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

    yes.

    In particular when it decides to accelerate.

  • 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.
  • No Flash (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:47AM (#31698192)

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

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:49AM (#31698202) Homepage

    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.

    Before you sing (in stereo) praises of His Jobness, ponder on the concept that the itty bitty micron sized bits of magnets in these 'speakers' couldn't produce bass if they were made of unobtainium. Physics rather than Steve's musical taste dictates this.

  • by YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:55AM (#31698218) Homepage

    Apple has been receiving an extraordinary amount of attention on /. these last years. Apparantly some of \.'s editors are serious Apple fans. Just mod the article binspam or better yet, ignore Apple stories and move on with your life.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Re:Ok, so... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vectormatic (1759674) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:14AM (#31698312)

    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, 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:AAAH!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pandrijeczko (588093) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:32AM (#31698394)

    Oh yeah? So where's the command-line shell then?

  • 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 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:Ok, so... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by snowgirl (978879) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @03:46AM (#31698452) Journal

    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.

  • 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:Multi-tasking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vectormatic (1759674) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @04:08AM (#31698566)

    it's not so much about running multiple apps, as it is about having stuff running in the background. (non-apple stuff that is)

    even on the iphone it would be usefull enough to have a chat app in the background while you are surfing (for people who chat, i dont). Or how about being allowed to chose your own music-streaming app, instead of the ipod app? (which doesnt do streaming). And i'm sure the app-writers out there can think of a bajilion other usefull, new, funny, cool or interesting things running in the background.

  • 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 pandrijeczko (588093) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @04:18AM (#31698608)

    That's a pathetically weak response, I'm sorry to say.

    Firstly, RAM detection is done by the BIOS in the machine, not by the OS.

    Secondly, if you're hinting at the RAM memory limited on 32-bit processors, that's a 3.2GB hardware restriction based around what the CPU can physically address and is the same whether you use 32-bit Windows or 32-bit Linux.

    Other than that, I do recall some memory limitations in Windows 98, something about it having problems running with more than 512MB RAM, but that's an OS from 12 years ago.

    Incidentally, personally I'm more Linux than Windows user these days so I'm no MS fanboi - but I hate seeing incorrect comments from people who clearly have no idea what they're talking about.

  • by Exitar (809068) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @04:31AM (#31698628)

    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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • by dogsolitude_uk (1403267) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @05:19AM (#31698808)
    ORAC, my creaking old Vaio TR1MP, with it's hamster-driven 900Mhz processor and 512 meg of RAM could run Orion beautifully with a couple of instances of Toxic III and a few other VSTis. No glitches, crackles or problems with latency... Fruityloops was a bit more of a chore, as was Ableton, but in general the performance from a small laptop can be damned fine. Plus laptops have USB connectivity for additional soundcards, hard drives and even small USB keyboards, plus they can run existing software/VSTis... Why anyone would want to try and make music on an iPad is completely beyond me. Sounds like a solution in search of a problem.
  • by Serious Callers Only (1022605) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @06:12AM (#31698978)

    The gp was talking about tablet devices, and of those only the iPad from Apple doesn't support multitasking, afaik.

    The iPad does support multitasking various apps (the iPod app, the mail app, Safari), but not third party apps. So if you wanted to test multitasking on it, you could. However that's not really the issue here, performance is the issue, whether multitasking or not.

    Android runs on various tablets, and I suspect Web OS (if it lasts that long) will too. There's a reason tablets tend to run mobile OSs - it's because they're a similar class of device to phones. Netbooks are coming from the other direction, and are yet another distinct category.

    You're talking about mobile touchscreen devices, which is a completely different class of devices.

    I disagree. The iPad is pretty much an iPod touch with a bigger screen, better processor etc. The OS is almost exactly the same, and soon enough they will be exactly the same OS. As far as performance, hardware and UI goes the iPad is far closer to an iPod/iPhone that it is to desktop computers.

    But to drag this back to the point, UI responsiveness is vital to this sort of device (mobile phone, mobile music player, or mobile reading device), and it's a useful metric of quality, far more useful than comparing chips in isolation.

  • by Jurily (900488) <jurily@@@gmail...com> on Thursday April 01, 2010 @06:33AM (#31699048)

    My laptop is 40 times more powerful than a supercomputer when I was born. Is it unrealistic to expect it to display text as fast as I type it in?

  • by Amarantine (1100187) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @06:38AM (#31699064)

    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...

    Agreed. However, the enterprises that you speak of, are also needed to push the technological frontier forward. Intel wouldn't make such powerful cpu's, Nvidia wouldn't make such powerful gpu's, hell, even Creative wouldn't be so succesful in the sound department if it wasn't for companies like Microsoft creating a platform that EA could create games for. And without those cpu's, without faster and bigger hard drives, without dirt-cheap memory, Linux wouldn't have come so far as it is now. You can't do it on your own.

    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.

    Ok, then don't buy into this cloud thing. Your choice. But again, clouds also cost nickles and dimes. I like the idea of doing things in the cloud, but datacenters cost money too, you know. Power, cooling and bandwidth are not free. I learned alot from hosting my own server in a datacenter, and experimented quite a bit with Ubuntu there, but yesterday i picked up my server again, since i have learned enough, and it is just burning my money.

    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.

    Doesn't that go for everything? You can have interesting ideas for a supercar, with far better steering than with a regular steering wheel, but you'll never get it on the road on your own.

    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?

    I *am* thinking for myself, and i don't need others to tell me what are good and bad ideas. Yes, software more and more tries to think what you want, and is adapted to that, Microsoft and Apple do tons of research on those things. You can see that as a negative thing, fine, there is still Linux, and if you don't like something, go and code it yourself. On the positive side, this has enabled far more people to actually *use* the new technologies. As much as i dislike Windows, i have to give credit to His Billness for getting the pc out of the basement back into the living room, because since Windows 95 every housewife can actually use a computer, because clicking on buttons that say "Send Mail" make more sense than entering key commands in mutt.

    Back ontopic: we're not talking here about a computer, but a portable media device. It's an oversize iPod Touch. Not to be confused with real computers from Apple, which run OS X, still a pretty open OS (more open than Windows, at least). I admit i'd rather like the idea of a touchpad with some more functionality, but be honest, Microsoft has tried the road before of just slapping Windows on a tablet, resulting in a laptop without a keyboard. Just applying a desktop os to a tablet, adding a virtual keyboard or whatever, is not the way to tablet computing. Apple went the other direction completely. Something in the middle would be nice, but it isn't there yet. Think Linux can fill that gap? I'd like to see that. Really, i would.

  • Re:Multi-tasking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nursie (632944) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @06:40AM (#31699066)

    what is it you want?

    I'm genuinely interested. I had heard that iPhone tethering was difficult, at least early on.

    I like the physical keyboard, I like the xterm, I like debian derived linux distros. The person I orignally replied to seemed to think similarly.

    And no, I don't give much of a crap why it's not suitable for you or your grandma, it's a superbly geek-friendly phone that (unlike openmoko...) performs very very well.

  • by dudpixel (1429789) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @06:41AM (#31699084)

    Apple was founded on April 1?

    Wow, there's an April Fools Joke gone horribly wrong...

  • by aussersterne (212916) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @06:53AM (#31699138) Homepage

    despite not being in technology for the last decade any longer, I can tell you anecdotally that I can count at least 20-30 iPad purchases from the people that have called me to combined rave about how much they want one and ask if they'd be somehow stupid for buying it.

    You would tell them they are.

    I told them it's probably the best thing for them. Joe Consumer that you mentioned wans a few things:

    1. Facebook
    2. Twitter
    3. World Wide Web
    4. Email
    5. YouTube

    That's pretty damned much it for most of the people that I help with their PCs at home. Yes, many of them use computers to do this or that work, but this stuff they do at work generally comes down either to web browsing or the use of Word/Excel/Powerpoint.

    At home all they way is a way to do #'s 1-5 above. That's it. Yes, they CAN do this on their phone already in many cases, and a lot of them do, but they want a big screen.

    Yes, they really DO want a "bigger iPod Touch." That's exactly what they're hoping it is when they ask me about it. Because the iPod Touch/iPhone does everything they want right now at home, only the screen is too small for extended use while sitting on the couch or eating microwave dinners.

    Slashdot users are so ridiculously out of touch with nontechnical people it's amazing. They imagine "nontechnical people" to be any friends they have that don't case mod and don't game. In fact, there's a whole universe of people out there that is going online every night with a 7-year-old computer that hasn't been upgraded and has never been backed up and that contains a whole bunch of completely random saved images and spyware, and all they do is Facebook+World Wide Web/eShop/YouTube, and that's all they really care to do with their computers.

    The iPad gets them all of this, and it gets them this in a fast, reliable, portable, and much safer way.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday April 01, 2010 @07:24AM (#31699350) Homepage Journal

    Today also happens to be the 34th anniversary of Apple's founding (1976.)

    And if you add the digits in 34 you get 7, which is the number of steps to heaven in the Qabala.

  • Re:Multi-tasking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cheekyboy (598084) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @07:25AM (#31699356) Homepage Journal

    Hey moron,

    1. email notifications.
    2. IM notifications.
    3. alarms
    4. VOIP/Skype incoming calls.
    5. ssh sessions cannot "RESTART" they have to be background active.

    But if you like going back to 1985 Mac OS 6.0, you're welcome.

    Being a hard-ass shit to say, zero multitasking is an easy copout to , ' oh its all too hard, lets avoid it '.

    Yes, lets jailbreak the fuck out of nazi style controls MOFO.

  • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @07:40AM (#31699454) Homepage

    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 start the dishwasher. I'd prefer that the dishwasher just assume that I have not done that, and so instead of assuming that it has instant access to hot water, run the water for about 30 seconds, then drain it, then start the normal cycle.

    As for the TV, that too could use a tweak. It's an LED-backlit LCD, using edge lighting. Even though I have the "dynamic contrast" feature turned off, it still varies the backlight intensity on occasion, and that can be annoying. I would like a setting that says "do not fiddle with the backlight".

  • 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.
  • by Lars T. (470328) <Lars.Traeger@nOsPam.googlemail.com> on Thursday April 01, 2010 @07:52AM (#31699552) Journal

    Which of those devices are tablets? Oh! Apple fanbois and the RDF!

    The Android one most certainly is. Does that mean a "fanboi" is somebody who actually RTFA?

  • Re:AAAH!!! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 01, 2010 @08:25AM (#31699776)

    too bad this implementation treats the user like the company's bitch

  • 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.
  • by Jurily (900488) <jurily@@@gmail...com> on Thursday April 01, 2010 @08:44AM (#31699900)

    Or, MS-DOS isn't indexing my files, grabbing my RSS feeds, making snapshot backups, checking for updates, seeding the iso I downloaded using bittorrent, compositing a desktop, staying logged into chat applications and folding a protein for science in the background.

    And none of these are more important than my time. Sure, they're useful to have in the background, but the priority should always be where the user's attention is.

    your desire for a slightly better performance

    I don't care about performance, I care about UI latency. Whatever I'm doing at the computer only I use is by definition the most important job the computer has at the moment. Shame nobody in the OS design business realizes this.

    even the most bloated (cough, Vista, cough) perform acceptably

    Waiting half a second for my keystroke to appear in the text box is not my definition of "acceptable". Neither is booting in more than 3 seconds.

    Think about it: we all have supercomputers now. While I was writing this post, my computer executed more than 500 BILLION instructions. There should be no need for me to wait for it.

  • Re:Ok, so... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mdwh2 (535323) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @08:50AM (#31699954) Journal

    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 the Ipad) are niche products. Yes, there are normal users who only care about being hip, but plenty of normal users do care about features too - if you really think otherwise, then you are the one suffering from a typical geek fallacy. (Even if they do care about being hip, there's still no reason to choose this device over netbooks, phones or other tablets.)

    2. His argument is not against tablets, but the Ipad. Yes, he picked netbooks as an argument, but there are other tablets too. I'm sure that tablets will become more common in the next 10 years, but only when they are cheaper than the more functional netbooks - it won't be because of Apple.

    3. Ah yes, like someone else in this thread, you adopt the classic Apple tactic of talking in meaningless terms of "user experience considerations". Let's have some evidence of what you mean? Otherwise, my response is:

    "Oh, you're going to find the next 10 years very confusing if you think that the Ipad is going to become more popular than anything else. People are much more interested in user experience, which is better provided by other products, at a lower price".

    See? Like you, I asserted, without making any arguments for my point of view. We might as well say "Ipad sucks! No, Ipad rules!" Do I get my +5 mods now?

    I would say, let's see how well it's sold in a year's time. 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.

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

    by Americano (920576) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @09:43AM (#31700288)

    This is something I could give my grandma, or my deeply tech befuddled mother and just say "Poke the little button with the app and follow the instructions on the screen!" and they know everything they need to know about it.

    On the nose. When I showed my (somewhat tech-phobic) parents my iphone, it was the first time I've ever seen my mother excited by a gadget. Excited enough that she went out that weekend and bought an iphone. Excited enough that she now has about 25 different apps loaded from the iphone store because "I can make my phone do this cool thing, look!"

    If you're ready to dismiss a device that engenders that sort of enthusiasm from non-geek users because "I can't load Seti@Home on it and run it in the background," you're missing the boat. Maybe it's not the device for your technical requirements. But it *is* a device for a large portion of the population that aren't power-users with high-end technical requirements.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @09:47AM (#31700308) Homepage

    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 YttriumOxide (837412) <yttriumox@gmai l . com> on Thursday April 01, 2010 @09:52AM (#31700346) Homepage Journal

    It is an obvious PC pretending to be an appliance.

    I can see where you're coming from, but can't agree still. My day job is as a software developer. I write code that runs on devices you'd probably NEVER think of as "general purpose computers", but in fact are. Specifically, print devices. The print controller of a modern MFP tends to have ASICs for image processing that aren't dissimilar to mid-range graphics chipsets, intel processors, SDRAM, IDE HDDs, and so on. Many run Linux (about 20% of the ones I work with (75% are VxWorks, and the remaining 5% are "misc")) and some even run Windows (last one of those I worked with was XP Embedded). If you work in a corporate office, chances are you've used these things on a daily basis without ever even considering it as a "general purpose PC" - it is for all intents and purposes an appliance.

    I'll grant that the iPad is middle ground there between the two, but the target audience of it is definitely NOT the likes of you or I. It's targetted at people that WANT a "multi purpose appliance", without it being a real PC.

    To be honest, I am actually quite disappointed in it, since I am still waiting for a really nice tablet to come along that I'd be happy using, and had hopes that this might be it until the announcement of the OS and details about it. But I don't get annoyed about these deliberate limitations - they are what they are, and for better or worse it's what Apple decided to do. They don't get you or I as a customer out of it, but I assume they've got a bunch of marketing guys sitting around who knew that people like us wouldn't be interested, and weighted that as a lower value than the number of people they thought the iPad WILL appeal to.

  • Re:Ok, so... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Americano (920576) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @10:01AM (#31700406)

    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 features too - if you really think otherwise, then you are the one suffering from a typical geek fallacy.

    Of course "normal users" care about features. They care about iphone features like: "easy to use," "has the functionality I want," "simple to load apps on," and yes, even "looks pretty." Geeks here get awful frothy about: "Openness," "multitasking," "cut & paste," and "tethering." This is not to say that geeks don't care about some of the same things as "normal users," but it is not a device that is intended to be your one-stop all-purpose whiz-bang science fiction wet dream.

    Geeks are used to being catered to when it comes to gadgets. My personal belief is that they get so off-the-rails upset about Apple products because the new products are generally sexy-looking new pieces of kit that they lust after, and Apple just doesn't care whether or not they like it, because (and here's the rub) the geeks are not the target market for this sexy-looking new gadget.

  • Re:AAAH!!! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 01, 2010 @10:26AM (#31700586)

    But does it run Linux ?

    No, but it runs a full Posix compliant Unix implementation.

    with all of your freedoms stripped away.

  • Re:So it is... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by King_TJ (85913) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @11:08AM (#31700914) Journal

    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 application complete with cool animated turning of virtual paper pages as you swipe it. The iPad also has a vastly superior photo management application to anything seen on the iPod Touch or iPhone. (Oh, and don't forget, Apple has always left out the ability to pair up a bluetooth keyboard or mouse to an iPhone or iPod Touch, but it's officially allowed now on the iPad.)

    I think some people are underestimating the usefulness of simply increasing the size of a multitouch-capable display on one of these devices. The iPod Touch/iPhone sized display creates a lot of limitations. Some applications just aren't practical on a small screen. Ability to put in a larger battery with a longer run-time is another nice "side effect" of making the device larger.

  • Re:I'm stunned. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gknoy (899301) <gknoy@NospAm.anasazisystems.com> on Thursday April 01, 2010 @12:17PM (#31701404)

    What an excellent way to encourage prospective users of VMWare. "Sorry you're too dumb/uneducated, spend bunches of time on training please" basicaly is a direct affirmation of his claim that it doesn't "just work".

    Why is VMWare hard (in your eyes)? It seems like it conceptually ought to be simple to set up and run...

  • by FerociousFerret (533780) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @12:41PM (#31701602)
    I absolutely agree with you. Vista always seemed to put responding to my input as a low priority activity; even lower than System Idle Process. I used to work in the telecom industry. The priority of processes in a telephone switch (which is just a dedicated computer) was highest priority goes to Call Processing (actually making call connections which is the primary function of the switch). Next to highest priority is responding to the maintenance interface (the user terminal). If someone is trying to do something at the terminal, they have a reason and need a response now. Why the OS thinks all these background processes need priority over what I (the user) is trying to do right now is beyond me. All the things mentioned by the GP like indexing, RSS monitoring, checking updates, etc. can wait a millisecond for the UI to respond to the user and will probably not be noticed at all, ever, by the user. Vista was the worst I ever saw an OS do at this. And in just about all users minds, if the UI won't respond, the system must be screwed up, and it is, but by design not by some virus.
  • Re:So it is... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @02:50PM (#31702412)

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

  • by indiechild (541156) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @10:07PM (#31704258)

    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 instinctively know that these kinds of products are better and easier for them to use.

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill

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