The announcement of the Apple iPad has left me a little unimpressed. I have watched Apple release all kinds of technology over the years. While many of the Apple products over the years have not been technological marvels, they have released products that were well thought out from a hardware perspective as well as a software perspective. For example, the iPod would never have become as popular if iTunes was not the song management software included with it.
The iPad seems to be a year or two too late for the market.
Does it make a good e-book reader? It seems as if the market for the portable e-book reader came of age when the Kindle hit the market and has been followed by many other readers geared toward the reader of e-books. I doubt Apple has truly targeted the iPad as an e-book reader exclusively.
Does it make a good connected device? The netbook market is full of computers capable of surfing and some include 3G. Some are running Windows others Linux and sometime soon Chrome OS. One of the odd things about the iPad is the requirement for it to be connected to a computer (Mac or PC) in order to synchronize it’s data. While not a bad idea considering a drop could be fatal, it does lead to the next question.
Does it make a good computer? In a world where just about everything is a computer, I would say the iPad does not make a good computer. One cannot install Mac programs like Garage Band or any of the other software that would be perfect to take on the road. No dice. The iTunes store is the location to get software for the device just like an iPod or iPhone and while this has proven to be a good medium for applications it begs the question of cost. I would have to buy another program like Garage Band for the iPad.
Like the rest of the world, I have not played with the iPad and I have not worked with it to any extent. I very much hope it is a good device but I am very skeptical.