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Handhelds Portables Power Apple Hardware

Apple iPad Reviewed 443

Posted by samzenpus
from the under-the-hood dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Since the iPad's initial introduction back in January, many of us still wonder why we should drop hundreds of dollars for what is termed as a large iPod. Missing features like support for multitasking, a built-in camera for video chats, and Flash support in Safari only add to the dilemma. However, a recently published review of the iPad starts to clear up these doubts. To begin with, the iPad is packing some real quality gear under the hood. Even though the in-house-designed 1GHz A4 chip got little official comment from Apple, the touch screen's instantaneous responses prove that it is outstandingly fast. Furthermore, the iPad runs iPhone OS 3.2, and is currently the only device that runs this version of the operating system. iPad's graphics capabilities come from a PowerVR SGX GPU, similar to the one found in the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch. It can render about 28 million polygons/second, which is more powerful than the Qualcomm Snapdragon found in devices like the HTC HD2. Also, iPad's extraordinary battery life is not just a myth. According to the lab tests, the battery netted a respectable 9 hours and 25 minutes, very close to Apple's claims of 10 hours."
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Apple iPad Reviewed

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:24AM (#31698074)

    Let me ask you something in advance of the inevitable comments, for a chance: do you complain because the firmware in your TV set, microwave oven, and dishwasher is "locked down," too?

    • by munehiro (63206) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:26AM (#31698084) Journal

      yes.

      In particular when it decides to accelerate.

      • by buswolley (591500) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:34AM (#31698128) Journal
        Apple Fools!!!
      • Pointless banter aside I would like to simply point out that UI responsiveness is not an indicator performance. Let alone a metric to use in judging the devices processor!
        • by adeelarshad82 (1482093) * on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:38AM (#31698148) Homepage
          Actually for tablets it is a big indicator given that they don't really run multiple applications that we can test them out on. What the good responsiveness shows is that the chip is capable to running the OS very smoothly.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by HateBreeder (656491)

            Actually for tablets it is a big indicator given that they don't really run multiple applications that we can test them out on.

            I would argue this is only a limitation on apple device.

            Furthermore, you say:

            What the good responsiveness shows is that the chip is capable to running the OS very smoothly.

            But not more than that. You can't possibly begin to compare processors through UI responsiveness when they're running different operating systems.

            • by Serious Callers Only (1022605) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @04:14AM (#31698590)

              I would argue this is only a limitation on apple device.

              You're wrong. It's a limitation on Palm devices [softsailor.com], it's a problem with Android [laptopmag.com], it can be a problem with Windows Mobile [t-mobile.com]. It's therefore very very important for a mobile device that the interface doesn't feel laggy, and it's not a trivial problem.

              But not more than that. You can't possibly begin to compare processors through UI responsiveness when they're running different operating systems.

              As an end user, that's exactly what you'll do. You don't care about the particular processor, what you care about is whether the device you have in your hand is responsive and performs well - that's a combination of lots of factors, and it's perfectly valid to compare different devices based on their UI responsiveness, and attribute some of the speed to the processor (not all, but some).

              • by pcolaman (1208838) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @06:16AM (#31699002)

                You are referring to one specific Android device (and a poorly designed one at that) while my phone (the Droid) is both extremely speedy (more so than my iPod Touch) and does multitasking with ease. And no where in that article that you linked to was there a mention that the Android Tablet could not multitask, only that it was sluggish. Try reading articles before you throw them up as links of evidence to FUD claims.

        • by gnasher719 (869701) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:13AM (#31698300)

          Pointless banter aside I would like to simply point out that UI responsiveness is not an indicator performance. Let alone a metric to use in judging the devices processor!

          No, but it is an indicator of UI responsiveness, which for the prospective customers is the most important performance indicator. Well, that and the ability of playing video and music without stuttering.

          • by Jurily (900488) <jurily&gmail,com> on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:36AM (#31698414)

            No, but it is an indicator of UI responsiveness, which for the prospective customers is the most important performance indicator.

            I wish someone could tell that to the designers of modern operating systems.

            I'm serious. If MS-DOS has a faster response time on 4 MHz than your OS on a dual core, you fucked up.

    • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @04:01AM (#31698532)

      Let me ask you something in advance of the inevitable comments, for a chance: do you complain because the firmware in your TV set, microwave oven, and dishwasher is "locked down," too?

      If any of them were TCP/IP or network enabled then, yes, I would.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jedidiah (1196)

        This whole "but would you want to tinker with your TV" argument is pure nonsense
        because it much like common arguments about Free Software in general ignores the
        fact that a device that can be tinkered with can be tinkered with by the PROFESSIONAL
        OF YOUR CHOICE. This sort of accessability is what allows you to go to the mechanic
        or repair man of your choice when something breaks.

    • by thrawn_aj (1073100) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @04:55AM (#31698728)

      Let me ask you something in advance of the inevitable comments, for a chance: do you complain because the firmware in your TV set, microwave oven, and dishwasher is "locked down," too?

      You're right. Considering that the tablet in question is about as versatile as the appliances you mentioned, I now have no complaints about it being locked down. Just lock it away somewhere and my joy will be complete.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Let me ask you something in advance of the inevitable comments, for a chance: do you complain because the firmware in your TV set, microwave oven, and dishwasher is "locked down," too?

      Actually, my microwave oven firmware includes a section of recipes. It would be nice to be able to add my own (or replace theirs with mine if there isn't room for more). It also has a bunch of built-in settings for cooking or reheating various named food. It would be nice to be able to add to these or replace them to better match what I eat.

      The dishwasher could also use a little bit of hacking. The instructions tell me to run the hot water at the faucet nearest the dishwasher until the water gets hot, then

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @07:42AM (#31699478) Journal
      That depends: "Locked down" in the sense of "burned into some embedded microcontroller with no realistic update mechanism other than some obscure JTAG procedure or physical replacement of the controller board", isn't a big deal. As long as it works, and there are no nasty pricing tricks, it's just another part.

      "Locked down" in the sense of "Perfectly good general-purpose computer, specifically and intentionally crippled, dedicating cryptographic resources to keeping me from doing what I want with the stuff I bought", yes, I would in fact complain.

      Of the devices you mention, only certain fairly recent TVs meaningfully fall into that category. A number of them have ethernet, some sort of embedded OS, widgets, some degree of streaming media capability. Yeah, I'd object to their being lockdown restrictions in my way.
  • So it is... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:25AM (#31698078)

    "Missing features like support for multitasking, a built-in camera for video chats, and Flash support"... "the iPad runs iPhone OS 3.2" ... "PowerVR SGX GPU, similar to the one found in the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch" ...

    So it IS just a large ipod!

    • by Vectormatic (1759674) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:29AM (#31698102)

      i didn't know ACs now have a built-in post delay of three months...

    • Portal (Score:5, Funny)

      by AlpineR (32307) <wagnerr@umich.edu> on Thursday April 01, 2010 @06:45AM (#31699098) Homepage

      It's a real shame about the missing webcam. They'd make such nice portals if they had them:

      Put two iPads back-to-back. You could see right through them.

      Put two iPads on opposite sides of a wall. Instant window.

      Mount an iPad in the kitchen; mail another to grandma and grandpa. An intergenerational wormhole for family to stay in touch.

      Mash up a classroom full of iPads with chat roulette. Try to figure out who's match with whom. Turn to face a neighbor to make the longest continuous viewing path.

      Two iPads, one bed. Fun views for you and your partner.

    • by DWIM (547700) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @08:16AM (#31699714)

      So it IS just a large ipod!

      My daughter calls it an iTouch for fat people!

    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday April 01, 2010 @08:27AM (#31699784)
      I don't know why I'm buying it. I don't know what I will use it for. I just know that somehow it will make me cooler and more hip.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by King_TJ (85913)

      That's the irony of this whole thing, I guess. You've got so many people trying to explain why the iPad is *not* "just a large iPod touch", yet hardware-wise, that's exactly what it is. The differentiating factor really comes down to the software, though. If you look at it that way, then it's not "just a large iPod touch" after all. Your iPod touch can't run a version of Apple's "Pages" word processing application, nor can it run Keynote presentation software. It doesn't have a nice book-reader applica

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ceoyoyo (59147)

        It *IS* a big iPod touch. And, as you point out, that's going to be pretty cool.

  • April 1st (Score:4, Funny)

    by Pessimist+Cynic (1587497) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:26AM (#31698086)
    The IPad being a good buy? That's an OK April 1st joke but you could have done better, Slashdot.
  • by Daetrin (576516) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:27AM (#31698090)
    "Also, iPad's extraordinary battery life is not just a myth. According to the lab tests, battery netted a respectable 9 hours and 25 minutes, very close to Apple's claims of 10 hours."

    *sigh* Guess we have to wait until after April Fools' Day to get a real review.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, it's for real. Walt Mossberg, David Pogue, and Andy Ihnatko were able to push or exceed 11 hours of usage. (reviews from before April 1)

      http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20100331/apple-ipad-review/

  • right. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Adambomb (118938) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:28AM (#31698096) Journal

    I guess this makes the news "Apple iPad contains specs Apple claimed it would have!"?

    then again i guess its the 1st already.

  • Ok, so this is what I got from reading that short: well, this doesn't really address any of the concerns people have mentioned, but it's super duper powerful. Wheee!

    I still don't quite get it myself and wouldn't buy one, but I guess its hard to speculate how the market will react.

    • Re:Ok, so... (Score:4, Informative)

      by julesh (229690) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:01AM (#31698240)

      Ok, so this is what I got from reading that short: well, this doesn't really address any of the concerns people have mentioned, but it's super duper powerful.

      Except, you know, the average netbook has a processor that's 50% faster, 150% more storage capacity, a screen about 10% larger, plus the option of using a keyboard if you'd rather not play with handwriting recognition. Oh, and most have cameras, and quite a few have longer battery life.

      • Re:Ok, so... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AaronW (33736) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:13AM (#31698296) Homepage

        At least for me I think I'll stick with my netbook as well. I tend to use the USB ports and built-in SDHC slot on it quite a bit for things like copying photos off of my camera, burning DVDs, etc. I also tend to make heavy use of multitasking. It's nice when I can just plug a 500GB drive into one port and my camera into the other and copy several GB worth of photos off.

        Add to this that the netbook is significantly cheaper than the iPad.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Vectormatic (1759674)

        Except, you know, the average netbook has a processor that's 50% faster, 150% more storage capacity, a screen about 10% larger, plus the option of using a keyboard if you'd rather not play with handwriting recognition. Oh, and most have cameras, and quite a few have longer battery life.

        For half the price...

        anyway, i dont get the hubbub about it being powerfull, i mean, device three times more expensive then ipod, more powerfull then ipod, who'da thunk it?

        and im reading the review right now, the guy is actually writing about the mail app as if it is new "i cant seem to acces the gmail chat function in the mail app" well no shit sherlock..

      • Re:Ok, so... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hitmark (640295) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:20AM (#31698340) Journal

        50% faster? i think atom and cortex-A8 benchmark closer then that.

        while the storage space is bigger on a netbook, its a HDD. I morn the loss of SSD from most netbooks today, because they need the room for windows. Using SSD in a netbook rather then a HDD made those small computers a fair bit more rugged.

        no comment on the screen size.

        there is a keyboard dock (basically a combo of the normal dock/stand and the usual apple keyboard without a numpad). Yes, it results in the ipad standing in portrait mode. However, if one is using the ipad to hammer out documents, a portrait ratio may actually make sense, as thats bascially the same shape as the paper it may be printed onto.

        if it was not for apples bonehead insistence on only allowing programs to be had via the app store, and other ball and chain measures, i may actually have grabbed one. I can see it sitting on a desk or table, either for typing or basically as a expensive photo frame, but that one can at any moment grab for looking some info up while on the bed or sofa. If it had a webcam, or could have a usb webcam attached, it may act nicely as a video phone as well.

        still, all this seems to be available in the archos 8 home tablet, so maybe i will buy that instead. I just worry that they will require me to fiddle with a charger attachment each time i set it down, rather then just pop it into some stand that also provides charging.

      • Re:Ok, so... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by znu (31198) <znu.public@gmail.com> on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:22AM (#31698356)

        If you can really look at the iPad and think Apple should have just shipped a netbook, then not only have you completely missed the point, but the next 10 years of computer industry evolution are going to be very confusing for you, as the mainstream market increasingly ignores the tech specs that geeks obsess over in favor of user experience considerations that are far more relevant to normal users.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mdwh2 (535323)

          not only have you completely missed the point, but the next 10 years of computer industry evolution are going to be very confusing for you, as the mainstream market increasingly ignores the tech specs that geeks obsess over in favor of user experience considerations that are far more relevant to normal users.

          Where to start?

          1. Please drop the "geeks versus normal users" argument. The point you are missing is that it's only among geeks that there is the obsession. Among normal people, they (Macs, Iphones, and

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Americano (920576)

            But if the Iphone is anything to go buy, the sad fact is that even if it's a niche product in the market, you'll still be here talking as if they're the market leader.

            So you think that building to the #3 share (~14% of the smartphone market [cnet.com]) in just 2 years, with a single product line (contrast with the multitude of RIM & Nokia devices) makes someone a "niche" player? That's an odd definition of niche.

            Yes, there are normal users who only care about being hip, but plenty of normal users do care about

      • Re:Ok, so... (Score:5, Informative)

        by nneonneo (911150) <spam_hole@NOSPAm.shaw.ca> on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:35AM (#31698408) Homepage

        Hmm, I think this comparison of netbooks [wikipedia.org] wants to disagree with your claims.

        As listed in the table, most netbooks have substantially less than 10 hours of battery life, (indeed, only three entries out of 35 with published battery life estimates have an operational life of more than 10 hours), have a screen resolution of 1024x600 (which is *less* than the iPad's 1024x768), and, excluding the less-than-5" netbooks, weigh substantially more than the iPad's 1.5lb. Most are running 1.0 to 1.6GHz Intel Atoms, which aren't directly comparable with a 1 GHz ARM chip, so I can't comment on the "50% faster".

        The iPad also doesn't use handwriting recognition for English (it's a standard QWERTY touchscreen keyboard), and you have the option of using a wireless Bluetooth (full) keyboard as well (this option doesn't even require any additional hardware beyond the keyboard).

        So, I'd have to say that on several fronts, your argument about netbooks fails. Care to demonstrate what your "average" netbook looks like? Perhaps you'd also like to tell me how much it weighs, and what its actual battery life is like?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by snowgirl (978879)

          So, I'd have to say that on several fronts, your argument about netbooks fails. Care to demonstrate what your "average" netbook looks like? Perhaps you'd also like to tell me how much it weighs, and what its actual battery life is like?

          I think he's mistaking Netbooks for what he wishes the Apple iPad were.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        50% faster? At what? Performing benchmarks? Running bloated operating systems?

        And what about the quality of the screen? Do any netbooks have IPS LCD screens?

  • by edittard (805475) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:32AM (#31698110)

    Even though the in-house-designed 1GHz A4 chip got little official comments from Apple; touch screen's instantaneous responses prove that it is outstandingly fast.

    A semicolon splice? You don't see many of those around.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:34AM (#31698132)

    The built-in speaker gets fairly loud and provides decent sound. There's no bass response, but the small grille houses both a left and right speaker.

    Since the disco era, there has been this constant push for more bass, to the point where the drive to get lower has become a caricature of itself in places like Miami and Los Angeles. True audio lovers know bass is only one aspect of a rich audio experience.

    So when I hear that Apple is turning bass way back, I know they are answering the prayers of audiophiles. Finally a company with the balls to do the right thing.

    Thank you Apple!

  • Touch (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CaptnMArk (9003) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:37AM (#31698144)

    Personally, I find that I am slowly developing an RSI type problem wrt touchpads and touchscreens, preventing extensive use. Anyone else?

    • by Eyeball97 (816684) *

      Personally, I find that I am slowly developing an RSI type problem wrt touchpads and touchscreens, preventing extensive use. Anyone else?

      Indeed. I notice my hands cramp up a lot faster on my Storm II than they did on my Bold 9700. I thought it was just me...

  • Better reviews here (Score:5, Informative)

    by Renderer of Evil (604742) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:39AM (#31698152) Homepage

    Andy Ihnatko's Sun Times review [suntimes.com] + Unboxing [youtube.com]

    Xeni Jardin's Boing Boing review [boingboing.net]

    Goatberg's WSJ review [allthingsd.com]

    Baig's USA Today review [usatoday.com]

    and Pogue's awkward review for NYT [nytimes.com]

    • by tingeber (1129619) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @04:59AM (#31698742)
      From Pogue's review (emphasis mine):

      the iPad is not a laptop. It’s not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it — books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on.

      I think he hit the nail on the head there.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sammyF70 (1154563)

      Hmmm I checked those, and the original article. Even though the articles all claim the iPad is a complete success in their title, the rundown is mostly "it looks great, it feels great, it really runs 9-12 hours but it's an iTouch XL and it's NOT a kindle killer (too heavy). You can't really do much with it, apart from playing games ( "great colours by the way"), browsing, due to lack of Flash is very often frustrating, and the virtual keyboard look fine but plan on buying the extra keyboard dock and carry i

  • by fan of lem (1092395) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:42AM (#31698160) Journal

    In the realm of electronic music production, the iPad is showing a lot of promise [createdigitalmusic.com].

    This is sort of a big deal amongst electronic musicians, as before the iPad the only similar alternative was the US$2,000+ Jazzmutant Lemur [wikipedia.org].

    • by hitmark (640295)

      given the track record apple products have with artists of all stripes (and the wannabe artists), color me unsurprised.

    • I think if you're an experimental musician, or willing to use it as a gimmick, the iPad could be useful.

      However, compared to a real musician's workflow, the iPad is just a toy. Yes, sooner or later someone will come up with a halfway decent sequencer app for the iPad. But it will always pale in comparison to the openness of real sequencers. There are just some things that will not work well on the iPad, without extreme effort. Just to name a few:

      1. File-management to access and organize real sample
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by curunir (98273) *

      They could also be great for musicians who play traditional instruments.

      As a pianist, I'd love to have sheet music that I can advance to the next page with a simple touch of the screen. Turning physical pages doesn't take long, but it's noticeable when the time spent is time you're not playing. I've grown accustomed to memorizing the beginnings of pages up until a point where one hand is unused, but some pieces don't have those breaks and that only works for pieces I've played a few times. If I could speed

  • AAAH!!! (Score:4, Funny)

    by bain_online (580036) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:44AM (#31698172) Homepage Journal
    But does it run Linux ?
    * ducks *
  • No Flash (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This isn't a missing feature. It's a bug fix.

  • For all I care it can have a Ferrarri F1 car under its skin ... I mean, who cares if it doesn't do anything particulary usefull?

    • Re:So what? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by joh (27088) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:00AM (#31698236)

      Well, if what you're doing is reading Slashdot and posting one-liners, it should work fine for that.

    • For all I care it can have a Ferrarri F1 car under its skin ... I mean, who cares if it doesn't do anything particulary usefull?

      Because it doesn't do anything particularly useful really fast!

      Actually, most of the world's population don't do anything particularly useful either. So a device that doesn't do anything particularly useful is an ideal gift for them.

  • """
    Furthermore, the iPad runs iPhone OS 3.2, and is currently the only device that runs this version of the operating system.
    """

    Because 3.2 > 3.1.

  • by joocemann (1273720) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:06AM (#31698260)

    When you buy into closed systems, you put money into the hands of people who will perpetuate closed systems. As a result, more advertising, sneaky (I say that because its closed) innovation, and influence is produced and then the culture of computer use trends further in that direction...

    Many forces right now are interested in producing limited/closed systems, and furthermore very thin 'clients' that would have the majority if the processing and data storage done in the cloud. Nevermind that you are limited by the permissions inherent to the construct of the closed system -- and subject to the inevitable "nickle and dime" pay/fees attached.

    Buying into this junk is a way of voting with your money for a future that has more of it. I'm pretty happy with the freedoms I enjoy in computing. Right now, computing is still kind-of a 'wild west' of sorts, with many freedoms still open and available. As have many other aspects of life, the power of the susceptible consumer buying into bad ideas has led to the limitation of access to variety/possibilities/alternatives; that which is not mainstream loses its ground and at some point has no platform to present from.

    Think for yourself. Do you want a 'computer' that only allows you to do what they want you to do? Do you want people who offer this to get your money and drive the market further in that direction?

    • by Bongo (13261) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:31AM (#31698380)

      It is a fair point but it also applies to closed software where you don't get the source. It applies to any product that was created for a market where the purchaser simply wanted a ready made thing that just does certain things. Most people don't design their own house, design their own plumbing, grow their own food, prescribe their own medicines, build their own cars, and so on. Most people don't even bake their own bread. We have people and companies that specialise in these things, and because we delegate the work to them, they have more control over it than we do. We get to choose to some extent whether to buy it, but on the whole, if you want open computer systems, you'll need to explain to people why it is more advantageous and worth their time, to learn to use them. The app store basically removes most of the sys admin tasks that a person might have to otherwise do. People drive down the motorway, discover they're almost out of petrol, and in two minutes, tap tap they've found and installed and run an iPhone app that'll tell them where to find petrol. It is closed, but it fucking works.

    • by itsdapead (734413) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:38AM (#31698420)

      Think for yourself. Do you want a 'computer' that only allows you to do what they want you to do?

      If you want a general purpose, programmable computer, don't buy an iPad. Nobody is forcing you. I see plenty of uses for one which don't involve running much beyond the standard software.

      If I want to do more than that, I have a "real" Mac (something upon which the iPad also depends).

      Now, the moment Apple try to "close" the Mac, I'll drop them like a ton of bricks for PC/Linux, but currently the Mac scores pretty high on openness.

      Meanwhile, if you want to run your own software on the iPad its simple: forget the App store and code whatever the hell you like in loverly open standards-based HTML5/ECMAScript/SVG and host it on your Real Computer. Practical upshot: odds are your "cloud" apps will also be compatible with anything running a half-decent browser.

      ...and I love the way that the slashdot group mind treats Flash as the spawn of Satan and destroyer of worlds until Apple leaves it out (and, consequently, persuades a number of large video sites to switch to standards-based HTML5 video).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Exitar (809068)

      And when you buy into open phones, you either get incompatible devices like Android (http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/02/23/1616221) or *cough cough* Openmoko.
      I prefer to put my money into something that works well and not into a "RMS approved" device.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:13AM (#31698304)

    Even though the in-house-designed 1GHz A4 chip got little official comments from Apple; touch screen's instantaneous responses prove that it is outstandingly fast.

    I'm sure Apple engineered the entire chip, including the ARM core, which is the reason why it's so fast. Actually, I'm not sure. Designing a modern pipelined cpu is extremely difficult, especially one that is fast and low power. ARM (the company) designs and implements their own cpu's, including the Verilog/VHDL source for the actual layout, along with some hand optimization at the synthesis stage. They then sell this to Apple/Philips/Qualcomm, who add the peripherals and then fab the actual silicon itself. Apple isn't going to reinvent the wheel by reimplementing an entire cpu. They're going to buy the core from ARM at a cheaper price than what they could do themselves. Apple is not the only one that wants a fast and low power arm core: everyone does. ARM already employs the best people to do this, they know the most about their own cores, they've had the most experience, and they are the ones most interested in doing it, so they can sell it to pretty much everyone. (How many arm cpu's are around you? More than you think. WAY more than you think.) Anyways, don't give credit to Apple for the fast ARM cpu, they most likely just bought the core from ARM, who did most of the engineering, and Apple added some other on chip stuff and had the chip manufactured.

    Now I get to watch this modded into oblivion after I spent 5 minutes writing it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)

      If you haven't been paying attention, Apple bought PA Semi [wikipedia.org] two years ago. Steve Jobs himself announced that PA Semi would design chips for Apple.

      ARM (the company) designs and implements their own cpu's, including the Verilog/VHDL source for the actual layout, along with some hand optimization at the synthesis stage. They then sell this to Apple/Philips/Qualcomm, who add the peripherals and then fab the actual silicon itself. Apple isn't going to reinvent the wheel by reimplementing an entire cpu. They're

  • How much RAM? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by black_lbi (1107229) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @04:10AM (#31698572)
    Really, does anybody have the slightest idea? Is it 256 MiB, like the 3GS?
  • by LordFolken (731855) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @05:02AM (#31698758)

    Is that they have a very clear idea of what their users do with their products. Not because they leave it up to their users to decide, but because they tell them.

    Here is your powerbook.. with it you can videochat and edit your holiday photos.

    They are doing the same with the ipad: http://www.apple.com/ipad/features/ [apple.com]

    They take the application and then very much optimize the hell out of the application until it fits perfectly to the device its running on.

    Other manufactures just build a tablet. And this is why this product will be a success.

    Please not i'm not an apple fanboi. I don't even own any of their products.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by indiechild (541156)

      It's the basic tenets of good usability/UX design. You don't ask your users exactly what they want/need, because often they don't have a clear idea in the first place. So you do lots of testing and research to figure out what to put in. Iterate and refine the hell out of it. Ruthlessly cut features which are rarely used.

      A lot of ignorant geeks feel this is a load of bullshit and hence they fear and loathe Apple and other user-centered design companies. Non-geeks have no such hangups, because they instinctiv

  • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @05:36AM (#31698866) Journal

    I own an iPhone and a MacBook Pro (15 inch) and I'm not sure what to make of the iPad. It is certainly an interesting, even a promising device, but I don't see a place for it, not for me at least. I've never been in a situation where I was using my iPhone and thought, "I wish this screen was bigger" AND I didn't have my laptop with me. I can't read for long periods of time on a screen and nothing is as pleasurable (to me) as a real dead tree book so that's out. E-mail is fine on my desktop, laptop, and phone. Watching videos is again a case of either the phone works good enough or my laptop is handy. I don't mind carrying around a laptop so portability isn't a selling point to me.

    On top of all those reasons is the fact that it's just not that compelling in the things that it does do. The home screen is very underwhelming. It's the same as the iPhone which is my biggest complaint. It's just a grid of icons, some of them with various badge indicators for e-mail, SMS, etc. But other than that the screen is just a list of icons that do other things. I look at the Android phones and I'm envious of what they can do--although I dislike them for various reasons too. With the extra horsepower and screen space I was hoping the iPad would do more with the "desktop" screen than just having it be a list of icons, time, battery indicator, signal strength.

    It's a very cool device, certainly. They've put something interesting in a nice looking package. It also has some novel uses like playing games on a large touch screen in that handheld format. Battery life is also very nice. It's just not useful enough and I suspect that there are plenty of other people who feel that way. Regardless, I know it's going to be successful because it's the hot new thing from Apple. And maybe in a few revisions I'll find it worthwhile. I wasn't that impressed with the first gen iPod, but now I'm on my 3rd, fourth if the iPhone counts as one. I see a lot of promise, but this gen-1 device is, to me, a testing ground where Apple will use early adopters to really improve the later revisions and that's when I will be most likely to pick one up if I ever do.

Always think of something new; this helps you forget your last rotten idea. -- Seth Frankel

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