Thursday, 28 January 2010

More on why I'm disappointed with the iPad

I've been thinking some more about my reaction to this morning's iPad announcement. I'd said to myself beforehand, "Even if it's just a larger iPod Touch, that will still be cool." But - it's just a larger iPod Touch, and it's not that cool. Why not?

I think Apple are victims of their own hype machine (not all of which they control - Apple fans, I'm looking at you). What I was really expecting was that it would not be just a larger iPod Touch, that Apple would come up with something transformational that nobody had ever thought of before. And they didn't. Every element of this device - the e-reader, the touch interface, the slate form factor, the positioning "between a smartphone and a laptop" - all of it already exists. Not in one device, maybe, and if in one device, not in a device this well-designed, but still - it's evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Hence, underwhelm.

And that positioning itself - do I actually want something "between a smartphone and a laptop"? No. I want something that combines the convenience of a smartphone and the functionality of a laptop, rather than having a bit more of one and a bit less of the other.

I have no doubt that the iPad will be an extremely cool device, and I still want one, but I don't plan to be an early adopter. For now I'll be sticking with the iPod Touch for convenience and the laptop for functionality, and putting up with the small form factor (and difficulty of reading/web browsing) on the one, and the bulkiness and lack of a touch interface of the other.

Damn, now I put it that way I'm leaning towards the iPad again. But only a bit.

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