OK – so I admit it.
I was glued to Engadget last night, with the auto-refresh enabled and a large mug of coffee to learn with the rest of the Cupertino faithful just what Apple were about to unleash upon the world.
My initial reaction was a little disappointed – perhaps I had been caught up in the hype surrounding the event – Apple were going to bring something revolutionary to the market, to re-invent Tablets in a way that only Apple could. So I was a little underwhelmed when it became clear that was actually on offer was something more mundane than that. What we have amounts to a stretched iPod Touch with optional 3G data service. At least that’s what I first thought…
Now that I’ve had chance to think about it some more, I’m starting to warm to the idea of the iPad. First and foremost, it’s going to kill Linux on netbooks cold. Yes, I can hear the shouting of the Linux advocates saying that this isn’t true. However, with my experience of UNR and Moblin on my very much middle of the road EeePC 901 I can totally understand why people would get frustrated with Linux on netbooks. I’ve had a few problems with what I would consider to be a fairly standard bit of netbook hardware, enough for me to lose interest in my netbook the more I attempt to use it. Linux is still a faff and I still have to make allowances to use it on a netbook. This is fairly annoying given the maturity of the Linux platform, and the promise that it had on the netbook hardware platform. In contrast, the iPad would appear to be a very integrated platform that would allow me to do a range of tasks on a single device wherever I might find myself. I can surf the web, read the news and look at my photos all with something that is portable and hopefully can be instantaneously activated, as opposed to the wake up times on UNR or Moblin.
I can see myself using the iPad when I’m having a coffee, or eating my breakfast or just chilling out – it looks to be quick to use and start up, which is in stark contrast to laptops or netbooks.