Not the granite of wonder I was hoping for!
The launch of Apple’s iPad came on the back of the massive success of the iPhone and iPod (in all it’s forms) as well the sheer brilliance of their MacBook & iMac series. Based on this, I imagined that the iPad would have been a meld of all these technologies to create a touch screen tablet PC super computer with app add-on genius, 3G operability and Air like lightness. However, what has been produced is a larger than life iPod Touch with a bit of the 3G tech from the iPhone.
With a starting price of £429, you can kind of see why they’re not as sophisticated as I had hoped, but that doesn’t even come with 3G & only has a 16GB storage. At the top end you pay £699 and only get 3G & 64GB storage for your trouble. Macbook’s start at £849 and they give you the world.
Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself in terms of the technology available, but from my point of view, the only way an iPad makes any sense is if it’s some sort of Macbook iPad hybrid.
The other big downer is that apart from a bigger screen and specially created iPad apps, there really isn’t a phat lot separating it from the iPod Touch or iPhone. They’re cheaper, fit comfortably in your pocket, and won’t give you tennis elbow from holding them (iPads weigh 0.68 kg for the Wi-Fi model & 0.73 kg Wi-Fi + 3G model).
So what about these specially created apps. Well having seen the great and the good of these, I can’t say that they have anything to make them stand out from the apps on the iPhone & iPod Touch. Racing games, recipe apps, The Wall Street Journal, a weather channel, an interactive periodic table… not exactly mind blowing! Perhaps one of the coolest of the apps is the Marvel Comics app, but you’ve got to be a bit tapped to justify the price tag based on electro-comics.
Overall, the iPad looks stunning, works like a charm and on a lot of levels it’s very cool, for example the battery life is 10 hours with the screen on the go and around 140 hours for music playback (dim screenio). However, it just doesn’t meet up to expectations. It’s like Apple got close to the sun without building the goods to get them all the way. Hopefully the next step will be my iPad MacBook Holy Grail dream. I’ll be all over them like a drooling, drunken mad man with the horn when that happens.
Apple iPad review: 2.5/5