developers. There is NO shortage of creativity happening in the iPhone ecosystem.

  54. the IPad looks amazing, would really like to purchase one in the near future.

  55. Tim

    couldn’t care less. Please put an end to the depressingly widespread mis-phrasing of this idiom. You are a Googler, FFS.

  56. Good to hear your thoughts on the iPad, I’ve only been reading good things about it so it’s interesting to read about some of the negatives too.

  57. Matt could you do me a favor and try to read a comic on the iPad and tell us what you think?
    I am asking this for a friend of mine *cough*.

  58. Robert

    Yet again Apple successfully markets to the lowest common denominator by creating a device for people who just want to update their facebook status or watch Miley Cyrus music videos on Youtube. To those who claim it isnt heavy, I’d like to see you hold it up to your face for a whole episode of Lost. I dont bother comparing this to other devices since Apple has fit it into a niche which previously didnt exist. You’ll notice that nowhere on Apple’s website is it described as a tablet computer just as the iPhone is not described as a smartphone. In fact the only description is the word ‘product’.

    I can’t see it changing the web. It has a standard resolution so the only possible thing I can think of is that iPad users will not be able to hover over anything or click anything smaller than their finger. Since this will be such a small perecntage of web visitors, I wont make any changes to cater for them.

  59. Cormac

    “I want the ability to run arbitrary programs without paying extra money or getting permission from the computer manufacturer.”

    Well put.

  60. I think the Apple model of vetting apps is a little harsh but I would rather that than having a fully open phone where we would end up back with the situation that we are with PC’s where non tech savvy users can install damaging and unwanted software, often without understanding what they are doing.

    You mentioned that this app will be perfect for the non-tech savvy, but I believe that there is a huge gap in the market for iPad (and other tablets) if devleopers are slightly restricted into what they can do with the tablets system. This will protect end-users.

    I personally will be buying one as I no longer have a laptop, but do have a need for a machine for casual browsing, e-book reading and other light tasks. For anything else I will use my Mac.

  61. Shaun Sole

    Well well, taking a swipe at Apple and Amazone, then praising the iPad but still holding out on buying one. Sounds to me like you know about something bigger and better about to launch, like a g-slate with the new upcoming Google OS? I’m with you on that Matt, I think I’ll also wait for the g-slate:-)

  62. kakky

    Personally I think not only is the name stupid (sounds like a womans sanitary product), but as usual with apple it wont have major parts it actually needs and other competitors have until 3rd or 4th generation, plus no doubt itll handcuff you firmly to Itunes.
    Yes OK I’m a bit of an apple hater, but come on not running flash is just stupid and isnt giving the user a full experiance.

    Its a real shame that companies like Archos etc dont have the clever marketing like Apple, which is the only thing I actually do give them credit for.

    But Matt I will give you credit too as your many mentions of Apple products is either a very genuine interest and shows Google arent going to fall into a school yard fight with Apple or its very calcualted to give that impression.

  63. I think it is a brilliant idea but does not seem to be a necessity for me. I love my Iphone and Mac Book and in my situation don’t see where this would be a suitable alternative for my purposes.

    I personally wonder what demographic they are marketing to as most of the younger and tech savvy people already have a data phone as well as a laptop. I am sure they have made a great product and know there is a huge market. I just don’t personally see a need for myself.

  64. I can’t see myself owning one of these as much as I can’t see myself owning an iPhone. My understanding is the iPad can only run one app at a time, the same as the iPhone. I’m a multitasker at heart and on my blackberry I can play music, have the web going and write an email all at the same time.. my husbands iPhone can’t do that. Although I admit the iPhone has a much better web surfing experience than my Pearl Flip. If I could get a hybrid of the 2 I’d be happy and I think people will feel the same with the iPad.

  65. Richard Barber

    Matt,

    Great review, I’ve always answered my surprised friends when asked why I haven’t an iphone and the answer has been “philosophically, I don’t like closed systems and there are now open systems that are almost as good”, that said, Google is increasingly perceived as “open to be closed” which could be an issue for you in the long term.

    However, the question is when are we going to get a slick piece of “Have To Copy” hardware with chrome OS over the top sometime soon?

    Thanks,

    Richard

  66. Morris Rosenthal

    Matt,

    What do you mean “really own it”? Would you like to be able to go into business printing and selling eBooks that you think you could turn a profit on? Would you like to give a copy to everybody who visits your website?

    It’s not a simple issue. I sell eBook versions of my paper books, without DRM, and I get ripped off far more than I get purchased. Every morning Google shows another couple dozen sites giving away copies of my eBooks, and at this point, I hardly blame the people who download them as they have no way of knowing they aren’t legitimate. Some of these clowns SELL pirated copies of my eBooks, supplying password locked files from download sites and selling the password.

    When you buy an eBook from me, you get a license to read it all you want on any device you can read a PDF on (the graphics require PDF format), but no, I’m not interested in transferring ownership to you, publishing just doesn’t work that way. You can “own” the PDF file the same way you “own” the copy of Chrome you are running (I seem to remember a license agreement), what is it that I’m missing?

    BTW, I still miss being able to preview comments, the link may have a typo. And thanks for giving back the first PR=6 I’ve seen in a while.

    Morris

  67. I looked at one, not to purchase just checked it out. It is not for me, I need a keyboard to touch and beat on. I like the feel of keys when typing, just don’t get it from tapping on the screen. Maybe that sounds weird, but that’s just me.

  68. I would love to roll back the clock and see what type of review the iPad would have received if it came out before the iPhone. I can’t help but to think that many people (present review excluded) are afraid to say “it’s not that great” but are afraid because the iPhone was such a revolutionary invention.

    Like was mentioned above, to whom is Apple going after with this product. I’m sure pharma reps will be walking into doctors offices with them shortly, but what is the compelling reason to buy one?

  69. Hi guys,

    I’m just a little curious about the Ipad. I will be visiting the Apple Store on tomorrow to play with one.

    Kind regards,

    Sam
    X

  70. If they had developed the Ipad first, the rollout of the Iphone would of been “wow..it’s so compact..this is sooo cool”.

    It looks like a big Iphone to me. And Matt, I like the little dig:
    “But the iPad isn’t for me. I want the ability to run arbitrary programs without paying extra money or getting permission from the computer manufacturer. Almost the only thing you give up when buying an iPad is a degree of openness”

    So…when is the GPad coming out?

  71. Your closing statement highlights exactly my thoughts, and I have been saying the samething over at my blog.

    As a netbook evangalist I love the idea of small portable devices and my netbook brought the net into my family’s living room. I see that the tablet idea has plenty of potential and I hope Apple do indeed push the idea forward as this will surely inspire other manufacturers to go on to make Win 7 and Linux equivalents which can run whatever we want however we want.

    I love the idea and think this type of device will be great for the living room and/or daily commute on the train.

    I’m just gonna need bigger pockets ;)!

  72. Eco

    Although I do like the iPad there are a few things that will keep me from buying it. At that form factor there has to be a way to have a real keyboard. I cannot imagine banging out a lengthy email or paper on a virtual keyboard. Second, the size. I’m just not sure what this device is supposed to be. Will people actually put a screen that big up next to their ear to talk on it like a cellphone? What about SAR raditation levels?
    Lastly of the few I do know that currently own the Wi-Fi model all are reporting the connection is less than great. After having dealt with the 3G that had a battery life somewhere near what my old Coleco games had, and the 3GS that loves to randomly activate voice control for no reason I’m beginning to wonder if Apple is the “new” Microsoft of around 1998.

  73. The iTunes/iBook store is what is going to make the iPad fly off the shelves. The ecosystem created by Apple to sell bits is what sells its hardware.

    I understand the closed environment Apple wants to provide. Get rid of bad software and system failures. This is a device definitely for content consumers, not creators. And I think that is fine. The vast majority of people out there are NOT content makers.

    Just as the utility of carrying around all your music was appealing, so is getting rid of your closet full of books. The comic book app from Marvel looks fantastic.

    I would not buy it now, but may Gen 2, when the price drops $150 and they work out all the kinks of the initial release.

  74. mnuez

    I’m so confused about why my chosen devices don’t seem to exist – or at least I can’t find them. I’d think these were ideal yet manufacturers seem to prefer producing netbooks and netbooks without keyboards.

    What I want is two devices and only two (if I owned a home, I’d want a third, a tremendously large screen that functioned as an…. everything).

    1) A pocket device.

    It should have a keyboard at least as good as the G1 (why all other keyboards must suck is unclear to me), a screen about 50% larger than a G1, a battery that lasts on full brightness for at least 8 hours (I don’t care how big that makes the device, functionality is more important than form unless you’re a high school loser terrified of not fitting in) and should be AT LEAST as functional at normal things like creating documents and recording calls as Windows Mobile has been for the past six friggen years.

    Why today’s phones have such tiny screens, useless batteries, terrible keyboards and a lack of functionality for the basics is beyond me and ridiculous.

    2) A computer!

    Of course it should be touchscreen (and it should probably be a hybrid that allows a keyboard to swivel down or slide in) and it should have a screen AT LEAST 15 inches large though personally I’d prefer 17″.

    I mean seriously, you’re a guy, right? (Well, for those of you who are.) How heavy is a laptop already? Answer: Not very heavy. You have a pocket device for easy access to the internet and email at all times and you have a tablet/laptop for when you want to sit for a while and do more stuff on a bigger screen.

    I really don’t get why these two simple devices don’t exist. and if they do and they’ve just escapes my attention I would be very grateful for you to bring it to my attention.

    mnuez

  75. Will

    one additional thing that I failed to mention in my comment..

    I find it ironic that Google is taking the path of Microsoft in it’s attempt to dominate the phone/service pad wars.. You see, I think of the iPhone and iPad as well..”things” that help me

    … when I think of Android, I think of an OS/Technology “a la windows”.. See it’s very important, Google plans to dominate are rooted in getting on as many phones as possible – “a la windows” circa 1995 (or 1983, take your pick), but Apple’s plan to dominate is in experience and brand reference to a “device”, but that “device” is more analogous to an experience than it is to a technology..

    My point is do most people have any idea what OS runs on a iPad or iPhone, and do you care? Technology is irrelevant.. I don’t care anymore, and Apple gets that.. I’m afraid Google is losing this war, and for precisely the same reason why Microsoft doesn’t get it, ironic if you ask me. No matter how many phones you get on, people won’t care.. they will still want an iPhone because their friends tell them it’s cool.. (and folks, it is cool)

    People who like Android are geeks, and well, there is a market for that, but there are a hell of a lot more people who wants iPhone/iPads then want a neat Nexus One phone based on superior technology and open standards.. the iPhone crowd could care less.

    good luck.

  76. iPad… more like iBAD…

    I like the idea of this product but it’s lack in features astounds me. No USB for instance… no DVD player… I think I’m going to wait to get one… I mean I do want to get one but for the money it just doesn’t have enough guts!

    Just my 0.02

  77. Thanks for the review. I’m assuming that, like the iPhone, this thing will end up being so cool and fuctional that I will just have to get one. Sigh…

  78. Rob

    I think this product would be good, at least for a non technical person… like my mum!

  79. Thankfully it’s not an EITHER/OR choice between open-source and walled gardens. We can play in public parks and walled gardens if we so wish.

  80. I can’t really speak to whether or not the iPad is worth having on the basis of the ability of “makers” to create as they like. I can’t because it isn’t a task that I really require at this point. What I do know is that the iPad is revolutionary when it comes to the way people can and do use the Internet. I’m also excited to check out it’s e-reader functionality: not only because of it’s portable size, but also because of it will save me a lot of physical space (I’m an avid reader!)

    I’m glad that you feel comfortable enough to share your opinion as well, but since you work for Google wouldn’t you get razzed if you actually did think it was the right tablet for you? And wouldn’t that be enough to make you wait for the Android tablet. ;)

  81. Hello Matt,

    I love O’Reilly media for not DRMing everything, (and on the other hand, for their Safari Online library which allows me to read on a “license basis” and sniff through things.)

    If you would like a lighter iPad, you can download a paper cut-out of the iPad at

    https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0BwmFp0W1W7KiYTQxNjcwMjAtY2I5Mi00MjM3LWIxZGMtODZjNGNlYWJmOGZm&hl=en

    Might be a nice present/wrapping paper for a googlephone christmas gift.

  82. Kiran

    Interesting Remark
    “I think that the iPad is a magical device built for consumers, but less for makers or tinkerers. ”
    as if you are trying to instigate the readers in believing that if you buy a iPad you are an average consumer and you lack the cool factor of a makers or tinkerers. I guess that’s the google side you speaking :-)

    don’t get me wrong..I like google just like I like Microsoft and Apple … its just that I see on one shoulder you have your self and on the other google :-)

    Cheers!!
    Kiran

  83. I can’t help but see it as on over-sized (overpriced) iphone. I would probably buy one if I could run the Adobe Creative Suite or some serious software but limiting the iPad to the “app store” apps cripples it’s usefulness imo.

  84. In fact, I have a macbook, an Ipod but I will not buy Ipad. Why?
    - It is an expensive object,
    - Beautiful but I don’t want to pay for getting other programs, Ipad is so expensive,
    - Many things (in fact more than 90%) of Ipad possibilities are not interesting for me. I like to read a real book, a real news paper, for mails and other thing I already have my computer!

    I can live without I pad!

  85. I think i”m in agreement with Mary, as I already possess an iPhone and MacBook I can’t see how I’d need or use an iPad. I’m also still clugging along on the an iPhone 3G which has yet to let me down. Sort of glad I’ve not made the leap to the blighted iPhone 4.

  86. My son just got one and after viewing his, my wife and I just have to have one. We will have one each at the end of September, plus we are going to get a Macbook as well. It’s time to make the change from a PC to a Mac.

  87. It is really the perfect gadget especially as an introduction for kids to computers. My kids love it and taking away the keyboard make a whole lot of difference.

  88. I got my iPad a few weeks back, and have also been playing with it. I quite agree with Matt’s review especially where he talks of the touch sensitivity and how iPad is going to be a big hit. I did a full review of iPad 2 and posted it on the-e-reader-reviews.com last week.

    I will give you my penny’s worth about the iPad camera below:

    I you look closely cameras on most tablet PCs are always lousy. This is due to their ergonomics, not their less-than-expected imaging sensors. Imagine adding wings to a boat — although it might fly, it’ll be so awkward you wonder why anyone bothered.

    Even so, it’s a mystery why Apple didn’t include the iPhone 4′s 5-megapixel digital camera in the iPad. Apple didn’t even list the pixel resolution spec for the iPad 2 still photos (you should know, however, the rear camera is .69 MP – 960 x 720 pixels – which is only slightly better than the VGA-quality front camera), and for good reason – still photos taken with the iPad 2′s rear camera are poor, bordering on “why bother”. Shots taken inside are grainy, with little detail or color, and going outside doesn’t improve things much either.

    But video is different.. If you hold the iPad 2 still (very difficult) you can take good 1280 x 720 HD video at 30 frames a second. Although the video is decent, the device makes for very shaky footage.

    I don’t believe Apple created the iPad 2 to function as a camera: the purpose of the rear camera is to allow callers to see what is around them. Nevertheless, it is very disappointing that the iPad2 takes lousy still pictures, since we do use it for this purpose.

    I hope my bit helps if you have been wodering about iPad camera

  89. Thanks for the review Matt, I suppose it made me get a deeper look into the iPad, I bought one online yestarday, I am expecting it in the next few days.

    Cheers

  90. No matter what you or any tech gadget geniuses say, Apple cannot go wrong at the moment and just its pure existence will fire up a demand like no other. But, I doubt I’ll be buying one

  91. My kind bosses have provided me with an IPad 2 and I absolutely love it. I use it every day for work for twitter and Facebook and my kids want one for their Xmas now! I love it’s portability, handbag size, it looks good! No flash can be an issue for some of the kids sites, that’s my only complaint I suppose.

  92. Its an expensive book reader.

    I could see a place for it with video, and watching training video’s on the way to work.

  93. Ipad’s are amazing! I too prefer having a Macbook air but ipad’s are great because of their portability and size.

  94. Matt, I got half way through this blog post and the Wii tv smashed was amazing!!! HAHA

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