So you may have heard that Apple announced the iPad. If you haven’t seen what this new fangled gadget is, I suggest you go watch Apple’s hype video.
It’s a beautiful gadget and Apple does a hell of a job selling it. But is it right for me? Will it replace my current Dell Mini 9 netbook? My gut reaction was: “Yes. Netbooks are doomed.” However, after some time to digest and get away from Apple’s marketing talk, I don’t think I’d get one. Even if it is just $499.99 USD.
If my vision for my netbook was exactly as the Apple video depicted, then I would gladly pick one up on release day. Unfortunately, that’s not how I use my netbook at all. I use Adobe Flash. I do more than type one line e-mails. I open multiple programs at once and toggle between them. I also open up my netbook and have it face me in the morning while eating breakfast.
Since the iPad is essentially a bigger and faster iPod Touch, it doesn’t do any of that — at least not by itself. Apple could address the Adobe Flash and multitasking hurdles since it’s software, but what about the hardware hurdles? Those can be addressed with potentially costly accessories.
If I wanted to type with a keyboard, I can with the Bluetooth enabled keyboard or this dock below. It’s not ideal since I doubt I can use this when I’m on the toilet or sitting in bed, but it’s a physical keyboard.
If I wanted to have the iPad stand up and face me, I could use this snazzy case:
As you can see, I could augment some accessories to the iPad and transform it into something resembling how I use my Dell Mini 9 — a netbook with a smidgen of productivity. But a resemblance isn’t sufficient. While my netbook doesn’t feature a fancy touchscreen display or an accelerometer, it still fulfills the key roles the iPad fulfills and then some. I don’t need to buy accessories or hope for manufacturers to rectify the device’s software shortcomings. It does nearly everything I want already and that’s why I won’t get one.
It sure is sexy though.