This time about Apple’s latest “game changer”, the tablet PC-thingy, the iPad (something I realise I haven’t actually thought that much about, so I will here). The title of Brooker’s article cracked me up, but it is rather apt for many people, I imagine:
“iPad therefore iWant? Probably. Why? iDunno”
I’m a PC person. Have been all my life. This does not, however, look as if it’ll be the case for much longer. Increasingly, I’m getting frustrated with PCs. Also, it goes without saying that Apple products are really very, very attractive… Sure, not a reason to buy one, but their functionality is certainly unparalleled (living in a postgrad environment, I frequently feel like I’m at a Mac convention, what with all the MacBooks around, glowing Apple emblems adding mood lighting to every room in the university).
Want to download an attachment? On a Mac, it’s as close to instantaneous as the human mind can comprehend. On a PC? Double-click, yes I’m sure, ok have a quick scan, yes download it, ok to that folder, yes I would like to open it, etc…
Anyway, I digress. Back to the iPad. Brooker’s take on the device is pretty blunt:
“Apple pretends it will make your life more efficient. Come off it. It's an oblong box that lights up”
Fair enough. He goes on…
“At first glance it resembles an iPhone in unhandy, non-pocket-sized form. But look a little longer, and… Nope. You were right first time.”
I would, however, still like one. The reasons for me are simple – I read a lot of PDFs: almost all magazines that I subscribe to are digital editions, and I need to read a bundle of articles for my PhD and also tutoring topics. Not having to print them out, and hopefully still be able to highlight and make notes (which you can with Adobe Professional, and I think Mac PDF programs) would be a boon. If I can attach to Wi-Fi and check emails as well, all the better.
Which leads me on to Brooker’s other assessment (emphasis is for best line):
“The iPad falls between two stools – not quite a laptop, not quite a smartphone. In other words, it's the spork of the electronic consumer goods world. Or rather it would be, were it not for one crucial factor: it looks ideal for idly browsing the web while watching telly. And I suspect that's what it'll largely be used for”
Without being able to have a play with one, though, I really don’t know if it will be a game-changer. The scuffle over eBooks that occurred when Apple announced that they were going to have their own eBooks store was also something I’m not on Apple’s side with. The glowing screen of the iPad is unlikely to rival the reading experience of an eReader or Kindle, because it’ll likely cause eye-strain for anyone who does. It’s a backlit computer screen, after all, and not e-ink.
But, who am I kidding? I just want one…