Apple iPad: Thanks, But Maybe Later
Back in November, I got an Amazon Kindle from my parents as a birthday gift. I love this thing — it’s a device built from the ground up to read books, and it does its job admirably. If I throw it into my bag with my Nintendo DS, since I can’t be away from my games too long, and my iPod touch, for music, messaging and just about anything else I need it for, I’m ready for anything. I suppose that’s my issue with Apple’s new iPad: I don’t want to carry it around, and I don’t know what it’s for.
I’m always hesitant to pass judgment on a device before I’ve had a chance to give it a whirl. But the iPad seems to be that which its fiercest critics have labeled it: nothing but an oversized iPhone.
It doesn’t truly multitask or run programs that aren’t from the App Store, and its software keyboard, while probably serviceable for browsing or writing instant messages, I feel like I’d give myself carpal tunnel trying to write blog entries for The VAR Guy. It just doesn’t look like much of a workhorse, with or without the optional keyboard dock.
That leaves entertainment. The sheer variety of content available on the iTunes store and the App Store mean it’s not exactly lacking in worthwhile content, and its screen looks gorgeous, but it’s just too big see myself bringing it to the gym or on the subway. And as far as eBooks go – well, the Kindle has a screen that’s easier on the eyes, and the books are cheaper anyway. Basically, the iPad just looks like it scratches the same itch as the iPhone in a harder-to-carry format, and without phone service to boot.
In short: the iPad appears to be a well-assembled, well-thought-out device that doesn’t work as well as a laptop and doesn’t play as well as an iPod. Will it change the way we think about computers? Maybe. But I don’t know who’s going to buy it.