As a person who purchased a Tablet PC just 6 months ago, am I kicking myself?
This is not an alternative for a Tablet PC. That is not to say that I do not think it is an exciting piece of equipment. But it is designed for different purposes to what I use my Tablet for.
Let me explain; a Tablet PC is a fully functioning PC; I can run all the same programmes on it, as any other PC, including Office, CAD programmes, etc. It is a tool.
The iPad seems to be a scaled up iTouch iPod. The prices are very attractive US$499 (for 16Gb & WiFi up to US$829 for 64Gb WiFi & 3G). Already, I see the limitation for my use - 64Gb would be a real limiting factor.
10 hour battery life... Hmm... Doing what? I have learnt never to trust manufacturers when it comes to battery life. I am sure it may be possible to squeeze 10 hours out of it. But I wonder if it will be possible using WiFi, and using the screen on maximum brightness, and resolution? If it does it I will be impressed...but I seriously doubt it.
2 cameras? Hmm...I see that some people may like that...but for me that it one too many. It seems to have a sensor where it will detect the presence of another iPad... Well, I do link to other PC's...through WiFi to exchange data...I am not interested to link to complete strangers who may have the same piece of equipment. Apparently it is useful for gaming and the like. Accelerometer, Compass, Bluetooth. I think compass is a mistake...GPS would make more sense...although they can chew batteries...and they can always use a bluetooth GPS receiver (as I do).
In fact, to me, that is the main use of this iPad. It is designed to be a platform for games. In other words a toy. An expensive toy sure....and it does have some useful applications like browsing and sending emails, that I find using a touchscreen great for.
I am sure that this will be a HUGE success, especially at those pricing levels (although, as ever expect to pay a LOT more in SA). Many trendy young people will buy one (perhaps to place on the coffee table to trump the trendy phone of their friends!!??). It will work well for everyday browsing, and emailing, and updating your Facebook page. It will no doubt play some nice games, and movies will look good on it. But it will still be a toy...
At the end of the day, I have been so worried that I was going to regret buying a Tablet PC 6 months before Apple's iPad. But I see now, I made the right decision (for me)!
But I hope it does take off...because there is nothing better than stiff competition to make Microsoft up the ante again, and just wait for the Microsoft Courier, which will be released to compete with this...the gloves may come off then... but for the moment this is not a Tablet alternative... It is a iTouch alternative...and that may be their biggest problem in the coming days...