The netbook is dead, long live the netbook: 10 things to know about the iPad

ipadbb.jpg • It's a buck short of $500 for the cheapest model. Wifi only: 16GB=$499. 32GB=$599. 64GB=$699. Wifi and 3G: 16GB=$629. 32GB=$729. 64GB=$829. • The battery is good for 10 hours on a charge, Apple claims, with a month of 'standby.' • It's half an inch thin, weighs 1.5 pounds, and has a custom-cut operating system that will have its own applications. • It has a 9.7" high-res display, but the display is fullscreen: 1024x768. • Books, newspapers and mags, including the NYT, will be available. • iPad 3G models are unlocked, there's no contract, and you pay $30 a month for unlimited data. Don't fall for the $15 250MB deal: if you're interested in this gadget, you'll use more. AT&T users get free use at their hotspots. • It has a 1GHz "Apple A4" chip and flash storage. • It has Wifi-N, Bluetooth, speaker, mic, iPod connector, an accelerometer and compass. No camera. • There's a keyboard dock, turning it into a desktop computer. Expect third party ones that turn it into a netbook, too: making this a category killer app given the cheap, contract-free 3G. • The name is a Fujitsu trademark registration. Here it is at the USPTO website. I wonder if this guy regrets abandoning the mark in 1999. And what on earth is this crazy application filed a couple of weeks ago? IP troll, perhaps? There are others, too, in other fields: Siemens does machines. Coconut grove does bras. Here's another computer-related one, but it's long-dead. More info is up at the Apple store. Update: Now, this list is mostly positive, so check out commenter Robert's 10 caveats. Update 2: Xeni got a hands-on and a photo up close. More later! Previously: liveblog coverage of the event.


  1. Star Trek: The Next Generation PADD (their handheld tablet device) interface available within 48 hours after the iPad goes on sale.

    Of course, it’ll be fairly unusable, but that’s not the point.

    That US$30.00 unlimited AT&T data plan is SO tempting!

  2. I’m significantly more impressed with this thing following the announcements of varying price points and low-cost data plans + unlocking.

    And the attachable keyboard.

    I’m still not sure I’d get enough increased functionality out of it to justify, but there are lots of people who will. It’s a real competitor with netbooks at any rate.

    Also: Gives me lots of warm, fuzzy hope for that unlocked, cheap data plan iPod I’ve been holding out for.

  3. Can one draw on this?

    Presumably if it can run iPhone apps, then it can do the finger paint thing, but — is there a pen that can come with this?

    Strikes me that Apple was sustained by artists up until the iMac/iPod generated consumer level appeal. The idea of a portable, digital, sketching Tablet has always appealed to me as an illustrator, and yet none of the coverage I’ve seen so far of this thing has mentioned drawing on it.

    1. I agree. This was my main interest when the tablet rumors came out. I’m a mechanical engineer undergrad, so eventually getting an AutoCAD clone on something like this could do wonders for design. For now I’ll just stick to a wacom tablet and a bootcamped macbook pro.

  4. Here’s what I want to know:

    How much weight can it handle when I toss it onto the sofa seat next to me, get up for whatever reason, and then accidentally sit on it?

  5. WOW, I can’t believe they’re trying this trademark steal again! First ‘Apple’, then ‘iPhone’, and now ‘iPad’! I bet they get away with it, but even as a fanboy I can’t really applaud this.

  6. Has the trademark war been fought yet? I’d blame apple for being unable to figure out a unique name, but since they popularized the i-, it’s become semi-synonomous with hip for any vendor brave enough for write the letter ‘i’ on their packaging, so it’s not like Apple’s alone any more in their naming scheme.

  7. C White, oops, I missed your stylus point.. (no pun)

    There are third-party solutions for iPhone and iPod Touch, so I don’t see why not. But I’m pretty sure they don’t do pressure. There is probably a market in a bluetooth (or tethered) pressure sensitive pen-device that also mimics the finger for the touch-screen to pick up.

  8. It doesn’t support T-Mobile’s 3G spectrum, so unless you’re willing to search at EDGE speeds, you’re stuck on ATT’s crappy network.

  9. Forget the rest of it, how is this gadget able to provide 10 hours of functioning when your average netbook can barely manage 2-3 hours depending on WiFi capability? Unless iPad is using some radical new battery technology, I don’t see how this is possible.

    1. Not new battery tech–new processor. Makes sense if you consider that the iPad is a lot closer to a smartphone than it is a netbook.

  10. ipad: the new netbook from apple, featuring touch screen and accelerometer. That’s it. How disappointing.

  11. I’m not terribly impressed, to be honest. What niche does this fill? It’s too big to be as useful as an iPhone; and it’s too limited to be useful as a general purpose computer. How, exactly, is this that much better than a netbook, Rob?

  12. Ehhh, I’m not that excited. AT&T has horrible service and coverage. And the price-point just makes me think for $200 less I can get an iPod Touch that I can carry everywhere or for a tad more (or maybe refurbished) I can get a MacBook.

    The publishing potential is intriguing. It would be nice to see how the iBook store competes against the Kindle.

    Still, I don’t see this as a publishing magic bullet. I mean even on a textbook level, wouldn’t a serious student want a laptop with a real keyboard and more options? And the “Apple A4” chip? What is that? Wither Intel or is this a stopgap chip until Intel perfects a mobile chip?

    1. 1) no full internet just crappy mobile safari (i know i own a touch)

      2) no usb ergo no cheap memory expansion (external HDs)

      3) itunes syncing (no drag and droping files from pc to ipad) pain in the ass

      4) no webcam, awkward IMing

      5)no VLC. i regularly watch movies in my netbook, no way i could wait 3-4 hours to trascode them to stupid apple codec.

      6) no Flash. Redundant but without flash you don’t have Internet you have a crippled and frustrating experience specially cause it means no streaming FREE PORN.

      7) underwhelming specs. 1ghz CPU unknown RAM (doubt it is more than 1gb) unkown GPU . kiddie apps. no full blown OS ergo eternal app store and assorted crapware tie in.

      as for the games? i say WTF? that FPS looked like something from 2003.

    2. You can install the software you like, not from one single vendor a common enough practice for users.
      but you cant do this on this limiting OS

  13. What does this really offer, aside from Apple-brand-related-stuff, that distinguishes it from the many “failed” tablets we’ve seen over the years?

  14. Some negatives to consider:

    1. No apps that have not been approved by Apple. By which I mean, you can’t download your favorite apps off some web site somewhere. You are strictly limited to the app store.

    2. No camera.

    3. Microphone, but apparently… no voice calls.

    4. eBook reader only through iBookstore. No word about loading your own books/PDFs.

    5. Network is GSM-based. That rules out Verizon for your choices.

    6. No multitasking. This isn’t OSX. It’s not a laptop. Or a mini-laptop. Or even, apparently, a netbook. It’s the stripped-down iPhone OS.

    7. 16 GB for $500. 64 GB for $700. Some are complaining about the price because of the limited functionality.

    8. No video out? Does that docking station allow video out, or is it just for the keyboard?

    1. To Robert’s point #4 above (eBook reader only through iBookstore), all indications are that “iBooks” is just another application on the device — and that Stanza, an eBook reader which already runs on the iPhone, will work on the iPad and allow you to read DRM-free eBooks in almost any format.

      For that matter, Amazon already has a free “Kindle for iPhone” app, so you’ll probably even be able to read eBooks that use the Kindle’s proprietary DRM.

    2. In regard to being limited to the iBookstore, realize that this is basically an iPhone — there are numerous ebook readers for the iPhone that take in your own content(such as the free Stanza) and I would imagine that versions of them that use the larger screen will be realized soon. I’m still not sold on the iPad yet, but this particular objection doesn’t seem major.

    3. Robert writes: “eBook reader only through iBookstore”

      It will run iPhone apps: is there any reason to think that Stanza, Kindle for iPhone or GoodReader won’t work on the pad? I suppose they may not take full advantage of the larger screen out of the box, but unless Apple specifically blocks them, their developers may be able to add that functionality later.

    4. Well as far as other bookstores, remember that there is an iPhone app from Amazon, that lets you read all your kindle books. And Barnes&Noble used to have an iPhone app reading mobi books.

      The thing that annoys me most is in the 8-minute promo video from Apple where they say, ‘It’s the best way to surf the internet,’ when it still doesn’t do flash — therefore you can’t even view any of the sites that are built on flash. Flash is buggy and awful, but it is used on a lot of sites, including a lot of corporate sites.

    5. I’d like to evaluate Robert’s iPad negatives list based on what is likely to be upgraded in the 2nd gen version and/or via software. We already know that Apple likes to make the 1st gen device slightly lame, probably in order to keep initial production costs low and so that upgrade purchases are more likely. The iPhone’s product development provides a near perfect analog of the likely iPad path.

      1) no full internet just crappy mobile safari (i know i own a touch)

      Mobile Safari pretty much blows except for more than casual surfing. I would expect future mobile Safari to add real tabs which will help. But will Apple ever allow third-party browsers? That is a serious issue, and part of the whole controlled-platform problem.

      2) no usb ergo no cheap memory expansion (external HDs)

      It seems unlikely that Apple will allow the iPad to be a USB master. So not only no cheap memory expansion, this also means no backups, no photo importing, and no iPod syncing without also have to own a computer. And no cheap external mouse or keyboard; every third part product must be specially designed to be dock.

      3) itunes syncing (no drag and droping files from pc to ipad) pain in the ass

      No way to copy files from one computer to anther, probably ever.

      4) no webcam, awkward IMing

      Very likely in the 2nd gen.

      5)no VLC. i regularly watch movies in my netbook, no way i could wait 3-4 hours to trascode them to stupid apple codec.

      Quite possibly VLC or some other player could become an approved app; but the big issue is that without directory access how do you get the files on?

      6) no Flash. Redundant but without flash you don’t have Internet you have a crippled and frustrating experience specially cause it means no streaming FREE PORN.

      Quite likely in a future release, and/or streaming sites will find a work-around.

      7) underwhelming specs. 1ghz CPU unknown RAM (doubt it is more than 1gb) unknown GPU . kiddie apps. no full blown OS ergo eternal app store and assorted crapware tie in.

      By my calculations an iPhone 3G is approximately equal in specs (except screen res) to a Powerbook G3 Pismo. I can’t see the iPad being less than perhaps a Powerbook Titanium or other low-end G4. What do you want to do on a tablet today that you could not do on a laptop five years ago? I don’t even mind the scaled-down OS.

      I want to add two:

      8) Apple’s total control over the OS, apps, and store. I can’t use my eMusic subscription? Why not? I can’t even download and add a free MP3 from a web page?

      9) REQUIRES another computer. As a scaled-up iPhone I think this is a silly device. However I think this would make an pretty decent, cheap, basic netbook… except you also are required to own a whole ‘nother computer. I would buy this for Mom as her only computer if only Mom could get her photos onto it from her camera and hook up a hard drive to back it up once a week.

  15. To quote a guy in IRC: behold! the only netbook that can’t multitask!

    Also: the only netbook that’s not a USB master (so no access to thumbdrives, etc from it)

    1. Yeah this, for me, is a total DOA. Without USB host it’s useless, I mean you could of plugged anything from more storage to a decent keyboard in.

      I really want something portable that I can upload work from an electronic typewriter to (I currently use a laptop with a USB to serial converter). I think I’ll get myself a Nokia N810, it’s smaller, it’s hackable and it’s available for about £100 on ebay.

      Even phones are now coming with USB host (Nokia N900 – off the top of my head).

  16. Oh, and ONE MORE THING.

    9. Apple doesn’t like to sell apps in the app store that duplicate apps it already has. So does that mean that Ray Kurzweil will NOT be able to run the Blio ereader software on this thing because it already has Apple’s iBook? I weep for humanity.

  17. Sigh, this thing is just a full OS away from being perfect for me… I’m not very fond of Apple’s new-found enthusiasm for telling me what programs I can and can’t use on their devices. That said, it’s becoming clear that the highly mediated locked-down approach is one that’s very popular with the general consumer – the immediate forecast isn’t very good for someone like me, who likes having more control. Oh well. I can hope for enterprising hackers to jailbreak the thing, or wait ten years until all the interesting apps will be on the network anyway.

  18. I’m thinking, also, that this is basically the next-gen iphone with a big display–it’s all battery behind it. Or, think of the next iphone as iPad hardware with a smaller display and (!) a camera, voice.

  19. Robert has some good questions at #22.

    I would also wonder about the ability to run programs for editing documents and for example can it run “Ulysses” the writing application?

    Also, will the G voice web work-around using HTML 5 work for use on this as it appears it will on the iphone?

    Finally, I must second the battery life skepticism, 10 hours running wifi and bright screen? At the thickness promised this seems an impossibility with current tech. Somebody who know more then me needs should probably speak to this however.

  20. Very sorry for the double post, but one more question for the knowledgeable crowd here, what are thoughts compared to say the Lenovo U1 or whatever they are calling there laptop with a detachable tablet?

  21. Heh, I’ve used one of those Fujitsu iPads. It’s kind of like a register-in-a-pricing-gun with secure wifi. Most stations for those self-checkout lanes have one of them as part of the setup.

    Not something likely to compete, but they also make integrated touchscreen computers for registers and kiosks. Just not portable ones..

  22. Odd how I’ve read through all of the specs/features/claims and still prefer the better netbooks available.

    And when did we switch from the miniaturization of technology to taking a product already available in pocket form and making it bigger?

    1. And when did we switch from the miniaturization of technology to taking a product already available in pocket form and making it bigger?

      Probably when there was a good reason to embiggen it. Displays spring to mind.

  23. Meh. This seems like it lives in a no-man’s land of devices. If you want portable access to do “basic” stuff, like check e-mail, get directions, and things like that, a smart phone is a much better idea. It fits in your pocket and is truly portable. It can do all of the basic stuff you might want out of a computer so long as it doesn’t take a pile of computing power or a good keyboard. If you want to do any “serious” work, a full computer, either a desktop of a laptop is what is called for. It has the power to run a few applications, a keyboard and mouse, and lots of data storage.

    What niche does this thing fill? Looking awesome at the coffee shop? I’m not saying it isn’t a spiffy device, just that all of its functions are overlapped with things that people who are willing to plunk down the cash likely already have.

    I feel this device sits pretty solidly in the ‘toy’ category. It is cool looking, I bet it is fun to use, but its functions are already covered better by devices I already have and can’t give up. The only way I could see myself dropping the cash for one of these is if I feel I have a few hundred burning a hole in my pocket.

    Actually, I think the person that might get the most use out of an iPad like device is someone like my mother. She just needs a computer to read the news, look up cooking recipes, and other “basic” stuff. She isn’t hardcore enough to own a smart phone, and a full computer rig is a waste on her more likely to get filled with spyware. An iPad device is probably exactly right for her.

    1. Actually, I think the person that might get the most use out of an iPad like device is someone like my mother. She just needs a computer to read the news, look up cooking recipes, and other “basic” stuff. She isn’t hardcore enough to own a smart phone, and a full computer rig is a waste on her more likely to get filled with spyware. An iPad device is probably exactly right for her.

      I think there are a lot of people like your mother, who do nothing more than internet, email, and word processing (maybe music and photos). These people tend to be confused by all the features of a full OS. They don’t understand files and folders, they use the default applications for everything because they don’t understand how or why to install new applications, and they don’t really get multitasking. This thing is great for them because they don’t really need a whole computer — they just need an overgrown iPod touch.

      I can also see it as a portable adjunct to a full-featured machine, as a netbook was really supposed to be. When all you need to work on the road is office applications, email and internet, the iPad is very nice and a hell of a lot cheaper than the Air.

      Why buy this instead of a netbook? It just comes down to liking the interface better, and liking the ability to seamlessly transfer things from your full-featured Mac as if to an iPod. Same song and dance as when the iPhone came out. “But there are more features on my Windows Mobile phone!” Yeah, but those features are a pain in the ass to actually use. There are more features on a netbook than the iPad, but do they really make the netbook’s usability better?

      For everyone just saying “Meh” — what would you have liked to see? What would have gotten you excited?

      1. I think that’s a good question, Caroline. For me, the missing ingredients aren’t extras that would bloat the product, they are essentials for it to supplant my netbook:

        1. Flash support
        2. Notation/marginalia function built into e-reader
        3. Ditto for a dictionary
        4. USB port to extend data storage space
        5. Camera to make it a useful Skype device

      2. “These people tend to be confused by all the features of a full OS. They don’t understand files and folders, they use the default applications for everything because they don’t understand how or why to install new applications, and they don’t really get multitasking. This thing is great for them because they don’t really need a whole computer — they just need an overgrown iPod touch.”

        so for the apple fanboi the average non tech savvy consumer is retarded. it’s a good thing that we have you people dictate what they need. so my father needs a gigapodtouch? not really, he hates touchscreens, and he will refuse to use anything that does not have a usb port and drag and drop for his files. he is 68 and doesn’t give a crap about gadgets. no multitasking you say? well he listens to music as he types, and he tab browses but maybe he shouldn’t.

        he surfs, mails and writes and he wants to share the stuff he writes with his also non tech savvy friends that somehow are capable of using a full blown pc and note/netbooks . none of this is possible between ipad users. no plug and play no party at least for old people who somehow learned to use Windows.

      3. The things keeping it at “meh” status for me are lack of multitasking and Flash. HTML5? Maybe in another few years. “We” certainly can’t do without Flash. You tell that to the unwashed FarmVille-ing masses. It’ll take a long, long time for Flash to die out, if ever.

      4. “liking the ability to seamlessly transfer things from your full-featured Mac as if to an iPod”

        What if I – and millions of others – want to seamlessly transfer things from my full-featured PC to this new device? You know, things like WMVs? AVIs? (Luckily it does MP3s) and then actually being able to USE them?

        But that’s ok, Apple doesn’t want anybody to get “confused” by extra choice. Music = iTunes. Movies = Quicktime. Browser = Mobile Safari. And no replacement for them. Plugging in extra USB storage you may have? Why for, when you can buy additional 16GB/32GB of storage for a mere 100$!

        It’s obvious that Apple only care about having more customers using its distribution “eco-system” where iTunes+Appstore are the source. Next in line is probably HDTV movies distribution to the iPad, Apple regulating prices and controlling content. Biggest reason of all to avoid their overpriced netbooks, computers and phones.

        Oh well, Microsoft got shafted with having only IE on their OS, maybe some day Apple will be forced to provide Firefox through their Appstore. Yeah.

  24. It also still doesn’t do Flash.

    I am curious about the battery times. I wonder if that’s ‘standby’ like sleep or active standby. I’m guessing it’s more like sleep where it can’t receive information over air. And if that’s the case, then I wonder if the 10 hours is on but idle or actually using the processor.

  25. There’s a reason Kindles and Nooks use E-ink—much easier on the eyes for extended, novel-type reading then a back lit display. Plus it’s likely not “readable” on the beach, or other places where there’s lots of glare. A kindle is essentially just like a book in that regard (though the kindle -does- need a light to read in the dark).

  26. To add to the list:
    No tabbed browsing as far as I can see, it’s just one page at a time.

    Looks to be around twice the price of a netbook.

    The screen is going to be vulnerable compared to a netbook. Scratches aint pretty.

    Can you download arbitrary media from the web and play it?

    It would be interesting if it was a proper tablet, but otherwise, Meh.

  27. The netbook is not dead! it will just be confined to its niche were it belongs and were it is really useful.

    Netbooks are used for a lot of task for which they don’t really fit. The same, however, can be said for the iPhone or other smartphones. Video? Web browsing? Ebook reader?

    In my opinion, there are a lot of mobile tasks between laptops and phones for which netbooks were the right size and smartphones were the right device type. That’s iPad area from now on.

  28. hmmm, if they could somehow shrink it down to a more manageable size, add a camera and a phone, THEN i might be interested…

  29. some of the negatives (caveats) reported seem to ignore that ipod touch/iphone apps will work on the device. That means that various book readers (kindle app, b&n app) should be readable on this device.

    Furthermore, you can read pdfs on the iphone/ipod touch, so I cannot imagine the ipad being different.

    The multi-tasking thing is a bit of a pain, but I have to say that it has only caused a minor inconvenience with the ipod touch.

    1. “Furthermore, you can read pdfs on the iphone/ipod touch”

      not really, i tried to open large PDF files on my touch but they will not open.

      1. zio_donnie,

        I’m not sure how large your pdfs are, but check out the app goodreader. I find it very helpful for reading large PDFs.

  30. No iBook outside the US I see, that’s turned a “maybe” into a “Probbaly not” for me. Especially as apple’s “no competition in the store” rules will mean they’ll not let anything similar for the UK until they *eventually* make a outside-us version of it.

  31. The multi-touch OS on this thing looks amazing, in fact the whole thing has got the super-cool Apple factor all over it. The entry level model will probably sell lots, esp. if they drop the price another 50 bucks.

    I dread to think just how much this is going to suck everybody into its sexy glass screen, touch me, touch me!

    If you spend hours on you iphone every week, imagine how much more involving this thing will be.

    The lack of a standard USB port or any way to extend the storage (SD cards or whatever) is really sad, Apple seems to be able to get away with turning a lack of features into a feature itself. In fact the company’s logo, the bitten apple, is a hint at the pact that Stevie and co. made with Satan back in the day (probably under the catalytic influence of good ol’ american ac!d). It is this pact that infuses every new Apple with an aura of irresistible sexiness , a GOT TO HAVE , almost desperate desire, which is exactly what the ol’ Devil wants from his clients.

    Notice how thin and dishevelled Stevie looked, such deals inevitably have a heavy toll. ..

    When is this available again, and is someone already working on pwning it?! A proper hack will make this doubly aweso….ah, must expand vocabulary!

  32. No Porn at all in fact, since you can’t use flash and Apple won’t let boobies on the market place.

  33. It has no camera and no videoconferencing. Thus, I do not want or need this device. Apple is either full of ignorant people who don’t realize they already have the technology to make the iPad a video conferencing tool, or they are intentionally limiting the functionality of the device. In either case they are stupid.

    It is just a giant iPhone/iPod touch.

  34. @Chinny Racoon: if my iPhone can go 2 years in my pocket without scratches on the glass, I suspect this’ll be fine.

    I’m hearing the same old “but it doesn’t have x, y and z!” arguments that come around every time there’s a new Apple product. Clearly x, y and z aren’t necessary because people buy a LOT of Apple products. Every bell and whistle adds bloat and confusion and more points of failure. Apple is all about removing those things and giving people exactly what they never even knew they wanted.

    This isn’t a netbook. It isn’t a laptop. It isn’t an iPhone. All it has to do is meet some unmet demand in the marketplace. Does anyone really believe it won’t?

    1. “Every bell and whistle adds bloat and confusion and more points of failure. Apple is all about removing those things and giving people exactly what they never even knew they wanted.”

      Multitasking, just to use an example, is not a bell or a whistle. It’s something that is a natural part of personal computing. Apple isn’t “giving us what we never even knew we wanted” as much as it is “taking away things that we need and telling us we never needed them in the first place”.

      Honestly, this thing is underwhelming; to me, it’s just a very large iPod Touch. Obviously it’s going to sell by the bucketload because, “Ooh, pretty”, and because Apple markets their products as fashion accessories.

      And the funny thing is that in September they’ll probably release a new model that addresses some or all of the complaints about this one, and everyone will be locked in a happy cycle of mindless consumerism.

  35. Not a widescreen aspect ratio… weird… A faster , widescreen version for HD movies will probably follow… isn’t that called trickle-down technology?

    Who said it doesn’t multitask?

        1. i already have googled it and i am offended that you think that i hadn’t. iphone porn sucks compared to the real internet. some sites are “mobile” compatible but most of them ain’t.

  36. it’s a media consumption device. i was hoping for a media creation device. i figured if anybody could make a decent slate geared towards artists it would be apple. meh, i’ll keep looking.

    1. No Starcraft or any of the classic games that I have on my netbook – Acer Aspire One. Plus no MS Office – so there’s no way the iPad will replace laptops until it allows you to install non app store software. And Really, no camera? no usb? wth? I’ll wait for the 2nd or 3rd generation most likely.

  37. 1.)no pen input device for notes, or most important SKETCHING/ DRAWING. (HELLO AUTODESK/ ADOBE)
    2.)no flash = no streaming video or 3rd party movies ect. hello apple monopoly.
    3.)no laptop dock, ie detachable screen/folding keyboard.
    4.)no external harddrive/hardrive way to small
    5.)closed development ie. itunes only marketplace
    6.)no camera yet it has everything an iphone has and then some, this means NO AUGMENTED REALITY APPS. apple could of added a swiveling camera for both videoconferncing/ photography/ augmented reality apps. apple could solve this be selling a detachable camera dongle separately.
    7.)no separate game pad controller for playing games, how many of us have screamed at our iphones in frustration when using a virutal “touchpad” or used motion inside a moving vehicle? it needs along with iphone an detachable gamepad like controller.
    8.)need the option to choose between safari browser & other 3rd party competing browsers.
    9.)needs to run mac os x software for 2x price of competing netbooks.
    10.)needs moar cowbell… Stevo i am thrilled to be disapoint…

  38. About the lack of webcam, on this and the iPhone 3GS:
    I believe this is because many Apple designers and Stevie himself are probably of the paranoid disposition and, like many others, have grown to resent the ubiquitous trend of recent gadgets to stick a camera in your face… Too Big Brother-like for the hip Apple biters. In fact there is a gap in the market for little round black stickers to cover our gadgets’ webcams.

    This is history in the making, oh yeah, and Windows Mobile 7 is out.

  39. My Acer netbook, for which I paid exactly $250, has the exact same size screen, a full keyboard, 10 hours of battery life, AND runs both Windows XP and ChromeOS. My netbook is far from being outmoded by an oversized iPhone.

  40. I’m a giant Apple fangirl but I just don’t see it. This is an iPod Touch with a bigger screen, and thus really limited in fuctionality.

    Netbooks are dirt cheap, which is a big part of their appeal. I don’t think this thing is very cheap for what it can do either.

  41. I, for one, am anticipating iPad/iPod pronunciation errors to lead to a real crisis throughout the upper midwest, especially Chicagoland.

  42. I wanted a camera w/ video capability.
    I wanted a way to extend memory.
    I wanted a touch screen laptop that also ran apps from the app store.

    Instead we have a iTouch that is bigger. If it was a bigger iPhone w/ video conferencing that would have sold me.

    I am sure the sexy design factor will get some folks but I’ll stick to the smaller and more functional iPhone.


  43. >> Notice how thin and dishevelled Stevie looked, such deals inevitably have a heavy toll. ..

    So does pancreatic cancer.

  44. It’s nice to see them finally make an iPhone for the elderly. Easier to hold, nice big buttons… Wait… It doesn’t work as a phone?

  45. RobinGF | #56: Apple trivia: It isn’t a bite, it is a dent. As in, what the apple that hit Newton on the head got for its trouble.

    As for the iPad, it looks cool. It might even be fun to play around with. I might user it more than I think I would. But I don’t think I will rush out and buy one when they become available. More than a USB port, I was hoping for an SD slot; smaller and not in the way when it is in use. The lack of a camera is also a hair frustrating, though, like a pressure sensitive pen, that may be a great opening for the right 3rd party to offer.

    So, yeah, Wacom just breathed a sigh of relief. This could have been a great (and far cheaper) alternative to the Cintiq. Maybe in a couple of generations.

    Hmmm, how about that as an app: a wifi or bluetooth app that lets you use it as a display for your computer (desktop or laptop). I doubt that bluetooth has the bandwidth, and you wouldn’t be able to use wifi for both your network access and your remote display at the same time.

    1. Vnend:

      Apple trivia: It’s a bite, not a dent. As in how Alan Turing (the inventor of the digital computer because it’s a computer company) committed suicide.

    2. RobinGF | #56: Apple trivia: It isn’t a bite, it is a dent. As in, what the apple that hit Newton on the head got for its trouble.

      No it’s a bite. The Newton story is a myth. Interview with Rob Janoff, designer of the Apple logo scroll to just under the picture of the Apple II to see where the designer talks about adding the ‘bite’ then to the picture of Adam and Eve where he dismisses some of the myths about the bite.

      This device certainly seems pretty underwhelming. I was really hoping that Apple would have found a good halfway point between MacOS and the iPhone. Seems they’ve just made the iPhone bigger and taken away some of the features. Silly.

  46. This is it in a nutshell. 250$ netbook doesn’t yet transform into a supersexy multitouch tablet, but a) that’s sexy, not actually life changing and b) going to double the price anyways, makign the whole “netbook” thing sort of pointless.

    The idea is to have a small, light machine with a bunch of USB ports on it at the attractive price point of a Wii or similar console game system. It lets me plug in my bajillion USB devices on the road to reconfigure them (or recharge them ;), check email, and surf boingboing.

    My mother, bless her heart, thinks Steve Jobs AND Bill Gates are the devil in disguise. I’ll have her on Ubuntu yet.

    1. Without Flash, this thing is no better than the iPhone I already have. Except that it can’t take pictures or make calls. Sure the screen is bigger, but that’s the least they could do. I think Apple missed the mark on this one.

  47. This is clearly not just an oversized iPhone/iPod Touch! Look at the spec, see the videos of the GUI! New chip inside.

    Most of the inside is probably a large very thin battery…

  48. …and, like every other tablet, will be another marketing footnote in a year or so, just like Apple would have been, as a company, and they not accidentally had a hit with the iPod. This is yet another solution looking for a problem.

    I, for one, hope Apple never realizes that they are not as important as they think they are. It is fun to watch them, and the fan-boys.

    1. “…accidentally had a hit with the iPod. This is yet another solution looking for a problem.”

      They also did ok with a little-known toy they called, “iPhone.” It is fun to watch them squirm with their ridiculous baubles that no one wants.

  49. All the people saying things like “no flash = no streaming video or 3rd party movies”

    I don’t understand. I watch streaming movies from several website on my iPhone all the time. When I worked for, I helped develop it’s iPhone compatibility. It’s easy to tweak your flash movie into something that’s iPhone / iPad streaming compatible. Many site do it, someone linked 4 or 5 of them earlier in the thread.

    I agree that flash would be nice, and that it would provide more compatibility, and open up sites like Hulu. But to say no flash = no streaming video is just wrong.

  50. “It’s easy to tweak your flash movie into something that’s iPhone / iPad streaming compatible.”

    i could counter argue that it is easier to put flash in the iphone OS instead of changing every damn site for the sake of 2 devices.

    would you please explain to me in simple words why it is that the WWW has to be apple compatible and not vice versa?

  51. No multitasking apps?!?

    You mean I can’t listen to Pandora while I browse the web? Play games and still get email notifications?!?

    This isn’t an OS, it’s a kid’s toy.

  52. Two things that would send me over the edge to get this.

    1) I see there is ‘video out’, but is there ‘video in’ for this to use as a spare, portable monitor for your laptop?

    2) Also, can you use this like a wacom tablet at all? Not like a separate app as someone mentioned above, but use this iPad as a tablet you hook up to your laptop or desktop machine? If that’s the case this would not only be cheaper than buying a Wacom Cintiq, but it would also destroy a Wacom Cintiq in capabilities (depending on resolution).

  53. Regarding the comments about lack of usb external storage access…I see on the site that they have an SD card reader attachment. So, you could presumably have a bunch of xx GB SD cards for storage.

  54. Ok, since the word “fanboi” has inevitably popped up… you do not have to suck Apples to appreciate the quality of Apple’s products. I think Apple is as despicable as any other large corporate entity esp those in high tech. Hi tec is bad for the planet and for you and me, OK?
    If you need or want an Apple, buy it second hand, they’re usually good for years, and save money and the environment. Ignore Apple’s corporate ploys and you still have some great tools. Hack that iPhone. Pwn that iPad. Disable iTunes store. For every fanboi there’s a happy Apple user who sees through the gloss and gets a lot out of some great software/hardware coming out of Cupertino without queuing at Applestores on launch days or bothering to show off to his Windoze using friends, whose computer just died…

  55. For anyone who is “salivating” over At&t’s $30 unlimited data plan…doesn’t their network already blow chunks? They can give away data access when it only trickles through to their customers anyway.

    Besides, I give it 6 mo. before they begin threatening users for “bandwidth abuse”

  56. How do you actually get your pictures into the iPad? Do you need to have a *real* computer in order to do so? Because if it doesn’t have usb, no camera, the only way to get pictures in is from the web and/or through synchronizing with itunes in a regular computer. Am I missing something here?

  57. The lack of camera is easy to explain. Can you reasonably claim that you want to be on the receiving end of a video conference where the other person is using a /hand held/ device? Any productivity gained by video is lost from the abject nausea from all the camera jiggles. To simulate this effect, find any vlogger on Youtube who does not own a tripod.

    1. what? i have had double camera phones since 2004. videocalls failed mostly because they cost 3 times a voice call and video is not smooth cause 3G coverage sucks (at least in Italy and Greece where “videophones” where heavily promoted). that is why MMS never took off too (costs 3-4 times an SMS).

      that said videocalls can be fun and useful. i used my free promo video time and i can say that if it costed as much as voice i would definitely use it. not to mention that all high end nokia phones have 2 cameras by default so do most other high end handsets other than the iphone.

      IMing without webcam is out of the question. a cam is an absolute must (ergo all netbooks and notebooks sport one). if you don’t miss it probably you don’t use the full potential of the web anyway.

      lack of a feature in an apple product does not make the feature useless.

  58. It costs too much for what you get, and apple is continuing the neo-fascist stranglehold on software.

    Seriously, just buy a netbook. You can get one with a 10hr battery life for $500 that runs windows 7 and just about any software you can find. Added bonus: real keyboard so it’s actually useful.

  59. Don’t mean to offend but many of the compaints here appear to be un-informed… There IS a keyboard and dock, and even the iPhone CAN multitask. You get notifications popping up when you’re playing a game, for example. This device has a new 1Ghz chip so it can, and I’m sure it does, multi-task. This thing is going to be good, really good, we can expect all kinds of useful 3rd party periperals.

    You can run all sorts of apps on jailbroken iDevices, everyone knows that, and I doubt Apple will seriously stop people from opening up the iPad. Apple staff themselves jailbreak their devices. Apple could have really locked up the iDevices but they didn’t because jailbreak is actually good for the market.

    VLC for jailbroken iPhone 3GS is out there, and several other media players that will deal with non-apple approved formats.

    Most of the complaints are moot apart from the lack of an SD card slot. Such a capable device is crippled by that… 16GB will fill up pretty quick.

    1. @RobinGF: No, it can’t multitask, apart from maybe a few of it’s own native tasks popping up notifications and stuff.

      The iPad is running iPhone OS 3.2, which has no multitasking for apps. Only one app can run at a time. You can’t, for instance, let your Pandora app play music while you’re doing something else, like browsing the internet.

      iPhone OS 4.0 is rumored to have multitasking, but it still doesn’t exist.

  60. Hey all I’m saying is that “no flash = no streaming video” is very different than the reality of “no flash = some streaming video”

    YouTube, PornHub, and most other major streaming sites are iPhone / iPod compatible. My understanding is Hulu is not, but I don’t use Hulu, so I don’t know for sure.

    This boils down to part of the “it’s not a real computer, it’s just a big iPod Touch” argument. Yeah that sucks, but for $499, I’ll probably still get one.

  61. I was hoping for a true electronic tablet that I could use like a pen and paper for writing and drawing.

  62. Dont fall for it again
    This is for all practical purposes a public
    Beta that you pay apple to be a part of
    Wont see stable hardware or software for at least 4-5 years

  63. Fujitsu makes six different Tablets. All are portable.

    Yep. They also all ship with Windows.
    Maybe if Fujitsu made a multi-touch tablet with a customized version of Linux that worked properly we could look that way.

  64. i already have googled it and i am offended that you think that i hadn’t.


    You do realize that not every comment in this thread is addressed to you, right?

    My original comment was in response (and quoted) Trent Hawkins‘ “No Porn at all in fact, since you can’t use flash and Apple won’t let boobies on the market place.

    And yes, iPhone porn does suck. I was merely trying to provide some mobile relief for poor pr0n-starved Trent.

    1. oh ok sorry, i thought that you wanted to convince me that a decent porn experience was possible on an iphone/pod LOL

  65. My 600 dollar HP looks a lot better. 3 GB RAM, 320 GB HD. All I don’t have is touchscreen, and that just seems to be a way to get my sweaty fingerprints all over the lovely monitor.

    30$/mo AT&T WiFi isn’t that much better than the 49.00 all you can eat Clearwire in my area.

  66. 1. If Sun aren’t around to over charge for cables and converters then why shouldn’t Apple take over ?

    2. Wonder where Jobs was when this was being designed, is this an example of Apple products post Jobs ?

  67. 30$/mo AT&T WiFi isn’t that much better than the 49.00 all you can eat Clearwire in my area.

    Yes it is. It’s 40% better.

  68. So — to everyone bitching — don’t buy the thing. It won’t replace laptops. But there are an awful lot of people out there who *don’t need a laptop*. They just want to surf, watch their movies, share photos, listen to music, read a book, and this, like the iPhone, is MUCH easier for the nontech user to start using. There’s hardly any learning curve at all. None, if they already use an iPhone. I’d wager the people complaining about the limitations are not the market for the iPad, and that’s fine.

    I am curious about the available dongles for it — . A USB dongle? One for an SD card? It may be that the USb only charges and the SD card is just a way to get photos on from your camera, but if you can access external storage without going through iTunes the iPad looks much more attractive to me.

    I’m worried about Stanza, though. Apple hates products that compete with theirs; will it matter if one already existed?

    1. But there are an awful lot of people out there who *don’t need a laptop*.

      Exactly, here’s my thoughts from when Intel bitched-out netbooks in 2008. It’s surprisingly related (not “surprisingly related” like there’s a twist in the end that ties it all together in a gasp-inducing crecendo of deceit and double-deceit, but surprising that it’s actually pretty relevant).

    2. “They just want to surf, watch their movies, share photos, listen to music, read a book, and this, like the iPhone, is MUCH easier for the nontech user to start using. There’s hardly any learning curve at all.”

      Unless you are talking about someone which has never used a computer (PC,LinuX, or Mac) before and is rich this product is useless.

      1) surf: crippled without flash and tabs. non tech savvy people still love facebook and farmiville or other crap like that. they can’t do it on this. text only facebook? why if you can have a netbook that does it all?

      2) share photos? how? you must have a computer to upload and download photos from. and you cannot take photos with it since it hasnt got a cam

      3)watch their movies? unless they buy everything from iTunes they will have to be tech savvy enough to transcode files to the ipod format and then upload it from a regular computer to the pad.

      4)listen to music? same as above

      5)read a book? same as above.

      in all cases this gadget cannot be used without syncing to a proper computer (it even charges from USB and not a wallplug) . ergo if you are savvy enough to use a full OS why bother and not buy a netbook? the iPad is NOT tecno-neanderthal user friendly. the iphone is user friendly because it’s main use is to be a phone and one may not bother much with the rest maybe spending the odd dollar for an app or game. but buying a dedicated PMP that can play only certain content is another matter.

      the ipad is a glorified archos PMP.

  69. The reason why we’re seeing so much hate on the iPad all over the net today on sites like Gizmodo, Engadget, and BoingBoing, is because the iPad isn’t for people who regularly visit Gizmodo, Engadget, and BoingBoing. This isn’t for enthusiasts. This isn’t for hardcore users. This is for the spoonfed masses who just want something to do basic tasks on without having all the headache of “features” and “options” and “choice.” For those people, this is the perfect device. Problem is, this is about $200 too much for those people to adopt this as a high rate, and that is the real reason why this may very well fail.

  70. Underwhelmed. I wasn’t expecting the great Flying Spaghetti Monster to come down and bless this device, but I was hoping for… something more.
    Is it sharp and pretty looking? Sure. Does that processor make it look fast as fire? The hands on videos sure makes it seem so.
    But for that kind of money I want… well dangit, I want a Computer. Not a “device” that’s closed off by what Apple thinks I’ll want/what they approve in the app store. (Baby Shaker 2.0! Now life sized digital babies to shake!) Not to mention I’m sure everything you put on there has to go through iTunes, ugh.
    Xeni called them “cheap”. Consider: They want an extra C-note for 8 gigs of internal memory.
    Gimmie a Break.

  71. Oddly enough, I still use and like my old Palm T3, in spite of its lack of multitasking…

    No, the ‘biggest’ complaint I have from what I have seen so far is actually the fact that it ‘docks’ in portrait mode, not landscape. What do you do if you want to sit back and watch a movie and charge it at the same time? It is an odd way of doing it, other than that it makes it like the lesser iPods.

    We’ll see if my tune changes when I finally see one in person.

    But, did we want more? Sure. Do we know how it is going to be used? Not yet.

    By the way, is there a ssh client for the iPhone? How about a remote screen share? :-)

  72. You know, if Jobs was trying to shake up the market with something completely left field, I’d have some degree of respect?

    But take on the netbooks? Idiocy.

    He’s actually unveiled a device that isn’t open (i.e. you can’t even install what you want), is missing functionality like SD cards and USB connections, can’t even multitask, and– get this — costs more than netbooks that Dell, HP and Acer already currently offer.

    But of course no one will realize this and will rush to buy it because it’s from their God, Apple.

    I had plenty of nice things to say about the iPhone, because, to a degree, it changed the way mobile devices worked. I don’t see the same happening for the iPad, at all.

  73. Seems like a great device for the family so i’m looking forward to it. Great for plane rides But i’m still confused. Can I get everything off the App Store like Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes or Oregon Trail. Or do I have to wait for companies to make kids’ games specifically for the iPad?

  74. btw i would consider buying one despite all software shortcomings (what with the jailbreak people and all it could be nice hardware customizable to a lot of uses) but there is the crippling absence of USB ports. i could use this if i could somehow upload the photos from my camera without a PC. i already do this with a netbook. also for the top end model i would expect GPS. a no brainer actually for a portable device that wants to be “revolutionary”.

    1. If you go to apple’s website you will find there are already peripherals that allow you to plug in a camera. There is also a card reader for it.

      1. dongles? welcome to 2001. dongles defy the “it just works” concept don’t they? for my first laptop i had 3 dongles and 2-3 PCMCIA peripherals a backpack full of wires. i don’t want to go back to that. i even hate my netbook’s AC adapter. the best thing about my ipod touch is that i need just one cable. and between battery and performance i usually take battery.

        moreover i doubt that the dongles will work with a jailbroken machine (not to mention the extra cost).

        the iPad could be a nice netbook replacement only if it has less hassle and cables not more. no USB no party. i suppose the chinese will KIRF it with bumped specs for half the price.

  75. The big question for me is, does the device support multiple users? I have searched high and low and I can’t even find a person who has even asked this question yet. If I want to share this device with my wife, I want to use my own apps not hers. I want the browser to have my own history and bookmarks.

    My assumption is that each person in a household will be forced to buy their own iPad if they want to use their own apps and customize the layout to their preference. If that’s the case I’ll wait for something else.

  76. apparently there is something called Backgrounder for the iPhone which can let you run 2 things at once.

    as long as it gets jailbroken I’m buying one, just to be able to make apps which use multi-touch.

  77. The IPad is sporting a 1 GhZ processor with an unknown amount of ram. My netbook kicks this things ass from Florida to the west coast. This thing is a large ipod. You sir have lost all street cred.

  78. I had the same misgivings about the iPhone ad many do here abut the iPad, until a friend basically gave me an iPhone, and i started using it, and never looked back, Yes, it is a toy, but is at the same time a very well-made mini-computer and very capable communications device that is actually easy to use. That runs on very well-written software (mostly).

    Please don’t waste your time comparing this to windoze netbooks. There’s the MacBook Air for that. And even then, comparing hardare spec is missing half the story, which is the software.

    This is a new kind of device and software and will surely get a lot better very soon.

    Tabbed browsing? Mobile Safari does that, only they are pages , not tabs, same thing, different interface , made for fingers and small screens, not mouse pointers.

    What we’re looking at here is the latest in the evolution of the human/computer interface and Apple is, as usual, a pioneer.

  79. I’m in the “meh” category. What would make me happy? Apples version of the third-party mod product sold here…

    Wouldn’t be at the same price point, but it would reduce the number of niche products that I have. That alone would justify the higher price point, in my opinion.

  80. I’m already tired of the “iPad” being called a “tablet”…. A tablet is something you can write or draw on* NOT something you awkwardly type and fingerpaint on.

    *(with a stylus Mr. Jobs!)

  81. I guess I’m not the target market for this. It costs more than any electronic device I’ve bought in the last decade and does less than any of them except for the $40 Chinese mp3 player. Take that back, the mp3 player can play music while I read and it has a built in speaker.

    Why are people comparing this to a netbook? My netbook cost $300 and has lots of storage, expandable RAM, optional touch screen, and it runs real programs like Office and Photoshop. This thing is no more a netbook killer than it is a Kindle killer or a PSP killer.

    1. Take that back, the mp3 player can play music while I read and it has a built in speaker.

      The iPad will likely be able to play music in the background, just like the iPhone and iPod Touch already do, through the Music app. Just not using a third-party app like Spotify or Pandora.

      And it has an internal speaker.

  82. Once again something cool from Apple comes out and us Canadians are f*cked up the ass by our Nazi cell providers. Steve Jobs must wonder what the hell is going on up here.

  83. God, this is all so predictable. Weeks of fevered speculation. Everyone wonders about the new Apple widget. Will it/won’t it be a game-changer? What magic will Steve Jobs pull out of his hat this time?

    It finally arrives and this version 1.0 widget delivers on 95% of the fevered speculation. New, astonishing technology! Seamless support! Within _minutes_, sometimes _during_ his intro, those fevered speculators turn to naysayers. “It doesn’t have (those 5% of things that are suddenly deal breakers). Useless. It’ll never work, never sell.” Apple then goes on to sell a gazillion of them and changes some industry again.

    I see this exact same reaction every time Apple releases a product! Most of these comments could have been cut-and-pasted for everything from the Mac Plus to the iPhone.

    1. Huh? What astonishing new technology? What in anything that was announced was astonishing new technology?

  84. Was anyone else absurdly underwhelmed by Steve Job’s performance launching the iPad? And I’m not talking about whether he looked frail — he just couldn’t find anything good to say about it.

    How long did he spend saying that you could change the background image? Wow! On the iPad you can change the background image! To whatever you want!

    And a calendar app! It’s got a motherf’ckin calendar app people! And contacts! Take that Ballmer, maybe you’d like a bad-ass contacts app.

    Actually, the amazing thing was that he wasn’t putting in all those exclamation marks above. It really sounded like he was disgusted by how little it did. A slight shift in the tone of his voice, and this could have been an ass-whipping meeting with the senior execs on this device: “We’re two days away from announcing this thing, and all you can show me is a calendar?? Oh, I see, you have a contacts app up too? Woop-dee-f’ckin-do. You’re all fired. Somebody get Google Maps on this device or I’m canceling the event.”

  85. Heh, “no iBooks outside of US” ; good sales pitch there.
    Also, wouldnt buy them ibooks anyway, not until and unless ebook manufacturers realize that I will not buy an ebook that costs the same as a paperback;
    – the latter having manufacturing costs, printing costs, storage and distribution costs, for each copy;
    – while the former only has manufacturing costs for 1 copy.


    software related:
    – no flash (good luck surfing the web on this one)
    – still that modified safari, which means no tabs, which means not a decent web experience for a device that should make webbrowsing one of its strong points)
    – needs iTunes (for the love of all that is holy and unholy, embrace drag&drop instead of cramming that bloody bloated iTunes down our throats)
    – no release from app store (jailbreak will be needed) (will this ever be fought in court, I mean MS couldn’t get away with this, so why can Apple; I can see the argument for the phone not being a computer platform, but not for the laptop wannabe, that’s awfully close to MS bundling IE and we have legal precedents on that)

    and on the hardware side:
    – no GPS (needed for augmented reality apps)
    – no rear camera (needed for augmented reality apps)
    – no front camera (can we say video phone, been wanting one since the Thunderbirds did it)
    – no multitasking (on a phone, i can see the “battery” argument somewhat; on a laptop wannabe that’s a killing blow)
    – no battery replacement (seriousness of this will depend on actual battery capacity, not the lab conditions)
    – no cardreader (but maybe one in extension; still not the same though)
    – no USB slot (a computer without USB is not a computer)
    – no IR transmitter (this would make a wonderful universal remote for TVs etc…; in fact this argument goes against the iphone too, but on the iphone i can imagine the “no space” counterargument)

    and they want me to think of this as a potential laptop/netbook replacement? Methinks not…

    Disclosure: I have an iPhone 3GS since I needed a smartphone and BB’s Storm had a painful lack of WiFi, Android wasnt available yet over here and I’ll be dead before using WiMo. Also, the size of the App store is a plus, even though I am seriously considering a jailbreak and Cydia installation
    (since the multitasking limit is a serious mess; i cannot afford to have to quit my remote desktop client everytime an email or other item pops up)
    The iPad could’ve been an IT admin’s dream for quick interventions if only the multitasking were there.

    The problem ultimately revolves around this:
    Steve Jobs wants the users of the iPhone / iPad to be “Users” (to use a Windows equivalent). Power Users need not apply. Admins even less so. He’s apparently never heard of the “switch to advanced mode” button.

    As always, Steve may get the hardware right by version 3 or 4 (on purpose ofcourse, no better way to keep on selling these things to the unwary); the jailbreak community will do the rest…


    @114: we’ll define multitasking as “can switch between apps without closing them”; notifications do not a multitasking tablet make.
    And jailbreaking is a workaround, which, while solving the problem, doesn’t make them go away; that will only happen once Apple does it out of the box.

    @132: “What does 250MB mean? Upload? Download? Per month? Per hour?” up&download, per month

  86. It cracks me up that the only people slagging this are uber-geeks. THIS DEVICE WAS NOT MEANT FOR YOU! I spend all day doing processor-intensive crap on purpose-built workstations, or at least heavy-duty pro machines. When I go to lunch, and when I go home at night, I answer casual e-mails, I surf the web, I watch a few videos, I play casual games, I listen to music, and generally use the computer for entertainment, for which most of us use machines that are really just vast overkill (even netbooks). Even my laptops are WAY more computer than I really need for this kind of casual use, plus they’re BIG and HEAVY (and HOT). I don’t bother with taking a laptop to lunch (like I always do a book or magazine), or out into the back yard (ditto), but I would sure take an iPad. This is precisely the “internet device/ebook reader” that I want, and lots of other people will too. Hey geeks, this isn’t a work machine (don’t you have one/several of those?), it’s for entertainment. I predict huge success.

    1. Do you not think that us non-uber-geeks might like to listen to streaming music while browsing the web?

      Why should anyone accept Job’s belief that the “average” user is actually some lowest-common-denominator grandma who might be confused if two things are happening at once?

    2. “when I go home at night, I answer casual e-mails, I surf the web, I watch a few videos, I play casual games, I listen to music, and generally use the computer for entertainment, for which most of us use machines that are really just vast overkill (even netbooks).”

      Right, but… you didn’t address why this is supposed to be better than a netbook for all the extra money. I mean, look what you can get for $300.

      You can put any software you want on it without breaking an oppressive EULA, you don’t have to pay extra for the keyboard and stand that lets you set it on the table and stream Netflix or whatever you want to do with it, you get 160GB storage, 3 usb ports, a memory card reader, it’s about the same size and weight as the ipad… “11 hour battery life,” though I believe that about as much as I believe the ipad’s 10 hour claim…

      Like many Apple products (the iPhone being a notable exception), this is for people who have more fashion sense than common sense.

  87. it just seems to me that they sacrificed innovation for marketability, and delivered a device that’s basically a $500 app store.

  88. I really can’t believe these designer jerks… they gave the thing a curved back, and so it won’t sit properly flat on a table!

    USB dongle will probably have a stupid price ($39) and almost certainly can only be used to read images from cameras , and not anything else, nor can it write to anything…

    Hopefully jailbreakers will work a way around this and liberate the port for full USB in/out connectivity…

    1. if i have to be convinced to want an ipad in spite of all the downsides then its a major fail on steve jobs part.

      i assume heads will be rolling once steve jobs gets home and checks whats been going on with the apple stock and looks at vast overwhelming MAJORITY of negative anti ipad comments on all the tech blogs.

      kindle has nothing to worry about, at this point the kindle should worry and fear the nook, the nook has an edge on the ipad, its priced just right and does more than the kindle. tl;dr the nook would of been a decent ipad.

  89. Not sure of the exact specs on the iPad, but it sounds like the Nokia N900 phone/MID beats quite a few of them. GPS, two cameras, true multitasking, IR xmitter, Linux (not locked into what Apple lets you instal), Flash, OH…. and you can use it as a phone too (including skype). Yeah, the screen is smaller, 600 MHz, only 32GB (but with a MicroSDHC slot, so expandable). But obviously Apple has once again revolutionalized the tech industry.

  90. the disapointment isnt in what it cannot do but the pricepoint to not be able to do those things…

  91. Looks like an oversized iphone for the geriatric set. I am sure my grandmother is going to want one of these to go with her phone with the oversized dial pad, the remote with the big buttons and her big checkbook.

  92. Analog audio out, on the dock. How quaint! Forget about plugging this in to a modern receiver. Apple really thinks a headphone jack is a sufficient output?

    I’d hoped to use this as a music server terminal — just iTunes — but without any digital audio output ability, it is useless.

    (If someone has found a review of the Dock that says it is something more than a headphone jack, please correct me.)

  93. After seeing of all the iPad’s negatives, I feel I should point out that if this product gets anywhere near the sales and apps that the iPod/iphone has, software developers will certainly make a ton products that are more suited to the iPad’s tech capabilities. I believe there’s already an iPhone app that lets you use some MS Office programs and game companies like Square, Blizzard, and Bethesda are making games. Sure, the iPad will probably always be the ‘toy’ that the iPhone is but if Apple will just relax on one or two rules (multitasking), I can see it maybe replacing the netbook. Especially mine – you have to totally take apart the Aspire One to add ram and only 1 gig ram is really beginning to suck.

    1. ps. has anyone noticed that during the keynote, Steve Jobs chooses Star trek’s “chapter 11” to show videos ?


  94. Yep, i got sucked into Steve’s RealityDistortionField. By watching the movies of the GUI I seem to have wrongly assumed that there was more of a multitasking ability than on the iPhone… but such is not the case yet. Surely the device is capable of it…

    Consensus seems to be that lack of multitasking and lack of Flash support are bad.

  95. Now, with an iPad version of BackToMyMac, or any other remote access app, I can finally have that practical portable screen I’ve been dreaming of.

    1. cosmorphis | #180: It’s a toy … as are ALL Apple products.

      Yep. That was why Virginia Tech built a supercomputer using networked Apple hardware.

  96. Good grief! If you don’t like the thing, for crying out loud, don’t buy it. Stop. Whining.

    Get this. It’s an appliance. It is not for everyone, and like the iphone at launch, it is not yet as good as it is going to get. In my case, it’s worth it to me as a $500 high quality touchscreen with full featured API.

    If it’s not useful to you, then it’s not useful to you. You, as a faithful boinger, are not everyone, or even most people. Your needs, your wants, your habits are atypical.

    Just like the iPhone, it’s a hell of a device, and it brings tablets up to where they could have and should have been 5 years ago.

    1. key words – ‘Just like the iPhone’ There’s not enough of a difference between this and the iPhone – that’ll change

    2. eeyore,
      The question is, why is the iPad newsworthy? What is it about this product that justifies all the media hype? Journalists seem to think the fact that it’s a new Apple product alone makes it worthy of everyone’s time and attention. The commenters here that you’re complaining about apparently disagree.

      OK, so the touchscreen is important to you, and maybe the tablet form factor. So what makes it better than a netbook? There’s an Asus model with a touchscreen that can swivel and fold into a tablet form factor (if that’s important to you), of similar size to the iPad, many other features the iPad lacks, and far more power and storage, for $450. And you can still run iTunes on it. And you can even plug your iPhone into it…

      I just don’t see anything compelling about this product. Maybe if the 64G 3G model was less than $500 I could see why people might be interested, but this thing is just way overpriced for what it can do.

  97. I’m telling you, the iPad WILL get multitasking or Fail – Apple’s smart enough to realize that people aren’t going to carry this around and an iPhone and a laptop/netbook. If the iPad has the processing power to replace a netbook, it will have to replace the netbook to go anywhere.

  98. Hey, give Jobs a little time to warm up to this “Flash” thing. It’s only been an integral part of surfing the web for what, 14 years or so?

  99. I recently bought an ipod touch because I wanted portable app functions without paying for a smartphone. I also wanted to replace an older dead palm.

    I am no fan of Apple (I love my pc) but the ipod has taken me by surprise. Sometimes simplicity is nice. It handles useful tasks quickly and eliminates much of the overdrive my computer offers me. It’s elegant.

    I want one of those MAXiPods when they get the bugs out; when the apps all get adjusted for the screen size; and hopefully, when the price eases down a bit.

  100. No Pressure sensitivity? I guess Wacom has been spared another day, and I have been spared a needless $500 expense.

    Also, is it still going to have a wicked-slow response to ‘touch’ typing like the iPhone?

  101. Cons
    No Replaceable Battery
    No Multi-tasking
    No Camera for uploading Video
    No HDMI Out
    No Flash Support

  102. Technically it’s not that impressive, though being an Apple product the Reality Distortion Field (google for it) that will make it succesful must be taken into account. The main problem to me is that it will be closed as hell like all other Apple products. Thanks but no thanks, I’ll wait for one of the inevitable more open clones when they appear a year or less from now.

  103. Unfiltered Fanboyism on Boing Boing? I must say I am a bit disappointed. This is a 100% DRM protected sealed-off sales platform for app store products – how can you seriously endorse this?

  104. That huge-ass bezel around the screen makes me want to party like it’s 1996.

    For me this is like the first generation iBooks (AKA the toilet seat.)
    Later models may turn out better, but I’d still prefer an actual keyboard to type on. I’m old fashioned that way.

  105. What tech-heads want and are not getting anytime soon (not for $500 anyway) is a Mac tablet running OS X with a new shiny GUI made for multi-touch screens .

    The iPad is likely to go the way of Apple TV and Cube, unless it is significantly updated before it is actually released in the market.

    It also should be called iDRM…

  106. Bleh. (A), it’s a Mac, which almost none of the programs I use on a daily basis for a living will actually run on… and (B), it’s probably full of all kinds of DRM like a stray dog’s full of fleas. I’ll wait till the OLPC touch-screen comes out, since about all I’d use it for would be books anyway.

  107. I costs twice as much as a netbook and isn’t as powerful. It isn’t even a computer. It’s an overpriced media player.

    I want a linux version with a screen as big as a comic book. For $200.

  108. Just to be clear: if you own any consumer electronics at all you are no more an soldier for openness than the hipster with the ipad. That’s obvious for an xbox of course, but also that GPS device on your dash or in your backpack, digital photo frames naturally, cameras (why doesn’t canon let you install games by default???).

    Hell that $100 watch that doesn’t let you run apps? It’s RUINING COMPUTING!!!!!

  109. No camera? You mean there’s no danger of having to watch your favorite live band over a sea of upheld 10″ monitors?

    OK. So this is clearly a feature…

  110. @Robert (#26)

    To address item #4 on your list, the app “Good Reader” is an excellent e-book reader app that has its own PDF rendering engine (vastly more stable than I’ve seen using Apple’s native reader) and lets you read all the DRM-free PDFs you can get your grubby little mitts on. Unless Apple goes out of its way to prevent this from working properly on the iPad (plausible, but I think and hope that Apple has better things to do) I’d say we have here that e-book reader we’ve all been dreaming of for the past few years.

  111. These comments are funny. It reminds me of the discussions following every single apple release.

    Design, UI, and ease of use are immediatley discarded.

    Then we all talk about value as defined by cost and specs.

    I’d buy an iPad at $500. I would never buy some tiny little netbook with those cramped little non predictive keys and the pad and mouse button just becuase I can surf the web and have email in the back ground.

    95% of my computing at home could be done this in a better way than my laptop.
    This is a whole new device. i intend to replace my laptop with it and use keep my home imac for the heavy lifting.

  112. Ug, correction:

    3) itunes syncing (no drag and droping files from pc to ipad) pain in the ass

    “Thankfully, Apple has addressed this in the iPad-only iPhone OS 3.2. The documentation for the SDK indicates that it uses a “shared folder” that any iPad application can read and write. This shared folder will also mount as a disk whenever an iPad is plugged in to a Mac or PC, allowing easy file transfer.”


    Okay, so it does work essentially as a hard drive. File transfer is not an issue.

  113. No multi-tasking? No camera? No keyboard? No 15″ screen? No Adobe Creative Suite? No great software?

    i think I will stick to my Powerbook and my MacBook Pro where i can have it all and a lot, lot more!

    This product ain’t gonna make it except for the Apple cultists.

  114. @14, 27

    re: drawing

    I think without pressure this doesn’t go far enough for artists – perhaps this would drag the cost up (even more) – but seems that it would be the real deal maker for drawing.

    Also, the ability to install programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and so on…

    I’ve always thought it would be great to tour around with a device like this that I could comfortably sketch on, like the Wacom Cintiq.

    Maybe version 2.

  115. Correction re 2) and 9) above:

    “iPad Camera Connection Kit

    The Camera Connection Kit gives you two ways to import photos and videos from a digital camera. The Camera Connector lets you import your photos and videos to iPad using the camera’s USB cable. Or you can use the SD Card Reader to import photos and videos directly from the camera’s SD card.”

    Okay, so two of my issues about using this as a primary computer are partially resolved.

    1. nothing is solved mate. it all includes dongles that add cost and clutter and more importantly crippled function. no USB host = no real computer. it is just an overblown PMP.

      how do you expect to export files? say you manage to create a text file with the virtual keyboard (which probably sucks as the iphone one does since they made an external keyboard available) and you want it transferred in another pc. no USB no Bluetooth no Wifi Adhoc network. i own a touch and i am pretty much aware of the loops that include an app and installing server software in a real computer. and it sucks. with a netbook you just create in office (open or MS) and save.

      and what about the browsing? flash apart (no facebook games, no streaming etc) you cannot download and use files. what gives if i want to save a pdf or mp3 for future use?

      in other words this is not a netbook replacement. you will still need a computer with a full blown OS to do anything more than listen to music and browse text only sites.

  116. ZD,

    how do you expect to export files? say you manage to create a text file with the virtual keyboard (which probably sucks as the iphone one does since they made an external keyboard available) and you want it transferred in another pc. no USB no Bluetooth no Wifi Adhoc network. i own a touch and i am pretty much aware of the loops that include an app and installing server software in a real computer. and it sucks.

    1) Yes, some apps have annoying server-client models (Stanza for one, but it isn’t a deal-breaker), but every text-related app that I have on my Touch has an email function, to export it’s contents to another device.

    2) Have you ever used Brushes or Documents? They don’t use a server app either, you just point your computer’s browser at your ipod’s internal-IP:app-port, and you have direct access to the app’s directory in your web browser.

    ..with a netbook you just create in office (open or MS) and save.

    Wait. On a Touch all you have to do is create and save. You can’t get it *off* a netbook without emailing it, or if it has an SD card, swap the disk out.. oh, you don’t have an SD reader for your computer? Extra, like the usb dongle for the iPad.

    Anyway, once the client-server model is running, it’s as easy as swapping SD cards. An emailing is as easy again.

    1. “Wait. On a Touch all you have to do is create and save. You can’t get it *off* a netbook without emailing it, or if it has an SD card, swap the disk out.. oh, you don’t have an SD reader for your computer? Extra, like the usb dongle for the iPad.”

      huh? what are you talkin about? on a netbook you save a file then you can transfer it via usb stick or bluetooth or wifi ad hoc or if you are so inclined pass the file on an SD card. what extras are you talkin about? all those are standard (LAN,wifi,BT,USB,Card reader) on any netbook. some even have GSM like the nokia one. and a netbook has a full OS meaning that all apps have access to all files. they are real computers not devices with a crippled embeded OS.

      the itouchs iphone OS does not allow this. perfect example is Stanza the only reason i bought the touch instead of the classic. if i download a text file from safari i cannot open it with stanza, how is this a feature and not a pain in the ass?

      i made the mistake lured by the slick shiny case and i bought the touch. overall i can live with it since i just loaded it once with 400 books and i will never have to deal with the transfer crap ever again. and music i load once a month so i do not have to use itunes more than necessery waiting for a better drag anad drop solution like a winamp plugin.

      but overall i spent more time trying to figure out how to read a book on the itouch than doing the same thing on a 2003symbian nokia.

      user friendly my ass. and the iPad is no different.

        1. this device is competing with netbooks in price and function is it not? what is a NET-book if not an underpowereed notebook aimed to be used as a browsing machine? it was advertised as such and still is actually specially with some netbooks sporting android and some with chromeOS coming soon.

          the iPad too was announced as a casual browsing machine by Jobs basically a different approach at the same need. i don’t think that comparing the iPad to a netbook is wrong. Jobs himself compared them during his speech.

  117. My netbook is better than this and cost me less. And it’s not an Apple product.

    Ouch! Sorry to hear that. Maybe save up and you can get iPad 2.0.

  118. Their marketing is appalling. “Magical” device? OMFG. What do we look like, jungle savages? We should all grunt and say, “Ooooh!” because these jackasses call a device “magical”?

    And, “revolutionary”–an iPod Touch on steroids is revolutionary? There are way too many obvious things left off to be revolutionary.

    I can see people WANTING one, but I’ll wait to hear from someone who can actually develop a “needs” case.

  119. Watching the Apple video, I was certainly impressed. This thing is definitely slicker than the morning after a White Castle dinner. I certainly found myself wanting to play around with one, and was impressed by the design team (as always)

    But I think it will ultimately harm the public image of Apple, even if it sells well.

    The reason is that it will reveal to the average consumer the limits of Apple’s “walled garden” philosophy.

    Users, many of whom are migrating from basic phones, compare the iPhone to their old cell phone, with a choice of a few limited functions. Compared to that, the iPhone’s app store is a revelation.

    But this is, in effect, a netbook. And people will be comparing it to a netbook. When they get home and realize they can’t install bejeweled on their new $500 entertainment toy, they will be upset. Likewise when they can’t easily plug in their USB doodad and look at pictures, or (maybe) read a PDF. They might realize that this whole “Apple-verse” philosophy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    For the hackers, once they port Linux onto it, it will actually be a pretty cool gadget.

    But let’s get real, folks – it’s supposed to be the “ultimate web surfing experience.” It’s a device for 90% recreational use. AND IT DOESN’T RUN FLASH.

    Maybe that will be fixed in the future. But for now, it fails at it’s key function, and may well represent a stumbling block on Apple’s road to being masters astride the world.

    P.S. And it’s damned hypocritical to blatantly rip off the name, as they did with the iPhone – this from a company that fiercely defends its own IP.

    P.P.S. Another real problem with this is that it seeks to reduce the web to a one way, passive entertainment medium. Web->device->consumer. The whole beauty of the web, however, is it’s interactive nature – that you can write comments like this, get things done, create whole worlds. But without a speedy means of typing (without the $70 upgrade), it becomes a passive means of delivering media to the consumer. I was really expecting it to at the very least have some voice recognition. This is one area where the design team fell flat.

    1. Yes, they will compare it to netbooks and even laptops.

      On the one hand, they will certainly see, hat those two are much more powerful.

      On the other, that current user interfaces on personal computer are an unholy piece of crap, a joke of history, which dealt them games and the internet and something, for all the polish smart people applied, is basically a crude metaphor, well over 40 years old.

  120. If we’re going to compare apples to apples: The hype pad appears to, quite literally, just be the hype pod Touch with a bigger screen and an ebook reader as part of the standard software.

    Now, I have to admit, I’m actually middling impressed with the Touch. It misses the boat in a lot of ways for what _I_ would want — most notably, it’s miles behind even the original Palm as an organizer and doesn’t appear likely to ever close that gap — but it’s certainly a bit more sexy than the Archos and similar wifi-enabled media players it was directly competing against. It’s the standard Apple closed-platform tradeoff: What it does it does well, but what it does officially is all it does, and if you need something more you simply aren’t its target market.

    But part of the attraction of the Touch is that it’s still in the shirtpocket form factor, which means it will actually be carried and used. Going up to a larger screen loses that advantage.

    There’s a market for it. But for me it’s a step _away_ from the sweet spot for the portable media/communications device.

    Then again, I’m not in the netbook target market either, except _maybe_ as remote consoles for an integrated home automation system. If I can’t put it in a pocket when I’m walking more than a few feet with it, it has to go in a backpack; once I’ve crossed that line, a full-sized laptop wins big.

  121. I understand ebook and kindle have both breathed a collect sigh of relief. Back-lit screen equals typical eyestrain. My netbook has been indestructable so far, and battery has lasted 6-8 hrs of constant surfing and wordprocessing/spreadsheeting. It has been used, off and on, for days without being charged. I paid 300.00 for my scaled down mini laptop. I don’t need a big iphone.

  122. Once this takes holds in schools (Post-secondary) it will be a slam-dunk. If Apple figures out how to not fail in every way possible at marketing to students as Microsoft did with the Tablet PC(and a tabletpc is more functional).

    It’s a 20 million student potential market that grows by 5 million per year in the U.S. alone. If 25% of those students don’t have one in two years, then obviously, they haven’t hired me… ;)

    I’m saving, on average, $250 per semester by buying textbooks from CourseSmart. I think Apple has some contact with them, and will be porting their marketplace to the Ibook store. It’s simple numbers. It pays for itself in two semesters, or three if you get the 3g version. They need to get that message out.

    If for no other use than a Textbook e-reader alone, it shouldn’t fail. If it does, then, I’ll be sitting on my tookas in disbelief.

  123. Thanks, but I’ll still with my netbook for the following reasons:
    Durability. Enjoy your broken screens.
    Ability to run more than one program at a time.
    Jobs: Buy 2 ipads, enjoy multitasking (trollface)
    Can run both windows and mac os x (hackintosh).
    Don’t need custom programs. Which means it has a much large selection of programs to choose from.
    Replaceable battery. What happens when the ipad’s battery goes bad? You have to buy a new one. Jobs: “just as planned…”
    Faster processor, longer battery life (14hrs)

    But really, my inflammatory comments aside, the ipad was never intended to replace the netbook, and it won’t. A netbook is a miniature computer, and good netbooks achieve this function beautifully. The ipad was not meant to be any kind of computer, more of a cross between an electronic reader with some added computer ability, but not a full computer. As such, it does not achieve the title of ‘mini computer’ like netbooks do, and why should it? It was never meant to.

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