The iPad: Good or bad?
Ladies and gentlemen Apple have done it again, they have waived
their magical wand and confused us with technical gibberish and mobilized their
cult like fan base into persuading us to part with yet more hard earned cash for
a product that seems to be searching for a purpose, rather than, like most
successful products, filling that one niche that never occurred to anyone else.
But this is apple and your powers of logic mean absolutely nothing when Steve
Jobs looks you in the eyes and decrees, 'Let this be so!'. The nearest I can
determine is Steve Jobs is some kind of deity and the universe seems to
willingly remake itself around him. Not only has this product been successful in
the market selling 3 million in just 80 days it has also re-sparked interest in
tablet computers in general and dear god they are trendy right now. In short the
iPad is basically a portable media device that is feeding off the popularity of
the iPhone and is pulling us all into digital distribution hell. The mantra
'there's an App for that', has yet another platform from which it can reduce us
to gibbering morons as we basically assume that the magic touch screen device
can solve all the worlds ills.
Where to buy the iPad
From this device you have the ability to watch all the media you want; movies, television series, music, you can even read books, purchased from iTunes of course, we wouldn't want to do anything without the almighty Apple approval would we now. To be perfectly honest I don't believe this device is evil incarnate however, I'm not sure about the company it comes from. Every time I watch the Apple promotional videos I am somewhat concerned about the sanity of the people in them. They generally do seem to believe the stuff they're saying and say it with the conviction of the most evangelical preachers. They refer to this device as magical and personally I don't trust a software company that believes in magic, and I worry that their helpline will involve clicking my heels together. Anyway back to the device, it has all the obligatory features that you would expect to see in a portable device in this price range; wi-fi, 10 hours of battery life, etc. and, Apples apparently revolutionary multi touch touch-screen which is also LED backlit. If you're a proud member of the more money than sense brigade you could have a 3G connection included, but honestly what sane person needs another monthly subscription.
Apple iPad: Bad
The iPad was constructed using some environmentally friendly materials rather than mercury like many tablet computers are, its PVC free, contains no arsenic, which is always a good sign and the aluminium is completely recyclable. This means the Apple fan can feel just a little bit less guilty when they hear the inevitable death rattle of the very last polar bear clinging to the last piece of ice in the Arctic, that's marginally less impressive in size than what stuck at the back of my freezer. Plus you get that innate smug feeling you get when you buy the device that no other person you know can afford. This last aspect never lasts simply because any device designed to be as trendy as this one clearly is will be owned by everybody and their grandmother and her pet otter named Terrance Wakefield. But you still won't get arsenic poisoning.
The iPad: Good
The best feature about this device would probably be a tossup between the gaming experience and the web browsing experience. The web browsing experience is very enjoyable however, it only scores over the iPhone browser due to larger screen size, which honestly is not a big enough improvement for me. It just feels like the same device, only bigger. The same problem exists with the gaming experience. Yes you can get all the same puzzle games that you enjoy on the iPhone, except now it's nowhere near as portable therefore in my opinion, less likely to be used in this fashion. Now, I know there are going to be iPad exclusive applications and games; such as NOVA, a first person shooter similar to over-hyped Halo; Hero Of Sparta, a hack and slash game somewhat like the Diablo series released for PC in the late 90's; and Asphalt 5, a racing game that looks about equivalent to a last gen Playstation or Xbox racing game, and I'm sure they're all decent enough, but that just screams of Apple yelling "if this device doesn't have a purpose then by god we will make it have one", before going back to their largely iTunes and iPod funded money trough.
The iPad: The Ugly!
The biggest issue for me, with this device, is frankly I can't think of a reason to have one. We were told it was supposed to fit in between the gap of the smart phone and the laptop but to be perfectly honest I don't want that gap filled, partly because I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist and also because if it does, it's probably me. All those times when I might socialise with somebody, go out to meet with friends, leave the house etc. will be filled with yet another battery powered antisocial behaviour inducer. I just really don't need another device because it won't sit in the middle of a laptop and a smart phone, it'll try to usurp them. I'm also pretty sure that if you own an iPhone you practically already own this, not only that, but the thing you already own is in my opinion much better because you can make phone calls on it and it fits in your pocket, two things the iPad doesn't do
Apple iPad: The Conclusion
The biggest roadblock however isn't its portability or its lack
of purpose, it's the price. Anybody on any kind of budget is immediately going
to hit a mental wall if they go to buy an iPad and actually have the kind of
money the iPad demands because it's probably taken them a while to save, and if
they enter an electrical shop that isn't owned by Apple obvious dilemmas are
going to prevent the purchase. I picture myself going into a shop and seeing on
the one hand, a moderately specked gaming laptop, and on the other hand and
iPad. Honestly, I'm going to pick the laptop every time, short of suffering head
trauma and in that situation after buying the iPad that would mean my next port
of call would be the nearest hospital to undergo emergency brain surgery, where
knowing my luck I'd probably lose it. The biggest indicter that a laptop is much
better is the fact that the iPad has as an accessory to make it effectively into
a laptop in the form of the docking station with a keyboard attached that costs
an extra £60 on the already £500 iPad, £700 if you have the 3G option, so
congratulations you now have what you could have got in the form of a laptop for
much cheaper, only it's slightly crapper.
So in conclusion, yes I know it has a gorgeous interface, but so do the iPhone and iPod Touch and personally I believe this device to be pointless and already obsolete. Even still that won't stop the fan boys from continuously ramming it down our throats or any other orifice they can get access to and tablet computing might very well be here to stay, so I guess we're is going to have to live with it because as we can see It's already more popular than God, who in this case appears to be Steve Jobs, so this article is unlikely to make any difference, but at least I tried.