Well the "Apple Tablet" PC has finally been revealed as the "iPad". So far the it is an unimpressive piece of overpriced device. People has put so much hype and anticipation on it that we are all disappointed. Heck not only are we, the consumer masses disappointed, even leaders from major technological companies like Nintendo and Microsoft have negative things to say about it. Apple made several critical mistakes on the iPad's design. What I will tell you is what the iPad doesn't have when it should have been a standard feature. First of all, the lack of digital camera. I mean if the iphone has a camera, surely a $499 ($829 for all the bells and whistles) device should have at least a 3 Megapixel camera. Second, there's no video output, worst the screen does not support widescreen but instead you're fixed to a 4:3 screen resolution (1024 x 768) so all widescreen movies you have purchased from the itunes store can only be viewed as 4:3 standard. Third, just like the iphone/ipod touch, the iPad does not allow multitasking. That means you've pretty much stick to running 1 application at a time. And fourth, the device does not have a USB port so you can't plug any USB compatible devices to it. Steve Jobs claims the iPad is the perfect device for reading books and magazines. Yes there maybe some truth to that, i mean with a vibrant 9 inch color screen, it is gonna be perfect for reading a digital magazine in color. Unfortunately the iBookstore is more expensive than the Kindle bookstores (the sample book being shown on the demo has a price tag of $14.99 while the same digital version of the book in Amazon's kindle bookstore is being sold for $9.99). Not to mention, who in their right mind would pay $499 just to read magazines. iPad is also being touted as a gaming platform. Unfortunately without an actual physical buttons a lot have to rely on the virtual controller. Yes I have tried it with some games. While the virtual keyboard/controller and touch screen works well with some games it is inconcievably uncomfortable to use with others. That alone kinda put a limit on iPad as a serious contender as a mobile gaming device. Another issue would be the price point of the games. If developers were to make games for the iPad they would have to sell it at a higher price point than the games being sold at the Apple apps store. And it's very hard to compete with games that are being sold for between $1-5 bucks which puts it at a competitive disadvantage.
Alright, enough about the negatives. Let's look at the positives, the iPad sports a 9 inch color screen. It allows you to play all the digital content you have purchased from the iTunes store. It also allows you to read books and view magazines purchased from the newly opened iBookstore. It has a digital compass and an accelerometer. It supports Wifi connection and internet connectivity via AT&T's network. AT&T charges $30 a month for the data plan but does not require a contract. If you buy the base model (the $499 one with the 16GB capacity) you have to pay an extra $130 to access AT&T's slow as molasses 3G network. All the higher models already have 3G capacity.
Conclusion. I think Apple banked too much on the success of its Ipod/Iphone line to sell this device. The iPad at it's best is a hard sell. Sure people who never owned an iphone/ipod touch would still buy it for it's novelty, unfortunately for us who has been with Apple since the early iphone/ipod days, the iPad is a major technological let down. Maybe we have pinned our hopes on Apple too highly?