Apple iPad – view from another Geek

apple ipad Chief Gadgeteer wrote a post about specs and his initial thoughts of the tablet. To summarize in a word his thoughts on the iPad it would be “meh”.

I like to think of myself as an Vendor-agnostic Geek that doesn’t take sides in the Linux/Mac/Windows debate, but I have a different view than my fellow writer/editor.

While I agree the device is about what I expected, I completely disagree that the device is not a “wow” device. The device exudes sex. Regardless, I was not prepared to jump on the bandwagon and purchase one of these devices until I researched the items that are important to me.

Things I need in a tablet device:

  1. Nice display. Yes, the display looks incredible.
  2. Nice interface for web browsing, email, music, photos and movies. This is where netbooks fall flat. Apple products have incredible GUIs and the iPad is no different. Currently the only drawback is Adobe Flash, but I have a feeling this is already in the works.
  3. eBook reader. iBook only has a couple of publishers but “there’s an app for that”! There are already apps available for Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook. This is the only device that will be able to purchase and read eBooks from all three major e-tailers. Kindle and Nook just lost their sexy to the iPad, but I don’t think Amazon or Barnes & Noble will be to torn up with the added sales from the Apple device.
  4. An Office product such as MS Office or iWorks. This was a big one for me and I did not think this would be delivered, but Apple has already announced iWorks for the iPad. I can already image presenting using this device and I would venture to say that besides being an eBook and gaming device, this product will become the presentation device for sales people (they love sexy).
  5. External keyboard. There will be an external keyboard with a dock but you can also use Bluetooth keyboards.
  6. Output to projector/other display. Meh, VGA, AV and H.264 only up to 720p. Good enough. Again, this will be a killer presentation tool.
  7. VNC/Remote Desktop. “There’s an app for that!”
  8. Light. The tablet will only weigh 1.5-1.6 pounds (depending on if you get the 3G add-on). That meets my criteria for light.
  9. Less than $1k. Fully decked with the top memory choice and the 3G network you are looking at putting out $830.
  10. Connectivity. I need WiFi and would like 3G and this device has both (+$130 for the 3G). I was not planning on the 3G add-on due to monthly charges, but I found out that coverage will be month to month, so you can disable that access at any time.

So, what is the device missing (in order of importance to me)?

  1. Adobe Flash
  2. LiveScribe application
  3. Video Camera for video conferencing built-in – there will be an add-on product
  4. Additional storage
  5. Additional batter life
  6. Canvas application or some other full-featured penetration test app

I predict this device will do well in the consumer electronic market due to the pricing, sex and some of the killer apps the device has coming out of the gate including some incredible games, eBook readers for what will be the three major e-tailers of e-Books and the iWorks app.

By the end of 2010, the iPad will outsell both the Nook and Kindle and throw in netbooks by the end of 2011. Next year look for a model that comes out at the same price with double the hard drive space and a video camera. To help support the iPad, the iTunes store will contain 250,000 apps by July 2011 (they currently have 140,000) allowing some iPad developers to strike it rich.

The iPad will be used in several industries including being the device used for presentations by sales, home control (AV, security and home automation), education (e-Textbooks), healthcare industry and publishing (newpapers/magazines/ebooks). There might be a few chic restaurants using the iPad to take orders and show menu items (imagine a sushi bar where you order by pictures on the iPad then surf the web reading articles while waiting for the sushi to arrive) and some artist using the iPad to create, but the pricing is a bit too much for widespread use there.

What do you think?

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