112 thoughts on “My Early Impressions of Apple's iPad & a Quick Hands-on Review”

  1. This is such tripe. All of the pros you had listed out above are as much true for the Ipod Touch. If you just replaced iPad everywhere with Ipod Touch, the review would work as well.

    As you are obviously saying, this device is not going to replace the laptop. And you diss netbooks which offer more functionality than the IPad (leaving the multitouch part). So from a market segmentation point of view, where does this device stand. Why can’t users just continue with their ITouch which is easier to carry around.

    Rarely seen a more random review – check out the reviews in Engadget for some wiser counsel.

    1. Guthi

      I mentioned in the past that the tablet would essentially be a bigger iPod/iPhone, so from that point I totally understand what you are saying.

      That said, I would respectfully urge you at least have a look at the device and then you will realize that it is a bit different kind of a device. In many ways we have to stop thinking about the world from the lens of computing as we know it.

      Anyway let’s talk about this in a few months — I have used this device for exactly 10 minutes so can’t really be authoritative.

      On your comment about reviews from Engadget, I would rather stick to my own opinion for now.

    2. It features a high speed processor, large screen, up to 64GB ROM, that’s kinda enough for me to differ it from iPod touch or similar devices. How easy it will be to read newspapers or favorite mags, and not to mention watching films and photos, see it here yourself if you need more arguments magazine.joomag.com/iPad/179

      1. Agree with OM, if you haven’t “experienced the device” how can you judge its utility? I think the biggest challenge this device faces is portability. You can’t just lug it around without a bag (specially padded sleeve, etc.) and therefore is it an in home device primarily? And finally…I’m reminded of the Russian cosmonaut who asked for a writing implement that would work in space. The US spent millions developing an anti-gravity pen and the Russians handed the cosmonaut a pencil. This device while interesting…addresses a population of people who actually read and want a richer experience. The latte crowd are the primary buyers and there are plenty. Another win for Apple.

  2. Envious you played with a real one. I commented earlier here and on my site that I don’t have a problem with the AT&T decision because this first iteration at least doesn’t seem like it would ever need 3G. It’s a “digital media consumption” device, not a communications device per se. Not revolutionary, just better (albeit more expensive) than the existing alternatives (Kindle, iPod Touch, netbooks). For the two regions of the country where people actually commute by train, this thing’s a slam-dunk.

    1. I think it would surprise you as a “reader” especially since it used the web so effectively. I have to show you guys a photo of GigaOM on this device. It completely focuses on the content and has not distractions at all.

  3. So it’s an add-on to a Notebook/Desktop.
    What would you buy Chrome/OS (as much as we know about it) or iPad?
    The integration with a cable to backup/load(local) iTunes, I don’t know.

    Can you print? I mean I sometimes want to print reservations.

    I got the feeling the innovation is mainly in HW, the SW is so-so(meaning old) and lot is missing even for a consumption device.

  4. The iPad is all about internet as an appliance. That concept was exposed with iPod Touch/iPhone, this complements that and goes places an iPhone screen cannot.

  5. “For a long time, the world has been searching for a device whose capabilities and design place it right smack in the middle of a phone and a laptop.”

    I don’t think that is true, which is the whole point. The laptop is, for long periods, just as uncomfortable as a tablet (in bed or the couch), but it allows you to use ALL your tools, has flash and allows you to consume all media, not just that of iTunes.

    As for the iPhone/iPod touch, the size makes it ideal for when you have no laptop.

    With 10-11 inches laptops (not netbooks), there is simply not a need for a big, itunes locked device. This is why AppleTV fails, people dont want to only consume through iTunes!

    1. Gabe

      As a creator of a blog, I think the power of this device will be in building some awesome HTML5 web apps and using the screen real-estate to create a magical experience. I think this is not just iTunes — it is the web which is truly the killer app of this.

      I wish you could see the MLB app up close and personal. So different than MLB.com. I think those are subtle differences. Anyway let’s both wait to see how this does. If you are right, then you are 🙂

      1. Agreed with Gabe.

        With the iPad, Apple has just opened the gates for Google to enter into a touchscreen based laptop device that will do everything that iPad does, plus let you install and run all that you need. I’m going for that..

        PS: Is it what the rumored Google Netbook is all about? I don’t have much clue…

    2. The discussion about iPad being a cool device for content consumption, and then talking of specific apps for the iPad in the same breath…likely alludes to the death of the browser. And I don’t want to take that lying down.

      Let a zillion devices bloom, but let none kill the spirit of the net.

      If there will be a plethora of devices (iPad, Kindle, iPhone, ), each claiming as USP, it’s own novelty in content presentation, and hence, needing custom creation / packaging of content, I see the spirit of the net being let down.

      The browser is central to keeping the internet going. I’m happy if the iPad or any other device supports a free and open, standards compliant browser. I couldn’t care less if they run vendor specific apps in the best possible way.

      Of course the device makers and the content makers need to come up with monetization schemes, but not at the expense of creating “vertically integrated” services, much like the cable TV industry did.

      My browser allows me to buy content today while keeping the spirit of the web alive. I sincerely hope that stays.

    3. I agree with Gabe. People that truly like this device are struggling to rationalize its use. As such, Apple fanboys will buy this and, if Amazon doesn’t drop the Kindle down to $99.00, Apple will kick them in the ass, but that’s it. Some people may buy the iPad instead of a Macbook, but this only shirts dollars for Apple.

  6. I’m disappointed that you’ve apparently fallen hook, line, and sinker for the Jobs effect on this one Om. Maybe the iPad could have been the device you claim we all need and maybe it can yet become that device, but it isn’t now and it isn’t close.

    I do think that there is a market for a more general purpose “media consumption” device and I think that what the iPad is trying to be. The problem is without broader media support (lack of Flash being the most glaring example), support for multitasking, and interaction improvements (multi-touch is fine and all, but the blown up keyboard is a joke) the iPad just falls short.

    To me it seems that Apple got a bit lazy on this one and figured that if Steve can say “magical” and “best ever” enough times then no one would notice.

  7. Yeah, but if you have a desktop and want to browse content at home away from the desk then an Ipad looks ideal.

    IF you have a family of four then maybe you don’t have 4 computers you have a couple computers and a couple of tablets.

    Also I’d say a tablet is more convenient than a laptop for reading content based on what I’ve seen today. Much lighter, more compact, always on, better battery life, less unwieldy form factor, ….

    I think it pays to think of this thing as an advanced Kindle rather a giant Touch or neutered laptop.

    Sure many will just use a laptop and smartphone and won’t go for this. But does everyone buy every product Apple puts out? Do you own all the Ipod models they put out? Probably not. You own what works for you.

    No different here.

    Me I have a desktop. No Touch. Don’t want a laptop. This thing would be my document reader and couch surfer and book reader. I’d check my email while at home on this thing instead of jumping onto my desktop. I might use it a modern encyclopedia. My kid is always asking me a question and seems like this would be way more handy to jump onto the internet with than to go to the desk with computer and wake it from sleep etc.

  8. I’m soooo disappointed. Time and money badly spent. They should have spent the time and money designing a MacBook converted with a touch screen running Mac OS X and maybe a phone feature… Just a thought.

    1. That way, Jobs wouldn’t be able to sell all that stuff from iTunes.

      The iPad is just one massively hyped platform that will force you to purchase more and more from iTunes..It does not have a purpose other than to help Apple post even massive quarterly results next time..

      1. anand, no one is FORCING you to purchase from iTunes. you can continue to download from any where you want. why this aggressive stance? no one is forcing you to buy an iPad either. why are you so sore? all ok?

  9. “This is the best browsing experience you’ve ever had.”
    “Typing on this keyboard is a dream come true”.

    Give me a break. Jobs threw some standard marketing phrases and everyone is buying it. Unbelievable.

      1. What about the web browsing experience… I always run into those little cubes when browsing on my iPhone because of the lack of Flash support. It cannot be a web browser replacement if I keep running into content (especially video) which I cannot view without going to a computer.

        Yes, HTML5 is one thing… but on the web were many sites are still written using nested tables to organize the layout. I do not think it is a good idea to assume that everything will take advantage of HTML5 anytime in the near future.

        For me, the lack of Flash support, and therefore a crippled web browsing experience is a deal breaker.

      2. Flash content “bubbles” can’t be displayed–wrt comment below (can’t reply to it for some reason).

        The majority of the Flash content that results in those empty bubbles are ads–you can keep them. I actually have Flash disabled in my browsers so that it will only open in Flash if I click it. Really, Flash stuff has polluted the web.

        That being said, this is the one place I think Apple needs to rethink their logic. I actually don’t think iTunes is at the center of this–it’s probably because Flash is one of the single most common browser plug-ins to crash computers (any computer) or at least the browser. The decision was probably originally made to keep the iPhone stable, but this device as a “consumption device” and not a phone should have the ability–optional or not-to render Flash.

        I’m all for HTML5 and can’t wait for it to displace Flash (fingers crossed), but I think they’re shooting themselves in the foot on this one.

  10. Media consumption device?

    Without flash or multitasking, the media you’ll be consuming will be Geocities pages from 1998. At only 500 dollars, this is hard to pass up!

    1. Flash is DEAD! As a former Flash developer I can tell you now that HTML 5 is the way to go.

      I personally can’t wait to see all of the places the iPad shows up. Mounted on a wall in the kitchen, instead of a TV.

      As a musician I see the iPad really replacing a laptop on a stage.

      1. A few years down the road, Flash might be dead / mostly gone from major popular site… but in the short to medium term, Flash still play a very important role on the internet… So if the ipad is coming out in 2 months time, why Apple does not include Flash is just beyond me… yes there is certain issue where they do not want people to play Flash games and stuff, but a lot of website that I visit are all heavily Flash dependent and I am sick of the fact that I can view them on my iphone… I will definitly not tolerate that on a tablet device… so I will never get a tablet in the short to medium term that does not support Flash… also the lack of USB and multitask makes this iPad useless really… I do not need another device to watch my view on… if I am at home sitting on the couch, I have my big TV to do that… People are looking for a device to travel with that can replace their netbook… but the ipad is clearly not a netbook replacement which is what bothers me… To be honest, I just want apple to build a computer or tablet (a real one, not the iPad as it currently is) that is the size of a netbook, even if it cost more than a netbook (at the same price range as Macbook), I will still buy it… but I want FUNCTION… not just a bigger ipod touch or iphone…

    2. Flash is as great a threat to the security and stability of Web users as Windows is, mainly because it’s not limited to Windows.

      Helping to kill off Flash puts this solidly into the “public service” column, on my scoresheet anyway.

      1. FINALLY I hear some common sense. I am sick and tired of all the whining about Flash. The best thing apple could do (and is doing) is to bully Flash out of existence by forcing sites to deliver content in a standards based fashion. HTML 5. In a couple years as iPhone keeps selling and iPad settles into market, sites that are worth a damn will have no choice but to go to the standards. Can’t wait!

  11. “…today may be the day we start to rethink how we build web sites…” — explains the hostility rising, which seems general, and which I found pretty surprising.

    The iPad would have to be way more spectacular and lower-priced for me to go for it. As @Guthi says, netbooks offer more functionality. I’m not a passive consumer. What can iPad give me that makes me want to spend a good part of what a new laptop would cost for it?

    If iPad let me create content as well as consume it — and I mean high-end visual and written content, using apps that let me paint, write and edit with my fingers, for example — then the price would cover the value. But for now, it seems more like the equivalent of a G3-and-display-enabled Vuitton bag.

    I’m having a feeling that iPad is Apple’s brick wall, meaning the place / product where things being to get so feature-overloaded, complex, and recursively-implemented, that they begin to settle, first into a gel-like substance, then into a solid — stiff, and too easy to break. This feeling comes, in part, from Apple’s using iPad to tighten control of market share by narrowing, or making new, product access bottlenecks. We’ve seen how well that’s worked for very large corporations, the music industry, the film industry, etc.

  12. @Chris K has positioned iPad the only way it will fly, I think. And since Apple hasn’t yet made Chris’s points on the first day, I wonder if they’ll be able to do a market image catch-up, since there’s such heavy chatter about iPad.

    There was a lot of desire for a better product. That’s where some of the hostility’s coming from. A lot of younger consumers are making fun of, and even dissing, the name, which they’d ignore if they’d fallen in love with it. Their reactions seem like a bitter parting from dreams.

  13. Om,
    I was waiting for your review. I thought may be you have a point about the media. Steve J is helping the news media the way he helped Music industry. But thats about it.
    The rest of the features are usual APPLE marketing gimmick. It is by no means magical. The media and books can be accessed from any PC / laptop / netbook / Tablet / iPod / iTouch (using iTunes). The design is not new , the fusion garage guys beat them to market with a similar design (though they will be history now). The million dollar question is how many millions of these gets sold ? and who buys this thing ? I don’t see APPLE faithful jumping to embrace this , because they have a Mac / iPod / iPhone and can’t afford to carry (though they can buy) another device. The corporate world and students probably have a PC / Mac / Netbook …..and are least interested. That leaves with regular consumers, who have many options rather than buying a computer that is limited to 64 Gig , which gets filled in no time if you have a Digital SLR and a HD Camcorder. Besides folks can’t do webcam. Whats up with that.

    So who is buying this thing anyway ?
    This would have been a really “Magical” device if APPLE released it four years back.They could have released it in 2006, sold few millions before releasing the iPhone which folks would have bought anyway.

    1. I am not going to predict anything – boss I used this for 10 minutes and as a media start-up, let me just tell you, this offers a lot of opportunities. From using touch for navigation to HTML5 to other such features, I think one needs to build a new media environment.

      I think lack of WebCam is for sure a big miss.

      1. They might sell decent. Lets see how many of these gets sold compared to the iPhone / iTouch.
        Apart from Webcam they missed SD card reader.

  14. I am impressed with the hardware. But, given my experiences with the development process, I am very simply going to require seeing if this thing is as locked down as the iPhone. It is sad that alternative models of media distribution and communication are not allowed.

    Is it a computer or not? If it is not, I am not interested in owning one.

  15. This is the first showing so to some it’s just an evolution of the iPod-Touch. But, if media (old/new) now use a little imagination it could usher in a whole new era of rich media distribution. Newspapers/magazine management don’t seem to be the most creative or imaginative people in the world or they wouldn’t be in the trouble they are. Now they have something physical to light a spark and maybe even trigger their imagination.
    See – http://gigaom.com/2010/01/27/will-the-ipad-help-media-possibly-save-media-no/
    I’m betting six months to a year from now, as new things have been developed for it, most won’t even remember the current resemblance to the Touch

  16. Good post. Regarding locking orientations – that’s usually the job of the applications. For example, on the iPhone, the Kindle Reader app allows you to lock its orientation.

    Regarding AT&T vs. Verizon – much of what sours people’s perception of AT&T is poor voice quality and dropped calls. I’ve compared AT&T’s 3G vs. Verizon’s (using a MiFi) in several cities and noticed that my throughput is often higher with AT&T. For me, frankly, it’s a wash. They’re both good and both bad – at different times and places. Of course, I know there are exceptions and cities where AT&T just sucks (like where you are). But, I also get the impression from recent quotes made by both AT&T and Apple execs that the problem (and perceived problem) is well known and that big efforts are being made to rectify the situation.

    I suspect AT&T made a sweetheart deal with Apple and Verizon did something boneheaded (again). Just a guess. It certainly would have been possible for Apple to go either way with their radio selection.

  17. I’m not sure what to think about this thing to be honest. I’m trying to decipher my own mental reaction to the first viewing – “man, where do I get a screen protector for this thing?”.

    Not very impressed… yet. Potential? Sure. Game changer? Hardly.

  18. If the lack of Flash in the only gripes of this device then it’s pretty damn good!

    Flash is used at 99% to watch video. As this device spreads, website will adapt and support HTML5 video for iPhones and iPads.

    YouTube and Vimeo already started. I don’t think it’s gonna take long for online newspapers follow.

  19. I’m just fantastically disappointed with the whole thing. As I see it, it is just a JooJoo with a built-in book store..Not even flash? And why do we need 64GB if all that one can store is music, books and apps purchased from iTunes…

    1. anand, you work for the competition, dont you? you are spending precious time doing bad PR, aremnt you? all ok at home?

  20. It is interesting to see the various lenses thru which the ipad is being judged. No device will ever be perfect, people have all this hardware/software expectations and yet they are not willing to pay for the surge in price as a result. So… early adopters like me will buy this device knowing that although this iteration is not what it can/will be, i can sense the possibilities. Without being a fanboy of Apple, i think they have a chance to crack the holy grail that is tablet computing. The race continues…..

  21. Your first two points about the iPad (with the first one being about the Home button) contradict themselves!
    – There is one single button on the entire device, which I think is just brilliant because it means fewer distractions.
    – There’s a sleep/wake button at the top, much like the iPhone.

    I’m not mentioning this as an “aha”, but it’s interesting that people always think there’s one button on the iPhone and now the iPad, when it has the home button, sleep/wake button, volume up/down button(s?), and lock toggle. It’s not that there’s one button, but a hierarchy with the home button and everything else out of the way.

  22. Now Apple needs to invent a revolutionary hydrophilic screen material so us sweaty palmed folks too can enjoy a slick (pun not intended) experience on touch screen devices.

  23. Other than this article sounding like an advertisement. Seriously, did Ohm REALLY write this line? “Thanks to an uber-mobile chip and stunning 9.7-inch IPS display, the iPad is an ideal device for today’s world.”

    When did a 1Ghz processor become uber?

  24. ….where is the stylus ? can open /edit documents on it ……does it have video cam ? can i connect it to projector ? Can students take notes and do their assignment of it ? Where is flash ? How do i watch video ?How do i do video conferencing ?How do i use it office ? its not e-paper …its lcd screen what difference does it make while reading books .

    its big waste of money and time….just do your self a favor and buy touch note book like aus eepc ->> http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=KIqtSJ1aVsmVpeqS its cheaper too around 480 $ on amazon … or other netbook tablets from hp and acer

  25. I think it just shows how apple are determined to lead the way moving forward. The amount of free advertising apple gets every time they launch a new product is out of this world.

    I have to agree, we probably don’t need it but by the time apple is finished we will all want it !

    I do…

  26. “For a long time, the world has been searching for a device whose capabilities and design place it right smack in the middle of a phone and a laptop.”

    You lost me here. Really? Has the world really been looking for a magical third device between laptop and phone or are you just regurgitating what Steve Jobs said in his presentation today?

  27. As a consumer mobile device, I am underwhelmed by the iPad — it appears to be a large iPod Touch (no voice), and it will primarily be used in WiFi hotspots (at least in the USA). Where this device looks promising to me, is for the enterprise user. I can see companies purchasing this device for their travelling employees – execs, sales, etc. Would love to see the iPad spur new enterprise application development. Om, any thoughts as to why Apple focuses on the consumer end-user almost exclusively? Also, I would like to understand better how this device could change the way web sites are built — any further (even technical) explanation is welcome!

    1. “Where this device looks promising to me, is for the enterprise user.”

      Yes, use cases help clarify this device’s potential. I thought of the marketing or consultant types who bounce from office to office, making presentations, notes, etc. I think “killer app.” Another is, “student.” Leans a bit more to the consumption angle that others write about, but again, a near-perfect gearing to need is possible. Doctor. Realtor. I imagine others can come up with a very long list of identifications where the iPad can amplify and enrich the functional experience.

      “Book reader?” I don’t think that’s a very well-defined category, any better than “magazine reader,” “TV watcher,” “music listener,” “web surfer” or a whole host of media-centric definitions.

      I’d say that SJ Inc. has visited the future (in the form of all those non-dystopian Sci Fi movies) and come back with the little slates that people are always checking for their information interfaces. It’s just not a 6X8 shimmery piece of glass yet. Is this the first major paradigm shift of the 21st century?

      Now THAT’s some serious Kool Aid!

  28. I wonder if other companies will be able to capitalize on the overall disapointment. Then again maybe there is still a disconnect between the voice of the web (technocrati) and that of the masses. It could very well be that this device will once again sell like gangbusters. The price point for an apple product is quite low. In a way this could for computers what the VW Golf is for cars.

    Personally, I wish the device would have a native 720p resolution for media consumption, and support services like skype with video conferencing (Webcam included). The idea of sitting on the couch browsing the web or watching tv and then accepting a call on skype would be very appealing to me. OLED screen would be nice to, even if that meant the device would cost 300$ more.

    I have a question, does the IPAD support tabbed browsing? So can I run a webradio (audio stream) in one tab and listen to it, while surfing other websites in a different tab? I am just curious what the limits are, since people are saying you cannot listen to music and run other applications at the same time.

  29. Here’s my list of iPad 1.01 enhancements, that should be made before real customers pay real money for these things….
    – Dual cameras, so you can do video calls over 3G or Skype;
    – an SMS app at least as good as what ships on iPhone
    – GPS on par with Ovi Maps.

    It’s probably (politically) too late to rip out the 3FF “micro-SIM” and put a standard 2FF SIM in instead; I’d bet that was a condition of AT&T agreeing to let Apple sell the thing “unlocked.” Outside Japan and Korea, that’s going to be a big problem internationally, as far as I know.

    My scale of 1 to 5 mice? Two happy mice and one big, stinking dead one. Guy Kawasaki’s “Don’t worry, be crappy” meme comes to mind, except that Kawasaki placed a very explicit caveat on that: it has to be at least as revolutionary as the original Mac. I’ve a very, very hard time (as an Apple fan who’s spent too much of my life with other crap) seeing the iPad anywhere near that category.

  30. I love apple products. I even own Apple shares, but I feel iPad is an evolutionary product and not revolutionary one. It is just a bigger iPhone or better hand held PC. Even the name is not right. Ask any woman what is a pad and they will tell you…

  31. Kudos to Apple for the effort. I can’t yet decide whether the focus on media consumption – i.e., not being everything to everybody – is exactly what will make it successful, or if they’ve left a hole big enough for Google to drive a truck through by not supporting more of an open app environment.

    I agree leaving the camera out seems like an epic fail as it fits even with the focused media consumption position.

  32. Will you buy an iPad? I don’t have an iPhone or an iPod touch, so I will surely buy the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G version, and here’s why:

    1. I just want to check email, browse the internet and watch movies from my iBed
    2. Actually I am glad the iPad doesn’t have a camera because it gives you a good excuse to buy another one in a year or so
    3. I need a color screen to read books because I just look at the pictures
    4. I agree with Jobs that those ugly USB ports and memory card slots are useless and would ruin a beautiful design
    5. I need a third device to carry with me along with my Nokia 3310 and my EEE Pc
    6. Adobe Flash… is it that lightning fast guy wearing a red costume… right?
    7. I don’t want a small iPhone and the iPad looks just like augmented reality to me
    8. I have eyesight issues and I want to see my Apps bigger
    9. I just want a device to surf the web while watching tv on the couch
    10. It’s just the best toilet web browsing gadget ever. Totally.

    😉 Top 10 reasons NOT to buy the iPad are here:

  33. Not a word about whether or not you’re allowed to install any app, or if you’ll have to limit yourself to Apple-approved content from the App store?

    That, for me, is the main reason for getting out of buying Apple hardware and looking to Android.

    Also, how is the display stunning, but then later dissed for being mediocre 1024*768?

  34. Amazed at the venom being spewed over … a product. Taking even the most cynical view of Apple – “Let’s gouge the style squad with another useless hyped-up gadget.” – does it really merit this much invective?

    Look, either people are going to buy this thing and be more productive/happy, or they’re going to waste their money, and you will be the winner in the end. But right now, all the h8 smacks of the doth-protest-too-much flavor. The iPod and iPhone got the same treatment. Look what happened to them…

  35. @ Anand Srinivasan

    “The iPad is just one massively hyped platform that will force you to purchase more and more from iTunes”

    That’s like saying McDonalds has drive through windows at their stores simply to force you to buy their burgers.

    The last time I checked, you can play music in iTunes that was not purchased from the iTunes store. Steve Jobs has never shown up at my house in the middle of the night with some guy with brass knuckles telling me I had not met my monthly iTunes purchases.

    I think this device will be a very big hit. I know many times while using my Kindle or Sony reader I’d want to look something up on the net and I’d have to go boot a computer someplace in the house. This will replace my book readers I suspect pretty quickly.

    My bets are that Amazon is very worried about this device and it will put a very big dent in their Kindle business.

    It always amazes me when a device like this comes out and people always complain that it won’t….fill in the blank.
    Notice the iPhone gets better with each generation, this device will too. At least Apple innovates and brings out different devices. How many years did we sit with the same crappy cell phones because companies were too lazy to innovate? The iPhone has forced them to come up with new ideas. That’s a good thing me thinks. The iPad will be no different.

  36. You did a list of 10 things the Apple tablet should have last summer. Would you like to revisit those? Short version: Lots of misses.

    Now, I’m sure you as a developer and tech innovator would love to program and write content for the iPad. This means nothing in and of itself – it’s kind of a Reaganesque supply-side technology. Sure, one of the keys to the iPhone’s success was the apps, BUT this was a device replacing one or more devices, so people figured, hey, I need a new phone, I’ll get the cool one with all those awesome apps.

    No matter how many magazines, newspapers, websites you re-write to be able to view or subscribe to on the iPad, most people aren’t going to be looking to replace a netbook with this. If I want a tablet-like device, I’ll go with a Win7 device like the Viliv X70, the new HP tablet coming out, etc. Multitasking, a real OS that runs the apps on my netbook, with the advantage of near instant-on and multi-day standby.

    Apple’s success has been about redefining existing tools. Their Macs replaced clunky, ugly, unstable, poorly-supported PCs, their iPod replaced a jungle of standard-less mp3 players with something that just worked (both player and software), and the iPhone replaced just about every device in one’s pockets.

    This iPad project will be a longer-term, very uphill battle for Apple. I doubt it will fail, but I also doubt it will drive revenue like Macs, iPods and iPhone did. Then again, not every project has to to be successful.

  37. My only question is can I use my Alltel/Verizon wireless USB with the WiFi version? I hardly ever use WiFi but I am dependent on the Wireless modem for internet access daily to check on websites I create and maintain. Everyone is complaining about it not having a camera… every cellphone these days has a camera. My Macbook has a camera I’ve never used… pointless complaint. Puzzling about the absence of Flash support in the browser too… like the iPad but waiting for 1.2 update

  38. How exactly would this be an easy decision if you don’t own a kindle? I’ve read books on my iphone and the glare is killer on your eyes. Simply put the main reason the kindle is so special is you won’t go blind over time from reading novels on it. Besides that the 64 Gigs of space (max) might be appealing to the average user but does nothing for me since I couldn’t even fit a percent of my media (music, videos, etc) on that. Seriously I think my first netbook from however many years ago had more space. As big as it is and as cheap as storage has become that’s just a shame that it holds a bit more than my iphone. I guess the niche isn’t people like me though…

  39. I know i am in minority here, but failed to see what new this device offer ?
    apart from of course the sleekness, lightweight etc.

  40. The iPad will have its place in the market.
    Not all users out there need to have a surfing device that can do 1500 other things too.
    I would have loved to have iChat, Skype and the like on it with videoconferencing.
    That said, isn’t everyone underestimating the power of the new built in apps? Aren’t those iLife like applications the seller for the masses?
    Who out there aside from computer junkies like us is currently able to organize his computer? Most computers from plain normal users i get to see are cluttered with files from them all over the hard drive.
    It’s really time to send the personal computer/desktop paradigm to rest. Those integrated programs (like the iPads Photomanagement, iTunes, iCal, AddressBook and so on) are the right way.

    I expect the iPad to have the same synchronization options as the iPhone, that would mean access to Exchange Servers, Mobileme, Google cloud and the like.
    SJ didn’t show that because we can imply it’s there, it always has been – the device runs Touch OS 3.2!

    My Sony prs-505 will go to ebay as is my MSI Wind netbook. The iPad will replace them as my mobile internet device of choice when not being at a desk.
    I hope i can store my Documents on iDisk or Dropbox to have the iWork programs read it from there.

  41. Interesting details!

    I’d sure like to see a video of someone trying to type on the iPad. So far I haven’t found one showing a person touch-typing in landscape mode.

  42. Let me first say I want to love this device.

    Having a jailbroken iPhone, THAT is the perfect device. I can add a keyboard. I can run background applications (though I see why they’re hesitant, it does chew up battery life).

    If I could have the jailbroken abilities of my phone plus a little more because there’s more horsepower (basic code editor/FTP?) I’d be totally in.

    But it’s ridiculous the iPad can’t multitask as the jailbroken iPhone does it with ease. My friends, who almost all bought iPhones when they came out (and they’re of various technical skill, some novice, some techheads), have mostly migrated away to the Droid or Tour; the shine is off the iPhone because in it’s factory state it’s too limiting as users are starting to evolve.

    I just can’t see paying $630 for a device I can’t do half of what other things at it’s price point could do. But, I don’t – and never plan to – own a Kindle. If I was enraptured by ebooks (I’m not, I use Audible for my “reading” because I don’t have the time) maybe I’d see getting this instead.

    The future of this device? In kids’ backpacks. This would be awesome in as a textbook replacement, probably cheaper long term for districts, and allow for all kinds of great interactivity.

  43. well I am a heavy blogger and am always commuting. managing and running my sites over iPhone is not feasible for obvious reasons. at work I have a MacBook Pro 2.8 GHZ with dual graphics cards. When I am sitting at a coffee shop/friends’ offices/in commute etc, the iPad seems like a fantastic way to create content. I can hook my camara to it and upload pix/news/articles/comments to my blog. so its a very valuable tool for the webworker.

    netbooks are just smaller cheaper laptops. this one is different. though if you ask me, I would love to have a MacBook Air (its so much more sexy) over an iPad, but the cost makes this a very good alternative.

    i keep my expense sheets on Google docs anyway. I keep my documents and contacts too online. And so are my pictures. this is a perfect device for all that.

    of course its not for those who want to run Avid Adrenaline on their machines to edit their YouTube videos. And its not for those who are looking for a traditional computing security (as in, I have so much gizmo power I COULD play Grand Theft Auto, on my netbook if I wanted, and that makes me feel secure).

    lets not be negative. lets wait and see how people use this. much like we waited and saw how android turned out. or for that matter Windows Live (isnt that what MS OFFICE Online is called) or some other thing like that.

  44. I strongly believe that iPad is a revolutionary bridge builder between how we interact with computers. The future of computers is of course, cloud. No matter how people may condemn it but eventually, Apple is reinventing the way we look at our everyday computing. Additional features and all will come in iPad over time. I strongly believe that future is iPad, a much better iPad though but it sure it.

    The thing is that iPad is giving probably everything an online life needs. I almost never use my computer for anything except web browser and Microsoft word. Like, the iPad is great for me at least and all those who just want to interact with the ‘content’ web has to offer.

    I love blogging on the go and I am sure iPad will be a great companion to my iPhone 🙂

  45. I’m surprised at the limited mention of Microsoft in all of this. The iPad provides a fully functional feature set that meets the needs of well over half of all mass market consumer PC users. These are the ones who use a computer for email, photos, web surfing, music, casual games, video, and an occasional document, and are not interested in anything else. Apple simply needs to position this product towards that massive market for what the iPad does, which aligns well with what average consumers want. For years, they have put up with complex jargon, viruses, software updates, drivers, heck, they even had to buy special furniture to put a PC on and give it a dedicated place in their home. Here comes Apple offering a simple, cheap device that does a far better job at doing what consumers suffer on today with a Windows PC.

    The iPad seems more like a missile aimed straight at the mass market consumer Windows PC (and not the techno-elite, who are all looking at the iPad for its limitations). Framing the iPad in the point of view of the Kindle or smart phone may actually be a distraction, and one that Apple will surely enjoy. Perhaps the questoin should not be whether you would use one, but whether your Mom or cousin would.

    I’ll bet Clayton Christensen is smiling somewhere right now while watching all of this unfold.

  46. Great comments so far, I have a couple of questions about the ipad and since it’s now been a couple of days since it’s introduction maybe someone has the answers. How will software/firmware updates be done- over the air (would make sense, since ipad seems to have a full itunes program on board), or will you have to sync it to a Mac/PC? Now what about your iphone, will you be able to sync the iphone from the ipad? or will you still need a Mac/PC to do that? How can you print from the ipad? Battery life claims of 10 hours usage and one month of standby time are impressive, it would be great to see improvements like this on the next iphone. What I’m hoping to see is an iphone that can sync over the air without needing a connection to another computer, put a full itunes program on it, give it a docking station that has a full size keyboard/screen any takers?

    1. The iPhone can update apps and sync to a separately priced Apple service in the cloud, without connection to a desktop. Likely the same for iPad… harder to make it otherwise!

      Battery seems based almost entirely on the display: Jobs claimed 140 hours for music, which uses a small fraction of the CPU, and no GPU or display. Apple defines its products VERY carefully in terms of “just enough” capability; that seems especially true for the iPad where $499 screams, “loss leader!” to me. My iPhone is already feeling a bit large and heavy; I’d guess many users would rather put up with the limited lifetime — especially now that they can better enjoy the web, contacts, etc on an iPad ;^> — than to drag along a heavier phone to go jogging, to a game or show, or all sorts of other places where you would want the slimmest possible, can-do-it-if-you-have-to capability.

  47. When I first looked at the device I imagined this being a perfect device for my mom, shes hates using the standard PC & its complexities. She can really appreciate easy access to email, browsing using her hands which comes naturally to most people vs the mouse, video chat – but hang on this thing does not have a webcam? How can apple not include a webcam is beyond me.

    But really the elderly can appreciate the no nonsense interface without worrying about the bells and whistles and complexity that we care about.

    The other thing that is missing is multi-user access or personalization. What if my dad and mom need to share this device. That way they can configure separate email accounts, bookmarks etc. I dont think iPad has that. Again how can apple not think about that?

    So I dont know, in its current form, this seems like a half-baked device. But I do agree, apps will break or make the iPad.

  48. OM.. fantastic article, well thought, insightful – loved it.

    I think OM got the essence of the iPad with his insights (no other reviewer pointed out so far);
    1. It’s a multi-content consumption platform
    2. It’s a different kind of tool – which is personalized and communication-centric.

    I’ll add one more 🙂

    I believe that with the iPad, Apple has set the right foundations for the digital future to position themselves for next-generation web-based applications serving as personal utilities in our everyday lives.

    The iPad has covered all the bases for such a device to support next-gen web-based applications by providing;
    1. Multi-touch gestures to provide a superior user experience in the way a person engages with the web application.
    2. Internet connectivity with WiFi and 3G, I suspect that Wimax will be added to the list in the near future as the take up rate of Wimax starts to climb.
    3. The right combination of screen size/weight vs. device mobility. The longer battery life adds on to the mobility. It amazes me that they could do that with a device so thin and so light.
    4. Supported by the complementary Mac ecosystem – iMacs or MacBooks for content creation. In that sense also, the iPad is not a multi-purpose tool.

    I personally will get one (maybe 2nd generation), but I do have a personal set of concerns and limitations rants;
    1. It looks like it’s trying to have the best of both worlds – convenience and high fidelity. Kevin Maney makes a compelling argument against having the best of both worlds in his book ‘Trade Off’. It will be interesting to see how the the mass adoption of the iPad. Interestingly, one of his case studies was on the Amazon Kindle.
    2. 2 core technologies are missing to make it a more connective & engaging tool – handwriting & voice recognition/speech technologies. The capacitive touch-screen should support handwriting recognition and voice recognition is already part of the core Mac technology. I suspect it’s a cost trade-off but I don’t see how it is possible for 3rd parties to do it as a system-wide support across all apps. Hopefully we will see these in the Gen 2.
    3. Robustness of the device – can it withstand a slip of the fingers from standing height? It would be one expensive case of slippery fingers. Would love to see a glove/sucker device to be able to firmly hold the iPad in one hand and use the free hand to manipulate the iPad controls – not unlike the VESA mount for monitors. I would love to get it into my 6-year old boys hands – the iPad is a natural fit (like hand to glove :-)) for children. But you know how 6-year old boys are!
    4. colours – yes I would love to have colour options on the iPad. Future job interviews may have questions like “what was the colour of your iPad?” to analyze a person’s profile 😛

    My take:

    It looks like the iPad is an addition to the Mac ecosystem in a new product category – not as a standalone product but a ‘complementary’ device, just like the Apple TV. Hardcore PC users will not have the opportunity to get the best of the iPad and not have the full- monty experience without either a Mac-mini, iMac or Macbook.

    With all mac products, it will always be a closed platform; a win-win in my books. For Mac users, it’s always a trade-off between higher pricing/limitations/inflexibility vs. system stability/user experience/sense of belonging to the best of breed of computer users.
    These devices provide an innovative and creative platform for user-centric web developers to complete the HW/SW Yin/Yang duality of the Mac ecosystem.
    As with the introduction of revolutionary devices like the iPod Touch & iPhone, the iPad creates new behavious and appends to the existing set of behaviours, making our lifes more meaningful with computing platforms that complement our natural, more effective & efficient way of getting things done in our daily lifes.

    The question is not “should i buy it?” Rather, it should be, “How is the iPad going to make my life more meaningful and increase my Quality of Life?”

    Only time and Apple sales figures will tell if the iPad is the answer to the latter question.

  49. I am looking forward to using this device, but I really think its the apps either HTML5 or cocoa touch apps that will truly define this device.

    But I am disappointed it doesn’t have a camera for video conferencing, and perhaps I am wrong GPS is only available on the 3G versions.

    Lastly men finally have a reason for buying tampons now, we will need them to clean that large screen!

  50. The iPad is a beautiful looking device, if not a little on the big side.

    It could do with perhaps a bit more features but I’m pretty sure it’s still going to be a relatively big seller.

  51. One very useful business application for the iPad would be a system for processing all the digital paperwork that executives and managers need to read, edit and approve every day. The iPad takes up little space in a briefcase, and, unlike smart phones, the screen is big enough to read even letter-sized documents.

    Unlike a multi-use laptop where documents can easily get misplaced, it could be dedicated to that one purpose, with software that takes care of prioritizing and managing the flow of documents in and out. With the 3G model, work could go on almost anywhere. Easily held in the hand and with a fifteen-second startup time, even a few minutes in a cab or waiting in line at an airport could become productive time.

  52. There’s no way to lock the device into either portrait or landscape mode?

    Yeah there is it a lock button on the side of it to lock it in any screen mode you want it in.and if you dont like the keyboard you can buy on that comes with it.

  53. There is a button to lock the orientation in portrait / landscape, it is on the right side above the volume controlers.

  54. Tried an iPad at Best Buy last night. I had dinner next door to a BB, so had to give the iPad a try. I do agree that the screen is gorgeous, text is very crisp, and overall display is sharp. I surfed to the websites that Safari has a problem displaying with a large enough font for comfortable reading on the iPhone/touch.

  55. There are some interesting closing dates on this article however I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we wish extra! Added to FeedBurner as well

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