For the last couple of days, I’ve been in the company of masses of the technorati here at eComm. Many of them are carrying Apple’s latest gadget – the iPad. I won’t lie. iPad is very pretty. It has definitely caught my eye, and because of delays in delivering the iPad to Canada, I came down here intending to check it out and perhaps… buy one.
Not this trip, I’m afraid. I’ve seen the iPad, I’ve played with it, and I won’t be buying one… yet. It just doesn’t do enough for me to justify the expense.
The positives: I was blown away by its utility as a media consumption device. Books (Apples iBook, and Amazon’s Kindle) were fantastic. Video was equally incredible, although I was surprised to see that YouTube videos weren’t available in high definition. Music was wonderful as well, and the newspaper experience on USA Today and the Wall Street Journal was fabulous. Gaming was cool as well.
The negative (yes, there’s one overarching negative) was the keyboard. The on screen keyboard is a duplicate of the iPhone keyboard – four rows of keys, instead of five. It eliminates the number keys and many of the punctuation marks, moving them to a secondary pop-up activated by pressing a button like the shift key on the lower left side of the keyboard. That’s a great solution in the display constrained iPhone environment, which is designed around thumb typing, but a crappy solution on a device the size of the iPad which purports to be able to support touch typists. You can’t touch type on a non-standard keyboard!
Apple’s failure on the keyboard impacts every content creation application on iPad from email to word processing, presentations and spreadsheets. Unfortunately, I cannot justify spending $600 on a device solely for content consumption. Too much of my usage on a portable device is content creation, not consumption.
A big disappointment. I am glad I had a chance to play with it before making a decision to buy.