Apple iPad: Worth the Hype?

April 5, 2010 – 9:32 am
Apple iPad   

As someone that works on mobile and emerging technology projects, I had to pick up one of the latest hyped up Apple products and spend some time getting to know it and write my own review.

For those that aren’t familiar with the Apple iPad, it’s the latest shiny object from Apple. You can read all of the details about the Apple iPad online.

The short answer to the question about the Apple iPad being worth the hype? Not right now, but I think it will be in the next 12 months as new applications are developed and new features added.

Everyone seems to love it, although most can’t really explain why. Game changing? I don’t know of any product that’s game changing with the 1st generation launch, but it sets the stage for the 2nd generation, which I think will have a much bigger impact.

There are some interesting entertainment uses of the iPad, like the Yahoo Entertainment app on the iPad, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NPR, etc.

For me, the iPad doesn’t do anything well enough to replace one of my existing devices. I already have an iPhone, iPod, Apple TV & MacBook Pro. I could see using the device in addition to my iPhone and MacBook Pro, but not replacing either one. Why? Multitasking for one, which the iPad and iPhone don’t allow (currently). And it doesn’t have all of the programs that I need, like Microsoft Office and others. HTML 5 may decrease the reliance on Flash, but no Flash support is a downer. The battery life, which at 10+hours is impressive considering the size of the screen and a big bonus in my book.

I don’t really need another device hanging around when my MacBook Pro already has great multimedia capabilities, including USB ports with built-in video capabilities. Other items missing include drag & drop file management, HD support (no HDMI out, 1080p playback or native widescreen support) and no full GPS support (via).

The best article was So, When Do You Plan To Use the iPad? which I think highlights my point.

It’s going to be very hard to find enough time to use the iPad. When you’re at home or at work, you’re going to use your computer. When you’re on the go, you have your smartphone. If you’re on a train or a plane and need to do some work, you can use a laptop. When you’re doing something else, such as running, well, then your attention is focused on that. When, exactly, are you going to use the iPad?

Yes, you may want it, but do you need it? If Apple wants to turn that want into need, it needs to sell content, not the device, because we don’t have the time for another device.

According to a few sources such as PC Magazine, Hulu, which is where I watch most of my regular TV programming, will be rolling out an iPad app in the next few months. If I could stream content to the iPad from my DVR, that could be huge. If I could download content to the device to watch TV programming on the go, that would be even better, even with embedded commercials.

The ABC Player is nice and a good start. According to Mashable (10 Great Sites for Watching Video on Your iPad), there are already a lot of sites that will support the device, including YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo, NBC, CBS and others.

Google is rumored to be building a tablet like device, as well as many others. Everyone is watching to see if Apple can make it as successful as the iPod & iPhone.

If you have an iPad, I’d like to hear how you plan to use it and if you feel it’s a game changer.

A few other articles of interest:

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  1. 5 Responses to “Apple iPad: Worth the Hype?”

  2. Seeing such a lukewarm review from someone who is obviously an Apple fan makes me really eager to save my $600 and not buy an iPad.

    By emawkc on Apr 5, 2010

  3. In my option, the iPad is just a device to consume media –it’s not really intended to author content. I am planning on keeping it by the couch to surf the web, so I don’t have to pull my work laptop out of the car.

    And as far as flash goes, I think it’s a bonus that it isn’t supported. I don’t have to run a flash blocker.

    I Love mine!

    By Kyle on Apr 5, 2010

  4. My wife and I have been putting off buying an ebook reader until we had a chance to view an iPad. Now that we have, I am tempted to buy an iPad over a Kindle. Similar cost, but tons more style and function.

    By Larry on Apr 5, 2010

  5. After owning so many apple products over the years and being excited about bringing each one of those home I find myself a little shocked that I could care less about this product. But I think the idea that Apple is now starting to heavily dictate what I can and can’t view on the internet (no flash) is a huge turn off to me. Let me decide if that flash site is worth viewing on my own it’s not Apple’s job to control the media I consume. And to all the flash haters out there who want it to die because they hate animated ads, advertisers will just find another way to dish up those same animated ads. I’ll wait to the more open Android tablet, I like being in control of my experience to much.

    By John on Apr 5, 2010

  6. I am an Apple fan but it doesn’t mean that I’m drooling over iPad. Okay, I guess I am but if I look deeper into it, I don’t think I’ll ever need it as I already have my own laptop, phone and iPod touch. So, what’s there to buy, really.

    By Jess on Apr 8, 2010

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