Thursday, January 28, 2010

Will Apple iPad be the future of personal computing?

Apple just announce the iPad. Their new tablet that is suppose to revolutionize tablets and probably personal computing similar to what they did for smartphones on the iPhone. Some say these will kill PC’s specially netbooks, but some people shrug it off as a glorified, up-sized iPhone...

On a glance, the device looks very promising (and gorgeous at that). The specs are not bad. The hardware looks solidly built. The whole ecosystem is closed and in full integration with each other (good or bad thing? you decide) The starting price of $500 is also a surprise for a hot new technology.

But the problem with the iPad is that they are in an indirect competition to netbooks but yet offer little productivity and power to accomplish simple tasks and programs like the ability to multitask and run Flash.

if Apple expects this to be the future of portable computing, I've just been insulted. the day i can't read the news, listen to Pandora and go on AIM at the same time is the day i declare the internet useless

- Gizmodo Reader

I own an Acer Aspire One and rarely use it because what I’d be doing on it, I can do on my iPod Touch. But for instances where I need to connect to the internet on a bigger display, the netbook can do it. If I need to transfer photos off my digicam to the netbook for viewing of backup purposes, the netbook can handle that, and with expansion slot to spare. If I need to check my mail, browse the web, chat on yahoo messenger, watch a Flash video online, all at the same time, my netbook allows it. Now why can’t iPad do these? Imagine chatting with someone and always hanging up just to check your mail on the iPad. What a total waste of time.

I agree that you can’t do most things on netbooks as well, even those with instant boot linux flavors. But if you’re going against netbooks with the iPad at least offer the common features and exceed them with multi-touch, IPS, and other “cool” things. The sad thing is that even with the iPad’s lack of basic features, plugins and slots, people will still buy it and see it as the most revolutionary device ever invented again.

Admittedly, the iPad is a great device but I just don’t see it yet as the future of personal computing specially if it disregards common usability features and applications. Just take a look at how long Apple realized the copy and paste thing on the iPhone.

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