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 …

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  1. barth

    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 ?

  2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Alert

    Bootnote

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

  3. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  4. elderlybloke
    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.

  5. geoB
    Thumb Down

    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.

  6. Wibble

    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.

  7. Goat Jam
    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.

    1. Raumkraut

      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    3. Neil 23

      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.

      1. Dapprman

        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.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    5. Barry O'Connell

      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.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "non technical types"

      aka "luddites" aka "facebookers"

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

    7. morphoyle

      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?

    8. morphoyle

      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.

      1. Rattus Rattus
        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.

  8. Anne-Lise Pasch

    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/

    1. Adam T

      yup

      Good closing words too.

    2. Craigness

      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.

  9. Paul Corbett 2
    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.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    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".

  11. Christian Berger Silver badge

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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).

    2. Obvious Robert
      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.

    3. Paul Corbett 2
      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.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      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).

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      You sir...

      ...are a trolling muppet.

    6. Dapprman

      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.

    7. Paul 4

      I thought

      Apple "Just worked"...

    8. Tarthen
      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.

  12. Winkypop Silver badge
    FAIL

    Too big, too lacking, too silly...

    There, is that plain enough for you?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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 ?

  15. Rolf Howarth

    spreadsheets

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

  16. steve 44
    Thumb Up

    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.

  17. Pete 2

    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?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  19. Alexis Vallance
    FAIL

    D'oh

    It's a tablet, not a laptop.

    Silly woman.

  20. Tim Cook

    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?

  21. Blubster
    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.

    1. Brutus
      Boffin

      because...

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

      1. Tim Cook
        Thumb Down

        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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      because ....

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

  22. MarkOne
    FAIL

    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).

  23. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    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.)

  24. rcdicky
    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

  25. Christopher Rogers
    Stop

    Nice toy

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

    1. Haku

      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.

  26. SimonC
    Happy

    Heheheeeeeee

    I laugh at the fanboys trying desperately to discredit this article / LW.

  27. Alex Walsh

    Ah yes

    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.

  28. Nic 3
    Thumb Down

    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. :)

  29. Frank Bough
    Thumb Up

    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.

    1. Eponymous Cowherd
      Thumb Down

      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?

    2. Obvious Robert
      WTF?

      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?

      1. Rolf Howarth
        Thumb Up

        ...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.

        1. Craigness
          WTF?

          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.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          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:

          CK: Computer

          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            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.

            http://www.dragonmobileapps.com/

      2. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
        Jobs Horns

        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...

    3. Paul 4

      An over priced gameboy?

      Or PSP?

  30. Jonathan White
    WTF?

    Um..

    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.

  31. Bod

    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.

  32. Tom 13
    Thumb Up

    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.

  33. Antidisestablishmentarianist

    My LW

    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.

    1. morphoyle

      Apple's fault

      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

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      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.

    3. Quirkafleeg
      FAIL

      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.

    4. Al Jones

      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.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good Review

    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.

  35. elgarak

    The Weight

    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.

    1. morphoyle

      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.

      1. Michael C
        FAIL

        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.

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Hmm

      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.

  36. Will 12

    I agree

    I have one and I agree with her comments regarding books, I much prefer the kindle when it comes to book reading.

  37. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
    Jobs Horns

    I'd probably consider buying one...

    Except...

    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)

  38. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
    Jobs Horns

    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.

    Just saying.

    Down with locked devices and all that sort of thing.

    1. ian 22
      Paris Hilton

      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.

  39. AWeirdoNamedPhil
    WTF?

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      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.

      1. AWeirdoNamedPhil
        Stop

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          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.)

          1. AWeirdoNamedPhil
            FAIL

            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.

            Keyboards FTW.

            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!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Jobs Horns

        @AC

        "£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.

      3. Craigness
        FAIL

        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.

  40. TJ 2
    FAIL

    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.

  41. BeAloud

    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.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What exactly is the Ipads target market?

    Beyond trendy types and fanbois? I'd be interested to know?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    I'll wait

    for the newspaper reader I can roll up, smash annoying mosquito that buzzes me on my patio, unroll it and continue reading.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    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.... :)

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