Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

First thoughts on the iPad

Posted on 28 January 2010 71 comments

Article illustration for First thoughts on the iPad

So, the day has finally come. The iPad has been announced. It actually exists and it looks unsurprisingly amazing. But I was surprised and disappointed by a few things, too.

Initial thoughts

The first big surprise was the name, of course: iPad — although obvious — was on the “there’s no way it’ll never be called that” list, wasn’t it? The next surprise (and slight disappointment, I must admit) was how obviously it all looked like a blown-up iPhone OS. Yes, that’s what the rumour mills had been talking about with a fair degree of certainty, but the major downside to that is that it means the basis of the iPad’s OS is a GUI originally meant for a smaller device. On seeing Mail, live-blogger Ryan Block commented that “there is like too much room,” and maybe he’s right. I guess seeing other apps in the flesh will decide that.

The biggest surprise, to me, was the emphasis placed on e-books (sorry, iBooks *). The fact that it’s going to kill the Kindle is now obvious, but shouldn’t it be adding a little more? The pessimist in me sees the e-book functionality as the iPad’s core, with all the extra stuff added as fluff to make it appear that it’s not just an e-book reader. I guess I was expecting a bit more.

But I’m being negative. By and large, this looks like a pretty incredible device. That goes without saying. Maps in particular looks lovely, as do all the video and game demos. The dual-pane display on Mail will be helpful, although I’ll remain sceptical about the reality of typing on the iPad until I’ve tried it: the sad truth is that touchscreen typing isn’t that fun. Even after two years of owning an iPhone and getting as used to the keyboard as I could possibly get, I’d much rather type on my MacBook Pro. The keyboard dock for the iPad looks great for moaners like me, but if you’re in the scenario where you’re able to use the keyboard dock (home, office, train, etc.), wouldn’t you just use your MacBook instead?

While we ate dinner and followed the announcement, Sam asked me: but if you have an iPhone and a MacBook Pro, why would you need an iPad? It’s a good question. Perhaps if you don’t have a laptop it’s a great way to own a second, more mobile computer that’s more powerful than the iPhone (and that’s sure to win over a number of ‘switchers’ from Windows land) but is there really a need for a third, in-between semi-mobile computer? Perhaps not.

I’m trying to imagine the situations: at home, in the office, I have my MBP hooked up to the 24" LED Display and various hard drives so to all intents and purposes it’s a desktop, but I can take it with me when I’m travelling (which I do a lot) and that’s why I love having the flexibility of a laptop. But would I use an iPad when I’m working on the train? No, I’d use my MBP. What about that other common situation, where I’m sitting in front of the TV at night — having taken the MBP downstairs — casually replying to emails or surfing the web (as I am now)? Would I use an iPad then? No, probably not. Apart from the very small inconvenience of having to disconnect the drives and display, I’m pretty sure I’d continue to use the laptop on almost all occasions. Ok, so what about on very small train journeys where it’s not worth getting out the laptop? In those circumstances I usually use the iPhone to reply to emails and I guess that would be an instance where it’d be preferable to do it on an iPad. But is that it?!?

I hate to say this, but I’m honestly struggling to think of situations where using an iPad would be more appropriate / useful / fun than using either my MBP or iPhone. So again I’m forced to ask the question: is there really a need for a third, in-between semi-mobile computer?

The big but

I’m disappointed that the iPad isn’t a device that can dock with another Mac. I feel a little let-down that’s not being quite as ground-breaking as I’d hoped. And I’m concerned that there may not be an actual need for it (I guess only time will tell). But have Apple created another gorgeous device? Yes. Have they pushed yet more UI design boundaries? Yes. And have they come through and delivered it all at a reasonable price? Amazingly, yes. So I’m still pretty excited.

I’m prepared to admit that — as a self-confessed Apple fanboy and a designer with a soft spot for all things pretty — the device’s beauty is possibly overpowering my logical reasoning, but the iPad really does look like an amazing piece of kit and it’s one I can’t wait to try out, as that’s the only way these concerns might be confirmed or quashed. Is it actually worth buying? It’s simply too soon to tell.

Either way, roll on 60 days. **

* Er, haven’t we done that one, Apple?
** If indeed that applies to UK availability, which sadly it may not.

71 comments

  1. JJ

    JJ

    28 January 2010 @ 01:58AM #

    I believe the iPad is a failure of Apple not getting rid of the Ipod Touch Schematics. notice the lack of USB ports, camera and the customer friendly removable battery… I rather stay with an Ipod TOuch n get a tablet from more experience Tablet manufacturer like the Archos 9 where it is a computer in your hands not an Ipod.

  2. Nicholas

    Nicholas

    28 January 2010 @ 01:58AM #

    the iPad syncs to itunes, so it does connect to your Mac (or PC), read the type on the apple site. It’s all there.

  3. Mohammad Koubeissi

    Mohammad Koubeissi

    28 January 2010 @ 01:59AM #

    Good points there. I’m waiting for it to be released in the apple store to see what I think of it, like you I see no need for it.

  4. Joel Helin

    Joel Helin

    28 January 2010 @ 01:59AM #

    I know you mentioned travels, but what if you go on a vacation and don’t want to bring your laptop? That’s the only thing I can add to the plus side of it.

    It could also work as a “media center”-thing at home?

    I’m a sucker for Apple products but I’ll definetely skip this one.

  5. Denne

    Denne

    28 January 2010 @ 02:00AM #

    Where is the Camera on this device? I didnt see a front or rear camera? No Video conf.

  6. lyle

    lyle

    28 January 2010 @ 02:00AM #

    I have just been trying to decide on the selling point I’m going to use on the wife and I’m stuck, I can’t.
    She’s not daft and the first question is what will it do that the iMac, Macbook or iPhone wont.
    What do I say? e/i books. She know I’m a tactile book lover.

    Will “I just want one sell it?”

  7. Denne

    Denne

    28 January 2010 @ 02:01AM #

    Where is the Camera on the device? I was expecting a camera in front so you could video conf?

  8. Shane

    Shane

    28 January 2010 @ 02:02AM #

    I nodded my head several times in agreement whilst reading your post. I was more excited than ever before when Steve took centre stage, but I too had a feeling of ‘well, when would I actually use it?’, since I have a MacBook Pro and an iPhone.

    When I first saw it, with its spaced out icons, it really did look like a ‘leaked’ photoshop-job. That’s not to say that it isn’t nice, but there were no ‘wow’ moments when I was watching the feed.

    It really is between an iPhone and MacBook, so most of what we saw, other than the form factor, we’ve seen before. The Apple marketeers would say that this means we’ll all know how to use it, but I couldn’t help feeling slightly underwhelmed.

  9. Arik Beremzon

    Arik Beremzon

    28 January 2010 @ 02:02AM #

    My thoughts exactly, I opened up a thread on graphicriver.net and Jarel had some good points:

    http://graphicriver.net/forums/thread/apples-latest-creation/21550?page=14#204022

    But in all honesty, I don’t think it’s for you and me, people who use heavy duty software such as photoshop. I looked at the video on the apple site and it does look a bit better here. Engadget have posted a hands on here, where they describe how it feels: http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/27/apple-ipad-first-hands-on/

    I also don’t see the use for it. I am also skeptical about the e-reader part. It’s not e-ink, it’s a glossy IPS LED backlit screen. Now I don’t know about you, but I can’t really read for a long time off my MBP either.

    No camera means no video conferencing around the house (I could do that on my mbp anyway!), no multi-tasking is also a drawback. It really does look like an over sized iPhone but with a slightly better Internet experience.

    On screen keyboard? Not too sure. I won’t cast my final judgment until I use one of these, that’s for sure. I also have a feeling that the bezel could had been a little bit thinner, more like the black bezel surrounding my macbook screen.

  10. JJ

    JJ

    28 January 2010 @ 02:02AM #

    This obviously is gonna be an Ipad 2 cause apple always give flashy yet mediocre products at high prices, then upgrade one or two things and lower the price… so maybe next 3 years Ipad 3.0 can actually RUN itunes and not Sync to itunes…

  11. Tom

    Tom

    28 January 2010 @ 02:03AM #

    I don’t think there’s a real need to doc with another Mac because of the direction that Apple is going with their on-line and store content. Everything can and will be downloaded and uploaded over a wireless or 3G network, so why dock to anything… ever. Cloud computing is here to stay, and I think this product is a reflection of that.

    My issue is: How will I ever keep the screen clean???

  12. Daniel Groves

    Daniel Groves

    28 January 2010 @ 02:03AM #

    I can see your point of view there Elliot, and if I am honest, I have to agree with you. I’m just waiting for the video to buffer before I give any final views, but I also cannot wait until comes to the UK so I can try it. There is an Apple store opening in bath soon. I will be calling in to take a look at the iPad.

  13. ET

    ET

    28 January 2010 @ 02:03AM #

    I would prefer a dumb terminal version of the Ipad that simply expands my iphone screen so I only worry about one device. It would then allow the phone to be my core processor. I am not sure I am ready to carry an Ipad as my primary device. It wouldn’t fit in my coat pocket that well. But I would like to drop the laptop and carry the phone-ipad combination as my primary traveling platform. I think the screen size would work on the road for most of my needs. We may even do an oysterdock derivative for the ipad.

  14. Mimi

    Mimi

    28 January 2010 @ 02:05AM #

    Since its lightweight, I hope to use it as a travel computer for blogging and email. I’d also be able to entertain myself with games and such on airplanes and trains. I’ll be able to buy a month of ‘net access across the country and around the world where I can’t get free wi-fi. It picks up where my ipod touch leaves off, and for that price, I’m sold.

  15. Arik Beremzon

    Arik Beremzon

    28 January 2010 @ 02:05AM #

    Oh btw, just a slight addition:

    No camera but yes mic… hmm?

  16. Matthew Pennell

    Matthew Pennell

    28 January 2010 @ 02:06AM #

    I guess the point at which it becomes “the thing I want to use in situation X” is when its weight, size and battery life are preferable to carting your MBP around with you. I have to lug my laptop back and forth to Amsterdam every couple of weeks, and if I could have something just as useful (and with the added benefit of 3G) that weighed half or a quarter of what the MBP weighs, I would definitely go for that.

    Of course, that’s assuming work would ever buy me one… ;)

  17. Luther Spicer

    Luther Spicer

    28 January 2010 @ 02:06AM #

    This is pretty much how I reacted. I too have a MacBook Pro and iPhone. I love them both and doubt how much I’d use something in between.

    I was more excited by the prospect of how it might change the world of publishing and bridge the gap between print and web but it’s just too similar to how we already view news online or read online magazines (the page flip animation for example)

    The other thing I thought it may be useful for is showing your work in presentations or your portfolio over a coffee but now I see the 10 inch screen I’m not so sure.

    Finally, I totally agree that the icons and dock elements just look way too spaced out and not thought through. Hardly suprising though that we’re all feeling like it’s an anti-climax given the huge build up!

    Don’t want to just so. It IS a thing of beauty but not sure that’s enough for me personally.

  18. Anthony Garritano

    Anthony Garritano

    28 January 2010 @ 02:06AM #

    I would generally agree with not being able to find where this device would fit in my daily use. The difference for me would be at night. More often than not, I’ve shut down the computer and moved onto something else, but then I remember there’s one last thing I wanted to do, or I just want to do a little surfing. The iPad would perfectly fill this void. I’ve often not done whatever thing it was I wanted to do because it required turning on the computer, waiting on boot time, logging in, letting all my apps load on startup, and then finally doing the that simple little task. With the iPad, it’s just on after clicking the Home button (and maybe putting in a password, if you’ve set one).

  19. Matt Wilcox

    Matt Wilcox

    28 January 2010 @ 02:07AM #

    Personally I don’t like the look of the device. The bevel thickness and 4×3 ratio makes it feel dated already.

    Other than that it is simply an iPhone that expanded when it got wet. Likewise, I can’t think of a good use case for it, and while it’s certainly a device that makes the kindle look like it’s from the stone age… it’s very debatable whether I’d want any device for e-books in the current market. I don’t want uncertain DRM policies and over-pricing, whether that’s from Amazon, Sony, Apple, or anyone else. It remains to be seen whether Apple have addressed that vital bit of the puzzle or not. And even at $500 – that’s a shed load of books I could have bought instead.

  20. Andi

    Andi

    28 January 2010 @ 02:09AM #

    Got to say, I love it. And the fact is, maybe it’s not aimed squarely at us? (By us, I mean geeks and web folk, for who it’s pretty normal to have an iPhone and a MacBook of some description). Really, it’s aimed at the netbook market – people’s mums, little brothers, and whatever, who want a cheap, cool machine that does internet, email, facebook and the like. It’s alway been obvious that Apple aren’t interested in making a netbook, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want that market (in the same way they’ve had that market buying up iPods like it was going out of fashion for the last five years).

    One thing that I’m far more excited about than I expected is the potential for PDF or ePub magazines to finally be as useful and readable as their print relations. I would have thought that’d have you excited too, to be honest! I honestly think there’s massive potential for us as designers to be making amazing use of the format as a halfway between digital publishing and print work.

    Anyway, I’ll be buying one as soon as they announce how and where!

  21. Gavin Smith

    Gavin Smith

    28 January 2010 @ 02:10AM #

    This device failed to push boundaries in my opinion. There was a significant portion of the reasonable predicted feature set that was not included that could have added hugely to the device’s utility, for example a front-facing camera – I really thought that one was a given. I find the solution to running existing iPhone apps on the device weak, and while I don’t have a better idea, this is Apple. Honestly, displaying the app tiny and in the centre or blown up like one of those hug television remotes for those with accessibility needs? It lacks the grace apple coats their product line with, generally speaking, incredibly effectively.

    I have great difficulty imagining who will be in line for this thing for reasons other than simply having money to burn.

    One more thing – Steve showed off another sore point: The NYT site flashed a ‘plugin not found’ icon right in the keynote for all to see. Still no Flash, it appears.

  22. Tim

    Tim

    28 January 2010 @ 02:11AM #

    Not sure about using it for typing while on a train. I’m sure it will slide of my lap.

  23. Visualpropaganda

    Visualpropaganda

    28 January 2010 @ 02:12AM #

    Elliot, I’ve asked myself the same. What would the iPad offer me, that I haven’t already with my iPhone and my MBP ? I’ve never watched any movie on the iPhone and my 17" MBP is the minimum I would watch movies on. Hey it is the HD-Era. Who want’s to watch anything at 1024×768px resolution?

    And regarding e-books: I hate reading on a screen. No matter what the device is named. I just do it out of necessity (Blogs, email etc.). I love books (real printed books, which smell of ink when they are brand new) and I like the feel of paper. You can borrow a book to your friends and even take it to the beach or read while you are taking a bath. I wouldn’t want to use an iPad on the beach or in the bath.

    But I can see some very useful applications for the iPad. The demoed brushes app can be soemthing to scribble ideas together with teammates while brainstorming a new product, website etc. Much quicker, than an MBP (all though connected to an projector and a wacom…? ). I think it would be a good device for musicians and DJs maybe. If it could be tethered to a DSLR or a Videocamera it could act as a bigger LCD-Display on set.

    Just some early thoughts

    Cheers
    Mirko

  24. Ally

    Ally

    28 January 2010 @ 02:12AM #

    “…(and that’s sure to win over a number of ’switchers’ from Windows land)…”

    I have yet to make the transition to a Mac but I don’t see the advantage of using the iPad to make that transition. I would rather buy a Mac as I’m sure would other PC only users.

  25. Topher

    Topher

    28 January 2010 @ 02:13AM #

    I agree with almost everything here, except most notably “The fact that it’s going to kill the Kindle is now obvious,”

    I just can’t stomach this, nor do I understand how so many (at least in our industry) are jumping to this conclusion. I suppose it’s the closed effect of our community; we often forget that outside of iPods most consumers have little use for Apple (growing, but nevertheless). The move towards apple is within a young demographic, e-book readers have no such limitations leading me to disagree with the expectation of Kindle demise.

    Reading on my notebook or desktop is not a task I, like most I’d imagine, find particularly enjoyable for anything longer than a blog post. And it has nothing to do with form factor and everything to do with eyestrain and discomfort.

    On another disappointing note, I waited until today to purchase a new Mac in expectation of an upgrade to the Macbook Pro line. Sadly, they will remain underpowered and I may have to wait.

  26. Lorenz

    Lorenz

    28 January 2010 @ 02:16AM #

    I totally agree with you, but: I think the iPad will be the only reason for me to read a book with a mobile device because of its design and its wonderful ability to scroll through the pages. I think because of so much rumors Apple was really forced to do it well and I think the did. I think it will be a revolution for people who just do a bit writing an mailing at home and who will use it as an e-book reader. And – I am very excited what kind of apps will enrich the iPad in the future.

  27. Stephen Holder

    Stephen Holder

    28 January 2010 @ 02:16AM #

    I completely agree with the review, a serious omission is the lack of webcam, would have been nice to have Skype running video conferencing or even Apples’ own iChat. As to the question “is there really a need for a third, in-between semi-mobile computer?” well I guess the future SDK users will answer that question, lets see what iPad specific software is developed in the near future, as a musician I have to say I’m disappointed that it’s a big iPhone OS rather than something between iPhone and OS X but I guess that’s just habit.

    This device does excite me very much and will most certainly be the start of something big; look at what has happened to the latest generation of ‘smart’ phones post iPhone release.

    I’m personally planning to buy a Multi Touch 22" monitor for my studio set up and like the reviewer cannot see a real use for myself at this stage (that said; SEE-WANT!!!).

    I imagine plenty of Apple savvy consumers will await the 2nd gen iPad with larger capacity solid state more, features etc, but I am tempted hmmm..

  28. Sean Curtis

    Sean Curtis

    28 January 2010 @ 02:17AM #

    I agree with you Elliot, it’s like I’m trying to invent a hole that this device can fill so I can justify buying one. The camera card readers are a nice touch, pity they aren’t releasing an upated version of iPhoto (yet?). It would make one hell of an in car media player with a nice dash mounted dock. You’d have music, movies, email, internet and the biggest GPS screen on the planet. The touch screen would work great in that instance. My biggest disappointment is the lack of camera. It could have really helped Augmented Reality apps push the boundaries. I really doubt it’ll end up as mainstream a device as the iPhone.

  29. Jonathan

    Jonathan

    28 January 2010 @ 02:18AM #

    Nice Post. I agree on all accounts but with a little something to add. I don’t know that a designer/developer will use the iPad over using the iPhone-MBP combo in most, if not all of the situations you described. My designer friend who literally knows nothing about Apple products asked if it could run Photoshop. He exploded at the reality that it just won’t have the computing power we’re used to with the MBP. I do think it wins out in the everyday consumer market though. From newspaper paid subscription announcements like the NYTimes as well as the iBookstore emphasis, the iPad market is really meant to address the average reader/consumer/gamer. It’s a kindle killer for sure. Its an iphone replacement for those who don’t want to switch carriers in the US. It’s great for 5 year old’s who borrow dads iPhone to play racing games. Its meant to be fun. At this point in history, I don’t know if consumers are in the “lets spend money to have fun” mode though. Like me, I think most people are looking for utility, efficiency, and a reason to spend. The verdict is out on whether this is true or whether there are enough pastime readers to make the iPad as huge a success as the iPod.

  30. andy marshall

    andy marshall

    28 January 2010 @ 02:20AM #

    A strange irony of it’s name and lack of useful niche for it to fill is that if they had instead of an eBook reader, they took on it down the route of a graphics tablet market / very expensive cinteq with a slimmed down version of Photoshop / Painter, how amazing would that be as a device?!

    A portable, digital sketch pad… something that would actually not make the name “iPad” a complete joke, but actually be appropriate.

    As it is, it fills no real niche that isn’t done significantly better by other more flexible or cheaper products. So unimpressed.

  31. Aaron Gibson

    Aaron Gibson

    28 January 2010 @ 02:22AM #

    I’m just concerned this will end up as Apple TV type device. Great potential, but unrealistic value for money potential. It would be pretty cool to sit down in Starbucks with a client though and scroll through your web portfolio.

  32. webneedz

    webneedz

    28 January 2010 @ 02:22AM #

    As a webdeveloper/designer new to apple – just bought an iMac i7 and an iPod Touch – I am looking for an Apple device to take on the road and to clients.
    I was hoping the iPad OS was more like OS X so I could code/design/sketch on the road or at the clients. So I’m a bit disapointed with the iPad for now, seeing the specs and all. I gotta say, for that price, it’s a very nice iBook reader with some added funtionality like gaming, music, iWork.
    But for my use, I guess I’ll be buying a MacBook/MBP 13" after all. Cheers.

  33. Ryan Giglio

    Ryan Giglio

    28 January 2010 @ 02:22AM #

    I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said here. It’s pretty, it’s cool, but I don’t really see the point. They wanted to bridge the gap between the iPhone and the Macbook Pro, but I didn’t really think there was much of a gap there that needed bridging. If I’m going to commit to bringing a device with me that won’t’ fit in my pocket, I might as well have a laptop for all the features it has over the iPad (higher resolution screen, real keyboard, full featured programs).

  34. Andrew Chipperfield

    Andrew Chipperfield

    28 January 2010 @ 02:23AM #

    It doesn’t seem complete to me. It’s 1/2 iPhone and 1/4 macbook and I already have those. I’m probably not going to read £500’s worth of books for me to justify buying it for its main (software) selling point that I can’t get anywhere else (at the moment).

  35. Joseph Sims

    Joseph Sims

    28 January 2010 @ 02:24AM #

    Don’t forget about using your bluetooth keyboard with it if you like. iPad + Bluetooth keyboard = freakin’ awesome Apple netbook.

  36. Lee Flanaghan

    Lee Flanaghan

    28 January 2010 @ 02:24AM #

    I have an iPhone, several desktop iMacs and a seriously ageing MacBook Pro – about 5 years old and on it’s last legs. It’s second battery is now shot and I have to book a train seat that has a socket to use it. Equally you fight for the power source in McDs, Costa and Starbucks.

    So I have been holding off on a replacement. How much proper “work” do i ever do on my MBP these days? I mean using serious tools like Adobe CS stuff and the like. Hardly ever.

    My MBP is basically for the web and email – so which should I buy? The new iPad or a Macbook? I reckon the iPad would be spot on.

  37. Lee Flanaghan

    Lee Flanaghan

    28 January 2010 @ 02:25AM #

    Sorry i of course meant Powerbook!

  38. Brian Artka

    Brian Artka

    28 January 2010 @ 02:28AM #

    Elliot, after my “new toy” buzz wore off, I agree 100% with your thoughts on this device. Where does it fit? Is it just a glorified kindle killer? I honestly dislike ebooks and want to read actual books… I’m not understanding that portion, but to each is to own.

    I love the look of it, and it seems to function without flaw, but I own an iMac for the office and a Mac Book Pro for everywhere else (along with the iphone), so… where does this actual fit in?

    I guess we are not the targeted audience.

  39. Jason

    Jason

    28 January 2010 @ 02:31AM #

    You took the words right out of my mouth Elliot. I was about to write a post on this subject – funny thing is I would have said ‘exactly’ the same things as you. So thanks for saving me the effort! It’ll still be hard to ‘not’ buy one. Then again, I’d like to upgrade my iPhone this year…

  40. Tommy V

    Tommy V

    28 January 2010 @ 02:37AM #

    Im so excited about this device that I almost get angry at disappointed people =)

    If you are a designer, you should be extra excited!
    Not only because how you are going to use it, but everyone else.

    - eNewspapers / eMagazines / eBooks.
    Imagine reading a cool interactive magazines on the couch with this beautiful device.
    So much cool stuff to design.

    - Browsing.
    Would it be nice to just chill on the couch away from the comupter/work reading a good blog post on a iPad optimized webpage?

    MacBook Pro = Work. iPad = Everything else.

    I knew people was gonne complain about the black area around screen. But thats where you gonne have your hands!

  41. Ebi Atawodi

    Ebi Atawodi

    28 January 2010 @ 02:37AM #

    For someone like me who travels so often to countries without iPhone support and not quite able to justify the cost on an iPod touch, this works as a decent unlocked touchy Apple device. I have two macbook pros (13 and 15) and where one lacks in mobility the other one gains – so like you said I still have trouble justifying this. Sure is cheaper than getting an air which I was going to get simply for a light machine in my hand bag!

  42. Stephen Holder

    Stephen Holder

    28 January 2010 @ 02:46AM #

    I’ve just noticed;

    on Apples’ own website:

    Location
    Wi-Fi
    Digital compass
    Assisted GPS (Wi-Fi + 3G model)
    Cellular (Wi-Fi + 3G model)

    NO GPS, not even a fat iPhone then, god dammit, new shiny buzz now gone :(

  43. Catherine Azzarello

    Catherine Azzarello

    28 January 2010 @ 02:46AM #

    I have to agree with you, Elliot. Seems pretty hard to do figure out why I’d need an in-between the iPhone and MBP.

    And I don’t even have an iPhone! I’m waiting patiently for an iTouch WITH a camera.

    Besides the points you made, I have a couple of questions:

    1) How in the world does one keep such a large glossy touch screen clean?

    2) Aren’t the ergonomics of typing on your lap and pointing your head down to your lap (as opposed to up and forward a bit for MBP) just a bit awkward?

    3) If I go ahead and buy the external keyboard + stand, haven’t I just put together a MBP? With less power—and far less lap-friendliness?

    I’m just not seeing me lovin’ the iPad (GodAwfulName) trying to surf/type while lounging on sofa or bed—too many pieces wobbling on the pillows!

    Pass.

  44. iPad vs. Kindle « Minimali.st

    iPad vs. Kindle « Minimali.st

    28 January 2010 @ 03:12AM #

    […] Elliot Jay Stocks said that ”the fact that it [the iPad] is going to kill the Kindle is now obvious.” I disagree with him. I bought the Kindle for its e-ink and open hard drive (I can put whatever I want on it). The iPad doesn’t challenge either of those so I think the Kindle will be fine. The iPad will be nothing but a bump in the road for Mr. Bezos. […]

  45. Jason Klug

    Jason Klug

    28 January 2010 @ 03:12AM #

    I agree that it’s not a must-have if you already have a MacBook Pro and an iPhone in your arsenal, but that’s not the case for a HUGE chunk of the market. I’ve got both, but I can definitely see my fiancee taking quite nicely to the iPad as her away-from-desktop device of choice… which is nice, because I’m always trying to convince her to “Go Mac.”

    One thing I know: she’s no longer getting the Kindle I’d planned on getting her for her birthday (and I doubt I’m the only would-be Kindle buyer that’s going to hold out a few extra months for an iPad).

  46. Jason Klug

    Jason Klug

    28 January 2010 @ 03:16AM #

    And as a web designer, I’m in favor of any device that gets people better acquainted with Safari… especially if it’s converting IE users!

  47. A Giant iPhone Was Released | Darth-Cena.net

    A Giant iPhone Was Released | Darth-Cena.net

    28 January 2010 @ 03:50AM #

    […] get me wrong, I love my Mac, iPhone, and iPod, but Eliot Sticks brings up a good point/question in his article, “If you have an iPhone and a MacBook Pro, why would you need an […]

  48. Andrew Hawken

    Andrew Hawken

    28 January 2010 @ 03:57AM #

    The last 1 or 2 seconds of the official video state that the iPad has not yet passed FCC regulations. I’d think that this means that they have to get through that before concentrating on other territories – so the UK etc may be in for a wait!

  49. Rob...

    Rob...

    28 January 2010 @ 04:02AM #

    I found it interesting that you couched all your questions about when you would use it in terms of work.

    Clearly the iPad is a recreational device.

    I want one for watching movies and reading books, playing with facebook and of course games whilst on the train / away from my desk. It gets bonus points as I’ll be able to give presentations off it too. Will I use it for work? of course not!

    Regards,

    Rob…

  50. katy lavallee

    katy lavallee

    28 January 2010 @ 04:14AM #

    This is a lounging around machine. I lounge around a lot, so I’m going to buy one (financial situation allowing). Plus then I can switch to Android for a phone and still have all my cool iPhone apps.

    When I’m home, chillin’ on the couch, listening to the news, drinking my coffee — honestly, the iPhone is too small and gives me headaches and weirdly, my little 13’’ macbook is still too bulky. Both put me off and I end up not reading as much as I’d like to. There is so much I want to read but I just can’t get comfortable. With this I can read Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, email, etc without squinting or getting hand cramps. (BTW, I hate hate hate holding paper books open. It’s so annoying.)

    If the typing turns out to be comfortable and easy, I would much prefer writing that way as well. Especially if Ommwriter makes an app for it!

    Also, I’d like to play Bejeweled and other games on a larger touchscreen.

    I’m really looking forward to trying out as many drawing/painting/sketching apps as I can afford. What I was hoping for today was something to replace pencil and paper when I’m brainstorming — I’m still unsure how much of that I can do with a big fat finger instead of a pencil, but I’m curious to find out. Maybe there will be some good photo-editing apps too — imagine dodging and burning with your index finger.

    Lastly, I feel like I’ll make a better connection with what I’m doing on my computer — kind of like how you feel more connected to your art and the paint when you finger-paint (not that I’ve done that recently — but Brushes looks cool!)

    Of course, what I really really really want is an iPad screen on a MacBook with some screen-swivellyness or something — maybe that’s what they’re saving the iTablet name for!

  51. Alex Blundell

    Alex Blundell

    28 January 2010 @ 05:02AM #

    Totally agree with @Andi here. This isn’t aimed at the people who already have Macbooks or iPhones.

    Its Essentially Apples way of plugging a gap in the market. Netbooks have become increasingly popular over the last few years, so much so that people are buying them over full sized Laptops. I believe Apple was, up to this point, lagging way behind in this area and needed to play catch up or risk losing out.

    Also as Andi says, its for “people’s mums, little brothers, and whatever”. My own mum for example is actually replacing here Acer laptop with a 10.1" netbook, and was suitably impressed when I showed her the iPad.

    Unfortunately Apple are marketing more and more for the mainstream and less for the geeks and designers that they used to.

  52. Alan Feekery

    Alan Feekery

    28 January 2010 @ 05:49AM #

    The iPad is very tempting for me and I have always been a Windows user. I have had an iPhone for about 6 months now and love it. I do hope however that the OS that is run on the iPad is closer to the Mac OS rather than the iPhone OS.

  53. Benjamin "balupton" Lupton

    Benjamin "balupton" Lupton

    28 January 2010 @ 06:41AM #

    Catherine Azzarello,

    I totally agree with point #2. I was thinking the exact same thing, surely even after 30 minutes of using this on your lap you would start to feel neck pain. Or even looking down on it on your desk, or say you lay in your chair like indicated in the video your wrists would start to hurts. It’s an ergonomic nightmare.

    Yes, I’m extremely disappointed. To me it’s just a big iPod Touch. I was hoping for a macbook with multi touch, or a tablet extension to macbooks or something along the OSX lines.

    For this, anyone with a ipod and mac, why bother.

  54. Kevin

    Kevin

    28 January 2010 @ 09:20AM #

    I believe too many people are stuck on the functionality of the device. Ok, functionality is important but its not the focus of the iPad. I think we are missing the point.

    Apple is all about how we experience their products. The idea behind the iPad is to create the feeling of holding a real book, surfing the web like your reading a news paper, all while watching tv.

    Its about being able to return to the way we interact with real object in the world, not creating a new and amazing work horse.

    As designers and developers we use our laptops in a different way than most people. The iPad was made for normal people who want to to normal things (like check facebook 20 time an hour).

    Overall, the iPad is focused on the reading audience not the content generators like us. Different market and its perfect for it.

  55. Evan

    Evan

    28 January 2010 @ 11:22AM #

    It’s absolutely pretty. Apple is great at “pretty.” But what would I use it for? I don’t see how it makes my life any different or easier. I have a 13" MB Pro. It can do far more than the iPad can ever hope to do, and it’s not that much bigger if I want to carry it around. For true portability, I also have an iPhone. So why should I pay an extra monthly fee to AT&T (of all companies) if I want to take my iPad on the road? I just don’t understand the market for the iPad. There’s no camera, so no photos or video capability. That to me seemed like a no-brainer; what a great conferencing tool it could have been! There’s no built-in audio recording capability. It’s not a big iPhone; it’s a big Touch.

    I like the idea of the iBook store, but I should be able to access that on my iPhone or MacBook as well. If iBooks are limited to just the iPad, I predict a colossal fail.

  56. Christoph Zillgens

    Christoph Zillgens

    28 January 2010 @ 02:12PM #

    I’m disappointed in the way that the iPad isn’t the expected device that bring the print and online world together, as Derek Powazek guessed in his article. Just making the iPhone bigger is not a great invention. And I also think that the Kindle is still better for reading digital content, especially longer texts. And as you mentioned I also don’t see the benefits of the iPad in a usual work/home environment.

    But on the other hand:
    Who thought that those netbooks had such a great success as they are just smaller notebooks?
    And for me there is still no big advantage of having a netbook, but it just seem to be more convenient than a normal notebook. And compared to any netbook out there, the iPad seems to be even more convenient.

    The most interesting thing for me is:
    Despite the consuming and multimedia capabilities, can you really work with this device?
    I can’t wait to try out iWork on the iPad just to know how they solved the fact that you have no keyboard or mouse but only your fingers and the touch screen.
    Could this become even a standard or an alternative in the future?
    What other apps will we see, that couldn’t be developed for the iPhone due to the small screen?
    So, all in all still interesting enough.

    And despite all the rants and thoughts:
    If you own one, a few weeks later you’ll think: How could I ever lived without?

  57. Paul Cripps

    Paul Cripps

    28 January 2010 @ 03:19PM #

    Elliot great post as usual, and some great reactions, I too can;t wait to get my hands on one and design for it.

    I have to say one thing:

    It’s not really aimed at us Designers & Developers with our iPhones and laptops… It’s aimed at the consumer market.

    I would get one for casual mail and browsing, I know my fiancee would probably use it more than me. There a huge market out there that wont need the ,multitasking and I think its a great introduction to this new exciting technology for people who haven;t yet seen it such as my parents, grandparents nd non tecky types!

    I hope in time it will grown and gain the functionality us Designers & Developer feel its lacking such as usb, card readers and multitasking.

    I believe its another great device by Apple, take a step back and see what it offers, could you have imagined this 4-5 years ago? take a step back 10 year and think about it, its amazing.

  58. Tim

    Tim

    28 January 2010 @ 07:13PM #

    It’s a lame giant ipod. End of story.

  59. Andy Ford

    Andy Ford

    29 January 2010 @ 04:50AM #

    “Semi-mobile computer” or “mobile semi-computer”?

  60. KW

    KW

    29 January 2010 @ 03:59PM #

    For a device that is supposed to be mainly an ebook (ibook) reader, I think they really messed up with the non-e-ink screen. People who read want to read from a paper-like screen, not strain their eyes trying to read through the refresh rate. (And you can forget about reading outdoors).
    Also, battery life seems much too short, especially compared to other e-reading devices.

    All the “extra” functions mainly are laptop-like.. but with only 32 GB max I don’t see how the iPad can be a good replacement for a laptop either. Could you even install regular software on it, or only apps?

    @Kevin – isn’t functionality not the only reason people buy items they want to actually use..??

    I think this is a case of overhyped and overpriced…(monthly wireless fee.. no thanks)
    I am the target audience (don’t have an iPhone yet, read a lot) but I won’t be buying one.

  61. Melvin José

    Melvin José

    29 January 2010 @ 06:09PM #

    This is prolly just a Apple marketing strategy. They will sell loads of iPads and after a year or so release a version with all the cool extra’s everybody wants. Then people will buy it all over again.

    or maybe not…

  62. Noel Wiggins

    Noel Wiggins

    29 January 2010 @ 07:07PM #

    I agree I am disappointed as well, it is being promoted as the best way to surf the web but can’t display “flash”. Also I was hoping it would be more of a tablet laptop not an oversized iphone you can’t call with.

    It seems like this thing doesn’t know what it wants to be. Its not a phone, its not a computer, it is like you mentioned an apple kindle.

    I don’t think this product is a “must” have, but looks like they are on the brink of something really great, if and when they make a tablet “PC” that has sensitivity control, so I can get thick thin lines in illustrator with the brush tool. and of course a bigger screen then it will be mine.

    Until then I think there are already effective solutions on the market.

    What I find hilarious is that its a big iphone that you can’t call on.

    Think of the 60 and up demographic that can’t stand new technology, with the small keyboards and small numbers, if this gigantor iphone was actually a phone I bet that demographic would snatch it up, especially if it was integrated with skype as a video phone.

    Thanks and Regards

    Noel for Nopun.com
    a graphic design studio

  63. Más impresiones sobre la nueva iPad | desparchando

    Más impresiones sobre la nueva iPad | desparchando

    01 February 2010 @ 08:37PM #

    […] la iPad es en escencia un iPhone con esteroides.  El mismo día del lanzamiento leí un análisis de Elliot Jay Stocks, un reconocido diseñador web y conocido por ser aficionado a la marca.  Sus reflexiones iban a […]

  64. iPad: It’s not for us. :: Jasongraphix

    iPad: It’s not for us. :: Jasongraphix

    02 February 2010 @ 01:32AM #

    […] That’s what happened when I started writing out my reply to Elliot Jay Stock’s first thoughts on the iPad. Instead of hitting the big red Submit Comment button, I decided to copy and paste thoughts […]

  65. Kannapiran

    Kannapiran

    02 February 2010 @ 05:19PM #

    Hi
    I think the only reason that iPad is based on iPhone OS is to make the app availability as the development of apps is a real big question, if it had been only for iPad (that too while iPhone/iPod touch being a big hit).
    Its quite understandable for me to see that coming with known OS but if my judgement goes right (& if iPad becomes a hit) I think there is a very strong reason to believe that there will be a OS transformation sooner or later. Not just an easy job.
    Elliot i just have to appreciate u a awesome designer.

    Keep going

  66. chris

    chris

    06 February 2010 @ 11:23AM #

    I think surfing the web or exploring the medias such as photos, videos, are pretty cool, but there’s no multi-tasks for iPad, I can’t listen to music (in the background) while I surfing the web or something like that.

  67. Martino Palladini

    Martino Palladini

    06 February 2010 @ 04:26PM #

    More than ever I think it will be up to the third-party developers to make this product really shine, while Apple provides a solid (and limiting) framework. Steve Jobs considers the iPhone Apps just as recreational applications, it’s again the dev who showed the world what you could really achieve.
    The things that bother me most are the supposed lack of camera, lack of flash support (could have been excused if it wasn’t marketed as the best web experience) and the absence of vibration, which adds so much to the touch experience and makes virtual keyboards and controls so much more satisfying to use.

    @Chris: I can listen to music while surfing the web or using most apps on my iPod touch, so why couldn’t I on its bigger brother running the same OS? ;)

  68. Adam Diamantides

    Adam Diamantides

    09 February 2010 @ 08:17AM #

    It would stop you working while on holiday! No laptop = No work – Great holiday device! Nice and light too:-)

  69. Adrienne Adams

    Adrienne Adams

    11 February 2010 @ 05:57AM #

    I agree with Andi, Tommy V &, Rob that this device isn’t really about work. It’s not “instead of” your macbook or pro, it’s for e-books, videos, a quick email or game. It is definitely aimed at the non-professional computer user, or the pro who wants to stay connected but doesn’t want to work on holiday :-D

    I really like having my Touch for travel but often find its small size a bit limiting for extended reading or movie watching. I like the idea of having a good-sized device to settle down with in a big chair to read a book or catch up on blogs. That type of activity requires minimal typing, so the onscreen keyboard is not too big a deal for me.

    And as for the lack of multitasking, I think that’s a plus! Multitasking is way overrated, and for me, it boils down to being endlessly distracted.

    My biggest concern is, as with Tom & Catherine, that the screen will get dirty too quickly, even with the “oleophobic coating.” So popcorn is out, I guess.

  70. Alf Catadman

    Alf Catadman

    16 March 2010 @ 08:35AM #

    I was ecstatic and love to make that switch, I can live without the USB ports, but learning it doesn’t have Flash video capability, I guess I will have to skip (for now)

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