Saturday, April 10, 2010

iPAD : Am I getting one ???

Well - I have been asked this question many times since I am a "PDA geek and freak". At the last count Apple had sold close to 600000 units since launched . Just look at the crowd at opening day of sale in New York

I was expecting the iPAD to be a mini MacBook weighing less than 1 kg, with a 10-11' screen, 2 USB ports, capacitive touch screen, at least 128 GB SSD flash drive. I was thoroughly dissapointed when the final specs were released. My immediate impression was a over-sized iPod Touch.

Apple had released the iPAD to create a new category of PDA computing that floats somewhere between a smartphone and a laptop. Will there be a demand for such a gadget ? The initial interest shown seems to suggest so but we cannot discount that many people are just blinded by Apple marketing ploys - "it is from Apple , so it is a good investment"," you will need it because others are using it too ", "it is the pda of the future", etc


Light weight and portability :

- just over half a kilo

Great Display screen

The iPad packs a 9.7-inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 768. That’s a display with a ratio of 4:3, far from the norm of 16:9 displays. Good for the web, books, newspapers; bad for movies ( not a critical requirement for me ).

Multi-Media capabilities

- multimedia functions has expanded somewhat to cover magazines, newspapers, ebooks besides the default photos, movies, TV, music and podcasts . I suppose the delivery of these new media will be thro iTunes store . Presently we can only buy apps thro iTunes Msia but not audio, video - however I do believe it will made available to Malaysia soon. I read a lot of eBooks on my present Windows Mobile htc HD2 and the iPAD ebook reader is very attractive alternative

Fingers Friendly

No need for a mouse. All work can be done with just your 2 fingers.

Stable OS

Having use the Mac for few years and despite the unhappy experience with the iPods/iPhone - the Mac OSX is amazingly problem free and stable

Excellent battery life

Apple advertises 10 hours of battery life for viewing video on the iPad, and other reviews around the Web have indicated that people are regularly getting between 11 and 12 hours.

Apps and Apps

The app situation on the iPad is great—there are tons of apps ( more than 120000 at last count ) available, and new ones are added daily. All iphone/ipod Touch apps will run on the iPad


The iPad can multitask, but limited as it doesn't allow third-party applications to run in the background. Apple's applications can run in the background (Mail can check your e-mail constantly, and the iPod app will continually play music for as long as you let it). But third-party apps are what make the iPad, so Apple's stance on multitasking has real consequences for the platform - this could change


Miserable storage capacity

Maximum is only 64 GB - I would prefer at least 128 GB. Worse of all - there is no USB port to extend storage functions to a SD card or flash drive

Files Management - Restrictive

The process of getting your own files onto the iPad so that they can be used with specific apps is without a doubt one of our least favorite parts of the iPad experience.
The iPad cannot be used as an external storage device (like you can with older, non-touch iPods), and you can't download files as e-mail attachments and make them visible to specific apps.

Need iTunes to manage files

If you don't mind keeping your iPad tethered to iTunes and a desktop PC in order to manage it, you can use iTunes to transfer files to be used within certain applications.

BackUP issues

One cannot fully backup the iPad if you don’t have another computer with iTunes Syncing Calendars and Contacts with MobileMe will work but that means you need to have a paid MobileMe account. BackUP capability is still unclear

OnScreen keyboard issues

The iPad's on-screen keyboard is similar to that of the iPhone, but bigger. This makes it both better and worse, depending on who you are, what you're doing, and what orientation you're doing it in the iPad. The on-screen keyboard in portrait mode is a bit too small to use two-handed like a regular keyboard, but a bit too big to type very quickly or easily with your thumbs. That doesn't make it useless, however; we think it's largely meant for entering short text snippets eg putting search terms into Google

Reviews on web indicate the on-screen keyboard in landscape mode seems to be a better mode of input

Charging issues

The iPad has one real flaw when it comes to charging. The device is essentially a touchscreen strapped to two huge batteries, giving it 6600 maH of power, but recharging those batteries taxes all but the heftiest powered USB ports. Generally, no port on a hub or older computer will be able to charge the device at all. Only ports on newer computers will be able to charge the iPad while it's running, and even then, it may take a really, really long time to fully charge the device. Apple's solution is to use the included wall-charger to efficiently charge the iPad.

Office Applications

One of the big questions with the iPad is whether you can get Serious Work done with it. The short answer is yes, with some caveats.

For basic calendaring and e-mailing, the iPad does just fine. Working with actual documents is limited. Editing a spreadsheet, presentation, or word processing document requires that you purchase the iPad versions of Numbers, Keynote, and Pages from Apple. You'll also need to plan ahead because there are only three way to get those docs onto your iPad: iTunes, e-mail, and Microsoft Office - NOT possible at this time and unlikely will be made available

Lacking video camera in front

This will be a setback especially when you are on Skype and the other party is unable to see you


It appears there are more cons than pros. So will I be getting one - YES just purely because I am a "PDA geek and freak". I will look for a used set (to cut down costs ) to test it out. Knowing Apple marketing strategy - I will not be suprised 6-9 months down the year, Apple will release a higher spec version , it could be with a 128 GB disk, 1 USB port, flash support, improved bluetooth functions, front video camera etc

Links to some debates :

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