The trouser-rubbing hordes of Macolytes are all in a lather about Apple’s newest device: the oddly-named iPad (insert menstrual humour here). If you haven’t seen it yet, watch the introductory video. It features the usual legion of starry-eyed, breathless Apple senior staff speaking reverently about their newest saint.
It’s a big, thin iPod. And it’s dead sexy. And surprisingly cheap, with prices starting at US $499.
It looks like a cool toy, but which of my computing, communications or entertainment problems does this device actually solve? It’s a sexier Kindle (with, no doubt, the same level of vendor lock-in)–a cool-looking reading device, for newspapers, books and the Web. I’ve been pretty ambivalent about the Kindle and other ebook readers up to now. I’ll probably buy one eventually, but I find I have an affection for the analog reading experience of dead tree books and New Yorker magazines.
And I don’t sit down to ‘read the Internet’. My ‘web surfing’ experience, if you will, is this mix of reading, blogging, tweeting, sending emails and chatting online, and all of that is usually intermingled with my doing actual work. The iPad looks to be great for reading the web, but worse than a laptop for each of these other functions.
I do watch TV and, rarely, feature-length movies on my laptop. I’m usually either on a plane or in bed. In either case, I appreciate the fact that my laptop can sit all on its own, without me holding it up. I know there will be docks and sundry other, uh, mounts for the iPad, but I’m not sure how else it would be superior to my MacBook Air.
In short, it’s a great-looking device, but I’m not sure it’s right for me. What are your initial impressions?