Apple's iPad 'makes technology instantly accessible'
It's not perfect
As remarkable as the iPad is, it's not perfect.
It's a little heavier than I'd like. You don't notice it so much at first, mind you, but extended periods of use will require resting the device on something, such as your leg or lap. The optional $39 Apple case is highly advised, both as a way to protect the iPad and to serve as a display stand.
And as you'd expect, the screen is a fingerprint magnet -- even if it does have a special oleophobic coating that allows you to wipe greasy marks off easily. (It's the same coating that's on newer iPhones.)
The iPad model released today may not be the right tool for everyone, however, given that network connectivity is limited to Wi-Fi only. The iPad with 3G and GPS technologies may suit more needs and satisfy more requirements for those looking for truly mobile computing and content viewing, since the 3G iPad allows for access to AT&T's mobile network. Of course, the 3G models cost an extra $130 and you have to pay to access AT&T's network if you want to connect when you're away from Wi-Fi.
Personally, I bought the Wi-Fi version because I have a company-issued Sprint MiFi, which means I have wireless connectivity when on the road. If a virtually ubiquitous connection is what you need, you're better off waiting until the 3G models arrive.
The one thing I wish this version of the iPad came with is GPS, which would really strengthen Maps and other location-aware applications. I know the 3G version that's coming will have it, and obviously the lack of GPS wasn't a deal-breaker. I can use my iPhone for GPS functionality, of course, but it'd be nice to have it in the iPad as well. If I were delivering Jobs' trademark keynote, GPS is the "one more thing" I'd offer up in the iPad.
This is the first tablet computer that has a genuine shot at real mass adoption. It makes technology instantly accessible to people for whom a computer is still a mysterious black box that doesn't always do what it's supposed to. Apple has long had a knack for designing complete products that appeal to both geeks and everyday people without making either group feel dumb. Now it's even gone beyond that, crafting something that a young kid or an older grandparent can take to with ease.
The $499 starting price (for the 16GB model) helps, too. Even the most expensive model, with 64GB of storage and 3G accessibility, is just $829. In between is a price point that just about anyone can reach. Don't believe the hype? Go try one for yourself.
Michael DeAgonia, a frequent contributor to Computerworld, is an award-winning writer, computer consultant and technologist who has been using Macs and working on them professionally since 1993.
- Apple plays hardball with iPad Mini reveal
- Apple breezes to PC sales' top spot as Windows share decays
- Analyst tallies perks of September launch of new iPhone, iPad
- Analyst predicts stellar iPad sales in next week's Apple earnings
- Nexus 7 holds up better than iPad in drop, water-dunk tests
- With iPad Mini, Apple would remain tablet king through '16, says IDC
- Apple demands ipad3.com domain
- Chrome for iOS snatches top spot on App Store
- iPad in the Enterprise: IT Must Stay Ahead of the Curve
- Skepticism mounts over Windows RT's enterprise role
Read more about Macintosh in Computerworld's Macintosh Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Macintosh White Papers | Webcasts