The iPad is upon us in the UK and so over the Bank Holiday weekend, I went into the local Apple store to have a look at what it was all about.
The first thing that struck me was the crowd…there were around 50 iPads available to play with and people were queuing up for almost every one, 2 or 3 people deep! I eventually burst through the crowd of people, deftly side stepping a small child and a nifty Jordan-esque manoeuvre around another shopper until BOOM…an iPad was in my hand. This, the most magical of devices, cause of hysteria worldwide and apparent confirmation of “The Greatness of Jobs” was in my hand…and…
That was my first thought and even now, a couple of days later, it’s still my overall opinion.
It was smaller and heavier than I thought, so something of a double loss there really! Upon first sight I was completely under-whelmed…there wasn’t even a twinge of “OMG – I MUST buy it”…and I really was expecting I’d have to fight that urge. I got an iPod years ago, when I saw the first iPhone, despite knowing all it’s shortcomings, I nearly got one…and the same for the MacBook Air.
This time however, I truly wasn’t tempted to buy it at all. I think part of the reason for this may be that it isn’t really anything new…I’ve seen tablet PCs before and I’ve seen an iPhone so I’ve seen an iPad. If someone had a huge potato I’d go and look at it…but I wouldn’t want to buy it :-)
Part of my lack of interest in the iPad also applies to all tablets and it’s this one question:
“When would I use it?”
If I’m at home, I’ll use the laptop to surf the web, the Xbox to watch movies & the stereo to listen to music. If I’m out and about, depending where I’m going I’ll use my phone or my laptop…I don’t see what a tablet can do better AND easier than any of that setup.
My other complaint is transporting it. It’s too big to fit in a pocket so +1 to a smart phone so it will need to be carried in a bag/case of some sort…it which case you might as well take a laptop; or if weight is an issue…take a netbook.
If I’m going somewhere which means a Netbook is too big/heavy then it isn’t going to be much different with an iPad. Plus, and I know this is a tired argument but it’s worth repeating, netbooks and laptops can all play Flash!
There is one thing I’ll say (kind of) in it’s defense:
The “Multitasking” issue seems to be a little less clear cut that it’s made out. I was playing music and surfing the web which I had been led to believe was, in the words of Ralph Wiggum, “un-possible”. I guess perhaps it’s just 3rd party apps that can’t be multi-tasked?
All in all, it doesn’t seem to be anything special and I can’t see any compelling reasons to get one. I know Mac fans will be able to reel off any number of rebuttals to this but honestly it doesn’t matter…I can’t see the iPad attracting any new customers to the Apple fold; I’m going to say that nearly all iPad owners will already have an iPhone and/or iPod.