Even the best electronic devices have shortcomings. Apple’s iPad has come under particularly intense scrutiny because it is seen as holding the promise of bringing new things to the world of personal computing.
When it took center stage, the iPad impressed many, but not everyone was happy about what it brought to the table. One of the biggest complaints is that no one is sure about what role the iPad is intended to fill.
What Really Is the iPad?
Is the iPad a toy or is it a personal computer? Is it a replacement for notebooks and laptops or is it just an overgrown iPod touch? Perhaps the iPad is the ultimate tabula rasa, as no one can quite pin down exactly what it is or what it does. In a sense, it is something like the computer itself, as in the beginning, no one truly foresaw the uses to which it would be put.
The iPad is a hybrid of sorts but it is hard to say what it can do that other devices cannot. Even though pundits predicted that it could kill off Amazon’s Kindle, many still swear by e-ink and insist on its superiority. Still, even some of the iPad’s attractors have to concede that the technology used to re-create the reading experience on the iPad makes it a decent e-book reader.
Issues With Portability
True, the iPad does resemble the iPod touch, except it’s four times bigger. The big-screen certainly makes it much more capable than an iPod touch in many ways. It doesn’t have SMS, however, so it could never be an Android or even hybrid phone.
It’s both more and less than an iPhone. One of the huge benefits of the iPhone is its portability. The comparatively small screen, while a drawback in many regards, allows the iPhone to be carried anywhere. This constant availability is one of the things that makes it so handy. The iPad, on the other hand, can’t be slipped into a pocket and has the same portability issues as it’s heavier cousins, the laptops and netbooks.
One thing that no one can doubt is that the iPad is an impressive feat of engineering. It stores so much power in just .5 inches of thickness that it is virtually the go-to device for those who want to get some work done without the hassle of a notebook.
Though it is slim and convenient, weight can still be an issue. Hold the device with one hand for a couple of hours while watching a movie or reading an e-book and you’ll become tired of the weight. Even rest it on your lap for a couple of hours and your legs will start to feel it. Still, it would seen almost churlish to gripe about a device that can give such a superb web browsing experience, cinematic movie viewing and brilliant applications with little more than a pound of weight.
Problems with the Screen
The screen is another issue, with a tendency to reflect glare and to show every little fingerprint. It is much more slippery than a book, although its Gorilla Glass makes it durable and resistant to scratches. And of course, reading on the Kindle is much easier in sunlight. Some of the very features that contribute to the sleekness of the device are what its detractors hate about it.
When you get right down to it, however, if you demand the removal of all these drawbacks, you’re really asking for the perfect tablet PC. Consider the fact that this is the first truely successful device in this category, and that it is such a giant leap forward for portable computing devices, and you are inclined to cut it a little slack. After all, it is perhaps a bit unreasonable to expect Apple to develop a device that no one could ever possibly complain about.
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