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 …
I laugh at the fanboys trying desperately to discredit this article / LW.
The New York Times- like every other printed paper, desperate for the success of the iPad so they can sell an app and make some money online. Hardly unbiased from the outset.
Wrong market seconded
The only valid part of that review I suppose was the negative that it is a little heavy for long periods of reading. Something by the way I find with larger hard backs.
Other than that, the review seemed to be comparing the iPad with a laptop/netbook again. It isn't one. If you need to create lots of high end spreadsheets use a laptop.
Saying that, she didn't actually try using the spreadsheet functionality. She simply stated she wouldn't like the idea of it. So again, hardly a fair review.
Yes I still want one because it's shiny and I like shiny things. :)
Seems to me...
...that your daughter understood what the iPad is much better than your wife. It is NOT a laptop, Kindle, desktop or smartphone replacement, it's a different kind of thing entirely.
But what is it for?
***"It <iPad> is NOT a laptop, Kindle, desktop or smartphone replacement, it's a different kind of thing entirely."***
But what purpose does it serve? Is there anything that can be done on an iPad that cannot be done quicker or with greater ease on a laptop, netbook or smartphone?
Re: Seems to me...
"It is NOT a laptop, Kindle, desktop or smartphone replacement, it's a different kind of thing entirely."
Um... so what is it for then?
...so what's it for then?
Think of it as a Kindle Plus. Plus lots. It's a primarily a media consumption device but one you can also do a bit of work on at a pinch, just as a smart phone (any smart phone) is primarily a phone but you can also write two or three line replies to urgent emails if you're away from your normal computer.
It's a big screen PSP or DSi or portable DVD player replacement when you want to keep the kids occupied in the car, or yourself occupied on a plane. It's a digital picture frame when you want to show your grandma photos of her great-granchildren in her hospital bed. It's an electronic cookbook to use in the kitchen. If you're a creative type, it's a digital portfolio to show your clients over coffee. If you've seen a film like Avatar, it's the first generation (of many) that show what computing devices in the future will be like.
what it is for
> "It is NOT a laptop, Kindle, desktop or smartphone
> replacement, it's a different kind of thing entirely."
> Um... so what is it for then?
Errr... You know the way you take a netbook around the house, do your emails, browse while sitting on the bog etc? Well, that sort of stuff I guess... Except, sans proper keyboard, making posting unimportant comments like this slightly more difficult. Or anything else involving rapid input of text.
But ... it will sell... I'm sure it will sell...
An over priced gameboy?
Not good enough
It was while consuming media that she decided it was rubbish. I consume media on my netbook, in case you were wondering how I ever watch DVDs etc. I can even watch movies whilst taking a dump - I position the base on the side of the bath and tilt the screen to the required angle and look through the device to the movie beyond. I wash my hands before taking it to the kitchen to use as a cook book, obviously. Did you know you can use a netbook as a cook book? You simply place the device on the worktop and tilt the screen to the desired angle. It's really easy. It just works. Did you know you can show photographs on something with a keyboard? You don't need to wait for the devices of the future - it's all possible right now.
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.
"If you've seen a film like Avatar, it's the first generation that show what computing devices in the future will be like."
No it isn't. "What devices will be like in the future" is a staple of Sci-Fi that goes back to at least the 1950s. What I want computing devices to be like is this:
C: *beebly burp* - Yes, Captain Kirk?
CK: Perform all manner of accomplished wizardry based solely on my voice command,
specifically: Execute evasive pattern Beta Delta, go to Warp 10 for half an hour,
then make me an Arcturan sandwich - no pickles - and transfer me to the planet you
will find when you leave orbit. Also - I'd like a book to read: The Great Gatsby please.
Could you leave it on my bed. Thanks.
No bulky screen. No fucking typing. No need to purchase an app from the app store. No need to buy into someone else's world-vision. No need to understand anything but your native language.
Now /that's/ computing.
Actually, Apple is working on that
Apple (and everyone else) are working with software companies on VRT (Voice Recognition Technology) and doing it at a blinding pace. Current developments will use speech pattern analysis rather than word-for-word translation. The brain does not do word-for-word but develops pattern recognition, thus you are constantly interrupted by brainiac co-workers who finish the sentence.
Also very interestingly, this technology is more fuzzy logic than simple ones and zeros.
Here is a free app for the Ipad. I can't comment how/if it works well or not.
If LW says that the iPad screen is too small to do any real work on, is she really going to think all that much of a netbook screen that's maybe an inch bigger on the diagonal?
Sounds like she'd be much better off with a proper laptop than a netbook.
Good point on the e-book usage
Okay she may not be a NHB when it comes to the spreadsheet work, but she was target market with the book reading and it sounds like it's going to be problematic for many. Book reading for a lot of people depends on eyesight condition, the use of glasses or not, comfortable handling of the book, and comfortable reading distance.
I've been hearing big claims that the iPad is going to change the book industry overnight and the death of the paper book is forthcoming. Frankly, no it isn't. Like all other e-readers it sounds like it is just not as convenient and comfortable as a paper book, and it's certainly not as cheap! Besides that, with a cheap paperback you can chuck it in a bag when travelling without a care about slinging the bag about or having it handled by bag throwers at airports, or have to take the thing out of the bag at security. Having to charge the thing to read a book when travelling can be awkward if you're on long flights, trains and so on, and you're not in business class with a power socket. Having to put the thing away half an hour before landing because of "no electronic devices during takeoff and landing" would be a pain. I wouldn't want to read on an iPad in the bath either!
It's probably a good way of reading a book on an electronic device, but a replacement for the paperback it is not. Nor is the kindle or any other similar device.
I've never known an NHB.
But I like LW's review and your translation thereof. I may still check out an iPad at the store, but I like the review.
Can't wait for me to get her an iPad (she's so disinterested in Computers in general she'd never even consider buying one for herself). I bought her a Netbook. It's stuck in a cupboard somewhere. Why? It takes so long to boot, so long to get through all the security/virus updates that she wants to throw it out the window in frustration. All this to check her email, facebook, surf the web etc. My iPod Touch? Too small. iPad? Perfect size, and instant on. Done deal.
But it would have been nice to have a cam for Skyping.
I still just don't understand why people keep trying to think it's more than a media consumption device. It must be because they WANT it to be some magical net/note/laptop slaying device, and they're just disappointed/bitter it's not.
No, it's because Apple has billed it as a magical, revolutionary device. They realize that they would have sold less had they presented it as a 500 dollar media consumption device
Re netbook in the cupboard
If you use the Windows "Hibernate" function instead of cold booting, you get started faster. Or use "Standby" if you have modern power management and nightly recharging - and grudge the hibernation file - or if you use Linux instead. I get a couple of days standby and about an hour video playing from SD card on mine between charges - make of that what you like.
Too long to boot etc.?
Simple fix. Install something GNU/Linux, being careful to do a reasonably minimal installation (at least initially). Power-on to desktop in 30s is fairly easily possible, counting time taken to apply fingers to keyboard for login purposes.
And, er… virus updates? Really? I would have thought that you'd want to get rid of them…
Anyway, about this iPad thing being a media consumption device: call it an iPod Max.
Who boot's a netbook?
Seriously - close the lid and let it sleep. If you don't use open it again for an hour or two, it'll hibernate itself, so it might take 30-45 seconds to come back up, but shutting it down entirely? I don't think my netbook has deliberately "shut down" in 3 or 4 months. (Though it did get 3 reboots in March, due to 2 "out of band" sets of Windows updates, and the regular Patch Tuesday version).
If you insist on making your equipment jump through hoops that it doesn't need to, and that you don't actually want it to, you're going to be disappointed. But you should blame the equipment.
The lack of mouse and keyboard is an issue. You are better off with a £400 notebook PC with a small travel mouse.
I wouldn't use it for calls either. Too big.
As other have noted, the only criticism I see as valid is the weight of the iPad, and the associated problems of using it as reading device. Slippery? Get a cover (Apple has already one, more will follow). Working with spreadsheets? First try it. After all, Apple has made a special version of Numbers that takes the peculiarities of the device into account. Then criticize again if it's really not working.
However, to put the weight and reading problems into perspective: There are numerous physical books out there that have such problems, too. Novels nowadays (at least the ones I read) are long, and heavy buggers as a hardcover, with a weight in the same range as the iPad (and beyond). Printing and typesetting sometimes makes reading hard, now that I come into the age where I require reading glasses of my own. Books need to propped open, generating cramps in my hand, if they're not made properly (coincidentally, that's a problem I encounter more with pocket books). In other words: Yes, the iPad may not be the ideal reading device. But neither are books per se. And the iPad is not just a reader.
missing the point
You have totally missed the point of the review. This is the opinion of a normal person. Who are you to tell us that her reactions are wrong? She is the target market for this thing, after all.
Not a NHB
A NHB does not require the use of complex spreadsheets on their portable media companion device. No more would one ask their cell phone to do this than an iPad, though one might simply expect a much more convenient VIEWING, and light editing of such a spreadsheet, where on the iphone you would not even consider it, heavy work should never even be a question on a $500 device. If you need power AND portable, even a netbook won't cut it (no video makes presentations dull...) you need a Macbook Air or equivalent full notebook.
The TARGET for this thing is the person relaxing on their couch, OFF work, enjoying news, a book, a video, catching up with e-mail, updating face book, cataloging new photos, making a slide show, or just doing casual or hobby research. handing this device to LW, who is clearly all about business, was simple inappropriate. This device is NOT targeted at her. Simply because she cares not about the technology inside does not mean she's a candidate to USe it. Bad form indeed.
Begging the question
"A NHB does not require the use of complex spreadsheets on their portable media companion device."
Does an NHB require a portable media companion device at all? The "TARGET" you describe is looking for a toy and not a tool. The question to be seen will be how many folks will want another toy and at what price. It seems, to me, that it is far easier to justify an upgrade than an addition. In the long run it will take a fair bit of revolution and magic to change the marginal uptake history of tablets in general, regardless of capability.
So then the actual cost of this device has to include all the other bits of crap you need to make it comfortable (are the covers free?) because Apple, as always, favoured style over substance.
You are saying spend $500 (plus) to learn new ways of doing things rather than get a tool that fits the way you currently do things.
At best this is a toy. Its a gadget for people with more money than they know what to do with. It replaces nothing, it just makes doing lots of things you currently do slightly different. Yes books need to be propped open but if you have a cheap paperback do you care if you break the spine? Try dropping an iPad in the bath. In fact, drop a book and an iPad on the pavement and see which is still readable. Would you sit on the beach reading your iPad all day?
I am not saying the iPad is an inherently bad , it has its place alongside lots of other toys and gadgets.
It is just not revolutionary. It meets none of *my* needs and none of the needs of anyone I know with the exception of 1 person who wants it simply because its an Apple product. Anecdotal, but I am not trying to prove any scientific points here.
I have one and I agree with her comments regarding books, I much prefer the kindle when it comes to book reading.
I'd probably consider buying one...
1. Locked device with wonderful DRM features
2. OS won't service user apps with background multitasking (ok this may change in 4.0)
3. Heh, writing user apps ... .... .... That App store business. :(
4. This is version 1.0 of the device.
I said this before... these devices will sell even though they get a big boo from me because of (1)
4. == +1
After a long hard day slaving over a hot desktop computer, I've no interest in waiting about for yet ANOTHER machine to boot up just to read my email or surf for pr0n.
However, not being one of the lunatic fringe (read: "early adopters"), I'll not be buying version 1.0. I'll allow others to smooth off the rough edges.
Paris, as she has no rough edges.
Different kind of thing entirely...
"...that your daughter understood what the iPad is much better than your wife. It is NOT a laptop, Kindle, desktop or smartphone replacement, it's a different kind of thing entirely."
Sure, but it's still a computer. And if it is your computer, you should truly own it.
Down with locked devices and all that sort of thing.
The iPad has absolutely no point. It's a toy.
I think it's just a toy for rich people who don't have anything better to do with their money.
Think about it.
If I want to do some actual work, I'll use a PC, laptop, or netbook. They're optimized for that sort of thing.
If I want to use the web, I'll use a PC if I'm at home (while sitting in my comfy office chair), or a netbook if I'm out and about. My netbook can connect via WiFi or Ethernet, and if I want to use a cell network, there's a plug in adapter for that.
If I want to access media, my PC and Netbook have clients for all media types. ALL of them, including Flash Video. The iPad is rather limited in that regard.
If I want to read a book, I can do so on my PC or Netbook, but I happen to have a Sony Reader at home, which has a convenient USB interface for transferring files as well as a slot for an SD card (also good for transferring and storing files). My Sony Reader's battery lasts a WEEK. It's light and comfortable, and doesn't cause iStrain (ha ha) because it's got an e-ink display.
The iPad isn't very good at anything. In every arena, competing tools are better suited to the task. Cheaper, too.
I don't understand why anyone would buy one of these.
Unless they're rich and have money burning a hole in their pocket.
Toy for rich people?
Well Phil, I'm not rich but trust me, I've spent FAR more money on far more frivolous gadgets. £400 is nothing. Hell, I've just spent more than on a coffee maker when I've got a perfectly good kettle in the kitchen!
The iPad looks like it actually be quite good fun, and a good taste of what the future of computing will be like. Tell me honestly that you think the devices we'll all be using in 5 or 10 years' time will be more like today's crappy netbooks or the iPad and we can come back then and compare notes.
I might even start writing software for it, then I can write it off against tax. I'm sorry you can't afford one now but once I've made my fortune I'll gladly buy you one so you can see what you've been missing out on.
Well, A/C, actually I just spent 900 bucks on a PC upgrade...
...So it's not that I can't AFFORD an iPad, it's just that I can't figure out why I should bother.
Incidentally, for 900 bucks, I just bought two computer cases (one to transfer my old motherboard in to use as a security system controller), two upgraded power supplies, eight gig of ram for my new primary computer, motherboard, parts, disk, etc, etc.
It's like this. I spend my money on machines that enhance my capabilities. My new PC, with its 500 or 600 GB of disk, its eight GB of ram, its NVidia accelerated graphics, and its many media adapters lets me build virtually any sort of software or website I might wish to. It's not just a tool; it's an entire machinist's shop.
I have a cute little netbook I bought for 300 bucks a while ago. It has a full-featured Java development system on it, along with database support and a bunch of other hackery stuff I put in. It's running the Ubuntu netbook remix, configured to show a normal Linux desktop. I can do anything I like on that little thing; it's got a GB of ram and plenty of disk too.
What can you do on your iPad that I can't do on my netbook or PC? Anything? I thought not.
And as for the future, people have been proclaiming the death of WIMP (Windows, icons, mouse, pointer) for decades. Nothing better has ever been invented, and nothing better will ever likely BE invented. It's already perfect.
Think about it. Have knives changed in the past 10,000 years? Materials have changed, and the shape, but overall, conceptually, has the concept of "knife" really changed?
How about roof shingles? Or your toilet? Or your sink? What about shoes? And hats? Styles come and go, but your basic hat does the same thing it always did.
Once something is good enough, people stick with it forever.
Missing the point
"What can you do on your iPad that I can't do on my netbook or PC?"
Ah! We're getting to the nub of the crux of the matter, and the difference in opinion between us. To me, the question isn't *what* I do, but *how* I do it.
Clearly, there's very little I can do with an iPod that I can't already do with 6 or 7 computers of various types, 3 phones, and an assortment of gadgets such as satnavs, digital photo frames, cameras, games consoles, TVs, PVRs etc. There are also plenty of things I can do with those gadgets (take photos, edit video, play DVDs, write software, etc.) that I can't do with an iPad, certainly not yet.
That doesn't stop me wanting an iPad though, or suspecting that once I do I'll end up using it in preference to my other gadgets a lot of the time, just because it's better and more convenient in many situations.
It's exactly like toilets and sinks, yes. Good example. Not that many years ago people were perfectly happy with an outside privvy and a tin bath in the yard, so what's the point of an ensuite bathroom? (Hint: the answer has nothing to do with technical specs, such as how many gallons of water the WC flushes or whether the pipes are made of lead or copper, and everything to do with the user experience.)
Your analogy machine is broken
The analogy is NOT to an outside privvy and a tin bath in the yard.
The analogy is between a modern American Standard toilet and the original flush toilets built by John Crapper in the 1800's. Crapper's toilets had an elevated water reservoir and flushing was done by pulling a chain, but otherwise they worked EXACTLY the same as a modern toilet. They had the same exact kind of seat as well. They even SOUNDED the same.
Once society perfected the toilet, that's how toilets were made from that point onward. The toilet problem was solved, and society moved on to solve new problems.
Note that indoor baths haven't changed much over the centuries either. They're still usually made of porcelain covered steel, they still usually have the same shape and they still have faucets that supply hot and cold water.
Interesting note: The best, most expensive bathtubs are designed to look EXACTLY like the claw-footed soaking tubs of the late 1800's.
But congratulations for missing my point entirely. Let me restate it.
If you want to access the web, do programming, or word processing, or any of the other things we generally do with a computer, the cheapest netbook available will do these things BETTER and MORE CONVENIENTLY than your silly iPad. The WIMP interface is superior to Apple's silly finger movements; it's more precise and effective by far. Good luck doing something as simple as typing an email! Or chatting in IRC (Oh, wait, the iPad doesn't DO that, does it?). Your graphical keyboard doesn't offer ANY tactile stimulation to help you type. You'll be lucky to do 5 words a minute. I can do 80 wpm on my Netbook. I can type faster than I can TALK.
And it's highly disingenious for you to formulate such a long list of devices. The iPad cannot perform the tasks of even half of your list. It's not magic, man. It's just a silly little tablet PC.
Oh, and using a single-tasking operating system? In 2010? Party like it's 1989! No flash support, no Java support... Seriously, what GOOD is it? It's just a toy for people who don't know what to spend their money on.
Do as you wish, but admitting to yourself that it's a trinket is the first step to achieving enlightenment. Say it with me: "It's just a toy... You bought it because it was Teh Shiny."
Admit it! You'll feel better!
"£400 is nothing. Hell, I've just spent more than on a coffee maker when I've got a perfectly good kettle in the kitchen!"
You are rich.
Mean 2009 salary for UK workers was around £19000 which gives an after tax take home of about £1200. Once you factor in mortgage and utility bills, food, travel to work and clothing, most will have about £100 a month disposable income so you spent four times this on a coffee maker.
Now, as for the iCrap^H iPad you are probably the perfect target market. Someone with high disposable income who favours pointless gadgets over useful things.
This is not meant as an insult of either you or the iPad btw, its just how it is.
The past of computing
A/C, why do you think nobody talks these days about the tablet pc being the future of computing when that claim is made for the ipad so very often? Do people have such short memories, or is the hype such that they think Steve Jobs invented this magical, revolutionary form factor?
Incidentally, if you can only think of 3 phones or 7 computers which have the functionality of the iphone, then you need to look at more non-apple products. There's some great stuff out there, and cheap too, for people with open minds.
iPad = iPoop
Poop old tech from apple. Rubbish the invented years ago and want to make a quick buck on before they drip feed you yet another useless medioca-tech-ware.
Too expeisive, too underpowered, too basic, too little, too late.
Ergonomics flaws (buy a sturdy coffee table)
It's not a productivity device, and it's fine, because after all the pricing is acceptable, but as the review points out, there are serious ergonomic flaws (covered also at http://www.bealoud.com/technology/ipad-hammock/ a must read for hammock owners :) ) that make the iPad experience less magical than expected.
What exactly is the Ipads target market?
Beyond trendy types and fanbois? I'd be interested to know?
Liked the idea, then didn't
I liked the idea of Normal Human Being[tm], and then I didn't, when I realised how insufferably patronising it was.
The trotted out NHB[tm] is an expert on stuff most techies never even heard about, so the label implies we're all somehow special when in the greater scheme of things we're far from that. We're just specialists in our very own niche.
Like, oh, printers were back in the day. They might talk your ears off about movable type all day, but when all's said and done it's only newspapers and books being printed. Without something to print... well, what non-printing-expert wants to have a book case full of books about type, typography, and so on? I as a ``techie'' quite like typography, but then I like unix, which quite unlike some other niches comes with a background in and strong affinity with language and the written word. But I digress.
The point is, we're not that special, and we ought to stop pretending. Instead of the german DAU (meaning stupidest user to cater for), or as here NHB, one could say perhaps Non-Specialist User (NSU), where specialist means IT specialist. As it's our jargon a bit of chauvinism isn't by definition bad. As long as it's not deliberately-but-implicitly patronizing. We're really not that special, except perhaps in the short bus sense. Self-deludingly so.
It also means the end of intuitivity. We can gear up interfaces for the audience (like blender is for artists, meaning that the interface can positively bewilder techies), but we have to stop looking for ``intuitive like a nipple'' (``no it isn't'' sayeth the obligatory peergroup token mom) type interfaces. We have to take our audience seriously, and if we can cater both for beginning and advanced users both, fine, but we should not eschew building interfaces that work best after a bit of training. After all, expressing your thoughts in writing works much better after learning grammar, and that's only the beginning.
For the training courses will pop up anyway, but because ``everything is intuitive, no training needed'' --supposedly-- they are needlessly patronising and in fact turning people away. That damages the empowering power (pun? what pun?) of our works.
I think that's the most important lesson to be learned here. Also note that after a bit of training ``the user'' will have less excuse to gratuitously toss words of worship around like saying CPU when the whole case plus its magic content is ment. That just confuses things, especially for literal minded techies, and fuels an entire industry of first line support and all its associated horrors -- on both sides. We, techies and users both, really must do better than that.
for the newspaper reader I can roll up, smash annoying mosquito that buzzes me on my patio, unroll it and continue reading.
the Tablet has been around for ages.....
.....so this will only appeal to Apple (i hate "Gates") types.
Sorry but the NHB doesnt care about any of it. It's a big mobile, too small laptop!
Only the gullible enough to buy into the hype will be interested, and if you read the myriad of reviews out there, you can see the evidence is there to support the notion.
Remember humans are sheep, you could sell a turd to them if badged with a "luxury" brand.
Why oh why?
The only reason I can think of having an iPad is because I want one - not that I need it! It is just a craving - rather like when I bought a netbook since I thought that I needed this (and I didn't). I can actually see no need for the iPad and, yes, it is a cool product but, no, it has no real use in the home or office. Why would you use it at home? To browse while watching telly? Er, then why are you watching telly.... Would you really watch any content on a screen that size for a long period of time??? Come on, you are all just turned on at the thought that, for a short period of time, you can hold the iPad and pretend that you are Steve Jobs..... Get a life people, go for a walk and try and remember what your NHB partner looks like.... :)