So much has been said about the iPad, the device which initiated Apple’s foray into the netbook segment. A few months after CES 2010 the reaction from the general public has not been as expected. The iPad sure is a good looking device but still lacks on key items. Here is quick overview of the iPad from what one could make out at the CES.
The iPad looks like an oversized iPod touch. The 9.7inch display is surrounded by a black bezel which gives it a modern chic look. The back is similar as well- brushed aluminium with tapered edges. It does have the traditional home button on the front. The iPad is heavier than it appears to be. The oloephobic coating stated to protect the screen is just not enough for the smudges. A regular cleaning is mandatory for a smooth appeal.
There is no SMS support on the device though. According to Steve Jobs, the iPad can run almost all the apps made for the iPhone. This is achieved by scaling the app to work on the larger screen. Apple intends a smooth transition for their customers from the iPhone and iPod touch and therefore the user interface has been replicated as far as possible except a few place where the extra screen space can be utilized.
Typing is a rich experience with the soft touchscreen and the widely spaced big sized keys. The biggest let down has been the lack of multitasking. Running just one app at a time is just not enough. Browsing in Safari is definitely a great experience but Apple has let us down here too. No Flash support is provided. If you had any idea of watching your favourite programs online drop it. Weather and stock apps too are missing on the device. Perhaps Apple intends to add them later on but for now they just are not available. Another serious deficiency in the iPad is the lack of a webcam. For many customers that was just not acceptable.
The UI may be the same but the apps have optimized for the iPad. They make use of the availability of drop down menus. For example the mail client opens in much the same way as in the iPhone but switch to portrait mode and there is a list of messages in a drop down menu to the left of the screen. The Calendar too has been revamped from the dull grid of dates. There is now a new app for ebooks namely the iBooks. Although there may not be enough titles to compete with Kindle, Apple assures it will fill up by the time the iPad hits the shelves.
The iPad ships with a 1GHz A4 SOC from Samsung. Being a pretty snappy processor this gives the iPad a very responsive and fast performance. Apple has not yet revealed the RAM used but it is expected to be more than 256MB on which the iPhone runs. The Led backlit IPS display makes sure the viewing angles are large and bright. Overall the iPad is a fast and powerful netbook.
On the whole Apple has not done a thorough job with this device, but then neither was the iPhone perfect when it was launched. Apple is sure to add some more functionality before April when it is stated for release. That apart the looks and the powerful hardware are compelling enough to go for this device. The software deficiencies could be covered up with an OS update. The huge computing power means the developers are just waiting to get out apps which can fully utilize its capacity. All we can do now is wait and see how far the iPad is going to revolutionise the netbook segment in the coming months.