Just to re-iterate the pronunciation of the title, put extra emphasis wherever there is a ‘P’ in ‘iPointlessPad’. Now wipe your screen if you have accidentally spat on your screen.
Please note, this post is pretty technical at some points and I might have over shadowed a few technical terms assuming you know what they mean.
So within the next few weeks the UK will be greeted by a flurry of iPads and no doubt we are going to see them everywhere. The people who are likely to buy it are those Apple enthusiasts and people with disposable income. To be fair, after seeing video demonstrations of what it can do, it looks absolutely slick! The user interface is well thought out and beautiful and the iPad itself would fill in that niche in the market. I’m loving the fact that it will have an excellent battery life!
SIM Card malarkey
As you may know, the iPad will be released in two models: WiFi only and WiFi + 3G. WiFi obviously means you can only access the internet with a wireless 802.11 connection with speeds up to 300mbps which is fair enough – standard stuff even my grandma would expect. The model with the added 3G connections allows you to purchase that data connection from an operator and access the internet from “anywhere”. There are a few issues with 3G model which might annoy you. To access the 3G internet you will need to purchase a “Micro SIM card” which as far as I know, only Vodafone UK or Orange UK could be offering. There isn’t any solid information on that. I personally don’t see why the iPad physically requires a Micro SIM card when the iPad is much bigger than a phone and surely could have been operated with a normal SIM card. Even if 3G operators did start offering a Micro SIM card, I can’t imagine them making this cheaper or even similar to the prices of a normal sim card with 3G connection as it is business at the end of the day. So if you to plan on buying an iPad 3G model and also plan on putting your existing SIM card with data plan into the iPad, think again! I’d like to see someone who is techy enough to copy their normal SIM card with data plan onto a blank Micro SIM card and get it working with the iPad! Also, 3G connections can’t offer the speeds we require nowadays and especially for those on the move and using their iPad, 3G can become slower than a dial-up connection. I would have thought they would have implemented the use of the fourthcoming WiMax or 4G infrastructure within the iPad. At least this way the large communication companies could have invested in some state-of-the-art technology. Kind of like TVs being “HD Ready” but the iPad being “4G Ready”. I can only assume that there is an iPad 4G in the Apple lab already.
Where’s the webcam?
Another feature that Apple “forgot” to put in their iPad is a webcam. I understand that the iPad can support communication software such as Skype and I know the iPad have a built-in speaker and microphone & a 3.5mm audio jack so audio communication is possible but I just feel like they’ve missed this feature out so they can put it in their next better iPad. Some people may say that the user has to hold the iPad at all times in a certain way for the webcam record the users face making the use of their hands limited nevertheless, I still think this is a standard feature of any communication device nowadays. All netbooks tend to have it!
At least they’ve implemented multitasking
Before the release of iPhone OS 4, I probably would have moaned about the lack of multitasking but apple have sussed that out. Well done!
Still can’t expand the memory?
Unfortunately you cannot expand the memory with an SD card or something similar and you are stuck with the limited 16gb, 32gb or 64gb flash drive. As big as you might think that is, I don’t think that dynamic as you cannot upgrade it as it is fixed in size! These drives are also a very expensive component within the iPad which puts the high price on your iPad. You can purchase a high speed 16gb SD card for around £15 now anyway! Also what would be cool is to have the ability to remove a card from a camera, insert it into the iPad and edit it slightly with an iPad Photo editing app and share it with a friend. Nope!
Not HD? Come on, get with the age Apple!
The screen resolution is an absymal 4:3(screen ratio) 1024 x 768 which makes it lack the status of it being a “HD” screen. 720p is the minimum a screen requires to be classed as a HD screen. 1080p is known as Full HD. Some would have thought it would at least be able to handle the minimum HD but since most HD content is shown has a 16:9 resolution so the screen resolution should have been 1280×720. It can however play HD content but not at the best of quality unless the video is cropped 4:3 or you can afford to lose some pixels by putting the video in “letterbox” mode. This will leave the black strips on the top and bottom. I can see why Apple have decided to keep it as a 4:3 screen; probably because the iPhone are also at a 4:3 screen ratio and it is easier to double up the number of pixels on the old iPhone apps to work with your iPad. I.e. zooming into your apps as it doesn’t fill the screen. I’m guessing there will be third party companies creating iPad docking stations for the TV so you can view your HD content on your TV rather than your iPad. Some applications might look better in the normal 4:3 mode but some look better in widescreen 16:9. Everything from TV, monitors & now mobile phones are moving towards the 16:9 screen ratio nowadays. Some people might also say that this is also a device for reading books and book pages don’t come in 16:9 format but are more square with a 4:3 ratio. It don’t mean anything! Deep down you know it would be better being HD!
OK, so this device doesn’t actually support flash content and this is primarily meant to be something you are meant to browse the web seamlessly with. Without flash you cannot go on all those all important flashy restaurant websites to order an Indian! Bit of a downer but something which will probably be fixed with a patch if there is a demand for this!
So the CPU has a clock speed of 1GHz which is cool but I think it could have been better. For a device which is competing with the Netbook market, netbooks contain an average CPU clock speed of 1.6GHz and mobile phones have now got up to the 1GHz point anyway.
Having spoken about being able to put expandable memory to get pictures from a camera, it would also be cool to the same thing via a USB port. Maybe even having 2 USB so you can attach your own keyboard or two USB gamepads and play a game of Fifa against your friend on the train. If you buy this one, you would be stuck with the usual iPod/iPhone port. Maybe they will make a converter (iPhone port to USB) but at what cost?
Erm, expensive. Enough said.
OK, I understand that this article has been maybe a *cough* little *cough* negative about the iPad but I just want to express my opinions as to what the iPad lacks in my opinion. I must say, having seen YouTube videos of this product in use, it has been a jaw-dropping experience however I must also say that Apple might have skipped out the features I’ve listed above because they want people to buy this product first so then they can release the new one with most or if not all these features for a higher price. This could make people ditch their current iPad for a new one. It is business at the end of the day and Apple are good at it! If the iPad is a huge success in UK, mobile phone companies might start concentrating on providing data plans rather than voice and text plans. However, my suggestion would be for you to wait until the next generation of iPads or if you’ve got the money, buy a Mac Book – they’re pretty sound!
The tablet computers have actually been around for years, and Microsoft used to dominate this market (as they were the only ones doing it – as far as I know). It didn’t really work too well but now that Apple thought they might give this market a whirl, it might actually work. But like all popular things, competitors will emerge and one competitor to keep an eye out for is Google! *Dun dun dunnnnnnnnn* Companies such as Toshiba are currently prototyping their tablets with Chrome OS and/or Android OS. the gPad?
I actually have many friends who are Apple fans who will be disheartened with what I have had to say and I am likely to get jumped by Appleism extremist but this is solely my own opinion, and if you want to buy it, by all means buy it! If you buy it and complain to me about it, I will just laugh at you!