Ipad? No thanks
Technology excites me. There’s a part of my brain reserved for technolust, and it’s constantly on the lookout for downright cool geeky goodness. The iPad should be making all sorts of sqeeeeee noises in my mind right now, but it’s barely rated a blip on my personal geekometer. It don’t impress me much, at all.
Yes, the iPad is game-changing. It is game-changing because Apple have done it, not because Apple have done it right.
Tablet PCs have been around for quite a while, and they haven’t yet set the world on fire. Heck, they’ve barely even set a match alight. Now that Apple have entered the game I expect to see a tablet form-factor computer from every major (and quite a lot of minor) manufacturers over the next 24 months. Some will ape the iPad slavishly, though many will (hopefully) correct its deficiencies. Release a multi-tasking tablet with USB ports, an SD card slot and a camera, and I’ll take notice. The next iPad will almost certainly have some or all of those; the current release is defective by design, just so that Apple can sucker the sheep into buying another one 18 months later. You know who you are.
The iPad is constantly described as “a supersized iPhone” which it would be – if it was a phone. What does that make it? An “i”? Give the iPad a camera and Skype and it really would be game-changing in a fundamentally altering the way we use computers way rather than a following like sheep where’er Apple goes way.
As it stands, the iPad is two steps backwards. With no USB ports, lock-in to the dreadful iTunes and not even a SD card slot to its name, this is a computer – sorry, Appliance – you never truly own. Unless you’re willing to jailbreak your iPad all your apps and content are under the near-constant control and scrutiny of Apple. The word “jailbreaking” implies you’re doing something illegal – stealing something you already own. How fucked up is that?
Me, I like my netbook. It does everything the iPad does, and more. It has much the same battery life (I’ve used it for 8 hours easily without a power lead in sight), an excellent screen and even Flash works without that mythical battery drain we’ve heard so much about. I have true multi-tasking, a wide choice of applications and can easily switch between multiple Operating Systems with a reboot – no jailbreaking needed. My apps and data are my own, and I’m free to do whatever the heck I choose on it.
Yes, the iPad looks sleek and sexy out of the box. I’m betting that within 6 months 80% of them will have a coffee ring stain on the screen after they’ve been carelessly left on a table and your spouse/mom/partner/waitress has mistaken it for a shiny tea tray.
My netbook has a camera, USB ports, an SD card slot, a great keyboard and the same form factor (when folded) as an iPad. It’s an iPad++, in every respect. “There’s an app for that” says Apple. Yes, there is – it’s called The Internet. If you own an iPad I’m happy for you. But it’s not for me.
What’s more, my netbook is red. Beat that, shiny black tea tray.