A guy asked if I’m buying an iPad this weekend. Certainly not, I said. For the reasons listed last night/today by N.Y. Times tech correspondent David Pogue. Which I’ve pasted below. No camera, no mutitasking, no flash, no USB receptacles, etc.
The guy mentioned, however, that “under the glass of the units that are shipping this weekend is a hole built specifically for a camera to be fit into the current device. Between that and other postings on the rumor sites for camera tech jobs at Apple, there’s no question that there will be a camera built into the next version.
That’s fine, I told him, but I’m waiting for version 3.0, not 2.0. Nobody with a connected laptop and a 3G iPhone really needs this thing. Not until 2012, I’m thinking.
There are two iPad models — wifi-only and wifi plus 3G cellular service. The one that goes on sale this weekend is wifi-only, but the one with 3G data will start selling in about a month for an extra $130 a pop. If you get the wifi-only, there will be no “internet everywhere” ability that people have on their iPhones right now.
Pogue’s shit list reads as follows:
“The Apple iPad is basically a gigantic iPod Touch.
“It’s a half-inch-thick slab, all glass on top, aluminum on the back. Hardly any buttons at all — just a big Home button below the screen. It takes you to the Home screen full of apps, just as on an iPhone.
“One model gets online only in Wi-Fi hot spots ($500 to $700, for storage capacities from 16 to 64 gigabytes). The other model can get online either using Wi-Fi or, when you’re out and about, using AT&T’s cellular network; that feature adds $130 to each price.
“You operate the iPad by tapping and dragging on the glass with your fingers, just as on the iPhone. When the very glossy 9.7-inch screen is off, every fingerprint is grossly apparent.
“There’s an e-book reader app, but it’s not going to rescue the newspaper and book industries (sorry, media pundits). The selection is puny (60,000 titles for now). You can’t read well in direct sunlight. At 1.5 pounds, the iPad gets heavy in your hand after awhile (the Kindle is 10 ounces). And you can’t read books from the Apple bookstore on any other machine — not even a Mac or iPhone.
“When the iPad is upright, typing on the on-screen keyboard is a horrible experience; when the iPad is turned 90 degrees, the keyboard is just barely usable (because it’s bigger). A $70 keyboard dock will be available in April, but then you’re carting around two pieces.
“At least Apple had the decency to give the iPad a really fast processor. Things open fast, scroll fast, load fast. Surfing the Web is a heck of a lot better than on the tiny iPhone screen — first, because it’s so fast, and second, because you don’t have to do nearly as much zooming and panning.
“But as any Slashdot reader can tell you, the iPad can’t play Flash video. Apple has this thing against Flash, the Web’s most popular video format; says it’s buggy, it’s not secure and depletes the battery. Well, fine, but meanwhile, thousands of Web sites show up with empty white squares on the iPad — places where videos or animations are supposed to play.
“YouTube, Vimeo, TED.com, CBS.com and some other sites are converting their videos to iPad/iPhone/Touch-compatible formats. But all the news sites and game sites still use Flash. It will probably be years before the rest of the web’s videos become iPad-viewable.
“There’s no multitasking, either. It’s one app at a time, just like on the iPhone. Plus no U.S.B. jacks and no camera. Bye-bye, Skype video chats. You know Apple is just leaving stuff out for next year’s model.
“The bottom line is that you can get a laptop for much less money — with a full keyboard, DVD drive, U.S.B. jacks, camera-card slot, camera, the works. Besides: If you’ve already got a laptop and a smartphone, who’s going to carry around a third machine?”