Robert’s Ramblings

Robert Alonso’s Thoughts on Technology and More…

After waiting more than a year for Apple’s entry into tablet computing, I was not disappointed or surprised by the device. It is simply a larger form factor iPod Touch or iPhone without the phone functionality. Apple took existing technology and made it bigger and in many cases better. The only aspect of the device that is puzzling is the name. I understand the connection between iPad and iPod, but why did Apple executives not realize that the first thing that came to mind to three women that I spoke to is a feminine hygiene product. I’m sure that this is not exactly the association that Apple wanted for this product.

Despite the strange name, the device is desirable. It comes with a 9.7 inch screen, runs all existing iPhone applications and comes with direct iTunes and App Store access. Even more exciting is the iBook application that allows the reading of books in ePub format and that integrates into a new on-line book store. The application looks very polished and easy to use. It even has animated page flipping and a book shelve for the books that you have already purchased. You control it using the multi-touch technology. Slide your finger across the screen and you are on the next page. Take that Kindle and Sony Reader.

The iPad is half an inch think and weighs 1.5 pounds. It runs up to 10 hours on a charge and can be purchased with a case that doubles as a stand. Also available as an option is a stand that includes a keyboard. The hardware and software looks very slick and will probably draw a lot of attention from gadget lovers as well as productivity seeking executives. Apple will also release $9.99 versions of the applications in iWork. You will be able to create documents with the word processor, spreadsheet or presentation application without having to take a laptop on your trip or without using a desktop computer. It also has a slick version of the Safari web browser that is a larger version of the one in the iPhone. Unfortunately, it still does not have support for Flash.

During the introduction, Steve Jobs showed off mapping, video playback and a new slick iLife-inspired photography application. You can now see albums easily and group them according to people, events or even locations. You can show the photos off in slideshow mode and can even use the iPad as a photo frame when it is not being used for some other productive task. Since I am an amateur photographer, I loved this functionality. I also have to admit that I saw great promise in the e-mail, calendar and contact applications. I can see this becoming my primary computing device around the house and on trips.

The iPad will be available in 60 to 90 days. The Wi-Fi only version will come out first with a price of $499 for the 16GB version, $599 for the 32GB version and $699 for the 64GB one. The Wi-Fi and 3G (unlocked) version arrives thirty days later and costs $130 more for any of the memory configurations. The plans are through AT&T and require no contract. They are $14.99 for 250MB or $29.99 for unlimited data. Plans include free AT&T Wi-Fi and are activated directly from the iPad.

That’s it for now. I’ll tell you more once I buy one in 60 days…

Robert Alonso
Alonso Consulting

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  1. Not Steve Said,

    The device does not multitask, it does not have a removable battery or an SD memory card slot. This sounds like a rotten apple to me.

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