Apple iPad Wishes vs. Reality

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Yesterday Dave and I posted our wishes for the Apple iPad and now that the curtain has finally been raised and the device that so many geeks have been waiting for has been revealed, we wanted to compare what we wanted with what we got.

Dave’s comments are in Blue italics and mine are in Black.

During the event, Dave and I were chatting via instant messenger while we both repeatedly refreshed live blogging sites. Me on Engadget and Dave on CNet. While we wished we were there in the flesh, it ‘almost’ felt like we were. Ok, it didn’t really feel that way at all, but it was better than nothing. 😉

Overall, I am pleased but not as giddy as I thought I would be about Apple’s latest device. Yes, the iPad is more or less what Julie and I expected but that is it. There should have been something special about the iPad that made you go ‘my oh my that is incredible’. Where the iPhone and Touch were revolutionary devices, the iPad is evolutionary. It does fill the gap between the iPhone/Touch and MacBook, but leans more towards the iPhone/Touch than the MacBook. If it had a tweaked version of Snow Leopard and a forward facing video camera to iChat, I would definitely still be giddy.

It’s a good thing that we’re both not giddy, since we’re going to do a dual review. It will be beneficial to have two voices. Yin and Yang, Good cop, bad cop, etc. So if you all haven’t guessed it, I’m going to be the giddy one in this duo. Actually giddy is too strong of a word, but I am pretty happy because I got almost everything that I’ve been wanting.

Things I liked: IPS screen, aluminum and glass construction, (based on the video) zippiness, weight, form, and the fact you have the choice of 3G (w/o contract) or no 3G.

From the video clips that I’ve seen, the display looks gorgeous. I’m a bit worried about the comment from Gizmodo saying that it felt a bit rubbery. I sure hope that’s not true. I’m glad that the back isn’t chrome like I wished. I am also so so glad that 3G is just an option that we aren’t required to purchase. I’m very happy with the price as well.

Things I did not like: size (it is a little big) and needed a little something more.

What about the stupid choice of name? iPad? Ugh! Yeah, I am a bit bummed on the size too. As is, it probably won’t be my constant companion like my iPhone. I’m also disappointed that multi-tasking still remains out of our reach. What’s up with that Steve?! I guess if multi-tasking is super important to potential buyers, that it might be a possibility down the road with jailbreaking. One more thing that seems lame is the whole dongle/adapter deal. If you want to output video to HDMI, you have to buy an adapter, want to use an SD card with the iPad, get an adapter. Heck, you can’t even plug a charging cable directly into the device to charge it.

Bottom line: I will, without a doubt, be buying one of these. I am leaning towards the 64gb non 3G version of the iPad. Although, there is some part of me that wants to get the 3G enabled one just in case I want to use it on the road or during my bus commute. I am sure my excitement will increase over the next 59 days. The big question is whether I will call in sick to go stand in line ;).

There was never any question in my mind if I would be purchasing one. 🙂 As soon as is possible, I’ll be ordering the 64GB non 3G version too. I don’t need, nor want another $29 monthly fee for a feature that I can’t even take advantage of here.

I’m happy because I wanted an oversized iPod Touch that I could use as an eBook reader, game playing and couch surfing device. The iPad appears to be able to handle those tasks very well. Sure, it doesn’t have some features that could make it even better, but that doesn’t surprise me in the least. Has any new gadget ever been able to live up 100% to everything you ever hoped and dreamed? I doubt it. Bottom line for me: I want one NOW. 🙂

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31 thoughts on “Apple iPad Wishes vs. Reality”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. This is going to be one of those hyped up Apple device that will disappear in time just like the imac. Only Apple fanatic fans will buy it and later dump it but won’t tell anyone because they are embarassed to admit it. Personally, if one was given to me as a gift i will use it but to buy one, plain stupid.

    1. @Smartone The iMac is disappearing? That’s odd, I just bought a brand new 27″ inch model a few months ago. I’m typing on it right now. It’s very real. 🙂

  3. I am very disappointed . . . . I thought I was going to want one, but after seeing what it is (ISN’T?) I think I will just build me a Snow Leopard Hackintosh Asus netbook . . . . far more useful and practical, and cheaper . . . . yes, I am an avid Apple addict and have been for over 10 years, but this one is a cold fish for me . . . . . “iMAD”! 🙁

  4. It’s not `real’ GPS though is it ? I think it is just triangulating of phone towers like the original iPhone.


  5. I think its a great device, however just an oversized ipod touch! It has alot of potential of what it COULD offer!! but that depends on if Apple will allow developers to use the full power of this device!

    On another note, 3G!! Does the device have any USB ports?(doubt it) I currently have a contract for 3G internet with O2 in the UK using a USB stick, guessing I wouldnt be able to use this on it?

  6. I’d like to try the on screen keyboard at that size and see how it feels. I never liked laptop keyboards and I wouldn’t use the iPhone keyboard for anything but short messages. But this one might be okay.

    Also, I’d probably want a leather cover like the one I have on my Kindle.

    Cliff Tuttle

    Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

    PS: Apple may have a legal battle over the trademark in the US, see “iPad iPad iPad iPad tm” at

  7. What about the weight? The Kindle is light enough to stroll and read if you want; at 1.5# won’t the iPad be a bit heavy to lug around? Any ideas? Thanks

  8. I have a ton of PDF reference books that I created for use on the road. Will I be able to upload and read them on the iPad? If not, what similar product will?

  9. I’m wondering why people are complaining about the iPad not having a camera built in. Its designed to sit in your lap so having a camera built in would require the person holding it up at all times if web conferencing was to be done. Or have a stand for it to sit on…which would want to be adjustable (like a laptop/netbook)
    Either way…both directions for having an onboard computer are awkward.
    IN such a case, shouldn’t there have been a USB port on this thing so you “could” add a camera to it?
    A USB port would have made this iPad ALOT more felxible for users.

    As I see it now, its a clamped down device that needs proprietary hardware and websites to even function.

    Which leads me to something that I was thinking about last night. If one was to take one of these on vacation…along with a camera (obviously to take pictures during the vacation) , how would you view the pictures on the iPad? Or could you? Or would you first need to upload them from the camera to Flickr or some other website so the iPad could view them?
    And what about when the cameras flashcard got full. Normally I would transfer the pics from the camera to a laptop if need be…but with an iPad , you couldn’t do that, could you? or is there a “proprietary” patch cable that would be needed to connect the camera to the iPad?

    1. @Mark I could care less about having a web cam integrated into the iPad. It’s not something I ever use… As to your question about a way to import photos, there’s an iPad camera connection kit. You can see it at the bottom of this page: It gives you two ways to import photos and videos from a digital camera. The Camera Connector lets you import your photos and videos to iPad using the camera’s USB cable. Or you can use the SD Card Reader to import photos and videos directly from the camera’s SD card.

  10. I really believe what we saw was just a prototype and not the final product. Remember the iPhone 4.0 OS is just right around the corner to be introduced and I definitely believe it will be running the iPad on the final product (with multi-tasking) and Jobs will tweak the iPad some more before its completely out on the market. I cannot understand though why no flash support!!!
    My other issue is what niche does it fill? Its basically a large iPhone/iTouch but is it designed to be a laptop replacement or a fancy “netbook” or a super sophisticated e-reader?

  11. I was ready to hit any purchase button I saw for this product… until I realized STILL no flash support and no multitasking. If they fix this before final release I will be first in line. Otherwise I’ll be picking up one of the latest Lenova netbooks. =)

  12. After looking at the pictures and the specs. I still don’t want one. Honestly I was thinking about giving it a try, the price is okay. The problems have been listed already but then you add in the fact that if you want a USB …there’s an adapter for that. Want external video … there’s an adapter for that. Want power to charge the non-removable batter … there’s an adapter for that. Give me the HP Tablet so I can read and listen type at the same time thanks.

  13. I read a few gadget blogs and I think most people are seeing the market for this device wrong. It is not about early adopters, it is about market share. In a high school class of 20 students 19 of them have an ipod/iphone/or itouch.

    It is not a device for YOU it is a device for THEM.

    YOU got the PS3 for great graphics, THEY bought the Wii and love it.
    YOU have a Blackberry, THEY have whatever the cute pink phone with the QWERTY keyboard is. (it goes by many names.)
    YOU wanted a Desktop/Laptop replacement. THEY want to show off their pictures and update Facebook at Starbucks.

    This is a device for 16 to 24 y.o. students. 65% of users will be female. Apple will sell a boatload of them.

  14. what are the chances that this device will push apple to finally modernize their handheld lineups wifi standard? it’s a small thing when looking at it holistically, but being strapped to 802.11g (and polluting the signal to an otherwise all-n network) in a large house or school campus is for the birds. here’s to hoping that the iphone/ipod touch revamps see some real improvements on the small, nagging issues and not just shuffle the issue aside because one of those devices has (poorly supported) 3G.

    as for the ipad itself: something tells me that for the apple die hards who must get every device they release, this thing will be collecting dust or just used on the couch within 2 months, when 7/10 of the human population seemingly has one. not as portable as an ipod (and barely more portable than a laptop), a real joke when it comes to processing power and storage… it fits snuggly into the “why bother” spectrum of the apple line-up.

  15. I would have preferred a new XL model of the iPhone that was 50% to 100% larger than the current model – still holdable in one hand – and way more portable. The Instapaper app on the iPhone makes most web sites very readable. A larger iPhone would probably make a very acceptable ebook reader as well.

  16. I am a new iphone user 3GS – previously several win mobile devices. I am blown away at how amazing the iphone is! Also . . . I did love the idea of this tablet. However, in my opinion it looks like they are keeping certain features and abilities off the tablet to be sure they don’t lose sales on the laptops?? The ipad looks sweet and appears to do some things great though. >> I am waiting on the msft courrier tablet.

  17. I think the “I wish it was a tablet pc” crowd is wanting something different…. a tablet pc. They can call it what they want, but it’s a tablet pc that they’re wishing the iPad was.

    It’s a kindle-killing ebook reader that can do some pretty great games, and you can kind of use it as a laptop if you really want to. And it’s in the Kindle DX’s price range…

    So yeah, it looks to have tons more going on than a Kindle does.

  18. I don’t know. I think I might be giving this one a miss. Julie, while you don’t use a webcam, some out there actually do. For at least the last 10 years Australia has had video calling through 3G. This would be a nice feature to have on such a device. Even better would be the ability to video skype with friends and relatives overseas. The missing iBook store outside the US is another strike against this device. What does it actually do outside the US. Let’s see, display photos (I have several ways of doing that already), surf web pages (only if you don’t visit any with flash), play movies (that’s what I have my 55″ tv for), play music (well, ipod, iphone, itunes, appletv etc). It really is a device that is just a larger version of the iPod Touch. With e-books it’s utterly useless and just another device that can do everything my iphone, ipod, appletv and imacs can do. Considering all of this, I’ll just stick to tethering my iphone to my macbook. At least I can visit proper webpages, watch dvd’s while travelling and run any application I like without having to buy it from the app store.
    Another thing….games, really, who in this day and age doesn’t have a wii, xbox or ps3 at home? When out, Nintendo DS, PSP or iPhone/iPod Touch is sufficient enough for that.
    Just my opinion though.

  19. I agree, shame it has no webcam.

    Imagine you are parents & your kids have left home. Now you are about to become a grandparent. Your kids have a PC, you don’t. If this has a webcam it would be great for you to see your grandchild over Skype. You could buy a netbook to do the same thing but for people un-used to computers, this would have been useful.

  20. I SAY NO TO I PAD B’cos, IT HAS,
    NO TV

  21. Apple is a genius company? Why? Because they managed to make the whole world excited over something completely rehashed and lacking innovation. They plan on incorporating more features later of course, but this is how they are going to do it:

    1. Make an open platform for developers (already done)
    2. Charge developers to submit an application
    3. Implement the features that were wanted but didn’t ship with it
    4. Evolve their tablet into what they wanted it to be originally but did so without paying the extra costs themselves.

    Totally and absolutely a money thing. Plain and simple.

  22. There are lots of good suggestions of what the iPad might have. I don’t think most are very essential. For example you might love your webcam on your notebook (I don’t), but it wouldn’t work well on an iPad. You’re iPad is going to be sitting on your lap 90% of the time or facing an odd angle. Who want’s to bother holding it up to their face while they Skype their folks?

    What I think is the most overlooked defect on the iPad (and the iPod Touch/iPhone) is a lack of an integrated file system. There are a few apps (e.g. Air Shairing Pro) that make a noble attempt to overcome this deficiency. However, one can not easily share files between apps: Every app can access only its own files. That means that apps like Air Shairing must build their own PDF viewer, document viewer/editors, browser, and email access interfaces, if they are to have any at all. This makes the devices nearly worthless as editing devices. Since Apple is bringing iWork to the iPad then I predict that they will build in some file sharing capabilities into these products (perhaps via email) but the entire problem would be solved with an integrated file system.

    I understand the desire, on Apple’s part, to lock down the core operating system, or even the 3rd party executable binaries. But there’s no good reason that apps should not be able share files. Case in point: 1. You receive a Word document as an attachment from a colleague. 2. You make a few changes in your favorite document editor. 3. Email it back to colleague.

    Will this be possible on the iPad? Good luck.

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