Review: Apple's iPad is a touch of genius

It strikes you when you first touch an iPad. The form just feels good, not too lightweight or heavy, nor too thin or thick. It's sensual. It's tactile. And that moment is a good way to spot a first-timer, too, as I observed with a few test subjects. The dead giveaway for an iPad n00b is a pause, a few breaths before hitting the "on" switch, just letting it rest against the skin. Flick the switch and the novelty hits. Just as the iPhone, Palm Pré and Android phones scratched an itch we didn't know we had—somewhere between cellphone and notebook—the iPad hits a completely new pleasure spot. The display is large enough to make the experience of apps and games on smaller screens stale. Typography is crisp, images gem-like, and the speed brisk thanks to Apple's A4 chip and solid state storage. As I browse early release iPad apps, web pages, and flip through the iBook store and books, the thought hits that this is a greater leap into a new user experience than the sum of its parts suggests.
Remember The Periodic Table of Elements series of books we featured here at Boing Boing? There's an iPad version ($13.99 in the app store, screenshots here), and it's dazzling — it makes science feel like magic in your hands. I called the guy behind The Elements, Theo Gray, and asked him to put into words the UI magic that iPad makes possible for creators of books, games, news, and productivity tools. "The Elements on iPad is not a game, not an app, not a TV show. It's a book. But it's Harry Potter's book. This is the version you check out from the Hogwarts library. Everything in it is alive in some way." Indeed, the elements in this periodic table seem very much alive. The obvious way to examine static objects — say, a lump of gold (number 79) or an ingot of cast antimony (number 51) is to rotate them, to spin the specimen with your fingertips. And that's exactly what you do here. You can view them in 3D if you wish, with 3D glasses you buy separately online. Tap here, and live data from Wolfram Alpha pops up (the thermodynamic properties of molybednum, perhaps, or the current price of platinum). Some elements are presented with little video clips you can play, too. When you get a chance, compare it to the tiny screen of an iPhone or Droid, or the less responsive touchscreens of an all-in-one desktop PC such as HP's TouchSmart: it's a completely different experience. "A stereo 3D video of a static object that you can rotate in real time," Theo says over the phone. "Honestly, I'm not sure where you go from there. Smellovision? Not a whole lot more you can do." The Elements presentation for iPad (those spinning samples of elements you twirl with your fingertip) makes use of openGL textures, compressing visual data in a way that can be compressed in the graphics chip, so the data can be read without hogging CPU resources. By making use of hardware native to iPad, you can can "play" a spin forwards and backwards with no hiccups or performance lags -- even spin 3, 4, 5, 10 views of an element at a time. This ain't Flash video over WiFi, folks. You'll feel sad going back to chokey http embeds. Each app for iPad can't be more than 2 gigs in compressed archive form (a limitation imposed by the zip compression standard at work here, not something of Apple's own design). Data-dense applications like The Elements buck right up against that limit, but future iterations (this and others that go live Saturday were developed with great haste) will likely take advantage of the ability to do background downloading to supplement data. Tapping and swirling my way through iBooks (the store includes free, public domain titles in addition to the $9.99-$12.99 bestsellers), and iPad native apps provided at launch such as the spectacular, game-changing Marvel Comics app (crisp, lucid art, the ability to navigate frame-by-frame, rendering spoilers down the page obsolete), the Epicurious recipe browser, and the news browsing app by Reuters (free app in which video is, again, a seamless delight), the idea hits. This is what we wanted e-books to be all along. Rich, nimble, and dense with image and sound and navigability, right there inside the flow of the story. And this is what we wanted the web to feel like all along. We just want it to work, and we don't want to be aware of the delivery method while we're enjoying what's delivered. Theo's been thinking about all of this, too. "The Kindle is a great device, and I own several," Theo says. "But the concept of an e-book has always been that it's like PDF. Imagine if the web standard was PDF instead of html, if everyone's web pages consisted of what you can do in PDF? That would be a really boring world. I hate to see ebooks as being pigeonholed as these static, PDFlike things, in which the biggest 'a-ha' you can have is an exciting pageturning animation, or search. What could an ebook be? Let's draw a line in the sand out in the future and say, this is the greatest aspiration, if the limitations of code and hardware were no object." Draw that imaginary line in the sand, and you've sketched out iPad. Manic, nonstop use revealed a number of things: battery life is better than I anticipated. I got a full day of constant internet-connected use (it did not leave my hands) on one charge. More than 12 hours, with heavy video and gaming, and screen cranked up to full brightness. Orientation lock is great for when I'm sharing YouTube clips on the couch with family, or web browsing in bed. It fits well in my lap for tweeting when eating during lunch break, and it's easy to wipe off a stray mayo glop and get right back to updating the world on the details of my sandwich (using Twitterific for iPad, a free app which does what it promises on the tin). When we began developing the Boing Boing iPad presentation, we used a simulator and tapped into a lot of jQuery, thinking that snazzy transitional animations would delight. They didn't: it worked great on the Mac simulator, but were sluggish on iPad, so we aborted and went simple. When you're redesigning a site for iPad, you start to think in terms of a visually rich 'zine, not a website. Given Boing Boing's 'zine roots (25 years and counting since the first Xeroxed copy), the close of that evolutionary circle is something that makes me smile. Familiar Mac fundamentals like Calendar, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers are presented thoughtfully with the kinetic and tactile specifics of iPad in mind. Pinch-zoom the preview image for a photo album you've saved, and watch the contents scatter out accross the screen, so you can be reminded of the shots you've stored inside. Gaming possibilities are profound. Accelerometer-driven games like the Real Racing HD iPad app ($9.99) available at first release thrill in a new way, like when I first held a Wii. There's something about tilting and steering and braking with a device you hold in your hands, just like a steering wheel, that's so much more viscerally pleasing than a big old shelf-bound console. The on-screen QWERTY keyboard is more finger-sized than iPhone (obviously, the screen's larger when either in portrait or landscape) but I didn't find myself using the device for lots of text input (email, blog post composing) without the aid of the keyboard dock— pretty much exactly like the standard Mac keyboard. No, there's no camera, but it doesn't seem like as much of a big deal as when I heard that news back at the January unveiling. iPad is more about experiencing media, and light sharing, than heavy-duty media production. That said, I can imagine traveling with iPad instead of a netbook, with that keyboard dock in tow if I really need to do heavy text input. Maybe the most exciting thing about iPad is the apps that aren't here yet. The book-film-game hybrid someone will bust out in a year, redefining the experience of each, and suggesting some new nouns and verbs in the process. Or an augmented reality lens from NASA that lets you hold the thing up to the sky and pinpoint where the ISS is, next to what constellation, read the names and see the faces of the crew members, check how those fuel cells are holding up. I like it a lot. But it's the things I never knew it made possible — to be revealed or not in the coming months — that will determine whether I love it.


    1. It’s palladiated. It’s crippled, not a real computer. It has hard DRM — somebody else’s security key baked into the motherboard (not your own key), and all operations are checked against it, so that any policy someone besides the owner wants to impose, they can, and enforce it from outside. We need to wait for something with the same form factor, that’s not a fake (though sleek, shiny and full of giddy new characteristics) computing device.

    2. Nothing. It does exactly what Steve Jobs envisioned it to do, it does exactly what its target market wants it to do, and it does it in a way that fits Apples strategic plans perfectly.

  1. Hehe NP Xeni :)

    I am so going to get one of these. I had the bug first in 1984 when the “Macintosh” came out, and again when the iPhone came out.

    Works with an external keyboard? That would just be beautifully perfect as the screen-keyboard was the one thing I viewed as sort of a negative.

  2. Saturday cannot get here fast enough. Sounds like a must have device: elegant fast hardware and apps from indy and institutional sources. Game changer!

  3. While I am having my obvious issues with Apple as a business entity, once again I think I am going to be forking over a chunk of cash in the next few months thanks in part to a boingboing review. What is also fun, is that this will push so many to think about what more we can do. I hope I can at least wait until the next generation (or the generation after that) comes out.

  4. Great review. I have a feeling that the iPad will be the beginning of a new entertainment medium… one that doesn’t follow traditional models of what a “magazine”, “book” or “film” is supposed to be like. I think that the onboard version of Keynote will allow people to integrate music, words and images into their own creative works in a way that they haven’t thought of doing before. This definitely isn’t a replacement for a smart phone or laptop. It’s a format for consuming and organizing creativity. That’s what makes me the most excited for the brown truck arriving at my house Saturday.

  5. Honestly, this is the first nice review I read about the iPad. Which is good, I guess. It’s a balance. Anyway, I’m lightyears away from getting one :)

    1. Including this, I’ve read three other reviews, all very positive, but with the usual “no flash, camera and multitasking” being the only downside. Hate rushing life, but I really need Saturday to happen this instant!

    1. @0xdeadbeef – If you don’t want yours anymore, please feel free to re-direct the one you ordered to my place :)

    1. Well duh! But yes, aside from JailBreaking (which will let you install whatever you want more or less) you need to buy from the guy. In this case Apple – welcome to mobile devices. (The same applies to practically EVERY other mobile device vendor BTW.)
      My 20c worth.

    2. As far as being “stuck” with Apple approved Apps…Geeze, I hope so!
      Look at all the news lately about “other-than-Apple” smart phones and “Apps” that are messing up the phones’ operation, stealing info, and making life as if you were using a PC! “Good lord” finally a useful App for Norton to create :-)
      “Stay With Apple Approved Apps”!

      1. @Anonymous #282
        I guess that’s fine if you are OK with some overseer limiting what you can do with a device you paid for.

        But then, it’ll be rooted pretty soon, so it’s sort of a moot point.

  6. Now we all run out to get one… regardless of environmental impact of production including mining, transportation, powering it, e-waste.

    There will always be another itch – then what?

    1. I plan to use an iPad to replace no less than a dozen magazine subscriptions with iPad versions. This one device, over the course of 3-4 years, will reduce a literal mountain of paper and ink to a stream of bits and enough electricity to keep the iPad charged.

  7. Rendering comics frame by frame is a step backwards as far as I’m concerned. Page layout and using the frame as part of the art is part of good comic design.

    1. @Agies, no, no, you can flip through as you would on paper, or go frame by frame, you can choose. There’s a cool little thumbnail navigator at the bottom of the screen so you can choose which page even. The Marvel Comics app is totally awesome.

      1. Xeni, are you sure this is actually a “Marvel Comics” app (as in, an app being marketed by Marvel)? There have been several iPhone apps through which Marvel distributes comics (Comixology, iVerse, and others), but as a huge comic nerd who has been very closely monitoring this stuff, Marvel has not yet made any announcements about their own app with direct distribution. Is this something new? Or are you just referring to a comics app that happens to carry Marvel content?

    2. AGREED. Take a look at an artist like JH Williams III and you’ll realize that it’s impossible to render some artists frame-by-frame, and not only that, it takes away from the overall page layout.

    3. Frame by frame is simply one of many user options with the Marvel Digital app. Of course you can look at the whole page or facing pages…

      1. Personally, I missed the memo that from now on every comic would be designed with the iPad in mind.

  8. Anthony Bourdain talks about food porn, this is computer porn at it’s finest!


  9. I have to wonder whom is going to get the blame when the iPad goes on the 3G network. So far Apple has done very well putting the blame on AT&T. My experience has been that in high density areas to use my Blackberry or other smart device to reduce dropped calls. It just doesn’t seem to be always the Carrier’s fault. All too often I can shut down my iPhone and activate another phone with no loss of service.

    The iPad looks great, but I want to talk to people that have it before I buy it.

    1. It is AT&T; using an iPhone at home in the UK is fine, no problems. A trip to NYC? I switch network to T-Mobile as trying to use AT&T is an exercise in frustration – same phone, no changes other than network involved. I appreciate that isn’t going to help much with assessing an iPad, but it does suggest AT&T is not the way to go.

  10. “Maybe the most exciting thing about iPad is the apps that aren’t here yet. ”

    You gotta really be infatuated to write a sentence like that.

    1. No I understand that. It’s similar to when I played ‘Elite’ on a Commodore & saw ‘Doom’ for the first time I thought:
      “WOW! If they can do this now, what will they be able to do later”

    2. You took the words right out of my mouth.

      “The most exciting thing about the alternatives is what is not available.”

      Give me a device where they cannot restrict me to exactly what they want and where *I* can take out the damn battery if I wish.

      Video camera on the front is really something I want (no, I won’t be buying an iPad anyway).

      I’d agree that it’s probably a thing of beauty to hold an use, within the limitations of what Apple have proscribed…and it’s when you consider that issue alone that the ugliness starts to seep through and the glossy, sparkly sheen loses it’s appeal. Like Paris Hilton when you consider *why* she’s famous :)

    3. nah. i bought my wii when it came out for the games yet to come, not just for wii sports.

    4. “Maybe the most exciting thing about iPad is the apps that aren’t here yet. ”

      You gotta really be infatuated to write a sentence like that.

      Yes, that was the thing that had me the most giddy and excited about the Linux desktop all throughout the mid to late ’90’s. I still occasionally feel that breathless excitement to this day!

  11. Now we all run out to get one… regardless of environmental impact of production including mining, transportation, powering it, e-waste.

    Ha! This comment makes me laugh. I’m sure it was posted to the internet using organic dye and a sharpened birch twig. Let’s all don our hair shirts with the apple logo and promise to give up the iPad for Lent!

  12. As hard as it is for me to say, I’m still actually more looking forward to MS’s Courier that comes out later this year more than I am to getting my normally apple fan-boy hands onto an iPad. Must be the name.

    Still, nice review and I’m looking forward to what competition in this space will bring: more touchy feely based apps and more unicorns.

    1. I was going to be all MS Courier on you, but Elmlish totally beat me to the punch, and in a much more elegant and eloquent manner! However, I like the idea of the Marvel App, that sorta makes me want to not wait. I’m also a little scared to find out what awkward cooling vents I am going to be dealing with when I get my non-mac.

    2. Courier isn’t even a prototype!

      It’s a mockup, with mockup videos. In concept it’s an interesting idea, but it’s very far (if ever) from becoming a shipping product.

  13. All that I read and see about what is possible with the iPad makes me think of A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer from The Diamond Age.

    1. Yeah, this is as close as a pre-nano world is likely to get to realizing Neal Stephenson’s Diamond Age primer. My only beef with the iPad so far is that I have to wait until Saturday, and this so would have made for the awesomest Haggadah ever at Passover last night…

  14. You know, this is going to make it really hard for me to continue to be anti-Apple. I still hate the closed-loop and not being able to take the things I buy to another machine. I wish there was a Linux version (powered by unicorn droppings, of course). Still, it DOES do a lot of interesting things. And my mom will be able to use it.

  15. Rendering comics frame by frame is a step backwards as far as I’m concerned. Page layout and using the frame as part of the art is part of good comic design.

    Comics haven’t always been rendered at 8 inches by 10 inches. There’s no reason that cartoonists can’t make artistic layouts to fit 1024×768. Not having a specific orientation (horizontal or vertical) allows for even more creativity.

  16. That is the funniest review I have ever read. I have never read more of a one sided praise in my life.

    1. This may just come as a shock, but … there are people who actually truly enjoy the products they receive. If a review doesn’t contain enough pro vs. con information for your needs, I’m sure there are plenty of other sources.

      The iPad obviously is going to get different reactions from different people. There will be ones who love every aspect of it, others who can’t stand a single iota and the majority who will fall somewhere in the spectrum between.

      I’m not going to knock someone who is enthusiastic about a new product, especially if there doesn’t appear to be rampant “I was paid by the manufacturer for this endorsement” superlatives throughout.

      Similarly, I won’t knock someone who can’t stand a new product, if it obviously does not meet their expectations or needs, again, so long as it doesn’t appear to be “I was paid by a competitor to cast Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt.”

      Lighten up! :)

  17. I’m sorry this new gadget doesn’t seem worth it. It is just a toy for people who think they “need” a new toy that does what their other toys can already do.

    The iPad reminds me of the Macbook Air… yea its got a cool feature or two, but overall why would anyone spend so much money on something that doesn’t do what a laptop that costs half the price can do?

    And the whole E-book thing… blech, 10 dollars for a book I can’t lend to a friend or sell at a garage sale or buy from a used bookstore. And the online textbooks from Pearson are almost the cost of a physical book and it can’t be sold back. Many E-books are a waste and the iPad is a complete waste.

    Instead of buying an iPad why not donate money to one of the poor communities where the children who make these iPad’s live? Or donate to a environmental organization to help fight climate change (the opposite of buying a computer that was made in 15 different countries and then shipped across the world to America).

    1. Instead of buying an iPad why not donate money to one of the poor communities where the children who make these iPad’s live?

      (Shrug) By buying an iPad, that’s exactly what I did.

    2. You sir are an idiot. You speak of fighting global warming, yet you hate the idea of a digital book? Your right, books made from PAPER are much more eco friendly than a digitally distributed book. Not that digital books are completely free from waste, they are far more efficient than paper books.

      As far as the redistribution of wealth, I mean fighting climate change goes, Apple is better than most. I’m sure you live in a wind powered house. I’m sure you ride your bike to work (if you even have a job). I am sure you only eat food grown in your back yard, never delivered by truck. I bet the computer you are typing on is charged with solar panels. That is what your green movement is, hypocrisy. And buying my iPad insures that employee at the factory keeps his or her job, jackass.

      1. You sir are an idiot. You speak of fighting global warming, yet you hate the idea of a digital book? Your right, books made from PAPER are much more eco friendly than a digitally distributed book. Not that digital books are completely free from waste, they are far more efficient than paper books.

        How are they more efficent? You print a book and distribute and you’re done. No more energy / resources needed to read / use the book.

        eBook? DRM, constant recharging of device etc.

        Sure, theoretically an eBook is easier on the environment as it itself does not leave an economic footprint, but the device that is used to display it DOES.

        Are eBooks a fad? Probably not, there are enough people out there who do not value a book for what it represents and rather want to amass a large library that they will never read (heck, I have a lot of CDs I haven’t listened to more than once or twice), but this does not make the eBook any greener, the chemicals used to make all these fancy devices are rather toxic, compared to that a paper mill releases pure water into the environment.

  18. I had no idea Marvel was creating an app. Oh man, that’s bad. How am I going to explain all those iTunes store charges? I’ll have to blame the kids.

  19. Great review! What’s that I hear in the distant – the sound of “I was hard on it at first but now that I had the opportunity…blah blah”.

  20. “You know, this is going to make it really hard for me to continue to be anti-Apple. I still hate the closed-loop and not being able to take the things I buy to another machine.”

    You just have to be careful about what you buy and make sure your expectations are set accordingly. Anything that is DRMed or locked to a specific platform I would just treat as an extended rental and not a purchase, which may be perfectly fine depending on my reason for acquiring the content in the first place. As long as you have no expectation of doing anything than accessing the content for a limited purpose for a limited time, it’s really not an issue. It’s when you want to own the content indefinitely and use it in arbitrary or novel ways that portability and accessibility really start to matter.

    I would be more concerned about the portability of the content you create yourself. That’s where you can really shoot yourself in the foot if you inadvertently lock yourself in to a restricted platform or proprietary format.

  21. Based on your review, and from a few of these comments, it sounds like the thing it is best at is: making us unhappy with all the other things we own.

    Great. Just what I need. To feel more confusion about which device I need with me at which time. Laptop? Phone? Camera? To learn to feel bad about things I love, like books and my laptop, because they aren’t just right.

    If I sound whiney, it’s because we have miracles at our fingertips already, but as long as there’s another one out in front, we don’t appreciate the ones we have. I must be getting old.

    I can just sense that this thing just won’t add to my happiness. It will just make me wish I had this or that book in digital form; it will make me wish my laptop was more portable or the iPad had a better keyboard; it will involve another set of power converters tossing around the house, another box, and another thing to deal with when it breaks, another battery to be charged at night, another thing that needs to be synced with my digital files and email and photos…

    *deep breath*

    This review tells me I’m much happier without it.

    1. All development makes us unhappy with the stuff that we own. Ug was pissed off that Grahh had a better stick. You should have seen Grahh when Ng came along with his fancy schmancy bit of flint flake.

      I’ve been looking for the ‘perfect’ mobile device ever since I got a PalmIIIxe, then an expensive cable and software to link it to my Nokia 5110, then…

      I’m kind of over the opening day gotta have it NOW, and I’m into waiting to see…
      …and for the price to drop when the newer thing comes out.

      Still interested in what’s coming up in the future though…

      …I’m hearing good things about this copper alloy. Bronze. I think it’s called :)

      1. I know…

        …it’s just that it was so clearly stated in the review: This thing is so great because it will make you realize the flaws in all the other stuff you own!!!


        I think the iPad, as a non-really-revolutionary device, needs some selling point for its in-between-all-other-devices status. That selling point is: it’s better than those other devices for the things that it can do that they can’t.

        I dunno. I guess I just keep realizing how much marketing, and the internet, is designed to make us feel bad about what we have. We have more than any creatures or people have ever had on this planet in the history of history. I want the posting that says, “all this stuff we have is fucking awesome!!!”

        And I’m drawing the line at this stupid iPad, brought to market by a company which says through its actions that it despises me.

  22. Hang on. There are now more pictures, and I think more words since I first read this post. I didn’t read it the first time as there were no paragraphs :)

  23. So it’s better than an e-paper reader for reading that subset of books where spinning images are an important part of the experience. But for the 99.9 percent of books that are text, letter after letter, word after word, is it better than an e-paper e-reader? If reading is all you want to do at the moment, not multitask between reading a few paragraphs, checking your e-mail, playing a game, and whatever?

  24. I heard Martha Stewart talking about the magazine publishing industry..and the implications for the Ipad for her magazine. Subscriptions to archives, video, a ‘take a long’ format. Take the pad to the kitchen and have and recipe demos, searchable archives for back issues, etc.

    A hard copy magazine is really dead, a downloadable large format ‘easy to read’ device could bring back magazines. I can imagine ‘hotspots’ of user magazine to DL content in airports, bars, coffee shops.
    All depends if Apple wants to control user generated, non-corporate content, or open it up–that’s the issue at this point, I don’t hold out much hope for that.

    1. “All depends if Apple wants to control user generated, non-corporate content, or open it up–that’s the issue at this point, I don’t hold out much hope for that.”

      Ay and therein lies the rub.

  25. When there’s a Settlers of Catan game for the iPad, my will– and subsequently my bank account– will collapse.

    Argh. And comic books! Argh! I can’t spend that kind of money on a new toy.

    This thing is pretty much luxury condensed and defined. It replicates the things that all my other devices do, but it does it so niftily!

    I guess I’ll start saving my pennies.

  26. Alright! I’m waiting for my favourite watering hole to embed a few of these in the table tops. Order your food and booze, prowl the news, watch some flicks, play some games, chat – with your beer glass on it. That’s progress.

  27. Mmmm, I can’t wait until Microsoft and Canonical decide they need to individually approve every single piece of software I’m aloud to install on my Windows and Ubuntu PCs…wait, what? I absolutely don’t want that. I think it’s sinful, ignorant, and downright bad for computing and consumers.

    1. Mmmm, I can’t wait until Microsoft and Canonical decide they need to individually approve every single piece of software I’m aloud to install on my Windows and Ubuntu PCs…

      At least when Apple invents a cool new touchscreen technology they actually let you buy it sooner or later, unlike some companies I can think of.

  28. I like the comments that say “I don’t want it because I don’t want to want it.”

  29. It’s April 1st here in the Eastern hemisphere. I am hoping that this article is an early April Fools joke. Because otherwise, I really feel like is a pretty disturbing piece of product placement otherwise.

  30. This Apple fandom is getting embarrassing.

    iPad vs. HP TC1100

    You ever needed an HP TC1100? Well then you don’t need an iPad.

    When you’re buying stuff you didn’t need before you’re being ripped off.

    1. @justanotherusername, you are falling prey to a common error of judging complex technology by comparing features. So what if a dead-for-five-years HP tablet could put more checks on a list? How was it to use? The fact that it’s gone tells you all you need to know. It ran a version of Windows that was kinda-sorta adapted for tablet use, running apps similarly unrefined. The iPad, like the iPhone, is carefully designed for multitouch, as are the apps. Apple is like a great chef who can take a few ingredients and make them into a better dish than the mediocre chef with the more complicated recipe.

      I’m sure Xeni knows what I mean.

    2. I looked at the linked article and – well, it’s clearly been written by someone with an axe to grind and who hasn’t bothered to find out what an iPad does. Only mono sound and no headphone jack? Apple lists the details on their website so “mistakes” like these aren’t necessary.

      That article would be a lot better if the “facts” weren’t made up – and if some other details like how long it runs on a battery charge were included.

    1. That’s remarkably astute, SeanPat. I see people all over the world leashing themselves to these tiny platforms, never exploring beyond the tiny confines of its glossy screen, never, ever wondering “Should I maybe use something else for some other computing need?”

      I breathlessly await the debut of the open source equivalent of the iPad, with its exquisite hardware and user interface. Until then, the iPad is the next best alternative.

      We’re talking about a mobile tool with a web browser. Even as locked-down a web browser as Safari is still one of the most liberating tools there is, and in some countries, one of the most dangerous. To the 1% of us who write their own code for their preferred platforms, the iPad may not be everything to everyone, but that’s like calling a KitchenAid mixer a gilded cage because it doesn’t make smoothies…

      1. If the KitchenAid mixer had a smoothie maker nozzle built in, which wouldn’t work unless you kept up your ‘smoothie’ subscription .. maybe that would be a fair analogy.

        1. It’s not a fair analogy, nor is it accurate.

          How does the iPad stop working if one does not pay their “subscription?” What subscription exactly are you talking about? The press has probed every last crevice, cost, feature, and flaw of this device and it amazes me that people can still be so completely misinformed about what this is, what it does, and what it costs.

          How can someone believe there is a subscription attached to this device?

          1. ‘Subscription’ was a poor analogy – I was just trying to show how a device can be capable, but require corporate blessing before it functions.

            What I was trying to say is that the device is fully capable. It has all the hardware required to do amazing things. All of this hardware in place the moment you buy it.

            BUT, the way the hardware functions is limited by Apple. They decide what can, and what can’t be run on it.

            I find it amazing that so many people see no problem with this.

          2. The limitations of the App Store, the hidden criteria are a problem. I would like to see competing App Stores for the iPhone/iPad platform. If Apple won’t allow competing App Stores, I would like to see the feds step in to force their hand.

          3. lukus & trotsky, why is it a big deal when Apple do this? I recall no similar level of fuss regarding closed consoles from Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony. I don’t remember anyone being particularly upset with Nokia for not allowing all and sundry to write code for S40 phones.

          4. I’m just commenting on the way I see things. I think it’s cause for concern when any company operates a closed system.

            Sony has recently withdrawn OtherOS support from their PS3 console. I’d argue that they shouldn’t be allowed to withdraw features after selling someone the hardware; the only reason they’ve made this move, is to ensure their system remains closed and isn’t hackable. Once again commercial pressures restrict freedom.

            These days, digital technology makes it possible for a corporation to have an unprecedented amount of control. No one elects these large organisations to power – and generally, the influence a company like Apple has only increases.

            Why should corporations get such a large say in the way we live our lives and the way markets function?

            I have no problem with capitalism, but I think that it needs to be moderated. We have laws designed to protect our rights in the industrialised world.. where are the laws that will protect our rights in future digital markets?

            At the moment it seems like it’s large corporations that are calling all the shots.

            Apple isn’t being unfairly victimised. I’m unsure why you feel such a strong urge to defend the company.

          5. lukus, I’m not defending Apple per se, I’m defending closed systems.
            The iPhone isn’t popular in spite of being closed, it’s popular because it’s closed. It may be restrictive for those of us who know what they’re doing, but it’s hugely liberating for everyone else because they get to cluelessly install random apps, screw around with settings and when they’re done still have a device that works.

          6. Nokia S40 phones support Java apps. Anyone can write a J2ME app using the SDK from Sun (or Nokia’s own Java SDK, freely downloadable) and distribute it anyway as they please. You can download apps for S40 (and S60) from anywhere on the net, or copy the files to your PC and transfer them to the phone via bluetooth/USB.
            Nokia’s phones have always supported industry standards and open protocols. They do not try to artificially prevent you from doing anything to the phone that you paid for.

            Also, gaming consoles are designed solely for gaming, they’re not the same as general purpose computers. It is perfectly possible for Apple to build the iPad without any DRM or restrictions, the way other computers/tablets are made. They choose to artificially restrict and close off their devices for the sake of simplicity, control and milking money from the end users as well developers.

            Sure, the standard response is ‘if you don’t like it, don’t use it’. But as the general public continues to vote with their wallets for such closed systems, more companies are starting to take note, and we only end up sliding towards a future where everything is locked down and open platforms like the PC become the exception rather than the norm. Now that is very disturbing.

          7. Because these people do not intend to do amazing things with the iPad’s hardware itself.

            Which, apparently, some people to not get.

            I can do great stuff with any of the general purpose desktops, laptops and server I own and/or operate as part of my job. I will keep doing that stuff.

            However, I have zip interest in writing yet another browser, yet another mail client, etc, as I don’t have any interest in hacking my TV, my remote, my Kitchen Aid or my car. iPhone OS based devices are just a platform for hassle-free smart information tools. Not less, not more.

            If another company can deliver this as a “free” device, at the same price, at the same quality (i.e. glass and metal, not plastics) and the same weight, I will consider those, too. But the free-nes itself is not among my priorities.

  31. I’m not getting one. Might actually being getting an iPod Touch instead. The reason? I just don’t see the value of this now. Even more so given the restrictions and the the fact it needs a main Mac as a “homebase” to sync apps. Yes, the iPod Touch will be the same. But the thing is I can shove that in my pocket. This, nope?

    Also, past the usual DRM issues, I’m getting tired of Apple’s faux roadblocks to non-Apple items working with their equipment. From the asinine recessed headphone jack on early iPhones to the fact that standard USB chargers are hit and miss with Apple iPods based on restrictions that make no sense: Every other USB device in the world can use other chargers? What’s so special about Apple’s past the fact they cost more and they artificially restrict other USB chargers by requiring a minimal current on the USB data pins.

    Yeah, that’s TMI right there. But this will be a game changer when everyone in the world can use one and there’s a healthy market for non-Apple pad variants. Until then I really see this product as a white elephant.

  32. I would take one for free. I wouldn’t drop 500+ for one.

    The iPad fits into an odd spot. It does a few things very well, but those things are also done by other devices. I really like the idea of an electronic device that fits the ‘hardcover book’ level of portability. That is to say, something I don’t keep with me at all times, but that I will grab on the way to get a coffee, stand in a line, or bum around on the couch. It isn’t a smart phone that is glued to you at the hip, and it isn’t a laptop or desktop that has power, but is a pain in the ass or impossible to make portable.

    It is something nice, but not needed. It just overlaps with too much stuff that I can’t find it in my heart to drop that much money for a mild convenience bump in a limited set of circumstances.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think “pad” devices are going to be big, but I think they are going to be big when they are on par with the sort of purchase level that the average person puts an MP3 player at. For me personally, pads will be interesting when their prices are slashed in half or more. At that point, I’ll probably throw down for an Android pad.

    I am glad Apples is creating a market and starting the process of driving down prices, but jumping into the Apple’s closed and gated ecosystem sounds about as fun as driving into a shark tank.

  33. There are two faces to BoingBoing.

    One notes what a gyp the closed, control-freakish system Macintosh has set up.

    The other luvs how sleek and purdy it is, hyuck hyuck.

  34. I find it ironic that this time yesterday I was watching “program or be programmed” and now I’m reading a glowing review of one of the most locked-down, locked-in “computers” to ever exist.

    …on the same site.

  35. Considering the discussion on This Week in Tech about trusted opinions and sources. It is interesting that Xeni is on the Pre-review, NDA embargo pool. It is an interesting statement of the target audience, in addition to who is a trusted source. For me and my $650, Xeni and Andy Ihnatko: yes, Walt Mossberg: NOT SO MUCH.

    I look forward to seeing ePub graphic novels designed in inkscape SVGs.

  36. Uninteresting to me. It’s too large to fit in a pocket, and not as versatile as the other things in its size range. Neither fish now fowl nor good red herring.

    And while it sounds like there are some cute apps, I haven’t heard of anything which couldn’t be done as well or better on other platforms.

  37. Oh joy, another corporation-locked status symbol for people with lots of cash and not a lot of smarts. If this review is true, the pad really does sound like a great device. I hear Lexus makes a great car too: doesn’t mean it has anything to do with me. I’ll stick with cheap, ugly tech that does what I tell it too for now.

    “A gilded cage is still a cage. ”

    Not only a cage: an expensive one. If only it were a day later, this article would have an excuse.

  38. The far-end of the bell curve wants open systems it can modify, tweak, customize, hack and generally mangle with total freedom and impunity.

    The near-end of the bell curve is afraid of technology.

    The middle (and largest) part just wants stuff that works, and is delighted that there is a vendor who makes it their business to delight them time and time again.

    Apple designs for that middle part. And they’ve mastered an important product truth: that it’s as valuable to know who your customers are *not* as it is to know who they are. And for many of those who complain about “gilded cages”, you are simply not their customer.

    That doesn’t make you a bad person, of course. So get over it and move on. Apple has.

    1. There’s a word for that middle part of the curve:


      We are all sheep in different ways, for different products. We all, at some time, want something easy, something that just slides down. It appeals to our inner glutton, when our inner geek doesn’t have time to get involved. I am not immune. I do seem to be immune to this one, thank the Great Spirit.

  39. Wow! so many haters… I’m definitely getting one, but not right away. This is a supertoy. A luxury item. I have wanted a netbook for a while now, and I have thought of every excuse to go and buy one, but it just hasn’t happened yet. Now an item with less real functionality will win me over. An item with the same size screen will feel bigger, not smaller. Its all about tactility and experience.

  40. So Xeni? Figure why Disney bought Marvel when it did? Remember who the biggest individual stockholder is?

    @Merek? Content makers have a trusted partner in the various iTunes stores. You can steal content but it hurts the creators.

    It will redefine the computer experience. I want a double tabloid roll-up map sized one. *sigh*

    There was a reason Apple didn’t do crappy netbooks. After Saturday, they won’t matter.

  41. I really want one, but I want to own one and all the content on it. I don’t want to pay every time I want to do something minor so the DRM pushers can bleed me to death from a thousand paper cuts.

    Call me when it gets rooted.

  42. I’m not joking, but I’m waiting until ipad 3.0 in the summer of 2012. By then Apple will have gotten things right just like with the iphone 3gs.

  43. The correct capitalization is jQuery, not JQUERY. I’ve never seen jQuery capitalized like that in my life before and I’ve been using it for years.

    I can’t wait for my iPad. Got it reserved for Saturday. Just wanted to mention about the incorrect caps.

  44. Great review! I will be picking one up on day one. Though the lack of flash support is unfortunate I can live with it (maybe hulu will move to html5!). Also I like all the “leaked” app previews popping up on youtube (especially the handwriting apps like smartNote Padnotes and schoolpadnotes).

    ps. I will still be using a stylus with the iPad (sorry apple)

  45. One thing a lot of haters on the geek end of the bell curve seem to miss is that the iPad isn’t something you program on, necessarily, it’s something you program *for*.

    I think this device (and its progeny) are going to make a lot of writers, publishers, video/music artists and games/apps programmers – not to mention readers, viewers, users and players – very happy.

    1. You can’t program for it unless they let you. Hell, you could program on it if they let you, but they won’t. Technically you can: email. You’re failing to understand what programming is, and that’s fine. You should learn. Search “program or be programmed” on this site.

      That’s the point.
      I don’t want permission to use what I pay for.

      You couldn’t pay me to use one of these.
      You could pay me to own one, but it’d have to be a fair amount of cash if the thing would end up visible.

      1. GZeus, you should brush up on your JavaScript, etc. You can program an iPhone (and no doubt iPad) to do some pretty nice stuff without any SDK. Stuff that you can’t tell from a native app. You can also publish your work without permission when you develop that way.

    2. “something you program _for_”… Granted. As a _market_ it’s interesting, just because there’s going to be a lot of uptake from folks who want computing but (think they) don’t want a computer. Apple’s genius has always been at going after the reduction-of-choice-means-reduction-of-confusion market; in general there is only one way to do anything on an Apple machine but that way is highly polished and above average though not best for all users.

      I’m still skeptical about this particular form factor. I suspect that if it wasn’t being sold as “a bigger iTouch”, it wouldn’t be getting anywhere near as much traction. And I’m not wild about the current operating system, which I think will either limit it or force a lot of reinvention of wheels. Having said that, I can see the attraction. If I wanted something that could get tossed casually into a pile of magazines on the living room table and not look out of place, this could well be it.

      But I’m a geek; I don’t care as much as the average consumer about whether things look out of place, and I’m less happy with dedicated devices. Even expandable dedicated devices.

  46. I got the iPad Mini instead. Fits in my pocket when not in use, and is just as functional and usable as the full-sized one.

    1. I find laptops pretty good for that, since you tend to have a lap. Bonus, they even stand up by themselves when you’re wiping.

  47. Xeni or anyone else in under NDA: has the embedded “Mail” app been rewritten to permit >200 messages in the Inbox?

    According to Mossberg, you still can’t define your own mailboxes.

    Some of us still cling to oldskool laptops because they let our mail fall from the clouds.

  48. I’m really interested to read the responses, I disagree with a lot of them, but they present an unexpected insight into what people *don’t* like. I think if nothing else, there’s a middle ground here that we can all agree on, which is this device is likely to the rainmaker which causes a lot of computer companies to reassess what they’re doing, with a view to making it more “iPad like” (like smart phones that have gone from terrible, to generally quite good since 2007). That’s something to be celebrated at least. Innovation brings on more innovation & competition.

    The people who have voiced a “do we really need it?” interest me the most. Of course we don’t need it, but we don’t need a lot of things, and doubtless this is another toy. It could enrich our lives because it makes it more fun to do certain tasks, but it’s still another pretty toy we can probably live without. I don’t see this volume of these kind of posts on any other gadget review here though. I wonder what it is that inspires that kind of response?

    As far as my actual take on the iPad?

    Netbooks suck. Everyone knows this. I bought a top end HP Mini Note and I felt scammed and sucked in by the gloss. It’s a laptop, shrunk down to the point of being difficult to use and slow! Hooray! When I got my iPhone I was a bit sheepish, as I didn’t want to look like a wanker with an iPhone and the experience has been a joy. Consider me won over by the burden of evidence. The same goes with my macbookpro. I’m pretty much convinced the iPad will be similar and I will buy one. If the promise lives up to the experience like with my other apple stuff, I’d be a very happy camper.

    For my grandparents, and my vision impaired father in law I can’t imagine a better tool. Well thought out, logical and easy to use. Apple has got a market that’s waiting to explode and the fact that you’ll get less calls from confused family members about how to fix their machines which should buy them a bit more nerd cred than they get from the curmudgeonly specification quoters.

    There is, doubtless, things that Apple do that could be done better, or in a more user (and developer) friendly way. I think we need to get better at articulating those arguments instead of coming off like petulant teenagers who are complaining because it’s taking away our free pass to pirate stuff. Sadly, the onus is also on us to try and find workable middle ground as the various entertainment companies are being just as childish too.

  49. It looks sure nice, but it doesn’t fill any need for me. It is a curtailed netbook, nice for looking up stuff, but useless for work as it lacks a keyboard and I loathe on-screen keyboards.

    The book functionality would be sure nice too, unfortunately a TFT screen is not suited for longer reading (at least for me – gives me headaches, and burning eyes) and the run time is far too low for someone like me who is used to the Kindles 2 weeks without visiting a power socket (and the superb reading screen of course). Maybe once the fabled new technologies that combine eInk with TFT (Mirasol) are available and turn out to be true it will change.

    It simply doesn’t fit into a niche I would need – too big for looking up things on the run without having to lug a bag around (here a netbook works better), too curtailed to be used at home (again a netbook/notebook/desktop PC do everything better).
    As book it uses a unsuited technology.

    It suffers the same issue as the many tablet PCs over the years: It would be nice for quick browsing on the couch, the toilet or in bed I guess – but for this it’s too expensive by far.

    It’s doomed to be a success of course, and maybe in 3-4 generations, when the technology catches up with the ideas I will own one too, but currently, unlike the iPod many years back, its not for me I guess.

  50. Xeni loves it, & I’d bet my teeth that Cory will be tearing into it for its closed nature & ecosystem.

    Cage fight!

  51. Thanks, but I’ll pass. I’d rather have a computer that isn’t locked down. The idea that someone from BoingBoing is swallowing this concept whole, that a laptop or netbook should be replaced by a closed device that only runs programs that Apple approves and that Apple takes a cut of, and that its programmers are even forbidden from discussing the terms of the deal they had to sign, is galling. Don’t you listen to Cory? Oh, but it’s pretty. BFD.

    And no, Xeni, Apple is responsible for the 2 gig limit, it is not the fault of any compression standard. After all, they picked the “standard” that would be used for packaging the apps.

  52. How much does the keyboard cost? That’s the only way I see using it for text input being comfortable.

  53. MS Courier is vaporware. It is a *concept* folks with a shiny demo video of it faked up. It isn’t an actual product. There has been no announced support for it, no confirmation of it as a product, no schedule, and no details.

    Keep dreamin’!

  54. The iPad looks beautiful, but I think I’ll wait for the next/2nd edition as most of the small bugs/features (if any) would have been rectified and maybe they would also add a camera then!

  55. I was a substitute teacher for a special education class the other day, and one of the students had a touchscreen mounted to his/her wheelchair. Those have to be built tough, obviously, but can you imagine a smart UI running communication software, instead of a clunky series of folder icons leading to single phrases? One that doesn’t require being slammed on in order to get it to work?

    Or a completely touch-based visual environment for manipulating instruments or spinning? Or like, Photoshop built into the fat DSLR sensor in a lens you’ve plugged into through the USB port? There are so many cool things that just demand a product like this, even really simple stuff like the perfect Google Earth or even just a superior version of the Kindle as pictured in this strip of xkcd.

    I’m not sure where all the cognitive whiplash is coming from, with people crying foul at a glowing review. Xeni probably just felt like she was interfacing with a sweet piece of hardware with a pleasant UI. I trust Xeni (and BB) enough not to just be Apple’s media mouthpiece, because (and not despite) their general watchfulness for Apple’s common indecency.

    That (all) being said, I’m not getting one because a) I don’t have any money whatsoever, and b) being on the bleeding edge of the Apple product line is exciting, but I’ll wait until they’re dirt cheap and ubiquitous, or it fails spectacularly and then I’ve just saved money.

    1. dw_funk said…

      I was a substitute teacher for a special education class the other day, and one of the students had a touchscreen mounted to his/her wheelchair. Those have to be built tough, obviously, but can you imagine a smart UI running communication software, instead of a clunky series of folder icons leading to single phrases? One that doesn’t require being slammed on in order to get it to work?

      dw_funk, I’m an educational technology person for special ed students. We’re seriously thinking about how the iPad might be used for teaching.

  56. >> Because otherwise, I really feel like is a pretty disturbing piece of product placement otherwise.

    It’s called a review. Sometimes the reviewers like the product and they tell you about it. That happens.

    1. I’m sorry, but it’s not a review to me until we’ve had a near-miss with Joel’s junk onscreen.

  57. I think everyone is missing the point.

    Apple can’t figure out the BEST way to implement it yet…but sooner or later they will put a camera smack dab in the middle of one of the sides (a la the macbook), and with enough data bandwidth, everyone who has one will be videochatting 24/7 instead of texting or using the phone.

    I don’t think the INTENTION is to rival your iphone or macbook/macpro. But to take care of everything your iphone and laptop/desktop cant do (max portability with meaningful screen real estate). Once the meaningful video chat hits, you have a whole new category of device parameters.

    It may seem too clunky, but to me “can you easily use it on the shitter?” says a lot about portability, considering what it could be used for.

    1. Anyone catch last year (I think) that Apple submitted a patent for a webcam that was embedded behind/inside of the LCD screen? I’m not saying it’ll ever be practical or released as a product, but can you imagine if the iPad II/II/Whatever further down the road enabled you to do your videoconferencing by looking at the screen, rather than slightly offset to the camera?

      Who knows what they have planned. For me, the lack of a camera is in no way a deal breaker. I like the overall design so far, and the descriptions I’ve been reading are interesting. I won’t know for sure until I have a chance to, you know, actually try one out in person, before I make my final decision. I suspect I’ll end up buying one, but again, I won’t know until I can play with one for real, and not just read every single review I can find. :)

      As for the Courier … if it exists, I want it. If it exists or will exist, I don’t see any problem (other than financial!) about having both. They don’t appear to be competitors and both appear to be very cool. Good enough for me.

  58. Okay I want one too. But some questions.
    1. Can anybody publish a book? That is, an iBook, whether it is an app, pdf or html5 thing? Would like to sell books or films via app store.
    2. I am going to publish some and wouldn’t mind making an iBook too. But is there an easy way to do it without writing your own apps from scratch? When you blur book/application/movie together you blur budgets. Just realized Apple wants me to pay $99 for the new iPad version of the iPhone SDK. So the question, say I have some programming skills but want to focus on publishing content like books and films, one app at a time. How much time and effort is required?
    3. Turned my MacBookPro 17″ on its side. Do the same with yours. Now *that’s* a nice size!

    1. The iPad uses the epub format, which can be exported directly from inDesign. I’ve also seen info on applications that will incorporate movie media into the pages. The opening of the iPad bookstore to independent publishers is the next logical step after that. I suspect that Apple is going to be eventually expanding the Pages and Keynote to be authoring programs to create content. I see the possibility of creating a whole new medium that isn’t a book or a movie or a game or a magazine or a webpage, but some sort of amalgam of all of them.

      1. Hi,

        Thanks for your reply I just saw it. This will help me start planning development for the iPad!

  59. Maybe the most exciting thing about iPad is the apps that aren’t here yet.

    Also, what? *headdesk*

  60. “The display is large enough to make the experience of apps and games on smaller screens stale.”

    Oh boy, it’s just what I’ve always wanted.

  61. “(a limitation imposed by the zip compression standard at work here, not something of Apple’s own design)”

    They chose to use the format, therefor it is a limitation of their design.

    Also too much “marketing” speak. We know what hardware graphics acceleration is, its only been around for 30 years.

  62. They chose to use the format, therefor it is a limitation of their design.

    It’s also a limitation of infrastructure. The iPhone has a limit of 20 megs for downloading over 3g. 2 gigs is a lot better than that!

    1. That’s not the point.
      She’s making excuses for Apple, for no reason.
      They chose to use zip. Zip has a maximum of 2GiB. They chose a maximum of 2GiB.

      That’s just how it works.

      “This is inconvenient, so it’s the fault of the technology, not Apple’s fault” is an argument I hear alot from Applers.
      Apple users are not all Applers.
      Applers are cultists.

  63. What no one is talking about is that this is really the first ever “computer” or email and web device that will be simple enough for grandparents and new to tech baby boomers to easily use. My mom and grandpa dont care about OS, or plug ins or left clicks or such they want to email and go on the web as easy as they use their phone.
    This is that. That’s not cool, but it fills that niche perfectly.

  64. So will the ipad’s hatred of Flash inspire Boing Boing to be more html standard friendly? I have to say, since I installed an opt-in flash plug-in, my browser is running much much faster.

  65. Nice hardware, but not programmable so not really suitable for children, or, y’know, citizens of democratic states.

    Am I the only one who finds the iPad a terribly dull proposition?

      1. Not by the user without permission from Apple (pay for the sdk, use their private/public key setup, their programming tools, their choice of programming language…).

  66. I am very curious what development and creativity it’ll spurn once it is jailbroken. Like a poster before me said: a gilded cage is still a cage.

    1. I don’t violate licenses.
      To buy an iPhone you somehow have to agree to an EULA that is in the box by opening it. That’s insane.

      Jailbreaking is just people that want the key to the cage door, but to live in the cage.

  67. iPass…

    imagine you fall asleep reading on iPad… then imagine the iPad falling on the floor…

    1. imagine you fall asleep reading on iPad… then imagine the iPad falling on the floor…

      Someone’s already done the imagining — and so we have the iBallz drop-survival accessory ;-)

  68. Nice, really nice, but I stopped buying Apple stuff years ago due to their consumer unfriendly practices, therefore I’ll rather wait for a chinese clone at 1/5 the price and completely open to hacking.

  69. The iPad definitely sounds and looks exciting. All the reviews that’ve come out today are positive at least, and some rave about quite a few aspects.

    That said, I’m looking forward to BB taking a look at what the iPad’s ecosystem represents in terms of open content. The picture, for now, doesn’t look pretty at all, and I think it’s worth talking about just to get a balanced picture.

  70. Had a play with one of these recently, and it has done nothing for me other than furthering my hatred for anything which starts with a lower case ‘i’.

  71. “a gilded cage is still a cage”

    I don’t think that can be said too often. The iPad is a comfortable and stylish version of the slippery slope.
    I really don’t want the company I buy my hardware from to controll the software I’m allowed to use. I especially don’t want the company to block applications for their own power games. The usage neutrality is the basic principle that fuels all the good developments in the digital sector. And now we throw it away for a stylish tablet?

    It makes me sick to think about all the people who will blog about the “free internet” and “civil rights” on the iPad. It’s like the elite in China congratulating themselves how gread democracy works for them.

    In Germany some newspapers are proudly presenting their iPad app based subscription models, where you get to pay 60% of the price of a print subscription that is delivered to your door. Thank you Apple, for the platform that is the wet dream of every outdated media dinosaur.

  72. Oh no Xeni enjoyed it and passed on her enjoyment! Why isn’t she knocking apple and getting angry about them making things and then forcing people to buy them? Oh no, wait, they don’t force anyone to buy anything. If you don’t like the thing don’t buy it, but don’t get angry and bitch about it as though it offends your delicate and noble principles by simply existing! Thankfully, unlike Apple buying schmucks, your genius has seen through her propaganda to the true evil lurking behind it! Evil Xeni! Evil iPad!

  73. Looks great. Most reviews seem to be about games, and newspaper/mags on the iPad. Good to see one on an App that is a book, that is an App.

  74. I’m sorry but this is “defective by design” I can almost forgive the iPod Touch and iPhone for the same flaws b/c one is just a media player and the other is just a phone. This however is being marketed as a general computing device. The apple distribution model of apps for their mobile OS is pretty Orwellian. I’m kind of shocked with BoingBoing’s track record of speaking out against such things, that you’re touting this.

    I’d almost would’ve wanted a 7″ iPod touch. 10″ though? I want something I can comfortably hold in one hand. I predict these are going to get dropped a lot as people try to clumsily hold an edge in one hand while poking it with the other.

    1. The App Store is Orwellian? As in, they watch you at all times through a camera in your house and kidnap and torture you for disagreeing with them?

      Or are you talking about Orwell’s lesser know novel, where a computer company has a couple of rules that protect its customers from malware? Wasn’t so interesting, that book.

      1. > Or are you talking about Orwell’s lesser know novel, where a
        > computer company has a couple of rules that protect its customers
        > from malware?

        Ha ha – “a couple of rules that protect its customers from malware”!!

        What a joke. You’re either misguided or being completely disingenuous.

        The only reason Apple stop people from running home-brewed software on their hardware, is because they want maximum profits.

        They call the shots – and in effect, they own the hardware.

        People who buy an iPad aren’t free to use it in any way they see fit. They can’t hack it, they can’t extend it .. they can’t even run their own programmes on it without Apple’s approval.

        The model put forward by the iPhone and iPad goes completely against the philosophy of the ‘Happy Mutant’.

        I’m really surprised it’s received such a wholly positive reception from boingboing.

        I’m disappointed.

  75. What a great April Fool’s joke! You would have thought this love fest of a review was written by Steve Jobs himself!

  76. first great review and you picked the perfect book to show where eBooks should be going
    As for the lack of FLASH on even the best PCs (sorry I don’t use a MAC)go to a flash heavy web site and then run the task manager watch your cpu load sky rocket look at them memory use of your web browser triple and not release the memory when you leave the site if the iPad does no more than force everyone to HTML 5 then I will be a big fan

  77. Can we have full disclosure from Xeni and boingboing about whether they have any received money or perks in relation to this article?

    1. Can we have full disclosure from Xeni and boingboing about whether they have any received money or perks in relation to this article?

      If you didn’t see a notice, there was nothing to disclose.

      1. That’s so good to hear. You’ve put my mind at rest because I had been worried that Xeni or boingboing might have something to disclose. Before your reassurance my crazy head had imagined all sorts of potential disclosures that I can now see as being completely unnecessary like “We got paid to write a gushing review of apple’s new iPad!” or “We didn’t even write this, it’s the apple press release written especially for the boingboing audience!” or at the very least “From the IP addresses of these gushing commentators it looks like a lot of them are actually paid employees of Apple Inc.!”

        I’m so glad that there are no dark secrets here. I’m also really glad that I now know all of the technical specifications of the iPad and how each specification is a profound advantage over all the market competition for the iPad from an independent journalistic source that a geek like me in the target demographic for the iPad reads on a daily basis.

        Thanks again for clearing up my confusion.

        1. Apple did not pay me or Boing Boing, bribe us with sandwiches or “Blogger lunches” (commenter please, even if i were corruptable, I have standards!), or give me or us product to keep and to own. This review represents how I felt about the experience of the device. It was not compromised by any form of payola.

          Boing Boing is not a person or a single voice. This review was written by me. Not my colleagues, not by the collective “we.” My colleagues, individually or as a group, may have other opinions about the device, the experience, or the company behind it. You will hear their opinions as they are expressed.

          I did, however, sign a contract with Apple that prohibited Boing Boing from including the many near-misses with Joel Johnson’s junk in the review. So, yeah, fuck Apple for censoring us!

          1. Xeni: I didn’t mean to imply that you gave a positive review in exchange for a free lunch; I hope we all know better than that.

            My question was about how Apple had prepared you for the iPad review. The remark about the 2GB limit on apps suggests that you had some official contact with Apple prior to reviewing this new machine.

            I’m still not sure how an iPad is better than, say, a laptop.

  78. : Can we have full disclosure from Xeni and boingboing about whether they have received any money or perks in relation to this article?

    1. The BB folks are pretty good about posting “claimers” when they have an interest (financial or otherwise) in a product. I’m willing to trust that whey they don’t post one, they are indeed independent, with at most the influence of having been given a sample to play with (which is an influence every moderately-visible freelance journalist is subject to, and which can thus be assumed.)

  79. I like the Dvorak layout, a lot; would love to know how soon somebody does a good hack for the keymap and external keyboard, and also whether a reasonably-careful techie can swap key tops (do they snap off and back on without damage?).

  80. Regarding choppy slow jQuery animations, I have had the same problem with the iPhone. There is a remedy, you have to use -webkit-transform: translate(Xpx, Ypx) and -webkit-transition: -webkit-transition 1s linear;

  81. my favorite part of all this is the sound of all the haters grasping at any little thing they can to try and pick at it, to no avail. i for one can’t wait until i pick up mine on saturday. NATIVE epicurious app? apple’s been spying on my wish list…!

  82. This review left me scratching my head.

    How much did Xeni pay for this marvel? Was she prepped in any way by Apple for this (e.g. a lunch for bloggers)?

    How, exactly, is the iPad book experience, with its multimedia and hypertext, different (other than less lag) than, say, using the World Wide Web? Why does there have to be a special “presentation” for Boing Boing on the iPad? Doesn’t it show web pages the same as every other device?

    Xeni mentions “chokey http [sic] embeds”. There’s a good reason for HTTP streaming: you don’t have to wait to download a 2GB app just to see the couple seconds of video that you want. Why is this so much better?

    What makes the iPad better than any of the other tablet computers that have appeared over the past 10+ years?

  83. It looks cool and does cool things, but where would I use it? I wouldn’t want to take it outside for fear of having it robbed or damaged and if I’m at home, I’ve got a perfectly serviceable PC. I just don’t understand what role it is intended to play – maybe it’s simply not for me.

    1. Man, you must live in seriously messed up country. :-)

      Anyway: I have two perfectly find Macs. Both are located in my study, which is on the 2nd floor. Having an iPad lying next to the recliner in the living room downstairs will save me so many steps…

  84. Yes, Apple is a walled garden but can some of you relax with the preachy stuff long enough to admit that this is probably a remarkable device and that Xeni’s review is likely quite accurate? Sheesh.

    No, I probably won’t buy one. I just can’t justify $500 for something that I would likely spend an obscene amount of money filling with comic books.

    I tried the open source world. I got rid of my ipod and went from there. It’s horrible out there. Nothing just works as well as some of Apple’s products. I may not like their way of doing things but that doesn’t mean I can’t admit that they are brilliant in what they do.

    1. Hey – I do agree, but it’s nice to have balance though .. so many people feel that Apple can do no wrong. I’d hate to see open computing evolve into closed computing; these times are a beginning – as we become more reliant on technology this kind of issue will probably seem more important.

      It does look lovely – but I like freedom. Like seanpatgallagher said above:

      “A gilded cage is still a cage.”

  85. Oh man I’ve got that gadget itch. If this thing played widescreen movies I’d be SO on it, even if it made me feel guilty for being tied to the Apple apps store. Apple is the only company that makes products that speak directly to my vagina, and I hate them for it!

    As it is now, I might recommend one for my grandmother. She might benefit from a closed system and something she won’t freak out about “breaking”.

  86. So for everyone commenting about their disappointment in BB and how this is a break with their philosophy, we can acknowledge that BB is made up of a group of individuals, right? Who are allowed to think different things about different issues? That Cory can be angry about the closed system and Xeni is allowed to like the device, without slinging unfounded accusations of nefarious financial gains? C’mon, folks. They’re different people with different interests.

    1. I don’t think anyone is saying that boingboing isn’t made up of individuals. Although personally, I do prefer critical thought to sycophancy.

      1. Uhh, your own comment:

        “I’m really surprised it’s received such a wholly positive reception from boingboing”

        you’ve accused boingboing as an entity of being wholly positive on it when the only person that’s weighed in so far is Xeni.

        1. I guess I think of boingboing as a place for ‘happy mutants’ .. maybe I’ve misappropriated the meaning of this. Perhaps I’m here for the wrong reasons?

          1. I guess I think of boingboing as a place for ‘happy mutants’ .. maybe I’ve misappropriated the meaning of this. Perhaps I’m here for the wrong reasons?

            I find it very unlikely that anyone will accuse you of being happy.

  87. You know what phrase gave me chills (in the bad way) when I read this review? “Accelerometer-driven games like the Real Racing HD iPad app ($9.99) available at first release thrill in a new way, like when I first held a Wii.”

    The Wii comparison is apt, because I too was dazzled by the new user interface of that system, and the reviewers fell over themselves talking about how it was going to revolutionize gaming. And yet now… my Wii sits gathering dust on my entertainment center, because once the novelty wore off, I realized that there was a lot more flash than substance to the platform.

    I love the idea of a tablet like this, but the price point and Apple’s continuing refusal to play nice with their DRM (I look forward to having to purchase the same ebook multiple times from the iBookstore if I want to read the same title on both my iPad and iPhone) really turns me off.

    1. mad_typist, you can currently share DRMed apps and music from iTunes between 5 devices. I assumed the same would be true for iBooks. Do you know otherwise?

  88. I like it, and I would get one, but for the following three nonstarters:

    1. the App Store
    2. no camera
    3. AT&T

    Yes, I get it. It’s a device for consuming media. But (1) means you don’t get survival-of-the-fittest style development. Yes, I WANT fifty different calculator apps so I can decide which is the best for me, not Apple. (2) means it’s not a truly modern device. (3) — seriously? The data network that already has problems, and you’re just going to exacerbate the issue?

    1. But (1) means you don’t get survival-of-the-fittest style development. Yes, I WANT fifty different calculator apps so I can decide which is the best for me, not Apple.

      Have you looked on the AppStore for calculator apps? There are hundreds. Not including the thousands of tip/headwind/mortgage calculators.
      Trust me (or go look yourself), lack-of-choice in each type of app is not the AppStore’s problem, frankly there are too many versions of lots of app types.

  89. What’s stopping Apple from encouraging jquery performance to lag – so web-applications are put aside for proper ‘Apps’ (which they collect a fee from)?

    Maybe, if 3D games are possible, a bit of jquery animation isn’t going to _have to_ cripple the device?

    I think it’s pretty obvious that they’ve held back on implementing a Flash player for commercial reasons. Having Flash on the device would provide an alternative application platform (which can’t be monetised).

    Wouldn’t surprise me if they did the same for js/jquery. How would we ever know? Would they have any incentive to optimise the browser experience?

    It’s this kind of potential deviousness that concerns me. Now Apple have found such a great way to make money from IP, one of their main priorities is going to be revenue stream security.

    1. lukus, Apple’s objection to Flash obviously isn’t that it can’t be monetised: they can’t monetise all the free apps on iTunes or Web Apps either.

      It’s simply a control issue: Apple don’t want apps running on their devices which weren’t developed with their SDKs and which they can’t kill off if they feel like it.

      1. True. Okay, maybe monetise was the wrong term.

        Maybe they can’t monetise the free Apps – but, as you state, they can choose which ones run on their device.

        Why do they need to be able to control which applications can run on their devices?

        Having control over the market is commercially advantageous – and will eventually influence the bottom line.

  90. Here’s how I could use an iPad in the real world. . .
    I’m going to leave my expensive Mac Book Pro at the office and take the iPad with me to my business sites. Then if I need to check email, do banking etc (i.e. 90% of my work) – I can do it in a that is way more practical to work on than a phone, but way cheaper and lighter than my laptop.
    If I need to check out something on the laptop I’ll link in through a virtual desktop /VPN link.
    It will be a link to my office computer that will not have anything on it that if I lose or break would be a disaster.

    If it gets stolen or broken – I’ve lost nothing – Just like my iPhone.

    I can take it on trips as a potable guide book, map etc instead of printing out maps. (It’s too expensive to use my phone for data when traveling US < -> Europe).

    You have to ask yourself in an honest way what you really use your computer mostly for – Editing Feature Films? Writing novels? – Or in all honesty – Mostly watching You Tube and sending emails. . . .

  91. Can one also assume that despite the ‘glitter up front’ we are still to be stuck with the really bad (and I mean REALLY BAD) quality of the cables and required accessories?

    As a long time user of Mac and iPods this has always been my major bug bear with their products. Cables that kink and wrinkle when used without winding them for example. I believe many Apple users are familiar with what I mention..

  92. Looks like a sleek device. I look forward to trying one out at some point. I have an iPhone and enjoy using it. I have great admiration for Apple’s design aesthetic, both hardware-wise and UI-wise. I expect that the iPad is like the iPhone, “but more so”.

    On the other hand, I do look forward to a thorough critique by Cory (or Jonathan Zittrain) about how the locked-down walled-garden approach is both doomed to fail, and a worrisome trend in the evolution of personal computing. Hey, it might even become one of those long comments-thread debates where on one side we have IT folks saying that people are stupid and need a centrally-managed system that “just works” otherwise users would find a way to break it… and on the other side we have the Linux folks saying that each user should be able to compute their ones and zeros in any way they please. Those debates are fun :] (My two cents: In several years, iPad-like devices will dominate personal computing at home. (And I’m not the first one to hypothesize this). Devices that are as hackable as a current Windows computer will only be found in offices (where their weaknesses are handled by professional full-time IT people) and in the homes of computing enthusiasts (where Linux computers will also reside). The majority of users will lose some freedom that they never knew they had, and never wanted. And they will stop bugging us to do tech support for them :] so it won’t be so bad).

  93. This thing appears to be the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy come to life! Yay! Don’t Panic!

  94. Sorry, I don’t buy it.
    It’s an underpowered, over priced netbook with no keyboard, and a software selection dictated by the fascists at apple.

    I’ll stick for buying a far more powerful/useful netbook for the same cost, thanks.

  95. I’m sorry but I don’t need any cat food. I’m a dog lover, and dogs are man’s best friend. Why would I ever need cat food? It’s just overpriced fishy-smelling mush that no dog lover would ever feed their dog. The cat food business is a racket, and all the people fawning over fancy feast this and friskies that are just idiot fanboys.

  96. The iPad is a great gadget. It’s *worth* $100.

    It could be worth $200, if it had USB ports and an integrated SD-card reader.

    $400 if the software wasn’t limited to arbitrary decisions of erratic Applites and mobile contracts to whatever contractor pays most … to Apple.

    Unfortunately, it *costs* $600 and more.

  97. “It’s sensual. It’s tactile. ”

    Oh dear god.

    It is a computer (did you all see the keyboard?)



    In which you can put software of your own making without authorization.

    Your love of “sensual” and “tactile” is really taking the personal computing industry in a direction that we will come to regret.

    Not that Apple is legitimizing this the bomb is ticking before other companies doing, and you all fools are rushing to bring this undesirable future faster to all of us.

    What a complete idiocy.

    1. What exactly is wrong with defining a class of device that removes a lot of the things people dislike about their personal computers?

      Why not separate them out, from the computers that those of us who actually work with them need. There will NEVER be only this type of limited-device; programmers, artists, engineers and the entertainment industry (et al) all need real computers. Apple’s secondary revenue stream relies on that fact; they aren’t going away.

      Besides, the fact that these devices need host computers, invalidates this slippery-slope nonsense.

      1. For me the issue isn’t what these devices simplify for the end-user that’s a problem, it’s what they prevent a developer from doing independently. I can’t make an application for the iPad without Apple sanctioning it.

        I reckon there’s a danger of a wedge developing between producers and consumers of digital content, in much the same way that physical production and consumption have become separated by the industrial revolution.

        The iPad embodies Apple’s model for making money from digital content – maybe one of the only truly successful examples so far. Because of Apple’s success, I think this model is likely to be copied – and this style of locked-down device is likely to become more ubiquitous.

        These un-hackable devices reduce us to either consumers or limited-producers, dependent on the will of large corps; I think that’s a bad thing.

        1. You’re right, my record player oppresses me by not being a recording studio, my DVD player oppresses me by not being a video authoring workstation, and my whole library mocks me by being full of words written by other people. I don’t know how I managed to stay so deluded for so long… </sarcasm off>

          Even the most creative among us are consumers when we’re not creating – in fact, in many cases the most creative are also the most voracious consumers of media and culture. It’s not like it’s a bad thing.

          There are probably a million things the iPad is not suited for (including the creation of the very same media that it appears so well suited for presenting). That’s OK, your computer isn’t going away (and the fact that this appliance has a CPU doesn’t make it a full-fledged computer any more than my iPhone or iPod is).

          I’m not blind to the iPad’s limitations, and I’ll probably wait to see what the next iteration (or the first clone) looks like before I spring for one, but making it the embodiment of cultural oppression is just silly.

          1. I didn’t mention that I had a problem with the iPad being used to view content. I wasn’t even complaining about the fact that I can’t use the iPad to create things (in any case, it’s likely that I’d be able to write, paint & make music using the device).

            I was complaining that I can’t create applications for the device without Apple’s approval.

            Is that an unfair criticism?

            I’m not sure what _your_ point is?

        2. Anyone can download the SDK for free and develop whatever they want for their own iPad. If you want to then distribute your app through iTunes (where they pay hosting and bandwidth fees) you pay Apple a one time sign up fee of $100 and they take a 30% cut if you end up selling it. As for it being an un-hackable device, the iPhone has so far been a hackers dream and I don’t see why this will be any different.

    2. It’s particularly disappointing for Apple, who used to be leading in a much better direction. Sensual and tactile but black and grey; what happened to bright translucent colors?

      (I kid, of course; I completely agree about fashion and function.)

  98. You guys just don’t get it.

    Well thank god you’re here to tell us how it is then, huh?

  99. What amuses me about the haters and skeptics is that not one of them have seen or used an iPad yet. I fully expect that the EXPERIENCE of using an iPad will make all of the so-called technological shortcomings totally irrelevant. (And yes, there are plenty of things I don’t like about Apple and their products.)

  100. As to the “gilded cage,” I consider this device a power tool, like a drill or a saw. I want it to do one thing: work like I expect it to. I do tech support and sys admin for a living, and if I can have some bit of respite from troubleshooting crappy application interactions and shoddy programming bugs, especially when I’m trying to read a magazine or play a game to relax, I’m okay with a controlled environment.

    Alternatives exist (or will exist, anyway), for all of you who feel the call of the wild. It will be interesting to see, over the next few years, the usage statistics for these types of devices. iPhone users have much higher data usage per person than other smartphone users. The experience of using a platform is just as important as what you can do with it. If it isn’t easy or even fun to use, what’s the motivation to pick it up day after day?

    Basically: Will you get as much use out of your more open alternatives as I will out of the iPad? Are you planning on writing your own ebook reader, or magazine app, or game, or something else?

    1. Imagine if you needed to get approval from the manufacturer before you could use your drill to bore some holes in your wall.

      1. That’s not quite how it works. Now, if you said Makita had a list of approved bits that the drill had to use to bore holes, you’d have a better analogy. Conversely, imagine if you bought a drill bit and instead of drilling hole to hang a picture, it made your drill build a Russian mafia casino. Analogies are fun!

        But you’re missing the point. That kind of control in this instance results in a much better end-user experience for this tool, and will result in me actually using it.

        I’m not replacing my “open” computers with this closed system. I’m replacing magazines, newspapers, books, DVDs, etc. All of those are as “closed” as you can get.

        1. Apple do have a list of ‘approved bits’ .. and to make sure you only use their approved bits, they’ve made sure you can’t use the industry standard size (e.e. USB) :)

          1. “Apple do have a list of ‘approved bits’ .. and to make sure you only use their approved bits, they’ve made sure you can’t use the industry standard size (e.e. USB)”

            Yeah, I can’t really argue with that. Dock cables definitely annoy me.

        2. “I’m not replacing my “open” computers with this closed system. I’m replacing magazines, newspapers, books, DVDs, etc. All of those are as “closed” as you can get.”

          Not really, @ryanwoofs. All those media you are replacing could have come from anywhere, published by anyone, with any content whatsoever. You are replacing them with content approved by Apple, where each of those media producers had to make a deal with Apple to get access to you.

          The whole intention and invention of this kind of device – as with the iStore — is to create the “gatekeeper” situation. That’s where the real money is.

          I can’t understand why so many people are blind to what is distasteful about that practice.

          1. You are replacing them with content approved by Apple, where each of those media producers had to make a deal with Apple to get access to you.

            Nonsense. Only the apps. Or the stuff being sold in Apple’s store.

            You can transfer any ebooks, music, pictures, websites etc that you want (in a format that works, obviously). It isn’t approved content at all.

          2. Not really, @ryanwoofs. All those media you are replacing could have come from anywhere, published by anyone, with any content whatsoever. You are replacing them with content approved by Apple, where each of those media producers had to make a deal with Apple to get access to you.

            Sounds ominous, but fortunately, it’s not true. Apart from Apps and their in-app purchases, Apple does not control any content. Music, Video, ePub – sync o your heart’s content.

            The whole intention and invention of this kind of device – as with the iStore — is to create the “gatekeeper” situation. That’s where the real money is.

            Contrary to popular belief, Apple doesn’t earn “real money” with the App Store. It does with music sales, and yet the music Apple sells is DRM free these days and any i-Device would happily any kind of un-DRNed MP3, regardless of the source,

            I can’t understand why so many people are blind to what is distasteful about that practice.

            They are not blind, they are just better informed.

          3. So you can easily get published in Sports Illustrated? Get a photo spread in National Geographic? Maybe a tech article in the NY Times? Seems like closed systems to me.

    2. Completely agree with Ryanwoofs, I don’t think most people care or need the extravagence and bloat of osx, linux or win7. Most people use their computers to browse the web, watch video, listen to music, read email, type letters, read stuff and play some games here and there. To create an “instant on” computing device that does all of the above without the headaches of current operating systems is a revolution in itself.

  101. The iPad is a VJ coder’s wet dream. 12 years ago I wrote a visual music synth using artificial life seeded by a wacom tablet – somewhat inspired by Rudy Rucker’s flicker cladding from his ‘Ware series. (In fact Rudy was a neighbor and the first person to see it.) Back in 1998, the software ran on a Pentium II and Windows 98.

    I tried porting it to a jailbreak iPhone, but found it a bit slow. Didn’t help that the SDK provided no direct screen output. Sure, you could launch a media player, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I mean: touching a surface and see an ALife bloom into on a big screen behind the DJ. I used to do this professionally with a 7 pound laptop and 1 pound tablet. Soon, I will be performing with a device that is smaller, cheaper, and faster. Wow!

    And by “soon”, I mean as in this May 22-23 at the Maker’s Fair performing with the BArCMuT group. Hope to see y’all there.

  102. Most all computer makers have failed to live up to the promises made over 30 years ago to education. Bulky os’s, expensive apps, confounding error messages….add any other frustrations you’ve experienced. When I first saw and used an Apple iPod touch I was starting to get a glimmer of what was possible to do with a very simple interface. I’d noticed that the primary use of lab computers by students was internet research and word processing. Some, in specialized graphics and cad classes were using more of the computer but still were basically confining themselves to 2 or 3 apps. Then I saw the iPad announcement and it all fit together.

    At the HS I work at we are starting a small pilot classroom using 20 iPads to explore the potential of a 21st century classroom. This will be a teacher led project to accurately test the educational value of of the iPad, SAS and cloud storage of classwork. Our tech team will provide any support advice requested but the idea is that this classroom should require very little hands on tech support to be labeled successful. Maybe, finally a promise kept.

  103. “just letting it rest against the skin.”

    You know these are made by the thousands, right? It’s not the Egg of Mantumbi!
    It sure looks nice. But I wonder if it will go the way of the [insert now quaint device here].

  104. As with the iPhone, a lot of this antipathy will wash out when Apple sells its 75 millionth iPad a couple of years from now. There are going to be a lot of cranks yapping at this thing as it leads the pack, but ultimately the market will render its verdict, and that will disarm about 90% of this. And right off the bat, it looks like it’s approaching the sell-through rate of the DS, and is poised to eclipse the sum total of Kindle’s sales (1.5 mil) within a month.

    I think the fanboy rage against the iPad is particularly strong ahead of the launch. As the positive reviews and word-of-mouth validation continue to accumulate, we’ll finally end up with the hardcore haters who would not purchase an Apple product if it was the last manufacturer on earth.

    A lot of people have staked their identity on opposing Apple and they’ve taken a beating in the past couple of years. Techies are used to being revered by the laity as infallible, but a lot of people are scrambling to spin their longstanding prophecy of Apple’s doom into their not being totally wrong. And when they see their relatives, friends, coworkers ignoring their advice and purchasing the much-despised Apple line of products, they feel diminished. Betrayed even.

    There are a lot of people who hate Apple for reasons known only to them. They dress it up, in my view, with opinions about value and freedom of access, but I think it’s just about brand hostility. The Apple branding is aggressive, clearly defined, and it just drives some people up the wall. Often the people who claim to be the least affected by marketing, are in fact the most sensitive to it.

    1. How are people who dislike this product for very definite reasons fanboys?

      Just about everyone criticizing the iPad is explaining why they dislike it. Maybe you don’t care about a lack of multitasking, the closed system, the relative uselessness to many people, etc. but I don’t think it is irrational to have such concerns.

      Go out and spend $600 on this thing and I don’t think you’ll hear any complaints. It will probably be a fun toy.

      Go online and write glowing reviews about how this is so wonderful and people are going to point out the apple “fanboys” never give concrete reasons the iPad is so great…other than it is “cool” or a “great experience.”

      1. Just about everyone criticizing the iPad is explaining why they dislike it.
        Maybe you don’t care about a lack of multitasking, the closed system, the relative uselessness to many people, etc. but I don’t think it is irrational to have such concerns.

        It’s not irrational to have such concerns, but it’s irrational to spew these concerns in any and all threads. Also, your implied assumption that everyone criticising the iPad does so from a base of valid concerns is flat out wrong. If I’d have a dollar for anyone refering to “DRM Music”, “being unable to download mail while listening to Music”, “no cut and paste”, well, let’s say I could by an iPad. One of the expensive models, even.

        Go online and write glowing reviews about how this is so wonderful and people are going to point out the apple “fanboys” never give concrete reasons the iPad is so great…other than it is “cool” or a “great experience.”

        Well, “a great experience” *is* a valid reason to endorse the iPad. Besides, Xeni gave lots of reasons besides that – but apparently anything beyond “has ports and rund on 2,4 yiggawatts” is too mushy for some people.

        1. “It’s not irrational to have such concerns, but it’s irrational to spew these concerns in any and all threads.”

          Awww, come on. This thread is about the upcoming iPad release. How much more specific can you get ;)

  105. Is it okay to be tired of the sheer density of ‘copyfight’ posts and just want to hear thoughts on the latest shiny? I don’t really have a problem with paying for software (as a software engineering undergrad, one day I want to be able to run my own software business).

    1. The very presence of Your Junk here is a violation of the NDJJA (Non-Disclosure of Joel’s Junk Agreement) I signed with Apple, Joel. Please, I beg of you, in the name of genitalia embargoes: go away. Or put some clothes on.

  106. Wow, to read some of the luddite comments on here about “what I already have is good enough”, or “this does the same thing as xxx”, makes me really glad the internet didn’t exist at the time things like penicillin were being researched/discovered. Of all the places I’d expect to find a fear or suspicion of new technology, BB is the last place that would come to mind. Will the iPad be looked back at 10 years from now as anything other than another product in a long line of products? Who knows? All I know is that the attitudes of some of the readers on here insinuate that technology that moves in a direction contrary to their narrow worldview doesn’t need to exist, and that troubles me much more than DRM or form vs. function ever will.

  107. Ports ports ports! Again, Apple shuns consumers by not including a memory port, making one buy a whole new iPad if they want more memory than what is included. Why?

  108. The iPad is a cool looking device for consumption of media, but after seeing the demo for MS courier, I am really excited about that. It looks so much more practical, not only in its packaging (2 screens, folding up into a 5×7 notebook), but in its funtionality. The demos show it multi-tasking and functioning as a digital journal for designers.

    1. Yes, MS Courier looks cool. It has a tiny little problem: It’s a demo. Right now, it’s less than one of the 50 or so new concept cars which get paraded around each year and very, very seldom get produced.

      Personally, when I’m hungry, I tend to order the steak in front of me, not keep my money close to the chest because another waiter tells me that they’ve got a great cow in the backyard which they might slaughter any day soon.

  109. >> I can’t understand why so many people are blind to what is distasteful about that practice.

    I do find the practice you described distasteful.

    Unfortunately, the practice you described is not relevant to the iPhone or iPad. You simply either do not understand or are intentionally misrepresenting how content is acquired and exchanged on iPhone OS devices.

  110. >> lukus & trotsky, why is it a big deal when Apple do this? I recall no similar level of fuss regarding closed consoles from Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony.

    I think there was and is a fuss over Sony, Nintendo, and MS. There certainly is from me. A lot of people trash the federal government (and usually for good reason, in my view, especially when it comes to technology, where there are so very few people in positions of authority who understand the industry), but in many cases, the only catalyst for reigning in or altering the behavior of these corporations is government intervention.

    I would very much like to see the DoJ bust heads over any and every closed system. In fact, in my blue sky scenario, I’d like to see virtually all intellectual property laws shitcanned once and for all. Yes, rampant “piracy.” Yes, “plagiarism.” Yes, “theft.”

    In my view, those laws do more harm than good.

    My hair trigger for walking away from Apple for good would be if they ever got serious about prosecuting for jailbreaking. Right now, they just make noise, mostly, I think, to assuage AT&T, who are truly evil in my view. But they haven’t gone the RIAA or MPAA route of predatory and indiscriminate lawsuits.

    As with DRM, and contracts for data access, I think in most cases Apple simply has to make compromises to partner with more retrograde companies like AT&T or NBC or the music companies. Personally, I don’t think Jobs gives a rat’s ass about closed systems or contract lock-in. I sincerely hope the contract-free iPad is the harbinger of things to come and not just a new scamtastic way to cheat customers out of their hard-earned cash.

    Needless to say, I intend to jailbreak the shit out of my iPad at the earliest date. My iPhone and iPod touch have been contract free and jailbroken from day one.

    The people who purchase Apple products but insist on being able to jailbreak are larger than most people think. Maybe as many as 20-25% (of 75,000,000 iPhones/iPod touchs).

    Apple had better not step on that third rail.

  111. ohhhh, that looks pretty awesome. Don’t know when i’ll be able to get one but these are going to be a big deal for Comics for sure, i’ll have to go by the apple store and see if i can check out my own sites on one as an and excuse to fondle.
    I might as well ask, if anyone here or Xeni happen to feel like it, let me know how they look on yours?

    I wonder, can you read a book on the internet archive site? does there streaming reader work? Not sure if it’s flash….

  112. All other questions about the Apple store lock-in aside, what is their stand on the delivery of pr0n?

    Because we all know how that’s the killer app for most new media…

  113. First off, I liked the review quite a bit. I’m mostly interested in its use as a book reader and interactive platform, and it seems like it’ll be good for that. While I’m not a huge fan of American comics, I’d like to publishing companies put manga on here eventually.

    As for the closed system and end of free rights in the world doomsayers, I’m curious as to why it bothers you so much. It’s true, contrary to what anyone says, that the App Store is a closed system that requires approval for anything in it. But, last time I checked, Apple wasn’t the last company in the world nor is the iPad the only tablet on the market. If you disagree with Apple’s practices, I feel compelled to know the reasons outside your own egos that make you all so hostile to the idea that many people, myself included, don’t really care. After all, if Apple ever did anything I truly had a problem with or denied me an App I truly wanted, I’d move onto a platform where I could get it. Isn’t that not how the whole capitalist world is suppose to function?

    And, I know, you’ll argue that it sets precedents and such and that the entire world may follow Apple’s (admittedly successful) example and lock every device known to man down, but that’s just being silly and we all know it. There’s always going to be something which offers open, non-restricted access (though, admittedly, I have no idea what you plan to put on it media wise that’s not pirated or non-major publisher related) and you’re free to use them in all their freedom loving glory. To continue to complain about something that is NEVER going to change is just ego stroking and it’s not helpful to anyone but yourselves.

  114. Also, gaming consoles are designed solely for gaming, they’re not the same as general purpose computers.

    Right, except that consoles are also media-centers/internet boxes. More importantly though, this is not a general purpose computer either.

    The sooner people get that, the sooner we can stop having the same nonsense conversation, over and over. This is a media consumption device, not a universal workstation.

  115. I’m still not sure how an iPad is better than, say, a laptop.

    Would you settle for different? Of course it’s better at some things, just like an iPhone is better at some things, like multi-touch/accelerometer input. And of course it is worse at some things.

    I think different is as good a differentiator as you’re going to get in a single word.

  116. Doesn’t Apple get some cred for making it real? The touchscreen technology has been around for at least 10 years–maybe 20. The light pen, in some ways a predecessor, goes back 50. & yet here’s the first platform that brings them to a wide audience.

    Do I like Apple’s IP policies? I do not. I would much prefer an open platform. But they’re at least doing something real with their IP. They’re also making a decent profit at it, which is bloody hard to do and deserves some respect, however grudging. They’re even spending some of that profit on R&D. Maybe Google will come out with a more open Android-based competitor. Meantime, who else is going to do this? Microsoft? Let’s hear about their openness. The cell services? The media companies? Of the commercial developers of this class of device, Apple is the second most open. If we had waited for the FOSS community to do it, this type of system would have taken decades, if anyone would ever done it at all: it’s incredibly hard to focus finished development in FOSS, or do serious UI engineering.

    So calm down, folks. It looks like Apple’s done something great, and I hope it does well.

  117. No ticky, no laundry = NO FLASH = Lamest corporate excuse in the history of the web.

    If Flash is such a “memory hug:…Then how come all other mobile OS can run it without a problem?

    Am I the only one who sees this contradiction as a HUGE RED FLAG???

    I have been using a mac since 1989. I recall opening one of the first copies of Adobe Photoshop 1.0. In another words, I have been a Mac user for as long as Mac’s have been around. This is the FIRST TIME since then that I dislike Apple and its direction.

    Any of you veterans of the browser wars of 1999? I am. Do you remember the “AOL syndrome”? When every Dick and Jane thought the web WAS AOL and if a website did not work in AOL then it was YOUR problem?

    How soon do you think the thousand of web developers and programmers in the US will begin hearing complaints from dumber-than-dirt clients who will assume if a website does not work on then iPad then YOU have to fix it?

    Does Apple seriously think that all the websites out there are going to now spend money on “adjusting” their sistes so iPad users can see them? I have a roster of 43 clients, all small businesses. I can tell you not ONE of them will have the budget to implement HTML5.

    Did Jobs take into account the million of developers who are going to be VERY ANNOYED at having to implement an INCOMPLETE standard like HTML5 and ONCE AGAIN having to deal with cross-browser issues?

    Why do I now suddenly MUST have to REDO all content that is already available so Apple can make a dime on it selling apps? I have an EXCELLENT music theory application in Flash that a friend developed in germany last year. But it won’t run on the iPad.

    I am now converting the SevenUp script to the iPadDown version: USers that come to any of my sites will get a beautiful “SORRY, YOUR IPAD DOES NOT WORK ON THIS SITE” overlay.

    I did not work for MS in 1999 and I don’t work for Apple in 2010.

  118. Everything that needs to be said has already been covered, but the geek objections remain the same. Inspite of good refuation. It seems like some basic concepts that are different than what geeks are used to just go right past them.

    1. The iPad is NOT a general computing device.
    I don’t need to hack it, I don’t need to hack my toaster or my TV or my DVD player.

    1b. The iPad is designed for weight, size & power consumption first. Everything that happens on the machine is dictated by these considerations. You know Apple could have made it twice as thick & twice as heavy & put all the USB ports and Blu-Ray drives you want on the iPad.

    Apple did this funny thing, they reasoned that if it’s too heavy and it gets too hot, or it only has three hours of battery life that it would suck. And they chose to deliver a device that does some things well, -like an appliance. And not the heavy, hot do it all slab that the geeks want.

    It’s Apple’s gamble, let’s see how it turns out. I suspect the techno nerds will find that they are no longer the drivers of ALL computing tech.

    2. Apple still makes incredibly open and versatile computing boxes that run any OS out there. Their own OS is UNIX based and can do lots of very geekish stuff down to the command line and lots of programing languages. Not locked down at all.

    There seems to be some confusion between media, the store & iTunes.

    iPads, can play common non DRM’d formats like MP3, AAC, AIFF, and WAV. And besides Apple .mov files it also plays H.264, .m4v, .mp4 & even our beloved pirate-ish ,avi files.

    And absolutely NO restrictions on where you get these files to put on the iPad. Not ogg or something else u like? too bad for now, but who knows what kinds of plug in can be made later. Just too bad for u now.

    The ePub format is an open format, anyone can make an ePub book. and there is NO restrictions on getting it on the iPad. NONE

    Yes, you have to use iTunes to synch the iPad. not optimal in application choice, but not as restrictive in the program as many think. All of the above formats can be transferred into the iPad through iTunes. NO restrictions, NONE. You can buy music on Amazon and play it on the iPad and iTunes.

    Most music sold in the store is non DRM no lock in involved.

    The APP store inside the iTunes store is very locked down. I think there are some very compelling technical reasons why this is so. Even if techies don’t get it. I should qualify that not all techies. I’ve made my living with a computer for over 25 years, and I still will after i buy an iPad and put pretty much any media i want on it.

    I’m sure I’ll be designing ePubs for independent publishers quite soon. And they won’t have go through iBooks to sell their publications for the iPad.

  119. Is the iPad just another gadget or can it actually change the world? I’m all for it trying.

    It’s basically the iPad meets 2001 a Space Odyssey with Philip Glass. Very monolithic. Push the button and the world is your oyster.

  120. It all looks very nice on a desk and in its dock, but I’m just wondering how exactally you’re supposed to hold it on the move? is there anything to grab on to? I honestly can’t see this going further than a couple of years, so many reviews saying that it fills a need we didn’t know we had. There simply isn’t a need.

  121. Why is a website that talks about the horrible DRM attempts made by companies, promoting a device that is DRM incarnate? I do not understand the double standard given to Apple. Just because DRM and copytheft is sometimes “pretty” or a “touch of genius” does not mean it is a good thing. Supporting this product is sending a message to companies that DRM is a good thing. I think I will skip this device and wait for something that is truly innovative (ie. opensource, freeware, drm-FREE).

  122. denebkaitos, speaking of double standards, if everyone follows your example and waits for something that is “truly innovative”, who’s actually going to develop it?

  123. Great post. I remember back when Apple took advantage of their developers before Microsoft came along. Then Microsoft told their developers, “come make software for us and you can keep all of the money you make”. Seems like Apple never learned or stopped wringing everyone for money and developers now are starting to realize the risk, albeit slowly, in programming for Apple. Among all of the other things Apple is doing to it’s developers and users.

  124. As a grizzled philosopher who has been through this drill a few times, I guarantee that the iPad Scorners are unemployed teenagers who don’t pay their own bills. As know-it-all-but-have-done-nothing guys they’ll beg and whine for an advance on their allowance when their favorite game hits the iPad. Steve will own their souls…again.

    1. So, all the people who like the iPad are Apple fanboys, and all the people who dislike it are jealous losers. I imagine that means that if you don’t have a major personality defect, you must not have an opinion on it?

      Why does this device bring out so much ad hominem in people?

  125. well folks, BALANCE is needed here:
    OK, this is THE device—a good tablet–
    that brings together ALL teh stuff we’ve ALL been waiting on
    for so long—we can actually WORK & relax & do
    things in natural hand-held
    modes YET not a tiny
    thingie YET not a CLUNKY blocky computer–GEE kinda
    like ole-paper notebooks but digital…
    HOWEVER, ye BRAVE nu world ‘gotts ISSUES:

    1) denebkaitos is RIGHT to a degree.. C’MON people the GOOD side of Apple-innovation ISN’t
    so great for
    TONS of poor black/Latino kids–and zillions of
    kids in POVERTY stricken countries–
    THAT can’t AFFORD “$$$ for every iTune//iAPPY-MONEY-HAPPY bits of info/services they need for

    ,,IT was ECHOED by this comment from W!RED forum::
    “The iPad is the AOL of this current tech
    limited and designed for people who aren’t comfortable with technology.. these people
    will move on to .. OPEN systems /products
    when they become
    more at ease with the technology,
    like people did when they moved on from CompuServe and AOL to the
    ISPs we use primarily today.”

    2) YES it CAN help deliver the GREAT future of interwoven arts/culture
    that really outta
    be available by now;
    BUT isn’t the ENTIRE REALM of POSSIBILITIES, e.g. interaction & connectivity, REALLY all about
    this quote form a forum THAT ASKED:
    ‘WHAT about all the things that promote community
    and sharing’??
    —yep–DRM/openSource—-hhhmmm…CONTROL FREAK$ don’t bode well
    in this context, eh?

    3) another good comment I read online: “Not including things like USB
    or removing Firewire
    from your laptops is NOT *innovation*
    it’s more like a piss-off”…
    GOOD point..

    SO Mr. Job$ : Stop MARKETING APPLE’$ hip-image of “cool art-intellectual-creative-attitude” UNLESS
    u can DIG the idea of AFFORDABLE
    OPEN ended BALANCE.

    {NOTE: at LEAST work on the SCREEN—reading books ALOT—- will be
    worthwhile IF we get a mode/screen that’s not gonna FRY the eyes of longterm readers–
    it’s the only thing Kindle did get right}

  126. The iPad looks like the sleek computer tablets used on Star Trek TNG. All you need is for someone to develop a sweet TNG style graphics App and your good to go. When that happens, I’ll buy one for sure !

  127. OK, so I’m watching the new Clone Wars episode and Rachel at the same time by flipping back and forth (Yea and if you have a problem with that I’ll fire a plasma sniffing photon torpedoe up your bussard collector)and just as Clone Wars was ending I flipped to Rachel and there was Xeni with her new iPad. I only have one question. Are you SURE Xeni wasn’t IN the last Star Wars????

  128. So, I’m a bit confused about the lack of multi-tasking. Can I read a book and listen to music? Can I surf the web and listen to music? If I want to listen to music does it mean I can do nothing else on the iPad?

  129. ok ok…sorry i was longwinded above. meh.

    YEP i think it’s going to be a good piece of tech..
    BUT i also think CONTEXT is a weeeee bit important:

    From day 1 Apple branded itself as THE computer of the arts & sciences, and harbringer of connectivity for intellectual & creative computing..
    i was in college in mid 80s when Apple suddenly had
    a presence at just about every university
    & aggressive discounts for students/faculty..
    OK that was GREAT,
    SO my biggest issue is that a CLOSED-minded & control freak attitude is CONtrary
    to everything they stood for.

    IF they can be LESS anal so that there is more openness then it can workout–
    because EDUCATION and a MORE literate society is something we sorely need thesedays, i’m sure u’d all agree,
    so i worry that kids–especially low/middle income families– COULD be cru$hed
    with a constant pay-for-every-morsel type of thing.

    YEAH i know this gets to the HEART of the the old battle:
    Apple’s QUALITY over Micro$ofts’ QUANTITY..
    so lets have BALANCE.
    Great tablet apps/experiences are something alotta folks have been waiting for.
    said this about DRM /openSource vs. iApp-pay-to-play….
    “Lovely as it may be,
    I just don’t want to confine myself to Apple’s
    walled garden.”

    TECH & content companies need to make $$ to support this but squeezing buck$ outta kids/families/education is a huge issue.

    1. Okay, that’s…better?

      I’m still not sure where this “pay for every morsel” bit keeps coming from. The iTunes/App/iBook stores are just one of a myriad of avenues with which to fill your iPad. It can also display pdfs, ebooks, text files, .doc files, mp3s from almost any source, movies from almost any source, browse the web, play pandora, etc. etc. Just because you *can* pay for content (and content creators do like getting paid for their creations, still) doesn’t mean you *have* to. The only exception is Apps, but developers can either not charge through the App Store, or make web apps.

  130. I’m browsing, skimming . . . Maybe I missed it. What’s the online connection and what’s it going to cost me?

    I get free WiFi and good coffee locally, and I like my laptop. Yeah, I can haul around a daypack full of all the stuff I need, no problem. I can type, read, use task-bars.

    But mostly, the connections are FREE. What’s the iPad connection going to cost me?

    1. All the iPads use same wifi connection as your laptop. There is a version that will also connect to AT&T’s 3G network, for a fee: 250MB/month for $15, Unlimited/month for $30. You can start and stop the 3G data plan whenever you want, no subscription required.

  131. Yeah, I’ve been sitting in my local “coffee connection” with the FREE WiFi on my LAPTOP, searching the press releases.

    Locally, (we’re out in the boonies), AT&T signals don’t reach my house with any sort of reliability. I’m on
    dial-up. (But we don’t have “traffic” or “rush-hours.”)

    Off on a tangent here . . . which will lead back to my “point” . . .

    I purchased an 8Gb iPod. “2000 Tunes” — at 99 cents per tune. Do the math.

    My point being: In my view the iPad seems like one more hardware cyber connection marketed to tap into my wallet (which is online these days w/ internet banking).

    When developers talk about a “Goldmine” — I’m asking who is mining the gold, and who’s paying the tab?

    FREE WiFi on my LAPTOP — and the bottomless cup of French Roast here is $2.00 for all day.

    — if ya catch my drift . . .

  132. Balanced review in Wash. Post, 4/4/10:

    “Apple iPad Delivers on Entertainment, but Lacks Productivity Punch”

    I learned quickly that the iPod is a device marketed to sell you “tunes” at a buck a toss. The 8 Gb iPod holds some 2,000 tunes. Do the math.

    We don’t own an iPhone — not a big mobile phone client. But I see the market on phones as a device to sell “features” (AKA “Apps”).

    The USB keyboard I already own won’t plug into the iPad. But Apple will sell me a keyboard for $69. The iPad automatically sets up an iTunes acct. and links evidently to an iPhone acct.

    Ka-Ching . . . $$$

    I’m betting there’s an App where I can set up an auto-payment feature online with my bank. Then Apple and my bank can spend my $$$ without having me stand in the way.

    1. Like I said, you can still use your FREE wifi with the iPad. You can load it with FREE music from your home computer (assuming you have CDs you can rip, the music does have to come from somewhere). You can also fill it FREE books, movies, magazines, etc. from your home computer, or download them from Safari on the iPad.

      Every company is out to get your money, but usually they provide some sort of service for it. It’s your choice what services you want to pay for, and what services you’d rather find cheaper/free alternatives to. They exist.

  133. Perhaps, given the fact that a number of writers known for being discerning, critical thoughtful people have all written strongly positive reviews of the iPad, perhaps it really is something interesting, intriguing, groundbreaking.

    The point about the iPad as far as I can see is that it’s not trying to be a laptop or a netbook. It’s trying to do something different. And that comes in stages and with steps forward and backward. And if the Elements book is an indication of what’s to come, I think there is a reason to be excited, at least from an educational point of view.

    When broadcast radio first came out it was a game changer, it meant people could immediately access sounds from a huge distance; not morse code bleeps, but actual voices. And sure morse code was working, sure newspapers were working. But this was something different. And it was flawed and it took a while to refine. But it changed the entire playing field. And there were two camps, ones who saw the medium as that of great potential that presented a realm of new opportunities, and those that dismissed it or tried to block those opportunities.

    History always repeats. I’m not saying anyone has to embrace it without reservation. But come on people at least see the possibilities!

  134. h3y gr3at posts. i’m glad the thread is getting to what i feel are the key issues:
    Which for me, seem to be 1) functionality [productivity with entertainment] AND 2) affordability, which gets to what AliceW & i were concerned with re: the Cha-Ching$$ factor, SO:
    Ryanwoofs thanx for addressing those things– i see the beauty of the free Wifi as well as ability to use free ebook/music/pdf formats–thus we transfer our
    existing files/media from our home stash, sounds good, SO,
    CAN u elaborate on this:

    >The only exception is Apps, but developers can either not charge through the App Store, or make web apps<< THAT sounds intriguing, can u give more info/details please? Btw Velogrrl i follow ur point, e.g. just as radio ushered a new paradigm, the iPad leap also requires steps forward & back. Fair enough. ALSO: glad to see that someone can relate to this: "and builds in a handwriting to typewriting software" ....YES i've struggled w/ Carpal Tunnel & RSI, thus the ability to use pen/tablet mode w/ handwriting recog is crucial (as opposed to finger-pecking a virtual keyboard which is only good for very-short email responses & such)) ..HENCE productivity along w/ entertainment is still something i'm focused on; Imagine those amazing interactive ebooks/apps IF kids can write & do math, etc... now THAT's a game changer as opposed to a device that leans toward same-old problem(s) of consumer/couch potato society.

  135. Ya know, after reading all of this arguing about who is the bigger devil, Apple or Xeni, I have 2 points to make.

    1 – If you don’t like the product/terms/whatever, don’t fricken buy it. Good lord, you people.
    2 – It isn’t your job to protect everyone in the world against not being able to root their e-reader. People will buy it if they want, and if it doesn’t do what they want it to? They will buy something else.

    Oh, wait, 3 points.

    3 – The next person to imply that Xeni ever wrote a cash for comment post gets a free punch in the mouth. I and many others read because we know that if Xeni writes that she loves it, and Cory writes that he hates it, it’s because thats how they feel. If you have a hard time accepting that, maybe you might want to go start reading gizmodo or something.

    Thanks Xeni for a great look at really using the AWESOMEST EBook/Mag reader ever.

    PS – I ain’t gonna buy one, cause for an extra $200 I could get a tablet with a fold out keyboard/usb/flash/gimp/firefox etcetc.

    1. PS – I ain’t gonna buy one, cause for $200 less I could get a tablet with a fold out keyboard/usb/flash/gimp/firefox etcetc.

      Fixed that for ya.

      1. well, now, the cheapest tablet I have found here in Orstralia is $800 ish with freight, cause we are SO FAR AWAY that everything costs AN unREASONABLE AMOUNT EXTRA despite the fact that we’re only 5 hours from China by air and our dollar is roughly on par with the USA minus around 10c, so I was suggesting that for $200 more that the US price of an iPad, which will be probably around $1100 when it comes out in Australia, meaning that yes you are technically correct and I was just being lazy and comparing sheep to donuts.

        Did you know that we pay $35 for a new release paperback (usually trade format) in this country? A hardcover is usually $50 or more. Our remaindered books are $5 to $9.

        I hate this place purely on the basis that I don’t have instant access to US shops.

  136. It is Saturday, sunny and quite warm at last. I am listening to CBCradio. Later I will go to town hoping that the local girls are wearing mini skirts.

    Sorry, the article was a little long. I will read it when winter strikes back. But yes: we are all consumers.

  137. “I got a full day of constant internet-connected use (it did not leave my hands) on one charge.”

    This is what disturbs me most about these gadgets. It is possible to absorb oneself in such a device for a full day. I’m assuming that “it did not leave my hands” means that Xeni (and please don’t take any of what I say as an attack on her) still put it down in front of the bathroom – if not, I’m terrified, since that means Apple has finally designed a mobile entertainment platform (not a phone) that can be taken anywhere.

    This is a already a society in which it is possible to tweet while dropping kids off at the pool. I’m worried most that it will enable users to be reclusive in public.

    1. I’m worried most that it will enable users to be reclusive in public.

      There are plenty of devices that do that already. I see enough parents dragging around kids whose faces are buried in a cell phone/Nintendo DS/Sony PSP/etc., and enough adults with their entire attention given to their cell phone/laptop/newspaper(gasp!)/etc. that I don’t think the iPad is going to make it much worse.

      In fact, the iPad’s form factor seems to encourage sharing and interaction with others. I already use my phone to look up information/images/video to enhance conversations, and the iPad will make it easier to share the experience with everyone simultaneously, instead of passing my phone around to each individual.

      1. I do this already with paperback novels and magazines. And since blogs are just new media magazines, I don’t see a more flexible format of print media that also allows video as a threat to the way we live now. It’ll just look heaps cooler.

  138. It is Sunday, cloudier than yesterday therefore slightly warmer. Remind me to check out if they talk about sports @ Boing Boing (spell?).

    Sorry I’m still not buying this thing. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, it’s the tablets which cause trouble.

    Below a link to Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”. A Capella, wow!

  139. It looks good….but i have bought an Asus Netbook for the keyboard, storage and right angle for typing. I guess it’s flushing money down the drain to get an Apple iPad if you just bought a netbook. Nevertheless it has some serious potential (on the movie part it’s a bit of an adult version of the Sony PSP, watching movies…playing games….brows the internet…but more expensive and bigger).

  140. “I’m worried most that it will enable users to be reclusive in public.” Far too many of my interactions in public are with people who want to sell me something, or convince me to join their church, club, or participate in hate mongering of other groups, etc. I think humans are designed to socially interact with two or three score individuals. Limiting meaningful interactions or communication with others might be a good thing, overall.

  141. Interestingly, “The Elements” is in violation of Apple’s new section 3.3.1 which requires all applications to be originally written in C, C++, or Objective-C. “The Elements” was written largely in Mathematica and the iPad application generated from it.

    The question is whether or not Apple will remove such a high profile application as a violation of the new agreement (to go into effect on April 22) or allow profitable applications such as this to ignore the section.

    More that 600 applications written in C# are facing the axe, many of which were highly rated top sellers in the app store:

    “Unity Technologies also announced that there are more than 15 Unity authored iPad-specific games already in the iPad App Store, adding even more high-quality content to the more than 600 Unity authored games currently populating the App Store. Publishers of these new apps include notable names like Disney, Warner Bros., and Chillingo.” —

  142. So the advantage is that you can’t use a mouse? GREAT, I’m LOVING this. Not. SOOOOOOOOOO not. Crapple fails to impress me, yet again.

Comments are closed.