The Apple iPad, do we really need it? Part One

The Apple ipad was launched on Saturday April 3rd to a herald of hype from Apple fans, the Tech world, critics and the web. Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple calls the ipad as truly “Magical” and “Revolutionary”. Presently the ipad is only available in the US, but within two months, it is expected to be launched in Europe and elsewhere.  When it gets to Europe, I expect to order one and then give a hands-on review on mobilitynigeria. But before then, it is still safe to say that from intensive study and follow-up of the ipad news and saga on the web and on CNN that the long awaited ipad had generally mixed to favorable reviews.

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Apple iPad

What exactly is the ipad? Is it a net-book? Or a net-book replacement? Or could you call it a tablet PC. Or is it just an entertainment device with a fantastic and eye candy user interface? What niche will it occupy if it becomes mainstream or if it ever becomes mainstream? Do we need another device separate from our laptop and mobile phone? This analytical review shall attempt to look at these pertinent questions. And push us closer to the inexorable question; Do we really need an ipad?

This is not really a hands on Review but an analytical look at the ipad and opinion of the author on the ipad before he gets one for himself, possibly in the summer,

Apple Ipad
The ipad is Apple’s multimedia tablet device. It is just like a tablet PC or a small MAC but with simplified user interface and a 9.7 inch diagonal with a resolution of 1024 – by – 768 pixels. From reviews I have read on the net and videos on youtube, it appears to have an intuitive, fluid and impressive user interface. Not un-similar with the iphone. In fact, the ipad shares the same Operating System (OS) with the iphone and ipad touch. The OS is 3.2. compared with the iphone which is presently 3.13.  The Physical Specs is; Height: 9.56 inches by Width: by 7.47 inches by Depth:0.5 inch (13.4 mm). Weight: 0.68 kg.

The Space between a Laptop and a phone
When Apple first announced the ipad in an event at Cupertino, California that I previewed live from a streaming video from Macworld.com, I felt myself engulfed in his enthusiasm and started there and then to develop a love for this device. Steve Jobs, Apple’s Founder positioned the device in the space between a Laptop and a phone. This singular act greatly impressed me because there were times in my life where my laptop may appear too big and then my phone will look way too small for the occasion. At such times, the ipad could fill the gap. I believe that the ipad cannot replace my phone anytime soon but the question remains whether it can replace my laptop from time to time, depending on the occasion.

Features of the Ipad
1.    Tablet form factor with a large screen measuring 9.7 inches.
2.    Built-in speaker and Microphone
3.    Apple’s designed 1 Gigahertz A4 system on Chip Processor.
4.    On Board Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, with Bluetooth 2.1
5.    Vibrant colour display on the screen with a resolution of 1024 – by – 768 pixels.
6.    SSD memory of 16, 32 or 64 Gigabyte
7.    10 Hours battery life when watching Video, (Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music)  Or One week on Standby.
8.    iBook – An E-reader for reading Ebooks.
9.    Iwork for working with Documents. Iwork consists of iPage, inumbers and Keynote. Those persons familiar with a Mac Computer or Macbook will appreciate this!
10.    An already established app store with more than 5000 ipad specific application or more than 150,000 iphone OS compatible apps
11.    Support for 3G sim card (in some models).
12.    Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
13.    Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously
14.    Game Centre. To play games with friends or strangers and lets you view your worldwide rank on a certain game as well as an achievement board.

Criticism
1.    No USB port (Although you can use an accessory from the Apple store. This will cost more money.)
2.    No Front facing Camera
3.    No QWERTY keyboard (But for God’s sake, this is a tablet!). You can as well use it with a wireless Bluetooth keyboard or a key board Dock. (This will however set you back 130 dollars!)
4.    NO Multi-tasking (At least this is only temporary, until summer, when it would start multi-tasking with an OS 4.0 update).

To be concluded – Editor

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16 thoughts on “The Apple iPad, do we really need it? Part One”

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  2. i hear it uses a special sim to connect to the net and its tightly integrated to the web. If that is true, it almost useless over here, just as other apple goodies which are designed for America and Europe.

    Do they think we all feed from the garbage here and cant afford their toys? Even Microsoft has stripped down version of its software for ‘developing economies’ and most people I know dont even consider this when making a purchase.

  3. The ipad has micro-sim card slot quite alright. I think that is because it is the American edition. Only AT & T is said to use that kind of SIM card there in the US. The European edition that is coming out next month may have the regular sim-card slot. And that is when I hope to get one.

    Yes, the ipad is integrated with the internet. But I wouldn’t say “tightly” however. This is because you can use the ipad without the internet. You can upload videos, music, web pages, Documents, photos and applications from your computer to the ipad and vice versa. You can watch movies, listen to music and view the saved web pages without ever going on line. You can also do some work with document, productivity on it. You can also play Games too!

    That said, you can use the inbuilt Wi-FI to browse the internet using any wireless hotspots. Alternatively, you can use the 3G Sim, if the European version comes with the regular Sim.

  4. I think this ipad thing is nothing but an american toy for the rich and the spoilt. How can one justify buying an ipad with all its limitations (fluid interface and multitouch regardless), when you already have a netbook (e.g. acer aspire one) and a good smartphone in addition to your regular laptop and possibly two desktops (one at home and one at the office).

    Americans are just crazy buying what they actually do not need. There is a world of difference between what you NEED and what you WANT in your possession.

    Lest I forget, I must commend Afewgoogmen for this very good and informative article. Looking forward to the second part.

  5. I kind of wish to disagree with my chief, Deoladoctor. The ipad is positioned as a netbook replacement or substitute. Apart from some hardware advantage of the netbook, featurewise and productivity and interface, I believe that the ipad kind of triumph the netbook.

    And I do not think that the ipad has done badly. In sales, it is a best seller. Even overseas, the ipad is selling in some countries even now before the international release. Americans are paid by their pals oversea who then buy the ipad and ship it to their friends.

  6. @MAHOGANY. No. if you have a PC already. And a phone. Perhaps you should decide to get a netbook… Or perhaps … an ipad..

  7. personally, with a capable and much more portable device like th N900, I have no use whatsoever (at least for now) for a device like an iPad. How many mobile gadgets do we really need?

    But in all probability, that’s just me.

  8. @Deoladoctor. It would interest you to note that potential ipad competitors, I mean PCs in the tablet or Slate form factors have been canceled. Devices like the upcoming Microsoft Courier and the HP Slate that was announced earlier this year!

    A very glaring advantage of the ipad over the netbook is the time it takes to boot. While the ipad which has a simple OS analogous to the ipad takes seconds, I leave you to your imagination to imagine how long it would take your microsft windows netbook OS to boot!

  9. Meanwhile, the ipad is selling like Hotcakes in the US. And when the international launch comes, I expect it to meet the same sales worldwide. If it sells so much, then it is good, people aren’t fools! There is something in it that they love! A lot of these criticism you were kind to mention earlier might be corrected in the second generation model or corrected in the iphone OS 4.0.

    Finally perhaps you wish to show me a pic or a movie clip on your netbook, by the time someone with an ipad has shown me in seconds, you are still calling;

    “My guy, Check out this photos/video and PDF instructions of my new House…”

    “No, Thank you”

    “Please, I’ve got them right here in my netbook! … Just wait a little, it’s still booting up…”

    -“Don’t worry Chief, It’s Okay. I’ll see it next time.”

    “Wait a little, I’m almost there… hey! Oboy, Where you dey?”

  10. I agree with Afewgoodmen about the booting time advantage which is a result of the ipad’s simple OS. But this same simplicity is the cause of its inability to multitask. How do you justify a computer that can’t handle running just two apps simultaeneously? If the ipad is to be positioned as netbook replacement (i.e. small sized computer replacement), it has to do better than that. How do I install apps of my choice when there is no USB port to connect external optic drive? Even when I succeed in connecting to the net by only wifi (which is a rarity in nigeria), I have only apple store for apps. So limiting….

    No sir, I submit that the ipad cannot be placed in the nitche occupied by the netbook.

    @Afewgoodmen. Your article is brilliant and informative, but your replies to various posts tend to make one believe that you are an ipad apologist. So, i’ll suggest you change the topic of the part 2 to read ‘THE IPAD, WE REALLY WANT IT’.

  11. @Afewgoodmen

    I am sure you are aware that the sales of a product is not a measure of its functionality or how practical the product is. Diamond for example, would be worth a little less than a roll of toilet paper if functionality or usefulness were taken into consideration. When it comes to sales, what matters is what people want. So, high sales of a product does not mean the product is fantastic. High sales is due, as you know, to many factors, some of which include solid marketing, peoples’ taste, and values placed on the product by the targeted community.

  12. @Deoladoctor. Your last comment, just like Yomi said also made me laugh. I never said the ipad was the best computer device. I never claimed it was a super computer. You just missed the point of the article and my inputs.

    The ipad is a good device with a fantastic interface with its faults. Just as a netbook has its own faults. Whether you need it or not depends on your preference and your particular needs. It is a good content consumption device. And can create content too. A good screen and fast UI. What I suggested perhaps was if it could be a netbook replacement, or a substitute.? Depending on what you want.

  13. @deoladoctor .“I am sure you are aware that the sales of a product is not a measure of its functionality or how practical the product is. Diamond for example, would be worth a little less than a roll of toilet paper if functionality or usefulness were taken into consideration.”

    I would like to disagree with you a little on this, sir. Though I agree that the statement has some merits, perhaps like all broadly ending statements or all-or-none phenomena, hasty generalized statements like this is not always correct!

    Diamond for one, apart for its ornamental value which you so much deride is also used in industries and toolbits in workshops. You have diamonds in drillbits and glasscutters tip and a whole myriad of industrial articles. Apart from the beauty of diamond and its jewel value, it is also scarce. And the laws of economy spells out the relationship between scarcity and choice

    Back to our ipad. If you claim the ipad is just like diamond and as such it is like a worthless tissue paper, perhaps you’ll just be so wrong. All the people all the time cannot be wrong all the time. Even the wow factor or a COOL effect of the ipad’s UI is someone’s preference. One shouldn’t dismiss them that they love an empty device devoid of features all because a few features are not there.

    About the multi-tasking, it would be corrected in Summer with an OS upgrade! I think I said that before? USB port; a short coming that some may do without and tolerate. Applications to install; ipad specific apps from third parties in the itunes store at last count is over 6000. With compatible iphone OS apps of over 150,000 for the asking. Many od these are free! What more do you need in a third person application. There should be a third person app somewhere in the app store to meet your needs. So much to choose from!

    By the way, you forgot to mention the lack of Flash! Hee hee. Perhaps HTML 5 will do that job. By the way Bill Gates of Microsoft (Not Steve Jobs mind you) announced today that Flash is over-rated and the next in-thing in the web is HTML 5 standards.

    My question still goes, “DO we really need an ipad?” Me for one would reply that I don’t absolutely need it. And just as you have a netbook (which you could do without), along with your laptop and smartphone, Perhaps I may “need” or want an ipad too!

  14. Its only fair I give you my source on Microsoft gunning for HTML 5. Just check appscout.com or perhaps you could check the internet explorer blogpost at blogs.msdn.com

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