iPad, the name of Apple’s latest creation, is a tablet. A touchscreen device, which is essentially a large iPod. There are plenty of websites out there with the specifications of the product, so I won’t bother going into detail regarding that. Instead, I’ll give my views on it.
The iPad is a 10″ tablet screen. Steve Jobs described it as something “magical” when he was introducing this new product. He also said that he wanted to address the gap between iPods and MacBooks, and felt netbooks did not really address it. Hence, we have the iPad.
Quite frankly, the iPad is a heap of disappointment. When I say it’s a large iPod, it really is just that. It does not contain Mac OS X, but rather the same interface as the iPhone or iPod Touch. Therefore, you can only run one application at a time, and you’re extremely limited with what you can do. That means no plugging USB devices in and multi-tasking. There’s also a lack of webcam or any camera on the device.
So what exactly are Apple aiming for with the iPad? They feel they can appeal to people who read eBooks a lot. And also to people who want to be able to browse the Internet on the go, as some models have a 3G modem built-in. The price plan for these in the USA seem somewhat baffling, $15 for 250MB bandwidth? 250MB bandwidth is miniscule, although it’s $30 for unlimited. I’m sure there is some fair usage policy with that.
So on the whole, no multi-tasking, same iPhone/iPod Touch interface, a few new applications (office suite available, but for purchase through App Store), native support for all existing applications, mobile Internet. That’s the iPad.
I just hope in the future they can put Mac OS X onto it.