Saturday, May 08, 2010

My 20 minute date with an iPad

Early on, I referred to the iPad as “an inconvenient iPod”. Today, I went over to the Apple store and spent 20 minutes getting acquainted with the latest offering from Jobs and Co.
Turns out, that the iPad is in fact, a giant iPod (giant being a relative term). What differs from first time I made this reference is that here, after touching, feeling and playing with the device, is that I say this in more of an endearing tone as opposed to one that can be easily construed as derogatory.
After playing with many of the bells and whistles, most of which impressed, I wanted to get a feel for typing with the virtual keyboard and this is what got me thinking about what confuses me most about the iPad.
Considering the size of the device, my best guess is the closest representation to a competitor in the marketplace would be a netbook. I’ve sampled several of the netbooks out there and while on some, there may be an ever so slight compensation necessary for the scaled back mini-laptops, in short time they become just a effective as a standard, full-size keyboard. The iPad’s virtual keyboard was pleasantly simple, accurate, and comfortable in the context of typing a URL but I question how it will feel if using it to say, create  a word processing document?
Ultimately, even if I wanted to dislike this thing, I just couldn’t. The iPad had an infectious quality about it that had me regretting I was in a retail store that was mobbed with people, many just to get a feel at this device and so I had to walk away. Knowing Jobs and his cronies reputation, were I to crack down for one I’d wait until at least iPad 2.0 as there are obvious features left out, most notably the ability to make a phone call. Heck, if you are going to make a giant iPod, you may as well make a giant iPhone!
Revised definition: “iPad: A really cool enlargement of the iPod.”

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