Angry Robot

iPad insta-thoughts

What did you think? I’m moderately impressed. During the keynote I felt underwhelmed, but once we learned the price was $500, I changed my tune. Apple was clever to leak the $1000 price point ahead of time.

Perhaps the disappointment is that this is a glorified iPhone with some extra eye candy and none of the revolutionary new interface hype we had been inhaling over the past little while.

The price reinforces my feeling that this is primarily Apple’s response to the growth of the netbook market. However, the netbook and the iPad both menace laptops in general. Since I got the netbook, my 15” MBP remains on my desk, and for the first time I am considering buying a desktop to replace it. Netbooks make two-computer life possible to those of us who aren’t among the richest princes in Europe. My dream portable remains something like the MacBook Air, but that thing seems dead in the water now, especially at three times the price of the iPad. I expect they may eliminate the Air altogether and perhaps introduce a new model that is essentially the iPad with a keyboard, with a laptop form factor. Or maybe that’s just me dreaming.

The clunky peripherals are a surprise, especially the keyboard dock. It seems very un-Apple. I also hear from Gizmodo that it can be used with Bluetooth keyboards. That’s awesome, and makes me think I could stand to have it instead of a netbook.

As an ebook reader? I imagine hardcore readers will stick with proper e-ink readers and/or actual books, but casual readers may well like the eye candy of Apple’s presentation and not worry too much about eye strain and the higher prices of books. But the Kindle and friends are going to have to come down in price, stat.

My biggest problems with it: the encroachment of the closed iPhone app ecosystem into general computing. Also, still no multitasking? Granted, if the apps launch super-fast and save their states, perhaps we don’t need it as much. But still.

Anyway, that was a fun day. I have a million little questions about specific implementations that I guess are going to have to wait a couple months. I think I can deal with that.