Jan 28, 2010

The iPad Fail - Nothing done right

Well, the over-hyped product of the year was finally explained on stage. After that, the hypnotized journalists may took on the device itself. And you know there is one good sign for the product to be failed, when they wake-up from this hypnosis and begin to ask, for what the heck this thing should be?
But first let's see how what it should do, and got demonstrated on stage: Browsing the web, mail, photos, music, video, ebooks and gaming. The nice demonstrations on the stage made the eyes of the devotees glare. And instantly I knew, this thing does nothing of this right. So, I thought about what the iPad is not.
It's not a Laptop. Browsing the web without even Flash is ridiculous, but without a proper keyboard it's even worse (forget about the dock, carry a real notebook then). The power is simply not enough. 1 GHZ even with the new super-duper messiah Apple-Chip is not enough. But wait, why not? You can't install proper software, it's all something like apps for the iPhone. There is iWork from Apple, but honestly business with this? There is no Word, no Excel, no Lotus, there is no free, no independent downloads like on a proper computer. It's just not a laptop.
It's not a MP3-Player. And no iPod either. Sure you can play Music with it, but try this to take with you when jogging. You really want this for listening while you walk or sit in the car?
It's not a Phone. Nope, no voice. But hey wait, you could eventually with apps doing VoIP. Umm... However with a bluetooth headset, you could hold the record for the biggest phone in town.
It's not a Gaming device. EA tried hard to show us a glimpse of "Need for Speed" on the iPad. But it turns out, that it's just not as good as a proper game console like the Wii, and certainly not like XBox360  or PS3, which btw. are all much cheaper. And the DS and PSP? Well, at last you can put them in your pocket. The graphics are not really exciting, and the problems with the button-less designs still remains. There is no better control than buttons and sticks for games. Even the Wii has plenty of them in addition to the accelerators in the controller. And that is for a reason.
It's not an eBook reader. Definitely not. The iBooks might be another nice app, but it comes to this when talking about books: Reading. The screen is terrible for that. Anyone notices that the screen glares horrible? Yeah, it's more like a mirror outside. You never will read an ebook at the beach on this device. In addition, eInk is the only way to reduce eye-strains. For doing work, LCD has been proofed to be good. But reading a novel and staring 6 hours and more on such a display is horrible. That's why eInk was invented, which gives you almost the feeling you look on paper. There is no refreshing rate and no flickering. But this is like surfing the web, not reading a book. And the battery, okay 10 hours is not bad...for a computer. But for an eBook reader it's disappointing. But I really fear that, if this thing is going to be successful, there will be less publications for real and good ebook readers.
The screen is a big problem. It not only makes this thing unusable for eBooks, but even gaming or doing everything else outside a dimmed room, is very hard on the eyes, because of heavy reflections. The price start from $499 (16GB) for WIFI-only and $629 For WIFI/3G. For $449 you'll get a nice notebook with 2.1GHZ Dual-Core, 14" Screen with 720P, 2GB RAM, 160 GB(10 times more) HDD, but without a bitten fruit on it.
Conclusion: This thing is for the Apple Fanboys and possibly used as a status symbol. There is no point for practical using over a notebook, eReader or any other device. But that never stopped the Apple Church from buying. So let's see. I don't see any market for it at the moment, but Apple is known to make markets out of thin air. Meanwhile, I lean back, will buy a Nook as soon as it goes international, or a txtr reader, and eventually a new notebook at the end of the year together with the Nexus One Android phone or the successor. No need for such an tablet in any case.
Photo © Adrian van Leen for openphoto.net  / CC:PublicDomain