Thursday, 28 January 2010

Is the iPad a tablet pc? or an ebook reader?

The iPad is being debated everywhere at the moment, the whole world now knows or will get to know about this product soon enough. But, lets look at it a bit closer, exactly who is this product for. It has been likened to a giant iPhone, it does run on the iPhone OS and is designed to look just like one. So there's the question, is it a PC? Can it match most basic and inexpensive netbooks? Well, here's a list of some problems you'll face when this is compared to an average netbook.

• No integrated USB ports
• No card reader
• Non-removable battery
• Non-expandable memory
• No integrated camera
• Displayport
• No Ethernet Port
• No mains power cable included

Ok, so there is are adapters for both a card reader and USB port, however they do not come out of the box and are an additional cost. Other available peripherals are

• iPad Keyboard Dock
• iPad Dock
• iPad Case
• iPad Camera Connection Kit
• iPad USB power adaptor

You will certainly need a couple of these addons, especially as there is no usb port and typing on the glass could prove difficult.
I also find it a bit weird that it needs to be plugged to your laptop or desktop to be charged. Also since it doesn't come with a usb port out of the box, you'll have to sync your files to it, using itunes, making it feel even more like just a PMP than a PC.

So, if its not a tablet PC, what is it? An ebook reader perhaps?

Well its certainly being touted as one and that does seem like the target niche. Its got a beautiful, large, colorful screen, but actually its backlit, shiny glass surface would make elongated reading periods difficult. E-ink displays have now become the preferred interface for ebook readers. At the $500 entry price, which is without the 3g connectivity, which comes at an additional $130, the iPad is actually more expensive than say the kindle or the nook. Although this is the category most online sites are ready to place the iPad, is it worth it, at that price when compared to other ebook readers?

The answer, well its not exactly a PC and its not exactly an ebook reader. Its just another another device for media interaction, you can browse the internet, watch videos, listen to music, read your ebooks, use the various apps and play games as well.

Yes, you can do these things, but remember the iPad can not multitask, so you can only use it for one application at a time. Again another sign that this isnt meant to be a PC.

So, to conclude, its a nice tablet thingamajig, many people would go for it because its an apple product, but personally, i still dont get it.

-Chiedu Ifeozo

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