After all the build up, all the weeks of waiting Apple played things out in their usual style. Steve Jobs, a mic, a chair, a new product. It’s earned them billions so far so you can see why it would get good feedback but if all of the above was familiar about the launch of the iPad yesterday, the other familiar thing was tech experts saying that they might just waiting for the second version of the product before investing.
The main gripe thus far is that while it seems to do everything (anything your laptop or almost anything your smartphone can do is pretty much covered), it can only do anything once at a time with no real chance of multitasking. The lack of an SD card slot is also highlighted by several outlets.
As TrechCrunch put it, “The thing is beautiful and fast. Really fast. If you’ll excuse my hyperbole, it felt like I was holding the future. But is it a must-have? That’s a complicated question.” Beautiful it certainly is though, and along with a big screen (with a resolution is 1024×768 the iPhone/iPod is 480×320), it’s sporting a 1-Ghz custom Apple chip.
Meanwhile, one Crunchgear expert sums up the frustrations of many by saying, “It looks really cool, aesthetically, but the battery life and screen can’t replace my Kindle, the lack of USB ports and expandable storage can’t replace my netbook, and I already have an iPhone 3GS. So it’d basically be $500+ for a bigger screen, a slightly faster CPU, and an external keyboard that I’d never carry around with me. I might buy one in a year or two once they’ve gone through a couple revisions.”
Half an inch thick and weighing 1.5 pounds, the device will vividly display books, newspapers, websites and videos on a 9.7-inch glass touch screen. Giving media companies another way to sell content it may even herald a new era for publishing.
Said a lukewarm instant NY Times review, “The iPad, costing $499 to $829, also lacks some features common in laptops and phones, as technology enthusiasts were quick to point out. To its instant critics, it was little more than an oversize iPod Touch. A camera is notably absent, and Flash, the ubiquitous software that handles video and animation on the Web, does not work on the device.”
The Guardian has a review up too and they begin on a positive note, saying that “it’s hefty but not heavy, feeling solid and responsive in the hand. The screen is about the size of a large paperback, but it’s just half an inch deep”.
The e-book market, which in time the iPad may well blow to smithereens (sample NY Times headline: ‘Why the iPad will Kill the Kindle’), the players in that particular market seems to be safe for the moment, as the Guardian report also notes, “Switched into ebook mode, the way the iPad emulates the printed page feels fairly natural, if not entirely on a par with rival ebook readers such as Amazon’s Kindle. The backlit screen doesn’t come anywhere near the clarity of electronic ink, which means it’s going to prove a lot harder on the eyes of bookworms.”
Scanning across the web one thing seems fairly obvious – the major news corporations are assuming this will be big, iPhone big. Elsewhere, many are still waiting to be convinced. But yes, you guessed it, we can’t wait to get our hands on one.