This post has been appended a few times with new learnings and useful information sources.Please read all the way till the end to see these appends.I am amused by how 95% of all iPad reviewers say the same things, using more or less same vocabulary and re-publish information snippets that are available right up on apple.com. Okay…my accusation of poor quality reporting is true for most product reviews and for most journalists. But obviously, the topic here is iPad.
So, get rid of the brouhaha reviews and next-to-sliced-bread reports, read what matters to YOU:
Here’s a list of things I collected that I thought would be useful to somebody evaluating an iPad.
- You know you cannot replace your phone or your laptop. Consider observing others’ experience of how much less they use a laptop. My estimate is that your non-business laptop usage has to come down by at least 75–80% to justify an iPad purchase
- iPad apps: Only 1,000 apps have been developed/customized for the iPad. The rest will run too, just don’t know how well.
- 60,000 books in the book store: It’s a small number compared to Amazon’s 400,000, but what really matters is — do you have the book YOU need?
- Battery Life: I believe iPad beats its expectations, so thats a good thing
- Experience: iPad is very little technology and more of experience. Therefore it is a concept experiment.
Apple will be under enormous pressure to bridge some gaps that exist in the v1 of the product. When they come with v2, you will suffer opportunity loss on some and not on some.
- Hardware obsolescence: USB port, webcam, memory card slot. When the new version includes, you will feel bad. Your investment now is protected for 1 year, not more.
- Software obsolescence: Multi-tasking, video-chat, flash support, missing software — All of these will eventually get fixed. Don’t worry — these will be software fixes. (And Apple’s got the truly best upgrade process ever)
- Phone functionality: IMHO or IMEO, an eventual version of iPad OS will include the phone as well. So, go ahead and buy the 3G version now itself.
I have made every attempt to write this post at equipoise and with no regard to my individual purchase decision. However, the following 2 points — though it might apply to you as well — will critically influence my buying decision, among other reasons:
- Support for Google Docs: I don’t want to buy iWork. I expect iPad to support Google Docs freely.
- Support for Google Voice: If not for using iPad as a phone, I would still like to use it as a switch for my Google Voice services which includes — but not limited to — sending free text messages anywhere in the world.
Hope this helped traverse a few boxes in your decision-making flowchart J
Tip to the reviewers: If you have to use the terms like “accelerometer”, “capacitive multi-touch” — to explain iPad (or any user-experience focused product), you suck.
Since I made atleast 5 updates, I am aggregating them all below:
(Based on store visits and hear-say between 4/3 and 4/10)
- It is heavier than I thought — bit of an inconvenience, if you compare with weights of an average 300-page book or Kindle for that matter.
- Google Voice works. By default, GV launches the mobile client which does not work. If you open the desktop client, it works just fine.
- I was able to access Google Docs. But creating/editing content I think is going to be a bit of a pain. Hope Google will do the HTML5 magic.
- iBook is really a slick application — I loved everything about the app, except for the inability to highlight and makes notes on pages of the book.
- Even the fanboys of iPad will discover sooner rather than later, that lack of hardware features (#1 USB, #2 Webcam) is pretty handicapping.
- I came across hardware reviews by Rapid Repairs and AnandTech . RR commends the hardware design, but says hardware is not powerful enough to support 12–18 months worth of Apps development. To me, this is indicative of few things, most of them speculative (a) the iPad will explode of capacity and slowness issues (b) Apple will be forced to expedite the version 2 of the hardware and therefore early adopters will be betrayed in a very few months (c) since the overall footprint of the device cannot change, there will be pressure on hardware suppliers and Apple’s own developers to reduce the chip sizes (d) this might result in inefficient chips, increased heat dissipation, frustrated customers, recalls etc… (again, all 4 points are completely speculative)
- Bug or Feature? You (still) can’t attach a file to an email, after having begun composing it
- Statistic: 74% of Day 1 iPad buyers are iPod or iMac owners
- iPad package does not even include a headphone (does the previous point reason this? cheapo….)
- The screen is a fingerprint-magnet. To hell with the oleophobic coating
- News of iPhone OS 4.0 and speculation of inclusion of multi-tasking abilities hints us of similar news in the horizon for iPad as well
- Good view points on where this competition is heading
- One of the better reviews I have read
- Useful FAQ written by Walter Mossberg of WSJ
- If Microsoft can be sued for monopolizing IE, why can’t Apple for Safari or Apps for that matter? Good explanation by Brian Palmer of SLATE
- The real cost of iPad?
- Google’s answer to iPad is in the horizon. Will some suckers (like me) hold off their iPad decision?
- Pinky fingers or Israel’s ban or 99-yr old Grandma are not to be tagged with iPad, don’t they get it?
- What should influence your choice of iPad model aka How personal networks will evolve