Bird Stream

Entrepreneurship, development and (sometimes) cycling, often simultaneously, mainly in Nottingham

iPad - It's a Netbook Yes but the Screen Is the Key

Like much of the tech community on twitter I was left a little non-plussed by the launch of the iPad but having slept on it I think this could be another killer segment for Apple.
A while ago I bought a netbook (Dell Mini 10v) and installed OSX with the help of the community on http://www.mydellmini.com/forum/.

It solved many problems, giving me a lightweight email and internet device I could take anywhere and was synced with my main machine without fuss. At £200 I was also less precious about it than my MacBook Pro.

In use though it’s been too much of a compromise. It just felt small and claustrophobic using it. There was no joy and the trackpad was a real pain to use. Couple that with the enormous battery I had to use to get close to a days use out of it and it really wasn’t the portable lovely befitting OSX.

The iPad looks like the answer to my original requirement, lightweight, fast, excellent battery life and automatically synced. Perfect.

Well almost.
I’m really surprised that they didn’t include at least an SD card reader in the device let alone a single USB port for exchanging pictures and other files. It is running iWork after all.

Having to keep a couple of connectors in your bag really isn’t elegant and in truth is going to be downright irritating.
I understand that it’s more about content consumption rather than creation but this device is perfect for taking on trips that don’t warrant the full laptop paraphernalia. I want to take pictures and share them or update documents and give them to people.
Yes you can email or exchange over Bonjour but that is a whole lot more hassle than transporting on a the now near ubiquitous USB drives.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to resist buying one and I will certainly get the camera connection kit but that will be grudgingly and will tarnish the whole experience.

But, I don’t think the story ends there.

The iPad is a great alternative to netbooks, despite it missing a couple of slots, but it also sports the biggest multi-touch screen on the market.

Couple that 10 inches of tactile gorgeousness with the ingenuity of the app developers already working on the iPhone platform and some amazing use cases and applications are going to materialise over the coming months.

I wouldn’t be surprised if much of the innovation comes out of the enterprise sector. Tablet PCs never took off because they were bulky and still tied to the desktop metaphor.
The iPhone OS is built to touch, couple that with the lightweight portability and suddenly it looks like the team at Apple have delivered on Bill Gate’s vision.

I for one am quite excited and devoting offline brain cycles to exploring the possibilities.

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