The iPad has landed. Finally.
Steve Jobs unveiled the much-hyped Apple tablet computer yesterday at a media-invite-only event that got every nerd, geek, technophiliac, and Apple fanboy writer out into the real world (reports have surfaced that World of Warcraft maps were completely deserted during Apple's two hour event).
Ok, so I'm a bit resentful these guys got a special invite to go to San Francisco, meet Steve Jobs, witness the next big thing in gadgetry, and most importantly they got to actually play with demo iPad units.
But was all this pre and post debut hoopla really worth it? The iPad is missing some pretty basis and key features: no camera, no multitasking, no phone, no Verizon, no upgraded OS, and no Flash.
The iPad sounds more like an iTouch with a larger screen, upgraded graphics card and more powerful microprossecor. Then again I haven't actually played with the thing to get the full impact.
But here are some firsthand reactions across the blogosphere and decide for yourself if the iPad is right for you.
* It's not light. It feels pretty weighty in your hand.
* Feels just like a huge iPhone in your hands.
* It is blazingly fast from what we can tell. Webpages loaded up super fast, and scrolling was without a hiccup.
* There's no multitasking at all. It's a real disappointment. All this power and very little you can do with it at once. No multitasking means no streaming Pandora when you're working in Pages. It's a real setback for this device.
* The ebook implementation is about as close as you can get to reading without a stack of bound paper in your hand.
* No camera. No video conferencing here folks. Hell, it doesn't have an SMS app!
* The keyboard is good, not great. Not quite as responsive as it looked in the demos.
* No Flash confirmed. So Hulu is out for you, folks!
Apple didn't really sell this point, but it's the single biggest benefit of the iPad: speed. It feels at least a generation faster than the iPhone 3GS. Lags and waits are gone, and the OS and apps respond just as quickly as you'd hope. Rotating between portrait and landscape modes, especially, is where this new horsepower manifests in the OS.
"Apple device’s design, app compatibility, battery life and surprisingly low price — something he says could cause problems for Dell, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo and other PC makers developing rival tablets."
"[The iPads]major failing for me is the lack of Flash, and the fact that the 16GB and 32GB options seem to lack, er, flash.
Apple is betting that most potential buyers - and that doesn’t just mean the people who write and comment on tech sites such as this - will enter into a trade. That they’ll trade in the greater versatility and lower price of an average netbook for...a device made by a company with a greater aura of cool..."
* Some apps lock the screen (like on the iPhone) but there's no universal way to lock the screen as you might on a Kindle or Nook.
* The landscape and portrait switching works in all 4 orientations, so you could read upside down if you liked.
* The screen resolution is 1024x768 (4:3).
* The case is very flat and solid like a Kindle case, but you can use it to prop the iPad up into a triangle so you can watch movies or use it like a laptop.
* The browser is like Safari on the iPhone but it has toolbar favorites like on the Mac.
* It's much easier to click and navigate on the iPad than on an iPhone, just by virtue of it being larger.
* Size/weight is very comparable to a Kindle DX, which is twice as heavy as a Kindle 2.
>>>Photos: A brief history of Apple products, from 1976 on
>>>The latest photos of the Apple iPad
>>>Click here for my live blogging of the iPad unveiling.