iPad: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the hype – oh, the hype

Posted: January 28, 2010 in Apple, hardware, software, technology
Tags: , ,
(photo from Apple’s website)

Anyone who knows me or reads my blogs (there might even be a few who fit in both categories), has to know i’m pretty keen on Apple products. I’m not quite “drank-the-apple-koolaid” keen, but in using them as much as i do, i usually find them to be better than the competition.

It is also probably no surprise that i made time in my day on January 27th at 10am PST to be sitting in front of my computer and watching as the pictures and text flowed in from the lucky few in attendance at the big event of Apple’s latest unveiling. The hype leading up to the event was staggering, and you have to admit, there were probably only a few people with any interest in tech who didn’t know about it and have it marked on their calendars. Some on twitter may have been a little over-excited leading up to it, but i won’t name names and embarrass them here… cough cough phronk cough cough.

I’m not going to spend alot of time dissecting the new device, since as of right now the only people to physically touch the magic tablet were those in attendance and so it will remain for a couple of months in the U.S. (march for WiFi version, April for WiFi + 3G)  Who knows how long before us in the frozen north get to.  I am going to comment on a few of the key features – things that popped into my mind as i watched the event unfold and afterward after pouring over the specs, but what i really want to comment on is the hype. Something that Apple had a hand in starting, but really was going on as soon as it was discovered that they had some patents for a tablet like device applied for. The rumour mill has been running full tilt for months, and the official invite to the “Our Latest Creation” event only added to the fervor. But first…

the Good:

apple’s own chip. “1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip ” This may or may not go well for Apple, sometimes its best to leave things up to the experts and concentrate on what you do well. Hopefully they mean custom-designed for them NOT by them.

weight. 1.5 to 1.6 lbs. Nice. if you are going to use a device one-handed, it better be light-weight.

battery life. 10 hrs. if this is correct, and i hope it is, then colour me impressed.

price. starting at $499 USD. certainly lower than i expected, but i think they hit the price-point right on the head. very attainable for most, depending of course upon your data plan which Apple seems to have brokered a very nice deal on with AT&T.

the Bad:

no camera. I would have expected a webcam built in. the device just screams for one in my opinion.

speakers. this deserves to be on the Good list as well as the Bad list. whereas these are needed, i’m sure they are going to sound extremely tinny and more or less only there for system alerts and emergencies when you don’t have headphones nearby, or want to share something with more than one person. the thing is THIN, you can’t expect it to have any bass response at all.

ibooks? really? did they forget they used to make a laptop CALLED the iBook? I still have a few at home, but aside from the name. Ripping off someone’s look and feel (Delicious Library and to a lesser extent MediaMan) that’s just not nice. There is no denying where the idea for a wooden bookshelf with images of movies displayed face forward came from.

the Ugly:

the name. iPad. As one local radio personality said “can you get it with wings?” Jokes abound, mostly dealing with feminine hygiene products, and i don’t think we’ve heard the last of them. So many people have issues with the name, aside from the fact east-coasters will not know which device you mean (iPod already sounds like iPad depending who you talk to ) because of their accents. iTablet or iSlate would have been better in my opinion.

the bezzel. one of the things i love about the iPhone is the fact the screen goes pretty much to the edge on the sides with a speaker on top and a button on the bottom of the face and thats it. the iPad didn’t steal this from that design. instead they went with a bezzel so wide it looks like some of the first LCD monitors that hit the market. The whole thing adds to the initial lilliputian feel i got watching Gulliver,..er.. i mean, Steve Jobs standing on stage with the giant iPhone like device.

the Hype:

Steve Jobs and Apple are masters at manipulating the media and creating hype, or at least fueling it and in their genius they are doing it again as they did with the iphone. Instead of having the products ready with the “and it’s available for ordering today” line they sometimes use, they are letting us talk about, blog about, and wait in ever building anticipation to actually get our hands on it.
I’ve heard a number of people making comments about how the product didn’t live up to expectations or was a flop or wanted more products to be unveiled besides the tablet that Apple presented. To them I say, the iPad may not be everything they expected but take it for what it is. Revision 1 of a device that is going to go on and change the way many interact with and enjoy books, movies and tv shows not to mention getting their mail or working on documents.

Secondly, don’t blame Apple for the hype. Sure they didn’t squash rumours or try to slow it down, but you can’t blame them for the tech/geek/apple fanatic masses clamoring over each other to get any and all glimpses of the latest Apple device before its official release.

And lastly, Remember, not too long ago, many poo-pooed the idea of a portable music device that played electronic music files. As of September 2009, 220 million ipods had been sold.  Not bad for a device that got lukewarm reviews from many of the tech-based press.  I would wager that if Apple had started taking pre-orders yesterday after the big event, they would already have more orders than they could fill for the first few months.  Say what you will, but this is a device poised to fill a niche that we didn’t even realize existed.


  1. In some ways, I do like the idea of the iPad, but in my personal circumstances, this device fills no category that I need filled. Even in my own home, I would have no need for this. Too bad.

    Put full OS X on it and then we’re talking!


  2. bolsas femininas says:

    Loved reading this post, do you also have some sort of newsletter?


  3. Sorry for the double post, but i’m trying to read this blog through RSS and its not working – any ideas?


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