Saturday, 6 February 2010

What's not to like about the iPad?

I've pondered about whether to publish this entry for some days now. The Apple Harvest blog is not a place for rumours or speculation; its primary focus is to inform its readers about useful tools, gadgets, apps and problems (and sometimes solutions) that I comes across as a fairly typical Apple user. That isn't to say that I'll always keep my opinions to myself, but I prefer to try not to talk out of my backside.

Which is why, apart from a few remarks on Twitter, I've deliberately steered clear of writing about the iPad. But my gosh, I have read so much rubbish in the days (well months) leading up to the iPad launch on 27th January 2010, and possibly even more rubbish in the days following its launch, that I have decided to break my silence.

I'm going to confess to a few things up front.
  • I like the concept of a tablet device

  • I own an Asus R1F Tablet

  • I would buy an iPad
There, I feel better for that. Now, let me explain my reasoning.

The idea of a device that boots up almost instantly, allows me to prod and poke it, with my fingers, to make it do things, and lets me clearly view its display without either having to take my glasses off or having it shoved so close to my face that I can't breathe is really quite appealing. If I'm sitting down in front of the tele in the evening and I suddenly want to check something on the internet (like an actor's name) I don't want to wait for a laptop or desktop to boot up. I don't want to have to fumble around trying to find a stylus or pen. And no matter how much I love my iPhone, the web browsing facility is not its strongest point. If I'm in the pub and I want to share my photographs of my mate's daughter's wedding I want him to be able to see them properly, not on a display that's smaller than the beer mat which he can't see without his glasses. I already read various newspapers and magazines on-line via subscription, but reading experience is hampered by the form factor of the laptop/desktop, especially as they use a fixed horizontally biased display. A tablet allows me to do these types of thing, simply, quickly, efficiently and with a minimum of fuss.

The Asus R1F was a well spec'd PC Tablet and was well designed given the constraints of the time. But it was quite heavy, it got really hot, the battery life was rubbish, the display was blurry compared to normal laptops and believe me, handwriting on a laptop is not a natural thing to do. The Asus had some limited "wow" factor, but that was about it.

As far as I can tell, the iPad allows me to perform all the types of activity mentioned above whilst overcoming all the problems I encountered with the Tablet PC. In that respect, it actually fills the void between the kit that I use for my day to day business activities like writing, managing projects, building websites, and serious internet surfing and the mobile kit that I use for phone calls, listening to music, making quick notes, twittering and essential surfing.

OK I've not seen or used one yet, but tell me honestly:

"What's not to like about the iPad?"

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