Technology. Dissected, discredited.

iPad thoughts

, posted: 28-Jan-2010 10:30


So after following the live blogs and now reading the tech specs I thought I'd add my thoughts on this new gadget. A few things I've spotted on the Apple site not mentioned in the keynote -

Screen Res is 1024x768, 132ppi (the iphone is 163ppi). Reasonable but not stellar - I would have preferred a 16:9 1280x720 panel myself but I can imagine the raw LCD costs would have made it that much more expensive. Its good so see a good screen in it though - IPS & LED Backlighting should make this look amazing in person.

VGA connector coming soon. Supports 1024x768 - making Keynote actually usable. I imagine it will work like the current iphone TVout cables - click on a video (or now a keynote presentation) and you'll see controls on the unit and the presentation/video will come out the cable - with no OSD. No HD output (just progressive scan SD or XGA).

1GHz Apple A4 Chip
. So it would seem Apple has indeed made use of them buying PA Semi a few years back. Its an ARM based processor just like the iPhone. It's a "system on chip" - so this one chip does it all the work. This is apparently very similar to a Tegra & Snapdragon chips - can you say ZuneHD and Nexus One.

802.11n. Good.

ePub support.
Along with PDF support we already have on the current iPhone OS this should mean we can convert text, website to a format that we can then use. I think Kindle is the only eBook reader that doesn't support it. Go standards.

A-GPS on 3G model. The biggest Sat Nav ever?

No Phone option, new SIM standard, Data only
. I know you wouldn't hold this to your face but a secondary speaker phone using its 3G capabilities maybe?

No Flash - Gruber @ daringfireball sums it all up well here. I don't think we'll ever see it on either the iPhone or iPad.

No Camera - So that means voice only skype. I think this could have become the killer app and at a low component cost - but hell they need to have something to add to the iPad 2G.

iPadNo built in USB host port, or SD card port.
Apple have announced the iPad Camera Connectivity Kit though and it does give you both of these. I had hoped the iPad would remove the need to have another computer completely making it that much closer to a netbook than an iphone. The good news is though if this puppy get jailbroken (jailbreaked?) the USB port could allow for some very interesting mods and unplanned uses.

Market - When I watched the demo video, of all the people I could think of it was my mum who I think is the most likely to get one sooner than later. My parents have been making noises about a second laptop for a while now - dad was well over having to share his computer.
My mother has never been a savy computer user and has never had to learn how to use any more than the basics of a standard OS. More and more though she wants to do the basics the iPad offers - look at pics, surf the net, email people and generally stalk her children via Facebook. I think the learning curve on the iPad is about as much tech as she can handle.

Pricing seems reasonable I'm sure someone will say "I can buy a netbook for $600" but at what I assume will be $NZ799 for the low end model, its close to the same price of a similarly spec'd netbook but with a better OS (for portable internet use), screen type and case/body.

Will I get one? Maybe. My iPhone 3GS is awesome, and I'm surprised I surf the net on it nearly as much as I do on my laptop. When I replace my laptop in the next year or so - will I get an iPad and a more powerful desktop machine? It's something I've been thinking about well before the hype of this started.

No other announcments. No i5/i7 MacBookPro's, no 12 Core MacPro's, no new iLife. All iPad. I imagine there will be some spec bumps in the next week or so though.

One things for sure, I'm sure we'll all pick one up and go - I want.

On another note - the iPad comes in ladies preferred options.

Other related posts:
Vodamoan - new connection pains
Fine Tuning Mac Mini, Logitech Harmony, Plex Nine & EyeTV
Using a MacMini with a Logitech Harmony remote control

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Comment by tacitus, on 28-Jan-2010 12:07

16:9 screens are actually cheaper to make (which is why all the LCD screen manufacturers are heading that way. But the 4:3 dimensions make sense for managing and displaying photos, as well for reading newspaper and magazine content. It also makes sense to maintain the same aspect ratio of the iPhone, given the compatibility with those applications. Sure, most video is now 16:9, but for just about every other iPad application 4:3 makes a good deal of sense.

Comment by Ben, on 28-Jan-2010 23:34

Nice writeup simon.

All very handy.

Im not interested until its spec bumps have happened, as are a lot of other people this side.

And, generally the 3G module is being laughed at.. wifi, sure...

Comment by Naph, on 1-Feb-2010 10:35

Yup it's for the middle aged who haven't adopted a mobile consumption device yet! Everything about it is just to sell stuff.

The Zealots will get them also.

4:3 easier for developers but more expensive to make. 1024X768

No USB is Jobs still bitter about FireWire not winning out? There's a long history of Apple ignoring USB.

No Flash - nothing for free people!

Here's my dream tablet...

Dream tablet... in a few years time

FAST 3G/3.5G/4G/5G or(mifi or indranet style 802.13) and cell phone being able to do both at once
Easy SIP and or skype
1280-800 res at least (800-1280)
A built in desktop sharing program (wanna show someone something do it while talking to them!)
3+ USB ports
FM radio and transmitter
Nix of some sort or Mac OSX ish
Storage and SD card expansion
High Def audio with the jack not sticking out the top.
Perfectly balanced like a Global or Mundial knife
HDMI out and being able to use it like a touch pad/keyboard while plugged into a screen
Swapable batteries! When I say batteries it would be nice to have two small batteries you could buy 4 of to swap on the go and have others charged in your bag
3MP at least camera w video, I mean really its 201*
Programmable touch gestures for the entire face of the tablet (Want to rewind the track run your finger right to left on the bottom left... )

more dreaming

Built in projector
Laser keyboard
Laser or motion detection gestures why touch when you can wave

Meh that's my two cents(not adjusted for inflation).

Author's note by lotech, on 1-Feb-2010 10:59

@Raphnz - I'm not sure Apple are ignoring USB at all - they did ship the first computer with only USB afterall.

There is already VNC apps for the iPhone so I imagine dev's will be all over this - and also to get it to work the other way round - so the pad can be a 1024x768 2nd screen via wireless/usb.

Your dream list is nice and all but how much do you think this would cost? $2500+? I'll leave the android/win7 clone tablets to live in that space. I  spotted this - Which looks interesting  but 4hours battery?

I still think the only real flaw in the iPad is the lack of front facing camera. We can all dream but for the price I think the ipad still looks good.

lotech's profile

New Zealand

I run a post production company specialising mainly in TV & Commercials. I also do graphic and motion design when it's there to be done. I've used Windows my whole life, but am now run Macs exclusively in our office and at home. Few issues. It just works.

My current setup is a Early 2008 17" Macbook Pro (C2D 2.5Ghz, 4gb, 320Gb, UWXGA Screen).