Recently finding out about Google Reader’s recommended items feed has left me bombarded with mostly negative and disappointed reviews on the Apple iPad that was unveiled a week or two ago.

I can agree with many of the other bloggers out there that the announcement was ‘whelming’ (as in, neither over or under whelming). This is partly down to the leaks and guesswork over the weeks before the unveiling that painted a much more ‘hi-tech, multitasking, do-everything device’ picture of what the iPad would be. Personally, I feel these predictions were fair, given previously credible leak sources had incorrectly put the price of the iPad at approximately $999, as opposed to the $499 price Apple surprised pretty much everyone with. For $999, I’d expect it to run more than the iPhone OS, and let me run full-on OS X software.

Right from the start, however, Steve Jobs pointed out that the iPad isn’t there to replace your mac, and it isn’t there to replace your iPhone. It fits somewhere in the middle, and in my opinion, that’s exactly what it does.

To be clear, before I get into the list I originally sat down to write, I would like an iPad. I like sitting on the couch and browsing, and I’d prefer to do that on an iPad than my MacBook or iPhone. It’s a good size, it’s quick, and it doesn’t multitask (I don’t multitask on my Mac when I’m on the sofa, I use Chrome and that’s about it. During the day I’ll use the Adobe Suite, but show me a brand new computer that can do that for $499). So, I’d like to use it at home, and probably leave it on my coffee table. I’m not a big reader but I could see myself using an iPad along with a yet-to-be-released newspaper app that is optimized for the device. I’d probably take it on flights to watch movies and play games (it has 10 hours of battery life) and use it as a diary when at home, instead of my MacBook and iPhone (Mac=office, iPhone=out, iPad=home). For me, it would be a great coffee table book. A colleague last week also mentioned it would be fantastic for designers’ portfolios, particularly with the new version of Keynote that will be available, built especially for iPad.

Anyway, here’s the afore-mentioned list I was going to write. It’s quite simply:

A list of partly misinformed and sweeping statements* I’ve seen on Google reader in regards to the Apple iPad

  • It doesn’t do 16:9, so it’s crap for watching movies because, of course, it was built to watch movies, and that’s it
  • It’s just a big iPhone. Granted, it runs the same OS and has a bigger screen but don’t forget about iWork, the faster processor, iBooks and soon-to-come iPad-specific apps. It might be a big iPhone now, but in 6 months it’ll be something entirely different.
  • NO MULTITASKING! Many people are assuming you won’t be able to listen to music and work on Keynote at the same time. It runs iPhone OS, so it’s pretty obvious it will. Other than that, I can’t personally find a reason I’d like multitasking on iPad.
  • NO FLASH! I’ll admit it, when I saw the blue lego brick I was pretty shocked, but later ‘tech disses’ from Jobs about flash crashing Macs, I can agree with. I’ve seen flash put my MacBook to a standstill (hard reset levels of fail) when running just Chrome. Yes, “I’ve” crashed Chrome and my whole computer, with the help of flash.
  • “iPad vs. a rock” checklists… Funny once, just about.
  • No HDMI out! As I mentioned before – I’m looking forward to having one of these on my lap while I watch TV, so no real need to plug it into a TV. Why buy a device with a ‘gorgeous’ and ‘magical’ IPS touchscreen only to stick it next to your TV to watch movies? Apple TV anyone?
  • I’ll buy one for my Mom. Yes! Exactly! Apple couldn’t have said it better if they had tried! E-mail, photos, browsing, contacts, calendar, iWork. That’ll do nicely.
  • The bezel is huge. Please, please wait until you use one before throwing that one out there. I’m waiting, too.
  • No camera(s). I totally agree that it would be great if the iPad had a user-facing camera for video conferencing. My family is pretty spread out across Europe and the USA so it would be great if we could all have these things on our coffee tables so we could just pick up and chat with each other. People who were expecting a forward-facing 5mp camera, on the other hand, are mental. Seriously?
  • No USB or built-in memory card reader. I’m not sure why you’d want USB on the iPad given it runs iPhone OS and is a largely *wireless* device. Wire-less. A memory card slot would be pretty handy for transferring photos straight into the Photos app while on holiday, though. Luckily, there’s an adapter for that, which will conveniently and easily fit into my camera case and cause me no hassle whatsoever. I’d also like to see an adapter that will allow me to charge my iPhone from my iPad .. oh wait, damn, no USB!

I think that about covers it all for now.

*I’ll caveat that I’ve written this with the view of being a ‘normal person’ as opposed to a ‘tech person’. I’m a bit of both, so hopefully that explains my view for you.

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