Apple iPad: Good or Bad?

Apple iPad

Apple announced the iPad today at their keynote after a long period of rumors with some of them coming true, and a lot of key ones not. Being an Apple stockholder I was very interested in seeing what was going to be announced today and so far I’m still on the fence. Really this is just a large iPhone / iPod Touch missing some components.

Let’s look at some of the technical specs that set it apart from the iPhone / iPod Touch:

Size and weight

9.56 inches (242.8 mm)
7.47 inches (189.7 mm)
0.5 inch (13.4 mm)
1.5 pounds (.68 kg) Wi-Fi model;
1.6 pounds (.73 kg) Wi-Fi + 3G model


  • 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously


  • 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB flash drive


  • 1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip

TV and Video

  • Support for 1024 x 768 with Dock Connector to VGA adapter; 576p and 480p with Apple Component A/V Cable, 576i and 480i with Apple Composite Cable

Battery and Power

  • Built-in 25Whr rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
  • Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music
  • Charging via power adapter or USB to computer system

Let’s talk first about my major cons:

First off, 64GB is the max capacity in this device? A device like this needs at least double that to be useful. I want to be able to have a lot of my music, movies, and TV shows as well as iTunes U material loaded on this device.

Second, where’s the camera?!? A device like this cries out for iChat with Video Conferencing.

Third, no multitasking? The iPod audio player on the iPad at least needs to be enhanced to support Internet Radio sources as well as others such as Pandora so we can stream our music in the background while doing other things on the iPad.

Fourth, no handwriting input mode. This would make a great portable electronic notebook for meetings.

So what do I actually like about the iPad and think will work well?

I like the keyboard dock accessory, I think this is a great step towards an idea of having the old school mainframe computers or a personal “Citrix” like environment. You take the iPad on a trip with you and launch your MobileMe Back to My Mac application (hint hint Apple, develop one!) which connects you to your Apple laptop or desktop running at your house.

I like the Mail, Contacts, and Calendaring applications. As well as the iBooks application. These all show off the benefit of having a much larger screen size. The new iWork applications as well show how this device could be used in the Enterprise world, something that the iPhone / iPod Touch hasn’t completely been able to do yet. What will make the iWork Keynote application killer is a hardware component for the dock connector that can connect to a VGA converter box without wires for a portable presentation machine.

Ultimately will I run out and buy one when it is released in April (WiFi only in March, I would want a 3G capable devie)? Probably not. Not only will the misses kill me if I spend that much on another computer, but I just don’t think I could fully utilize the device for the cost without my cons being fixed. Now if someone were so gracious to send one my way of course I would accept that! For now, I’ll be happy with my iPhone 3Gs and MacBook Pro for mobile computing.

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