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back to article Normal Human Being™ reviews the iPad

The iPad has inspired yet another high-powered business type to make a mobile-device purchase. Of a netbook. As you may have heard, Apple's iPad went on sale last Saturday in the US. Since - and even before - that momentous event, boundless bloviatory bytes dissecting Cupertino's "magical and revolutionary" device have engorged …

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good review

I think this is the best review I've read yet. Could LW have a look at some iApps, next ? they seem like the iPad's main advantage ?

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Alert

Bootnote

Cue a thousand slavering Reg readers asking for "more information".

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FAIL

Informative review

So it's a good games machine but not practical as a productivity tool and a bit heavy to use continuously. Since I'm not a gamer, and I need a computer with a real OS, I guess I'm keeping my Win 7 netbook after all. I expect that the HP Slate will also have similar deficiencies.

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Linux

I am like LW

I am really more concerned with what a computing device will do, and am not very interest in the latest geeky thing.

Plenty of the followers for the latest shiny thing that Mr. Jobs has for his eager fans.

My knowledge of geekyness is that I know what CDMA means.

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LW no NHB

LW is no NHB. She uses heavy spreadsheets, and iPad is not meant for 'creation' of heavy spreadsheets... or any thing similar.

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Not a computer

Exactly. It's not a device to get stuff done, it's a device for consuming media.

As with most Apple devices, it's primary purpose it to be looked at.

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Coat

Heavy spreadsheets

"heavy spreadsheets"....maybe if she deleted those, the ipad wouldn't feel as heavy and she can use it for longer?

Yes, yes, I'm going.

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It doesn't matter what it's designed for -

it's what the user expects that's important - and as its just another computer, most NHBs will expect it to do the same tasks they use their regular computer for. Anything less will count as a failure to meet their needs.

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Anonymous Coward

Somewhat missing the point

That is very much the Apple way. If you don't like it thats because your not who its aimed at. Lots of people use large and complex spreadsheets, or other large files, and they don't want to have to carry around a laptop and an ipad. If it dosen't do the things a netbook dose it is just a toy, and clearly dose not work as a toy.

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actually...

I think you will find plenty of NHBs in offices all over the globe use heavy spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are and end user computing product; there isn't anything especially techy about them. They are a tool.

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Doesn't stop them getting caught up in the hype though

It's interesting to look at the take up, the sudden drop in the netbook market. It was the new sliced white bread, then people really started to use them and discover their limitations, net result is the market has dropped, new models are not being taken up, and there are now lots of hardly used netbooks on auction sites.

I know lots of people here swear by their netbooks, but I bet a lot of people will also swear by their iPads.

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wrong.

Really? That is totally false. I know TONS of normal humans that use spreadsheets heavily. Many, many, normal human beings have office jobs that require this. It may not be "meant" for this, but if that's the case, why include the ability to work with spreadsheets at all?

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Joke

re: normal humans that use spreadsheets heavily

I doubt it. I suspect that what you really know are accountants, actuaries, and similar related critters. These strange yet totally uninteresting creatures can sometimes be mistaken for normal human beings, but can be readily identified by their obsessive love of numbers in regular columns, their monotonous, droning vocalisations, and, yes that's right, their enormous spreadsheets.

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iPad = iPhone 1

The iPhone 1 had a slippery back too. Needed a case to make it work properly, e.g. stop it slipping out of one's hand. Ironically the 'cheaper' plastic backs of the iPhone 2 and 3 worked better.

One wonders what sort of cases will be made for this device. Maybe a cushion would work well. Hang on, isn't this a design flaw?

My question, having not yet seen the device, is how does one pick it up if it's 'on'? With the iPhone's small form factor it's easy to pick it up on the edges using one hand. It doesn't appear to be so with the iPad.

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Headmaster

With all due respect

It appears to me from the inferences I have made that "LW" is a beancounter. Beancounters are certainly *not* part of apples target market (queue fabulously humorous jokes about Jobs worshiping poseurs with more money than sense) and for the purposes of this "review" probably doesn't qualify as a NHB.

Apples target market (aside from the aforementioned poseurs of course!) are the non technical types, and yes, accountants *are* technical types in their own fashion, requiring relatively complex data processing tools to do their work. These tools are never going to be present on a device such as the ipad.

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Anonymous Coward

"non technical types"

aka "luddites" aka "facebookers"

Yup, Apple really have got their target audience nailed down.

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target market?

Ok, who exactly is the target market then? LW is an office worker who doesn't have a lot of experience with the inner workings of the technology and doesn't care. That sounds like a fairly normal person to me. It sounds like the people saying LW isn't a NHB are just upset that an actual NHB didn't instantly fall in love and proclaim their undying love of all things Apple. Sour grapes, fan boys.

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Honest Reviews

Actually, the best honest review I've read of the iPad is on PVPOnline:

http://www.pvponline.com/2010/04/05/ipad-first-impressions/

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yup

Good closing words too.

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Smart

"It’s dumb that they didn’t include the case. You kinda need it."

What's dumb about squeezing a few extra bucks out of the fools who buy this thing? Is it also "dumb" that you need to buy an attachment if you want to transfer files to SD card?

"On more than one occasion I’ve found myself looking for a more comfortable way of holding it."

That's no surprise. When watching the adverts, concentrate on the legs rather than the fingers. Imagine what shape the back is in, and how the neck is angled.

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Happy

re: With all due respect

Beancounter = Excel user = fail ?

Love my iphone (carry it everywhere) even got a Mili battery pack to make it useable, can't see me wanting a IPad anytime soon its too nichey and i don't have that niche available.

Saying that would love it mounted in a suitable frame in the kitchen if it could withstand humidity (bet it can't), then could imagine cooking apps galore but thats not the target market is it ?

Wife loves my iphone only because i have some amusing kiddie apps to keep the baby happy, otherwised she's slightly bemused by my love for it.

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Unhappy

+1 to the survey population

My LW asked what the iPad was for and I was initially stuck for an answer. The best I could muster was it was more for those who consume than create. As a creative, arty type she wasn't impressed. "I'll stick with my Macbook".

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Wrong market

The "getting it done" people either have Windows because it came with their computer, or use Linux as it's cheaper and works more reliable. (except for KDE of course)

Apple product are bought by people who have no problem patching a firmware image, or finding buffer overflows in the baseband chip, because that's what you need to do to get things done on those devices.

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Anonymous Coward

Use the icons

You forgot to use the little troll icon. When you enter your message, there are a series of little icons you can select from below. Then readers can skip over the trolling messages (unless they're in a masochistic mood).

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Jobs Horns

Re: Wrong market

"Apple product are bought by people who have no problem patching a firmware image, or finding buffer overflows in the baseband chip, because that's what you need to do to get things done on those devices."

You are taking the pee there I assume? I work in tech support, and can confirm Mac users fall into two distinct camps. Those who work in design and the Meeja and totaly bought into the myth that "Macs are better for design"; and those who walked into PC World and bought it because it was the prettiest computer in the shop. 90% of both camps have no idea how most of it works.

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Happy

RE: Wrong Market

"Apple product are bought by people who have no problem patching a firmware image, or finding buffer overflows in the baseband chip, because that's what you need to do to get things done on those devices."

Thats got to be a joke right ?

Apple products are generally bought by people who just want it to work, they want hand holding, they want it easy. Patching firmware is for those who want it to work properly (in there opinion) not really the average apple target audience.

I have a iPhone because work paid for it, i would replace it myself now if they took it off me because i like it but i'm under no illusions about some bits of if being CRAP.

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Eh?

As a UNIX specialist, experienced in using and maintaining Linux of various flavours, Windows since pre-98, BSD and almost every UNIX variant since the mid 1980's, as well as OS X both via the UNIX CL interface and the GUI, I should say you got your systems mixed up. Apple's strong point is exactly the reverse of your assertion. The others are notorious for the difficulties of maintenance and upgrade (unless you are some sort of nerd of the sort who still prefers to use a crystal radio set so that he knows just what is happening, build his own toaster so he can tinker to fix the toast-burning bug ...).

But then, you can not handle English either (hint, look up the difference between adjectives and adverbs and use them reliably).

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You sir...

...are a trolling muppet.

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hmmm ....

The thing about Apple products is generally they 'just work'. I know quite a few Apple product owners who are rather proud of how reliable their devices have been (including a couple of now non-Apple using graphic designers who got fed up with having to replace photo shop when ever they had to upgrade the OS). The key really behind Apple's success is the fact that their front ends generally are attractive and need no real skill to use, while behind the scenes they will just keep chugging away.

Hmm, feel rather dirty now having just defended Jobsian products considering I'm normally a critic of them.

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I thought

Apple "Just worked"...

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Heart

Isn't it obvious?

"Apple product are bought by people who have no problem patching a firmware image, or finding buffer overflows in the baseband chip, because that's what you need to do to get things done on those devices."

He's talking about jailbreaking iPhones. Isn't it obvious? The patching a firmware image is to get Cydia into it, and the overflowing the baseband chip is to get it unlocked for use on other carriers.

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FAIL

Too big, too lacking, too silly...

There, is that plain enough for you?

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Anonymous Coward

Excellent review

though I doubt your LW represents the common iPad buyer (mind you, the real Apple fanboi won't ever look at a reasonably useful netbook).

"daughter - coder, soon-to-be engineering grad student, and owner of an LED binary clock" How times have changed since I was getting my engineering degree - strictly no women and definitely not of the geeky type.

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Question :

Whould you inquire with your good lady wifeperson how she found the experience of reading from it for an extended period of time ? Would she consider reading a book for a few hours in a row, or is all she's seeing after an hour or so a colourful blur ?

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spreadsheets

She will no doubt be creating all her spreadsheets on a Kindle instead

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Best quote from PVPonline's Scott Kurtz

"Early adopters aren’t stupid. People who buy an iPad are not stupid. People who think the iPad is a waste of money are not stupid. Buying or not buying an iPad because of what people say is pretty stupid though. We’re all adults. If you can afford it and you want to buy one, get it."

The guy is usually an ass, but i've got to agree with him on this.

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Yaaaaaaaaawn!

Is anyone else getting bored to death by all this verbiage over a device that 95% of the world can't buy - and a larger proportion cares nothing about?

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Anonymous Coward

really?

If you find this so yarm-undicing why would you still go out of your way to read this article and then to moan about something you have no interest in.

Life? Get one?

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Joke

Already infected

Sorry, but your wife is already infected with the 'IT bug' - someone who judges screen size based on its suitability for complex spreadsheets is way beyond 'normal'. I suspect a significant proportion of the iPad's target market wouldn't be certain what a spreadsheet is.

Also, normal people point with their fingers. Reaching for a device in a different plane of reference and moving it to direct a remote cursor over the thing you wish to point to on a screen is a relatively abstract concept, but one that has become second nature to techie people. But one is truly lost to the disease when mousing feels 'normal' and directly pointing with your finger does not.

I agree about the smudges, though. I applied a matte film to my iPhone because I don't like to see fingerprints either, although I have an earlier version without the oleophobic screen. I'll reserve judgement on the iPad until I have a chance to try it for myself.

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D'oh

It's a tablet, not a laptop.

Silly woman.

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Um

Why is the beancounting wife of a techie hack more of a "normal human being" than the 300,000 that went out and bought this thing on Saturday?

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Boffin

because...

she's part of the ~6 billion people that DIDN'T buy one on Saturday :-)

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because ....

299,500 of them were fanbois and the other 500 were reporters ?

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Brutus

By that reckoning, nobody who ever buys anything is a "normal human being", since the chances are more people didn't buy whatever it was than did.

@AC - no. Just no.

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Happy

Reg is an education

Another word added to my vocabulary to add to Mongling - Bloviatory.

Basically verbal diarrhoea - an excessive use of wordage where one word would suffice; overuse of hyperbole; windbaggery.

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Idiots

who think a iSlab thingy is a TFT backlit display is an "e-book" reader..

Clearly they have never seen e-ink and have no idea what a proper e-book is. I assume Apple hope to sell them one of these before they do discover the difference (if they can still see that is).

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Unslippifying?

You know that lightly sticky one side paper masking tape you get for household painting jobs? You stick it over the places that you don't want to paint on (e.g. wall light switch panels), so that you're painting onto the tape instead of onto the protected surface? How would that stuff do for making the back of the iPad a non-slippery surface? And it's cheap enough to be disposable. You might want to use regular sticky tape (Scotch/Sellotape) for a border around a sort of panel of the paper tape, to keepsit in place.

Then again, if you can have a netbook... (and have small-keyboard-compatible hands...) And remember, from Windows Vista on you have speech recognition (instead of keyboard?) if you don't mind waiting for it to catch up. (More RAM wouldn't hurt... many netbooks are "limited" to 2 GB plus maybe ReadyBoost on a higher-grade SD card.)

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liquid rubber solution

There's a rather neat product out there called Plastidip, it's like liquid rubber, you can spray or paint it onto almost any object (or dip the object if you have a large enough tin) to create a rubber-like surface (more than one coat helps), great for helping to protect/waterproof things and ideal for adding extra grip to tools/gadgets etc.

And if you find you don't like the end result you can simply peel it off.

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Happy

LW

I couldn't help but read LW as Little Woman lol

I'd like the author to refer to his wife as such and see how a NHB would react... :P

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Stop

Nice toy

But too expensive for all its really going to be used for by joe public.

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