"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apple's iPad Officially Announced

After many years of attempts, Apple officially revealed today their version of the tablet based on the iPhone operating system. The video of the keynote can be found here. For all intents and purposes the new device that starts at $500 is an oversized iTouch that plays almost all of the apps the current iPhone and iTouch can run. As a result, it also has the exact same limitations (to preserve battery life) such as only being able to run one app at a time. The device in various storage sizes and prices is expected to hit stores in 60 days with 3G versions hitting in 90.

The specs
- Price: 16GB ($499), 32GB ($599), 64GB ($699); add $130 to each for 3G ability
- 3G plans: with AT&T, no contract. $14.99 for 250MB of data per month or $29.99 unlimited
- Size: 9.56'H x 7.47'W x .5''D (1.5 lbs)
- Display: 9.7'' LED with IPS tech, multi-touch, and 178 degree viewing angle, 1024 x 768 with 132 pixels per inch
- Processor: 1Ghz Apple A4 chip (custom chip from Apple's own company, not Intel based)
- Battery: build-in (i.e. nonreplaceable) rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. Estimated 10 hours of life in normal use, 30 days on standby (not sure how true that is)
- Connections: Dock connector, standard headphone jack, built-in speakers, microphone, SIM card tray if 3G device.
- Buttons: on/off/sleep, mute, volume and home
- Device syncs with iTunes like the iTouch and iPhone, also only means to get data back and forth to device
- iBook store: New addition to iTunes store with agreements with major publishers to sell digital books and a new app to go with it. Might be first real Kindle killer device. Book prices seem to range from $5 to $15.
- Gamer perspective: With larger screen and faster CPU means more gaming capabilities. The result however is iffy so far. Really too soon to say but probably not a DS, etc killer.
- Most Apple Store apps will run on device with ability to run at original iPhone size scale or hit a button to 2x it for the larger screen.
- Accessories: Leather case/kickstand and Keyboard dock
Hands-On with Video - A breakdown of the device from a brief demo. Net result is usual fine Apple craftsman ship with excellent display.

While most people bought into the hype, I didn't. I really thought this tablet was going to look like a large iPhone with OS X with iPhone emulation (or vice versa) to take advantage of the app store. However, this is really just an extra large iTouch with all the positives and all the limitations that comes with it. If you live off your iPhone or iTouch apps and just wish for more real estate, this is your thing. As for a book reader, this might be the device to get if the price tag (almost 2x the kindle and nook) isn't an issue.

Overall a huge disappoint at an ok price (and likely to drop next year). I like the eBook app, I like the possibilities but the requirement to use iTunes to transfer data is annoying. The inability to install other non Apple store applications is annoying. The inability to transfer data with USB or SD card is also an issue. I guess my issue is I don't want a large iPhone, I want the flexibility of netbook with capabilities of a touch screen and this isn't that. About the only positive of this device is it has created the benchmark that Windows and PC makers can try (and probably fail) to strive for when they enter the tablet market and hopefully abandon this sloppy and heavy hybrid models that they have been trying to introduce for year.

My recommendation? Pass and wait and see what comes with iPad 2.0 next year.

1 comment:

  1. i like this gadget, many high tech features offering. Good...