first thoughts on the iPad:

well, it’s a pretty piece of kit. but coming from Apple, you’d expect that.

i want to want one – but, as it stands, i don’t.

i do like the entry price. at a mere ten bucks more than a Kindle DX, the 16GB iPad may soon be the gorilla in the large-format e-reader market. it’s colour, it’s fast, it’s able to do far more than just read books – the list goes on.

but as anything more than an e-reader, i think it’s too flawed as-is.

first and foremost, it’s intended as an internet appliance. but it doesn’t run Flash. love Adobe’s product or not, the failure to include it on a device designed to surf the web brings to mind the “Cheese Shop” sketch from Monty Python:

Customer: Aah, how about Cheddar?
Wenslydale: Well, we don’t get much call for it around here, sir.
Customer: Not much ca–It’s the single most popular cheese in the world!
Wenslydale: Not ’round here, sir.

Flash really is the cheddar of the internet. YouTube, Hulu: both use Flash Video to deliver content. it’s used on Facebook and MySpace. Google even uses it.

so to ignore Flash is short-sighted at best.

another issue is the lack of multitasking. in other words, you can only do one thing at a time with the iPad. while not a huge issue, think about how many applications you may be running at one time on your computer. i often run four or more at once – and they aren’t obscure, either. right now, i’m running Firefox, TweetDeck, and Microsoft Word. i’ll often run Stickies, Adium, iTunes, Terminal and IDLE with these applications, too.

with the new iPad, this wouldn’t be possible. and it certainly has the hardware to do it; the ARM-based computer-on-a-chip seems to be a real powerhouse.

the price is an issue, too. i’m a “fastest i can get” sort of guy, because i expect the hardware to last me a while. this computer is soon to be four years old – but when i bought it, it was the fastest laptop in the world. i expect it will last another four years at least. so, for the 64GB/3G model, $830 is a bit much.

there are plenty of other complaints: lack of user control, hidden file system, no camera, no stylus input, etc. but the lack of Flash and multitasking are my personal big two.

i hope it doesn’t go the way of the Newton, as i think it could be a great platform in later marks. my MessagePad has nothing on a MessagePad 2100, and i assume the iPad will improve similarly. but i’m certainly not buying one now.

quote of the day:

“A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history – with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.” – Mitch Ratcliffe

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One Response to “first thoughts on the iPad:”

  1. shiny bits and baubles… « i’m not drunk enough for this. Says:

    […] consideration, i revised that somewhat. but i was still a bit […]

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