back to article Steve Jobs uncloaks the 'iPad'

Steve Jobs has announced Apple's long-awaited tablet - now officially named the iPad, as The Reg had predicted - at a media circus Wednesday morning in the 757-seat Novellus Theater at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The Reg will offer its considered analysis of what Jobs called "a truly magical and …

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  1. Jolyon

    All the way up to 91?

    What TF does

    "It looks like ... [an] iPhone - although with a more rectangular aspect ratio"

    mean?

    The answer is none. None more right-angled.

  2. Roby
    WTF?

    Is it just me?

    Meh... it looks like a giant iPhone. Not sure what I was expecting but... I just don't like the look of it. I can't quite put my finger on it. Other Apple products I admit look stylish and great design, but this looks ugly for some reason.

    And the size? I guess this is filling the netbook market, but not many people carry one of those around. In my opinion the market for such a device has to be something you can carry with you easily. The iPhone could do so much and fit (just) in your pocket. My dad has a netbook, and if he wants to take it anywhere my mum has to put it in her handbag! I just can't imagine people carrying these around. And furthermore, they don't need to.

    You don't need a laptop or netbook with you at all times. If you're a business person and you need it with you, you'll have a suitcase or bag with a proper laptop. If you aren't, it's not worth always carrying a large device around. So if you're only using it say, at home, occasionally taking it somewhere, but not really "on the move", then what's the point? Might as well get something larger that can do more (and that isn't heavily restricted).

    Who knows, perhaps it will do very well and be the next must-have item, but I honestly think even if I was a millionaire and money was no object I wouldn't bother with one, so I can't imagine why anyone would want one, except to fawn over as a fan. Anyway, rant over.

  3. Dick Emery
    FAIL

    What no OLED?

    FFS at least put a decent display on the thing.

  4. Fractured Cell
    Pint

    TBH, Rather disapointed.

    Most of the concepts that the iFans made were better.

    I was expecting it to at least run a buggered version of OSX, not a slightly better version of the iOS.

    Watched the Keynote with bated breath, but when the Moses Tablet™ was unveiled, all I could say was: Thats crap! Its just a massive iPhone!"

    Very dissapointed, was actually expecting something useable.

    (now to go drown myself. (With large amounts of ethanol, of course.))

  5. Magnus_Pym

    It's the App store stoopid.

    Sod the hardware. It's what people will find to do with it after it is released that matters. The iPhone was just an expensive phone until people started writing apps to do weird stuff.

    Even I can think of some. Who will be the first to bring out a multiplayer shoot'em up game that has an overview on the 24" monitor and first person view on each players the 10" iPad. 10" screen makes a far better satnav. I bet they use them in the apple stores as the current hand held (iPac) I thing is crap. I bet media types will love them. Probably load them up with a presentation and courier them to the customer or some such seemingly wasteful crap.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Bizarre conflict

    Apple now has two competing "operating systems" for high resolution devices. OS X has nice overlapping windows, dialog boxes, drop-down menus, etc. and the iPad... doesn't. This is not an advance in UI design, it's a regression. We're back to the pre-Macintosh days, where apps took up the whole screen and displayed "whatever." Not cool.

    What Apple should have been doing is merging the iPhone OS features *into* OS X. Make a mini-MacBook with a touchscreen, GPS, 3G, and compass that's able to run iPhone apps.

    The iPad is not a bad device. But at this point, everybody knows you can make a cheap tiny computer with great battery life for a few hundred dollars. With this being possible, why would anyone want to settle for an enormous iPod touch?

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    1. Gareth Gouldstone
      Happy

      Closet case, I fear

      You know that the most rabidly homophobic people are closet gays?

      You must be a closet fanboi.

      Otherwise, why bother to comment?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just a sec

    If I remember right it was all the rumour sites and el reg among others who whipped themeselves and everyone else into a frenzy about this. Not actually apple. So what did you want? Cures for cancer, space travel for all, free beer for a year?

    iPad is the next evolutionary step up from the iphone and ipod just like the imac and macbooks were from their predecessors. I guess you dont get it. You dont like it, dont buy it. But dont whine ok.

    1. whiteafrican
      FAIL

      @Boxer

      Lol - typical fanboi response. Apple deliver a disappointing product, so you blame the media and the critics. Meanwhile, all you fanbois (both reporters like Brian X Chen at Wired, and average posters on sites like this one) were raving about this iPad before it was announced. Then they announced it, and it was basically a bloated version of an existing product that brings nothing new to the table, and costs a lot. So now you all look a bit silly. Deal with it.

      What did people want?

      - Multitasking.

      - A decent OS.

      - An actual useful way to input data (like handwriting recognition, for example. If you're going to point to the optional keyboad, I'm going to point you to a netbook that comes with a keyboard and does more stuff than the iPad and costs less). You can't touch-type on a virtual keyboard.

      - Flash.

      - Java.

      - Expansion slots.

      - Tethering.

      - A camera.

      - A decent sized hard drive.

      - A lower price (i.e. minus the fanboi tax).

      - The ability to use a Wacom stylus in Photoshop would be nice.

      - A device you aren't embarrassed to mention, in case people think you're talking about a feminine hygene product.

      Apple failed to deliver on any of these, even though they're available on lots of other machines, so the existing tech is quite cheap. Instead, they gave us a bloated iPod touch. With books. Oh goody. Therefore, we will rightly point out that this product is made of Fail.

      @El Reg - Can we please have a "MADE OF FAIL" button, because the standard "FAIL" button just doesn't seem to get the point across.

      1. Jolyon

        Made of arsewater

        I don't want multitasking to any greater extent than playing music while browsing.

        I do want a decent OS but I suspect that's actually what has been provided.

        I don't need to be able to touch type on it and don't want flash, java, a camera or more storage.

        I can afford one and as a grown up I don't feel the need to be embarrassed myself by the name a company chooses for its product.

        I don't claim my requirements to be those of every other potential purchaser of the thing, that'd just make me look like a spoiled, stupid berk but for me it looks like something that'd get some use around the house.

        1. whiteafrican
          FAIL

          @Jolyon

          Ah, the classic fanboi response, "Apple didn't give us [feature X] therefore [feature X] is unnecessary. So sayeth the Jobs."

          You don't *want* multitasking? I mean, I can understand you saying you don't need it very often, but you'd be hard pressed to deny that it is useful to be able to switch between apps without having to exit them, or use multiple apps at once.

          As for a decent OS, most people want an OS that allows them to do more than just surf the internet and play with apps that are mostly novel timewasters (somehow I suspect iBeer and iFart apps on this thing are going to get old very fast). Sure, some people might spend a lot of time on facebook, but they'll occasionally want to write letters, take lecture notes, make spreadsheets you know, just write stuff down. Windows (and even OSX) offer software that is infinitely superior to the AppStore equivalents when it comes to any of these things. Who knows, people might even want to do some Photoshop or Dreamweaver stuff, like you could do on, say, an ordinary laptop. They might also want an OS that isn't COMPLETELY DEPENDEDNT ON ITUNES. If the iPad is going to be used on the go, as a netbook repalcement, you surely want it to be an independent device, not one that you have to hook up to another computer to put new content on it?!

          I can understand that you don't want to be able to type much. You are, after all, a fanboi, so I will take it as read that you don't intend to actually do any work anyway. As for not wanting java and flash, again, you're a fanboi, so you probably don't care about the parts of the internet that His Stevieness hasn't seen fit to include in your universe (the other 95% of us quite like having access to the whole internet though). Frankly, even I am not sure about wanting a camera on this thing - Apple haven't managed to put a decent camera on any device yet, so you may be right about that. But seriously, you don't *want* more storage? Why the heck not? Are you storage-averse? Do you get a kick out of having to refresh the stuff on your device all the time? Why on earth would you not want a decent amount of storage? This is supposed to be an entertainement device. That means 80Gb minimum, preferrably around the 250Gb mark. 16Gb?! on a device that size? seriously?

          I'm glad you don't feel the need to be embarassed - but you have to admit it's a really poor choice of name. It's not a good sign that the internet is awash with tampon jokes before the product even hits the shelves.

          I do agree with your last comment though, it does look like "something that'd get some use around the house." The trouble is, when it comes to work, the iPad is clearly going to finish second to my laptop, when it comes to tv, the iPad is clearly going to finish second to, well, my tv, and when it comes to games, the iPad obviously going to finish second to my console (probably third, actually, as my laptop creams the iPad on graphics). When I want to call people, I have an actual phone for that... So while the iPad may get some use, it'll never get enough use to justify actually buying one.

      2. Ivan Headache

        there isn't one because

        You would use it on every single item written about Apple just so you say Cube, Apple TV and Pippin.

        1. whiteafrican
          Stop

          @Ivan Headache

          In my defence, I'm not criticising everything Apple has done - the iPod is great (I own two). My girlfriend has an iPhone, which isn't for me, but she likes it and I can see why. It is a good phone.

          But this tablet thing is just stupid. You get fanbois lining up to say "It'll be amazing because the iPod/iPhone is amazing..." but it won't, becuase there are obvious differences, and some of us would like to point that out. The fanbois also seem to think Apple is invincible and never makes mistakes, but it isn't and it does and again, some of us would like to point that out (if it's all the same to you).

          Lastly, you left Macbook Air and the Newton off your list. I'd throw in the Lisa as well, but although that was practically the definition of Made of Fail from a commercial perspective, it did bring the GUI into mainstream computing, so we can all be thankful for that.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        @ whiteafrican

        Try reading first it helps. I dont remember apple saying they were making a netbook. In fact apple are notorious for not telling you much about what they are up to. So apple bring out a product thats not a netbook and you then go into blubber mode with classics like

        "The ability to use a Wacom stylus in Photoshop would be nice."

        did i miss something in the release for the ipad?

        and finally

        "Apple failed to deliver on any of these, even though they're available on lots of other machines."

        Then go buy one of them.

        1. whiteafrican
          FAIL

          @Boxer

          Dude, get a grip. Nobody's blubbering. As for reading, not everything that anyone says in a post has to be a direct response to something you said first. We're allowed to introduce new ideas to the debate... novel, I know... The reason Netbooks are relevant here is that they are a competing product (given the price bracket and the fact that they're both pitched at people looking for a simple, internet-friendly device with a mid-size screen). Therefore, a comparison between the two is valid. It's a pathetic argument to say, "Apple weren't trying to create [X] and therefore you're not allowed to compare the iPad to [X]."

          As for the Wacom comment, I was just saying that it would be nice to have a useful drawing app and a useful input method. Axiotron actually makes an OSX tablet (perfectly legally) that runs Photoshop and has Wacom support. If the iPad tablet had that, loads of artists would buy it. Heck, I'd probably buy two. If it had a pressure-sensitive stylus, the iPad would quite possibly be an artist's dream. Instead, they gave us an app that lets you finger-paint. But that's Apple for you - treat the fanbois like the children they are...

          The final point you appear to be making is that you would prefer me to purchase a competing product, rather than simply pointing out the areas in which the competing products are superior to the iPad. That is illogical and absurd - I don't want either a netbook or an iPad - but if I want to speculate as to which I would buy if I had to choose, and compare the waeknesses/strengths of the products, then I will. What would you prefer? Do you want to ban people from commenting on forums unless they have purchased the product in question? Or do you just want to ban people from criticising the work of his Stevefulness?

  9. Piro

    Microsoft has a chance

    .. Because Courier looks approximately a million times better than this, and surely can't be less functional, and in a much better form factor

    1. Jolyon

      Apples and oranges?

      I'm not sure they're really competing - not for my cash at least.

      Courier seems to be about input and organisation where the iPad is targetting browsing and grazing.

      I'm not sure I'd want to read a book on either but I definitely wouldn't want to be holding two screens to do it. On the other hand if I was porting a corporate application interface I'd want pen input and connectivity.

      The iPad might replace my TV, stereo, DS and photo album; Courier would step in for the work laptop, diary, notepad etc

      Of course MS may well have other tablet designs in development - Gates was pretty upbeat about the concept a while ago and they've never abandoned it.

    2. kiwistu
      Thumb Up

      Courier for the win?

      The first photos and specs of the Courier made it sound very promising and now it looks better than ever. Sinnead O'Connor's album " I do not want what I cannot have" seems to be the inspiration for Apple's philosophy - "you will not want what we choose not to let you have", but I think that it's just possible the exclusionary control-mania at Cupertino might have gone too far this time. The Wired.com article on why the 10 most glaring omssions of the iPad are actually all masterstrokes of genius is hilarious, but there are many articles popping up in non tech media all over the web suggesting that perhaps the Emperor might not have quite as much on as everybody previously thought. I hope that MS capitalises on this by working to make sure Courier lives up to the potential promised in those early shots/spec.s

  10. KeithSloan
    Thumb Down

    Sorry Steve has lost his touch - iPad does not hit the mark

    I might have considered the iPad if I was traveling a lot i.e. spending hours on planes, trains etc. But the deal breakers for me are

    1) No flash support - I make that about 70-80% of the web sites I access unusable.

    2) No webcam for skype - If I was traveling I would want to video conference with the family at home.

    Also not sure about having an on-screen keyboard - the jury is still out for me on that one.

    Plus given to amuse myself on long journeys I would want access to Shogi/Go/Chess programs and all the decent ones are PC only. I think I would go for a Netbook something like the Samsung N10

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      Number 2 is the deal breaker for me too.

      Frankly I'm an Apple early adopter. I have just about everything they have produced. In use in the house today we have MacPro, PowerMac, MacBooks, (White, Ally, Pro and Air...), All flavours of Airport from tit version to latest Express, Apple TV, 3 iPhones and about 7 iPods at last count.

      I was planning on standing in line for this one but without the camera for Skype it's a non starter for me. I will have to stick with Air for travel (400K air miles a year travel, not just down to the shops and back. That is where an Air becomes a computer of choice not the toy a lot of you detractors think), though I might just run to one to keep the kids happy when travelling in the car...

    2. James Butler

      Onscreen keyboard

      About that ... how will it be used?

      1) Holding the iPad like a "book" (whatever that is) and typing with one hand?

      2) Laying the iPad flat on some surface to use both hands ... and craning your head out over the screen so you can see what you are typing?

      3) Propping up the iPad on a pillow or something so you can see the screen, and then angling your arms weirdly so you can hit the virtual keys?

      4) Ignoring the onscreen keyboard completely and using the "keyboard dock" (sold separately) that Apple is so thoughtfully making available to those who like the device but still wish it had a real keyboard?

      Apple financial analysts everywhere are betting on #4 ... the one that's not included with the device.

  11. pedrodude
    Dead Vulture

    Spankies?

    Are we in fact 12 years old?

    Sigh...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Huh?

      What you talking about?

  12. M. Burns Silver badge
    Boffin

    Probably the most rational iPad review

    Is Samuel Axon review "The Anti-Hype: Why Apple’s iPad Disappoints" on mashup.com

    http://mashable.com/2010/01/27/apple-ipad-downsides/

  13. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Megaphone

    OK you lot

    I don't have any strong feelings one way or the other, despite being an Apple "fanboi", it looks a tad boring, but seems useful enough to some people I suppose.

    I am going to bookmark this thread, take a copy and check back in 18 months time, see what happened.

    I'll see you all on the flip-side in 18 months time! Good luck!

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    1. paulc
      Linux

      but does it run...

      "But the spec's look delightful. Display with good colour representation. Glossy display for easy cleaning."

      yup... would be great for running Linux on... :)

  15. Mark Serlin
    Grenade

    Z88!?!?

    yeah - I'd really LOVE to see you trying to read The Metro on that piece of turkey! Hahahaha!

  16. Parax
    Joke

    Dom Jolly,

    was initially chuffed, but was dissapointed to learn it had no phone.

  17. peter 67
    Paris Hilton

    iTap?

    iPad? iTap more like.

    Tap into the pockets of the Apple fanboi masses....

    It's a no for me. No OLED and no removable battery. sigh.....

    "Paris" cos we all know she likes to get tapped once in a while....

  18. RainForestGuppy

    Excellent

    It's Brilliant

    I can browse the net,

    Play movies,

    Play music

    Listen to the radio

    run app and games

    view pictures

    I'm talking about my 7 year old TC1000 tablet of course

  19. nanchatte
    Jobs Halo

    Appealing beyond the core audience, perhaps.

    I run a small private school in Tokyo and had a website design class with a student of mine today. She double clicked on the Safari icon at the start of the lesson and did an immediate and solid double take when the Apple page appeared.

    "Wow! That is THIN!" she said and immediately clicked on the full width banner of the edge-on, half-profile of the new iPad that dominated the screen.

    "I want one!" she said as she clicked on one of the details page and flipped through the gallery of photos.

    "It's like your iphone but the screen is huge. How can they make it so thin," she enthused.

    "It's amazing. Do you think they'll sell them in Japan. I'm going to get my mum to buy me one. She said she was going to get me a laptop. I think I want one of these."

    She is a 10 year old Japanese girl. FTW?

    1. Jolyon

      Yep, people want these

      One of the big UK football websites included a missive on their correspondence page today which signed off with a comment along the lines of the new Apple thing looking very desirable.

      If they can get the people who like Hello Kitty and Manchester United they can safely ignore the people who could discuss levels and types of multi-tasking in depth.

  20. Alpha Tony
    Jobs Halo

    None of you understand...

    ..It isn't a giant i-phone at all. It's a normal sized i-phone.

    The announcement is that Apple have invented a shrink ray.

    I shall call him... Mini Steve.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Terminator

    What's in a name

    Ok, I can see why people could be a little put off by the name, but the Star Trek fans will love it. All the portable displays carried around in the series were call PADDs originally from pad of paper. It was supposed to stand for Personal Access Data Display. So now Apple has a iPAD. It's all about how you market it.

    Price wise I'm not too surprised. The Kindle was $399 when it came out and everyone thought it was overpriced. It's has sold fairly well. So now you can have the Apple version that is in color, runs video as well as ebooks, all the apps that the iPhone and iTouch run, and at a size that makes the virtual keyboard usable. They have bridged the eBook, MP3, and PDA markets with one device. They tried this a little with the iTouch...this is better. I'll probably end up supporting 6 of them by the end of July.

    Please note: I do not own a single item from Apple. I have to support them as part of my job. I'm not that impressed with their devices - but they have their nitch.

  22. Chris Byers
    Thumb Down

    Finally Apple release a turkey

    iMilleniumEdition?

    The fact that they have seriously misjudged just what the consumer and teh IT world wants means that the smaller Windows based tablets soon to be released have time to correct any shortcomings that teh iPad has revealed. An 8" Windows 7 based tablet with built in 3G that I can put in my inside jacket pocket and install pretty much all of my current purchased software on . yes please. A (admittedly nice looking) 10 inch slab that pretty much doesn't allow you to do anything well. No thanks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Doesn't allow you to do anything?

      Hmmmm. Let me think. I want a small footprint device that I can do the following: check email, surf the web, read e-books, listen to my iTunes music, create/edit documents, view picture albums, play games. Did I miss something or does this device not do EXACTLY those things? Also, the great touch capability of this device is such a nice addition.

      On a separate point, does anyone know if there are different certifications this device would need to have if its primary function was phone? Just curious. I know it's not a phone as Apple is smart enough not to canabalise their iPhone sales, but I just wondered what the certification process was for phones vs. other non-phone devices.

    2. Jolyon

      Misjudged? Fact? Or more arsewater?

      Are the sales for this device disappointing then?

      Or is it just tardity of the first order for you to suggest you have access to any 'facts' about consumer desire in this case?

      You might be right about turkey though - suspect many will be bought at Christmas.

  23. Andrew James

    Revolutionary Product

    I haven't watched the video of the launch yet. Was it introduced as a revolutionary product? if not, where has all this "this is not revolutionary" stuff come from?

    Despite what Jobs might even say himself, Apple don't do revolution. They do evolution... and they do it pretty well, certainly since the birth of the iPod anyway.

    From what i have seen so far (watched the promo video sans audio on youtube) the interface looks to be friendly enough, and an expansion on what is in the iPhone/Touch thanks to the bigger screen area.

    Chances are, as with the iPhone OS upgrades previously, future upgrades will add features that don't exist already. Its not the Apple way to ship the perfect product on day one. Over time, while it may never become perfect, I'm betting it will become an improvement over what it does already.

    1. Steen
      Big Brother

      Never buy new ..

      or rely on a Beta, let someone else spend the cash and do the hard work. There are plenty of alternative appliances at that price and I could get a fairly decent laptop for the money.

  24. Gobhicks
    Heart

    Rejoice

    Only a masochist would read this comment thread, so I haven't

    1. prathlev
      Happy

      I concur

      ... but we can always try to start a new branch of comments with no relevance what-so-ever and see if anybody notices. A full 280 comments as I write this. Wow. Non-Blizzard wow.

      The subject of the article looks sweet though.

    2. Mr Young
      Happy

      Har,Har - nearly sleeping

      This comment list is not that big compared to some of my asm files.

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  27. David Glasgow

    OK. That's enough now.

    When I first browsed, there were already 170 comments. I nipped out for a bit, and there are now 288.

    What are the top ten scores for comments on an El Reg article? At what point do most readers decide they can't be arsed to either read or contribute, and leave the field to those with spittle flecked screens?

    Do I actually have anything to say about the iPad? Mmmmmm. Nah. Let's just see how it goes, eh?

  28. Bruno Girin
    Linux

    Touch Book

    The main annoyance for me with the iPad is that it's not a standalone device: you need to sync it with a desktop using iTunes, which of course only works on OS-X or Windows. As my main system is a Linux box, methinks I'm gonna get myself one of those instead: http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/touchbook/

  29. Thomas 18

    Entertainment Center

    Does all the stuff most people do on thier main computer... badly

    It does games about as well as a Gameboy Advanced

    It does office tasks without a keyboard

    It does movies without blueray/cd drive or tv out ports

    It stores data at a cost of $200 per 48GB - My latest usb pen drive stores 32GB and it was £40, oh but ofcourse it doesnt have USB ports oh well.

    How about buying a proper laptop which you can hapily get for that price then you can:

    Create music and movies

    Write programs

    Make phone calls

  30. J 3
    Coat

    Damn...

    This will be El Reg's most commented on story EVER. Just doing my part...

    Anyway, I'm starting to think the iPad will be at least reasonably successful after all, after hearing the reactions of a few "regular people" about it.

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