back to article A multitasking iPad? Let's bin the netbook

It hasn't taken long for the iPad to be seen as a bit more than a pointless and expensive luxury lifestyle accessory. Just nine weeks - and in that time the hardware spec hasn't changed at all. But last week's iPhone 4.0 preview, which isn't due on the iPad until autumn, already makes it look much more attractive as a netbook …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Greg J Preece

    Deal breakers: price, USB, and Apple's attitude

    You're very much correct that multitasking vastly improves the potential of the iPad. However, it still isn't up to even the technical capabilities of my phone, let alone a decent netbook.

    That aside - the iPad isn't supposed to be a laptop - the big problem for me, in addition to those stated in the article, is Apple themselves. Their attitude regarding the app store, which in itself isn't nearly as open as other platforms' software sources, sucks. As a techie boy, I would not want to have my software choices dictated to me, even in part. If I want to use Opera, Fennec, etc then I bloody well will.

    Again, these won't affect the majority of the population, who will regard the software on the iPad simply as a part of the product. But it would certainly affect me, as well as any existing tablet/netbook users with their own software preferences.

    As for jailbreaking, sod that. I shouldn't have to re-flash an expensive, premium computing device just to be able to install my own choice of software. I wouldn't accept that on a laptop, or a phone, so why should I accept it on a tablet?

    1. Dru Richman


      @Greg J Preece said: 'Their attitude regarding the app store, which in itself isn't nearly as open as other platforms' software sources, sucks. As a techie boy, I would not want to have my software choices dictated to me, even in part.'

      Somehow I don't think most rational people would find the 185,000 programs offered at the Apple app store as anyway 'limiting'

      1. Craigness

        57 channels and nothing on

        That depends on what you mean by "limited". If you are happy to install 10,000 fart apps instead of something you want (Opera or Fennec in this case) then it's not limited. The Apps are limited to those SJ allows you to have - he dictates your choice.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Millions and millions

        By the same measure there are 10s if not 100s of millions of apps for windows machines. The key difference is that I don't have to wait for Steve to approve my windows app, and I'm not at risk of the approval being revoked in the future either.

  2. Chemist

    "but mostly dog slow"

    Perhaps you should run a proper Linux on a netbook - just a thought.

    I, for one wouldn't like to edit code, use a spreadsheet or a host of other things without a keyboard, even a netbook keyboard when traveling - and, no, I don't want an addon.

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Ah yes, Linux on a netbook

      Is a good idea if you want flash to be unusably slow

      1. Chemist

        Re : Ah yes, Linux on a netbook

        Works for me !

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah yes, Linux on a netbook

        Flash? He said he uses his netbook to write code and edit spreadsheets, you know, work.

        Nobody with a serious job actually needs flash for anything. Maybe some self-styled 'web designers' use it in the same way that one might use Asbestos to insulate one's house but that's it. Flash is on life support and the day Youtube embraces HTML5 will effectively be the day the internet "pulls the plug".

        So the 12 year olds won't be able to make and distribute their awful flash games anymore, if that's the price we pay, I for one consider it a bargain.

        1. Si 1

          Flash isn't going anywhere

          As much as I'd like to be rid of Flash, let's be realistic. None of IE6, IE7 and IE8 support HTML5, and even if they did, which codec would they support?

          Until the entire Internet Explorer ecosystem has been decimated and replaced with something that can run HTML5, Flash will continue to be the default choice for any developer looking to maintain platform compatibility. Considering Flash is on 99% of computers and HTML5 is charitably on about 50% and of that 50% there is no consensus on codecs. Why would anyone dump Flash any time soon (no matter how much I wish they would)?

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: Flash isn't going anywhere

            "any developer looking to maintain platform compatibility"

            You sure about that? It might be true for "any developer writing annoying web-based craplets to be used instead of equally portable and significantly faster HTML equivalents", but that's a small group. We heard similar prophecies of "IE6 forever" for a year or so before Opera and Firefox gathered enough market share to make it easier to write portable code rather than explain yet again to your customer base why your site doesn't work in their browser.

            In both cases, there were/are things you could do in the old platform that couldn't be done portably. In both cases, developers found/will-find that they can live without most of those things.

            Flash isn't going anywhere because it is dead.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Flash isn't going anywhere

            To take Youtube as an example, as they are an extremely popular flash based site with a vested interest in pushing Chrome (or just about any other browser except IE really). If they ditched IE support tonight, all IE users would be Chrome users by tomorrow morning.

            They're just waiting for the right time to do it, I'm convinced of it. They're in a position to deal a devastating blow to Microsoft and Adobe in one fell swoop. They WOULD NOT mess that opportunity up by going off half cocked. The time will come though.

      3. Craigness


        It's usably fast for me. Upgrade to iPad if you want it to be unusably absent.

  3. barth

    deal breakers

    1- file transfer. From what I've been reading, it's a major pain to transfer files to/from the iPad. From what I gathered, no removable cards, no USB, no LAN access over wifi nor bluetooth... Basically the iPad doesn't do any kind of LAN ?

    2- BT keyboard and mouse indeed. If i'm doing semi-serious typing, I want a mouse/trackpad/trackpoint/trackball, not touch.

    1. Michael C


      1) The file sharing cloud is being built in NC, USA and will be online soon. Also, OS4 opens this much further. OS 4 was originally planned for the iPad, but is greatly delayed. iTunes file sharing integration was a last minute adjustment to accommodate Os 3.2.

      2) mouse is not required, for an OS designed for multitouch and guestures it in fact would be a huge negative. BT keyboard was available from Day 1 on the iPad, OS 4 brings it to the iPHONE, and that is a mistake in documentation in this article.

    2. Jeremy Chappell


      You don't want a tablet then... Apple have you covered though; MacBook Pro

      There that was easy.

      1. Nexox Enigma

        Re: Mouse

        """Apple have you covered though; MacBook Pro"""

        Yes, that does have a rather nice touch pad (Only place I've ever thought that multi-touch offered anything useful) but I wish they'd include a keyboard instead of that pile of buttons that they think looks better. The real shame is that /every/ manufacturer is copying this crappy idea, so Apple has managed to kill off 90% of laptop options for me.

        And it could stand to use 500g to make it portable. I've previously had 2 laptops (Well a laptop and a netbook...) that combined to weigh less than my 13" MBP, and they each managed the same number of pixels.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Deal breakers

    1) the ability to touch type, can't really do that if you can't feel the keys

    2) lack of 3rd party hardware support, I can't plug in any old mouse and use that

    3) no control over what I want to do with *my* device

    4) no control over what applications I want on my device, I can't fire up VS, test it on an emulator then put it on my device like I can with a netbook/laptop/mobile

    5) no flash support

    6) no silverlight support

    7) no java support

    8) no ability to dual boot Windows/Linux

    9) you fold a netbook, the screen is secured by a big bit of plastic

    10) it's a mobile phone OS, it'll never support hardware which requires driver

    11) no full, proper HD, nor proper widescreen

    12) it's too gimicky

    13) tied in to Safari instead of Opera/Chrome/IE/Firefox

    14) I want to give my money to a monopoly who we know are a monopoly, not one that does monopolistic practises but never gets slammed for it

    15) the features on the iPad will be on the iPhone, if you have one, you don't need two

    16) Apple are mediocre at best when it comes to sound

    17) designed by an art student and not by an engineer

    18) etc..

    1. Adam T

      Fair enough

      I like the iPad, but anyone who thinks it will replace the functionality of a proper laptop is misguided. Hell, you need a computer to use it anyway, which is as good as saying "this is an accessory, not a computer".

      Very cool accessory. Maybe that'll change in five years, but for now, it's not a laptop replacement.

    2. Michael C


      1) i thought the same thing, but i easily type 50wpm on my iPhone. Yes, for extended typing, a BT keyboard on an iPad would be most welcome, but it is not primarily a content generator, it;s an content consumption and editing device. Making the device hermetically sealed by not including a keyboard, thinner and lighter and cheaper as well, is a worthy sacrifice for the few times a keyboard may be required. If you really need that much hard core editing on a portable device, and also require full media playback function, go get a NOTEbook and spend the extra $300-400, that;'s your business case. Stop trying to make the device fit into classifications it is not designed for and select the appropriate device for your needs. Wishing it did this or that doesn't change the fact it;s a media device, not a computer.

      2) There is 3rd party hardware support, through the dock connector and through bluetooth. That said: mouse is useless on a gesture based multitouch OS (you'd need 2 mice!). USB and SD requirements should be rare as well since the cloud and WiFi file access are the intended method for moving data.

      3) you can jailbreak it anytime you want and load all the illegal apps you want, or any that contain identity theft issues or prove completely useless. Apple rejects apps that a) violate carrier contracts, b) violate IP of others, c) steal your information, and d) don't work right. If you want those things, YOU CAN HAVE THEM... NO ONE is stoping you from doing what you want, there are a QUARTER MILLION legally distributed apps, you can also write your own in small groups (up to 100 devices), and you can jailbreak to go beyond.

      4) The emulator costs $100.... yes you can. you can't control what's in the STORE, but you CAN control what you otherwise load from illegitimate sources, apple just refuses to support the OS if you do (well within their rights).

      5) That was a good argument a year ago, not so much today, and it will be completely irrelevant a year from now.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        IT Angle

        Of course you can, but you'll need a can opener

        I do agree that with enough effort and technical know-how, you can make just about any device in existence do just about anything you want.

        But having said that, there is a point to be made: we (the techies who read El Reg et al) do have such skills, but what about the poor sods who just wanna use their new toys the way that _they_ want to?

        With the other choices on the market (i.e. netbooks, laptops, PCs, smartphones, etc.) this kind of freedom of choice is available out-the-box. You don't need to hack or jailbreak anything. If you don't like a piece of software, try something else without any hinderance or restriction. Buy it, try it or even write your own. A similar freedom is available for hardware. USB is difficult to live without these days.

        The iPad has great potential for future usefulness, and I'm keen to see how it evolves. But for now, it's a bit too much of a one-trick pony to really be worth the expense.

    3. ThomH

      There's nothing illegal or inherently wrong with being a monopoly

      The NHS is a state monopoly. Does it upset you that they have monopolistic practices but never get slammed for it?

      I'd suggest you mean a monopoly that is using its weight to artificially suppress competition.

      1. Martin Owens

        Title Required.

        The health system is a social service, not a company selling services in a market place.

        Repeat after me: social and not profitable is not corporate no matter who owns it.

        1. ThomH

          I agree entirely

          "The health system is a social service, not a company selling services in a market place."

          Yes, I was making the point that when the coward said "I want to give my money to a monopoly who we know are a monopoly, not one that does monopolistic practises but never gets slammed for it" he or she clearly wasn't saying what he or she actually meant. You've been willing to take a guess at a distinction that might have been intended, I wasn't willing to.

    4. Jeremy Chappell


      So your problem with this Apple product is that it doesn't run Windows...

      OK, noted.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Deal Breakers

      "2) lack of 3rd party hardware support, I can't plug in any old mouse and use that"

      Absolutely spot on - the first thing (or should that be the second?) I would consider when buying a touchscreen device is 'where can I plug in my mouse?'

  5. jai
    Jobs Halo

    laptops too

    i have a laptop that i use when i'm too lazy to walk into the other room to use the desktop to surf the web or write some emails

    so for me, the appeal of the iPad is even greater since it's far lighter and smaller than my laptop

    my main worry is that it'll reduce the functionality of my iPhone to be just a phone and an iPod. 90% of the apps i'd rather use on the iPad's larger screen

    there are no deal breakers that i can think of yet. if i need to use something that the iPad can't accomodate, i've got a desktop in the other room with all the connectivity and horsepower i'm likely to need... if i can just be bothered to get off the sofa and walk the 10 feet to the desk....

    1. The Original Steve

      Here's one...

      You have an iPhone, a laptop and a desktop. Phone is on you, laptop same room and desktop 10 feet away...

      But spending $600 or whatever the hell it is on something bigger than the phone but less powerful than the laptop isn't a dealbreaker...?

      What recession?

  6. Prag Fest
    Jobs Halo


    Well lookie here, looks like we got ourselves an iPad lover. Get him boys...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It's crap.

    Good looking crap.

    But still crap.

  8. Jimmy Floyd

    "What are your deal breakers?"

    A purpose.

    I don't mind if a particular piece of kit doesn't know what it's for (it might take time to find out) though I do mind paying a premium while the manufacturer works it out.

    Buy first, buy twice. Applies just as easily to a new type of washing machine or TV as a new type of iPod, iPhone or iP(h)ad.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Deal Braker for what ?

    For work (content creation) - too many to mention - about half of A/C 12/4/2010 11:26 's list above (I don't need Silverlight and to dual boot Linux and Windows etc. etc.).

    For home (content viewing) - only one - front facing webcam so I can videoconference / webchat with friends and relatives in Spain / Canada / USA etc. Unlike a laptop, I would think there would only need to be one for the home.

    Apple need to convince the BBC that they can produce content in HTML5 so Flash is not required.

  10. morphoyle


    The kind of multitasking that is being added to the iphone OS 4.0 is insulting! Why can't Apple just give us something we want without placing a ton of limitations and restrictions on it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I had a super title but it ran away.

      "Why can't Apple just give us something we want without placing a ton of limitations and restrictions on it?"

      Because they don´t want to.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Battery Life.

      They told you. Battery life.

      Sad but true.

    3. Prag Fest

      I give up

      Know much about multitasking in resource restricted environments? No, you don't. What they have come up with is actually a very clever solution and a very tricky problem.

      Please give me a technical argument of the advantages the multitasking 'you want' would give you over their 'insulting' implementation.

    4. ThomH

      It's the same as WebOS

      Your multitasking app gets woken to deal with events that it has an interest in, but isn't allowed to run constantly. I'm sorry that's insulting for you, but isn't it how every well-behaved GUI application is written?

      I guess probably you mean the list of specific events is too restrictive? You want to be able to use software that while invisible does something other than (i) produce audio; (ii) provide location-aware info; (iii) provide voIP functionality; or (iv) alert you to something at specified intervals? That's definitely some limitations and restrictions, but hardly a ton — I bet it covers 80% of the software you want and 99% of the software that an average user wants.

    5. Big_Ted
      Jobs Halo

      RE Multitasking........

      They do............

      Its called a Macbook

    6. Adam Salisbury
      Thumb Down


      The haven't given you multitasking, it's not intended as a new feature for the benefit of users, it's a requirement for their ad-serving platform and nothing more. The fact that so many people are crying out for it is just a bonus.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Multitasking?

      Although Apple, are adding some additional restrictions, the multitasking that iPhone OS 4.0 works in the same way as Android - it's not as if the latter is limitless and has no restrictions.

  11. Mark Dowling
    Thumb Down

    A netbook that can't print?

    Unless ol' Stevie has a plan to completely redo printing somehow (and let's face it innovation in that space would be welcome) it's a big PDA, not a netbook.

  12. Torben Mogensen

    The iPad is not a computer

    It's a media player and, secondarily, a games machine. And Apple is increasingly making sure it stays that way: Limitations on what applications can contain, limitations on tools for application development, lack of standardised ports, etc.

  13. Pantera

    the problem with the ipad is

    that while it is not difficult to find reasons to buy one it is difficult to find a use for it.

    It does a lot but nothing better.

    Sure you can read books, so can a kindle (at a third of the weight with al lot more batterytime) sure you can do email, so can my iphone and if you have a lot of email i'd buy a blackberry or a proper laptop. Which is what i'd do if i had to do any serious work anyway.

    my iphone does most things better than the ipad (except video ) and has one thing the ipad can't which is make phonecalls.

    video? the screen had the wrong size and does not do hd, a 65 euro mobile dvd player works bettter.

    games? have played some, can't say i liked touch for anything buy cardgames, so a psp of ds would work better.

    given the options i's rather have one of those 4g htc phones, if they make a version with a keyboard perfect

  14. Ben Brandwood

    Target market

    I think I am in the target market for this thing. I work in the tech industries, I sometimes do techie things. However I'm a manager.

    When I need to do techie things, I RDP from my desktop to the stack of servers sat in the datacentre (so I can use Informatica etc).

    I also spend 2 hours each way commuting into London, sometimes I want to catch up on my emails, have a quick look at some spreadsheets, review some PDFs, update my time reporting system, or watch a bit of Enterprise that I've ripped from DVD.

    All these things I can do with an iPad - and given the seat sizes on First Capital Connect or the Central Line, I can do them a lot easier than getting my 15" Macbook Pro out.

    I'm not going to be cutting code on it, but then I don't cut code on the train anyway, I may need to monitor a session, but I do that already with my iPhone and RDP - and that can only be better with the iPad's screen estate.

    To be honest, I can't see a reason not to get one. Sure I can't install linux on it, but I've got any number of boxes at home that do have it on - again, just a VNC/SSH away.

    And to all those people who do need to do all those things... well then don't buy one. Nobody is forcing you. Perhaps we sometimes forget that the computer is a tool, for me the iPad is a tool that could make my life easier. If it doesn't make your life easier, or prevents you doing what you need to do, then there are other choices out there. What's the problem?

  15. Pavlovs well trained dog
    Thumb Up

    I'll buy one

    Not version 1, mind, never buy version 1 anything Apple, but in time I will

    We moved house recently and whilst our stuff is in storage/transit, Spouse has taken over the MacBook Pro, so I've been forced to use my iPhone for pretty much every thing

    and honestly, for what I want - in the evening, on the tram, in the train, at the station, at my office (a rabid bank where Thou Shalt Not Touch The Network Or Your Own Email) the iPhone is mostly perfect, just too small, and a bit small.

    so a bigger, better iPhone will do the job hundreds.

    Clearly my needs to completely different to most techies, and my religious I-Dont-Care-About-The-Browser-Or-Gubbins stance puts me at odds with most readers of this forum, but too bad: it'll suit me and my needs jjjjuuuussssttttt fine

  16. stressed


    Happy enough with my N900 - works for me as a tablet/phone combo.

  17. Bod

    "but mostly dog slow"

    A view formed on the early low spec netbooks perhaps?

    Most people who say they're slow have not used a decent netbook. And I'm not talking about running Linux either. XP can run plenty fast enough for general use.

    Of course it depends what you want to use them for. Yes, they're not power beasts and you won't be running Photoshop and top end games on it. That's not what they're for. However, for web browsing, office apps, and dare I say even video, they can be cracking.

    Mine is just a humble Atom based netbook running XP, and yet it plays HD video flawlessly (with the right codecs). I use it hooked up to my HD telly and it's fine even upscaling SD to 1080p. It makes a perfect video player, and it's great on flights too as the battery lasts 6 or 7 hours, especially as you can run it in low power and/or lowest brightness on a flight given the relatively high illumination you get at the lowest brightness setting in a dark cabin. Result is a compact device that is great for meetings, office work, email, browsing, video, and doesn't sound like a jet taking off like many of the power beast desktop replacement laptops out there.

    The iPad won't be any different in performance terms, just you won't get to see it being slow, because no power hungry apps will be allowed to run on it. I'd love to see if it can play HD video properly though (from what I've read so far it currently only plays "true" 720p video at 720p, and every other format, bigger or smaller is downconverted to a resolution lower than 720p, plus it will only output to a TV at 480p!).

  18. JoeG

    Common file system

    Inabilty to save a file in one app and open it in another is my biggest dealbreaker. Enabling this would open up a whole host of app possibilities for viewers and editors.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Safari is Shit

    Safari is the biggest obstacle for me. Thankfully the iPad already prevents the vileness that is Flash (thank fuck), but as far as I know Safari doesn't allow me to block ads the way Firefox can (with add-ons). If any 3G contract, for example, is paid per data transferred (I've no idea what contracts/pay-as-you-go schemes might pop up for iPad), then I don't want to be paying to download a load of shitty advertisements.

    Plus it crashes a lot, or at least it does on my iPhone.

    1. Campbeltonian


      I've never really found the need for an ad blocker on Mobile Safari, because most ads tend to appear in a separate column from the main text of a page (along with site navigation stuff that I only usually need for a few moments). Double-tapping and zooming in on the main text <div> obscures the ads.

      However because they're still being downloaded, the sites that I visit still get their much-needed ad revenue.

      The tap-to-zoom gesture is actually one of the reasons that I'd consider an iPad over a netbook for general web browsing, and I really wish the desktop browsers would incorporate it in some form.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Here We Go....

    I wonder how this thread will turn out?

    Pow! It doesn't have HD resolution?!

    Thwack! It doesn't have a real keyboard

    Zaap! It doesn't have quad cores and quad GPUs on board. I mean come on!!

    Crunch! I can't use it for running my atomic bomb simulation code!

    Perhaps future iPad stories should just limit themselves to something along the lines of "it might be useful to you, it might not. Base your buying decisions on that. Tiresome bleating about why it's no use for launching the space shuttle are just getting fucking annoying now"

    Incidentally, I'm thinking of starting a thread about my Ford Focus being completely useless at winning the RAC rally? Those Ford bastards! Who's with me?

    1. Prag Fest

      Right on

      Another thing with your Focus, until it has the ability to do London - New york transatlantic in just over 8 hours, there is no way I would ever even consider getting one. I mean why the hell would I want one when I could just as easy jump on a BA flight that does the same thing??

      I would sooner build my own car from a Skoda chassis with rubber tubing and scrap parts, which would allow me to bolt on the wings / engine of my own choice. I could do this for much less money, without having to pay the FORD TAX just for something that looks nice.

      It's that typical holier than though Ford attitude that winds me up, telling me they think they know better. Who are THEY to tell ME how MY car CAN and CANT be used??!!

      God I'm bored.

      1. M Gale

        Skoda stopped being shit a long time ago

        ...just so you know.

      2. Wizard of Oz
        Thumb Down

        Pathetic comparison...Pah!

        I don't see how comparing a one off flight that is cheaper than a car is anywhere near the same as comparing 2 computing devices.

        And the previous post about the Ford comparison. I highly doubt you could spend the same amount as you did on your crappy Ford as on a car that would win the rally. But you CAN buy a computing device for the same price as an iPad that has all of the "rally" features. It then comes down to your skill.

        A better comparison is to compare two Fords, one that has a pretty look (slick paintjob) but you can't mod it without Ford approving it - versus one that comes out of the factory that doesn't look as pretty, but has stacks of features (power windows, heated seats etc), and you can continue to add a HUGE range of further features any time you like without. Is it vanity, or practicality? You obviously prefer vanity.

  21. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    The Holy Jobsian Tea Tray

    Apple could have considered the way Motion Computing solved this with their line of PC slates:

    It's a case that holds the slate and a separate keyboard. It folds in such a way as to turn your slate and keyboard into a laptop. I've never played with one, but it shouldn't be beyond the wit of man to make a perfectly acceptable working setup with this.

    However, I really don't think this is the market Apple are going for. Like the original iPhone, I don't think it's business users they're aiming at, and I don't think they're trying to replace the netbook. Whether the iPad will evolve into a netbook-beater I don't know, but then the main problem with netbooks is speed and battery life, and I'm sure the speed issue is solving itself with better Atom chips. Or NVIDIAs Tegra 2 perhaps? And at least you can carry a spare battery.

    I think Apple want their MacBook buyers to keep on buying. The iPad is an extra for the sofa and the train, not replacement. The netbook, as used by techies, may be fulfilling the same job of web/media consumption and light emailing, but I think the netbook as used by non-geeks (as a cheap laptop) does things the iPad can't, or won't.

    I don't see St Steve adding USB support, or loosening up Apple's control. While I've got gripes with the way Apple run things, I do think that what's going to make the iPad good is simplicity, speed, battery life and weight. The cost of that is limited functionality. I'm not sure if that's an acceptable excuse for dropping USB, or Flash, but there doesn't seem to be another hardware company with the desire to do nice software, so I guess my cash is heading towards Apple.

  22. Ant Evans
    Paris Hilton

    heart breaker

    The deal breaker is I want to manage the computer, not be managed by the computer.

    The same goes for the IS department. Although the iPad should do okay in media, where the service acceptance criteria have more to do with the subtle interplay of shininess and exec ego.

    ,Can we have a 'dig' icon?

    1. uhuznaa

      Managing an appliance? Why?

      You might want to manage such an appliance, others just want to use the thing and not manage it.

      Personally I very much like the iPad, but there are a few things that really suck about it. For me this is the fact that it still needs to be wired to a host computer (for syncing, updating, printing) and the totally crazy inability to get files on and off it without going through a nightmare of iTunes or individual apps with computer-side server apps and Internet based services, which still lead to every file you get being imprisoned in that very app. This isn't user-friendly, it's raving madness.

      You use dropbox to get a file from your PC/Mac and then you want to upload it into a web form with Safari and you can't get at the fscking file which is on your device *and* out in the cloud! You feel like being served a tasty soup with one hand tied behind your back and a fork in the other hand. Smells good but how do you eat it? And there is no indication that this will change with OS 4.0 which will arrive in half a year on the iPad. No, thanks. I had some hope that with that giant datacenter and the shared folder support in the 3.2 betas all this would change but it didn't. No trace of shared folder support in 3.2 and 4.0 beta. Vaporized.

      I think this is the first time I will *not* get an Apple device for the reason of it being user-unfriendly. As Einstein said: "Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler". This thing is just too simple.

      I love the idea but hate the implementation.

      And I still don't want to manage my appliances.

      1. M Gale

        A toaster is an appliance..

        ..and yet, most toasters come with configurable options. You can decide how brown you would like your toast. More advanced toasters will take many sizes of bread, right up to self-baked, self-sliced doorsteps; the ultimate in home-brew. If the fuse goes pop, you can usually unscrew the plug (or flip the flap underneath if it's a crappy moulded thing) and fit a new fuse. You're not limited to what type of bread you put in, nor what manufacturer it comes from. You can even get third-party add-ons (ever hear of "toaster bags"?) that allow you to make things like cheese toasties, without getting an awful mess on the crumb tray.

        Another appliance is a fridge freezer. Did you know a lot of fridges allow you to configure how much power they use? Many allow you to take the shelving out and reorganise it as you, rather than the manufacturer, wishes. Hell, if you don't want that whacking great meat drawer at the bottom taking up space, there's nothing in the EULA saying you have to have it there. You don't get Hoover or Smeg saying that you can only freeze approved water in the icecube maker, and I don't think they'd be too bothered if you used it to freeze non-food items.

        If you don't care what your toast comes out looking like, and just simply plug the thing in, bung some bread in and depress the lever then good for you. Same if you're happy with the fridge shelves as they are. Some of us, however, would rather be able to manage our "appliances", especially when those appliances are computers, being sold as computers (sorry, "new computing paradigms"), with all of the configurability that this implies.

        Trying to make this as not-a-flame as I can, but.. dammit, the "appliance" argument is a really shitty excuse to let Apple get away with selling locked-down crap.

  23. Michael C
    Paris Hilton


    HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am very opinionated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My iPad deal breakers

    1. No Flash [video]

    Like it or not, HTML5 is far from [ever] becoming the standard for delivering video. If I can't watch movie clips on the likes of the BBC, LoveFilm, etc. then the iPad is no more useful to me than my iPhone - which is eminently more portable. This brings me on to...

    2. I already have an iPhone

    To me, this covers the "middle device" ground, as it's so much better for my uses than previous smartphones. The only thing the iPad has over the iPhone is screen size (and speed). With a double-tap, I can largely overcome this hurdle when I'm reading TheReg or BBC News. If the iPhone won't suffice, I'd go to my laptop, desktop or HTPC.

    3. No front-facing camera

    Not a full deal-breaker, but a glaring omission. Video-conferencing is such as obvious app for a device like this, it seemed like a no-brainer.

    I agree with Andrew: I've never been sold on netbooks, but the iPad seems like an answer without a question. So why do I still want one so much...?! ;-)

  25. Eddy Ito

    Nice to see

    Apple actually responding to valid criticism. Let's face it, iPOS4 is a response to everyone basically saying, "nice toy too bad it doesn't multitask but at least we don't have to change game cartridges".

  26. P. Lee

    what it isn't

    Is anyone else tired of people saying they don't like these devices because they can't do xyz on them?

    *sigh* It isn't a desktop, laptop or netbook, it never was and never will be. Yes you could probably code up Enterprise java beans on a classic atom linux netbook, but would you really want to? (don't answer that - I know someone out there wants to). In fact, what would be ideal for use on a 10" screen?

    Well you could browse xkcd, do the odd email. Read stuff (if it was comfortable to hold at a reasonable distance). It would be a great universal remote control if it was instant-on. You could play the odd silly game or music, check the weather forecast, order cinema tickets, check directions to the restaurant for this evening or see if that gadget is cheaper on ebay.

    In short, its an information access device, not a high-power computational device in its own right.

    Apple aren't pushing it as a laptop replacement, so why does everyone want it to be one? I suspect because many people don't want to spend that much cash on something so limited when a little more can get you so much more cpu/memory/freedom. But Apple know that the apps are king and are selling a way to run AppStore apps on a different form-factor. If you don't want the apps, don't get the device.

    It's a classic problem - it has a screen, does email,web-browsing etc so people expect a normal computer. That isn't it. That's is why Apple have made such big inroads into mobile phones but less so on the desktop. People didn't have the "oh but I want to to do xyz that I normally do" attitude to phones because they were all awful and definitely not computers. Apple have tried to avoid this on the ipad by changing the form-factor away from a "normal computer" to a "large phone" to reset expectations.

    Me? I"m hoping for a really good android tablet. Or at least waiting for IPad v2. No skype with webcam is a deal-breaker. for me.

    1. Adam Williamson 1
      Thumb Down


      P. Lee - you seem to have missed what the post asked, which is 'why aren't you buying an iPad?' For a lot of people, the answer to that is 'it doesn't do what I want it to', which is a perfectly legitimate comment on this thread.

      And yes, people do things with netbooks that you couldn't comfortably do with an iPad. I did my job for a month (I'm a QA engineer for Fedora) on a Vaio P. Definitely couldn't manage that on an iPad. It wasn't a gigantic amount of fun, but it worked.

      Perhaps the underlying point here that's assumed but not spoken is that none of these people _want_ "an information access device" (or don't want _another_ one, finding their phone perfectly adequate).

      1. whiteafrican
        Thumb Down

        @ P. Lee

        "Apple aren't pushing it as a laptop replacement, so why does everyone want it to be one?"

        That is a very good question. But here's the problem: I want one device that goes with me everywhere and keeps me connected, plays music and has some games etc. That'll be a phone. I also want one device that has a bit more power and can run more complex programs/games and that I can do work on when I'm away from the office and runs Word/Excel/Visio/Photoshop/Dreamweaver. That'll be a laptop (or, in my case, an HP tc1100 tablet). The problem is that the iPad doesn't meet either of these needs.

        Now the fanbois will leap up and shout "Not everyone has those needs!" and that's true - but most people need a proper computer some of the time. 90% of the time, the iPad can probably do what you want to do, but as you point out, it's not a complete replacement for a real computer with a full-fat OS. Consequently, for many of us, the iPad is (and has to be) a third device. It must be something we buy after we have bought a phone and a computer.

        Personally, if & when I buy new hardware, I'd rather spend my cash on two really good devices than on three mediocre ones.

        (Before the fanbois start with the flames, let me point out I'm an equal opportunities hater on this point - in my view, the Joojoo, or a tablet running Android or the apparently anticipated Chrome OS would suffer from the same problem.)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: Why?

        But P. Lee has hit the nail on the head by pointing out that many examples of what is being cited a as dealbreaker, are features that were never going to appear on a consumer device like the IPad. It isn't being touted as a laptop replacement, but many people persist in judging it as one.

        The question' why aren't you buying an iPad?' is more likely to generate reader feedback (a safe bet if you look at the other stories), rather explain the iPad's limitations (which are pretty much a no-brainer).

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Wait what

      If you read the last paragraph directly after the first you find an amazing contradiction.

      "Is anyone else tired of people saying they don't like these devices because they can't do xyz on them?"


      "I can't do xyz so DEALBREAKER"

  27. Adam T

    It'll never be as good as a...

    Big Track

  28. ThomH

    I'll probably be responsible for a few sales

    As I absolutely intend to recommend it to my mother, father, everyone else who basically doesn't understand or doesn't care what an OS is at a technical level. I may even get one for myself, being ever more a member of the "doesn't care" group.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can't quite get there

      My mother would love to be able to share her digital photos with her friends on something bigger than the screen on the back of the camera. But somehow, a $500 dollar device for displaying photos taken on a $100 camera doesn't quite make sense. Not to mention the fact that she'd have a bit of a job getting them onto the iPad in the first place, as it doesn't have an SD slot. Unless she drove home, copied them over to the desktop at home, imported them into iTunes (shudder) and then drove back to where her friends are.

      Nope, I don't think that'll work, somehow.

      My Dad does a bit of e-mail,. looks up the occasional website, has the occasional webchat with his grand children, and scan's boxes of photos and slides taken in the 50's and 60's so that he can make DVDs to give to his old friends. He doesn't care what an OS is at any level, but I'm pretty sure that he'd be extremely unimpressed with an iPad.

      I'm still waiting for a decent Android pad for $200.

      1. ThomH

        There's an SD card reader coming...

        though obviously it pushes you ever further from your ideal $200. And, being Apple, I expect it won't work exactly the way you want it to.

        Probably I should have said: pretty much my mother uses her computer for email, web browsing and listening to podcasts (no, really). She does sometimes email out, but much less often than she receives email in.

        Her actual laptop suffers from the same maladies as most computers run by ordinary, normal people; it gets a tiny little bit slower every few months as the OS and most of the built-in software automatically updates itself and dramatically slower about once a year when the anti-virus software updates itself. In this context, Apple's approach is actually a benefit: it's a fixed hardware platform so new versions of all software are explicitly tailored to the device she is holding rather than an ever-shifting notional average machine and Apple's micromanagement of permitted software saves her from the anti-virus vendor school of software sales that involves trading on fear and misinformation and coming up with ever more inventive ways to shove slow, bloated junk deep into your OS, whichever one it is.

        I really think this thing's going to be a hit with the casual audience.

      2. M Gale

        Always Innovating's Touchbook

        $400 with the keyboard, and runs Android. $300 without, though personally I'll stump up the extra $100 and get the keyboard even if it is US-layout. Nothing like a little sticky-back paper and some ingenuity to get a £ sign where there wasn't one previously and put the double-quote and @ symbols where I'm used to.

        Oh, and it has USB ports. Three internally. I know it's a bit more than the $200 you're asking for but, Android pads and netbooks do exist, and they've been around for longer than the fruit company's "new computing paradigm".

        As for why I won't buy an ipad.. well, "new computing paradigm" just about sums it up. Over-hyped, over-priced, under-powered and full of crap. It could have been so much more but it's a toy, with a touch screen. I already have a Nintendo DS, thankyouverymuch.

  29. Peter Bond
    Thumb Down

    Wait until the end of the year

    and something like ICD's Gemini will be widely available running Android and having an SD card slot, telephony, a longer battery life due to its Tegra 2 platform, WiFi and 3G and all for around £200 or on contract from the likes of T-Mobile for £15pcm. I still won't need one because I simply don't have the need for a gadget that sits between my HTC Desire which I always carry with me and my Inspiron 11z, which I carry when I need a real computer, but at the price I'll treat myself to one as a cool toy.

    The iPhone sells because it is a very good phone and we all need phones but I doubt more than a fraction of the population of this or any other country - the self appointed urban tech elite aside - feel the need for a "pad" of any size shape or form.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Well, you can't have been carrying.....

      ....that Desire around all the time for very long, but I quite understand why you do. The missus had just got one, and it's really excellent.

      As for the iPhone, I don't think you can call it a "very good phone". The phone aspect, particularly the receiver sensitivity, is not that good but of course it does all the other things it's intended for rather well.

      The Gemini sounds interesting, will have to keep an eye on that.....

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice for academics and researchers

    I have just shy of 1500 journal articles on my machine at work. The iPad, in combination with, makes a fantastic pdf viewer. As someone with no interest in gaming, or movies, or 'social media' is that worth $500 to me? I'd say yes.

    1. Marcus Aurelius

      Academics and Researchers.

      could do all their journal reading on something like a Kindle, with longer battery life.

      (Unless of course, you confess that academics do watch movies and play games occassionally)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Is available for the Kindle?

        That's the USP. Literature management, PubMed integration and superb PDF display. Plus the bigger screen on the iPad, of course.

  31. Adam Williamson 1

    Too big

    I'm surprised no-one else has said this yet, but for me it's pretty simple: the thing's too big. 9" screen with a 2" bezel? It's bigger, in two dimensions (which is what matters when stuffing it in a bag), than many netbooks. Duh-whee?

    If it were about the size of my Sony Reader, and hence baggable without a second thought and pocketable in a pinch, it'd be a lot more attractive. I still wouldn't buy one for many of the reasons listed above, but hey, it'd be closer. Right now it's a bit of a head-scratcher. For the uses they claim it's intended to cover, something too big to stuff in a pocket and hold comfortably with one hand (but which also doesn't sit very usefully on a flat surface...) seems a bit off.

    (I just bought a SmartQ V7 to tinker with, instead, which is pretty much the anti-iPad).

    1. Wibble

      Quarter-sized iPad

      If you want smaller, get an iPhone. Does everything an iPad does and more. Just much smaller.

      An iPad isn't the same thing as an e-book reader a-la Kindle or Sony thingie. It's got a much better screen for one thing. Proper browser; network connectivity; plays video; colour... Nope, can't see anything remotely similar between them.

  32. StaudN

    deal-breaker for me?...

    it starts with "i". Hahaha

  33. bexley

    use linux on your netbook

    I've been running ubuntu on my netbook for 6 months, i sold my laptop and dont use my desktop anymore.

    I have compiz and all thge swishy desktop effects on, dock, multiple desktops, edge task switcher, 3d cube, all of it.

    I can play older games (GTA 4 and quake 3 etc...) i can run any app i like on it, full office suite, programming. Netbooks are not handicapped in anyway and the media's constant insistence that you cant do some crucilal things on netbooks is just wrong.

    i have an advent 4213 with 2GB ram and a 1.6ghz atom. I am a multimedia user,i watch movies, listen to music, write letters, edit photo's, encode video, print, webcam, media card reader, 3 usb ports, 3G modem, wifi, lan.

    As an engineer and hardened pc user i simply dont need anything else now i have this netbook.

    If you want to, for £100 you can buy a touch screen monitor for your netbook and fit it yourself, it's only a 4 or 5 screws away on mine. Install the touch screen drivers for ubuntu and there you go. Why you would want to do that fails me but i guess the cravat wearing coffee shop dwellers and those twats that sit on the bus glued to their iphones might like to.

    1. Prag Fest
      Thumb Up

      great idea

      If you want to, for £10, you can buy the materials to make your own trainers. Bit of glue and some felt tip pens and voila! A pair of Air Jordans!

      1. Martin Owens


        If only Air Jordens were open source hardware, then you could get your CNC machine to make you up a pair.

        since their not and you can't, your analogy is dumb.

        1. Ivan Headache


          not your strong point then Martin?

      2. A J Stiles

        Some people really do

        You may scoff, but I remember my mother making all mine and my sister's clothes on a sewing machine she bought second-hand, after my dad field-stripped the motor and gave it new brushes.

  34. John A Blackley

    Not about deal breakers

    The question I'd want to ask is not "What are the deal breakers?" but rather, "What can it do (that I'd want to do) that a laptop/netbook/brain at a similar price can't?"

    So it's smaller? BFD.

  35. Joe Harrison

    Try O2 "Joggler"?

    While you're waiting for iPad wars to cool down give O2's "Joggler" a try. Beautiful beautiful hardware; before making your list of its software "deal-breakers" remember we are only talking £49.99 here which is an absolute steal

    1. A J Stiles

      And Joggler is eminently hackable

      And the O2 Joggler is also eminently hackable:

      I think I might get one.

  36. Si 1
    Jobs Horns

    Still not a netbook competitor

    Multitasking won't go anywhere towards making the iPad a proper netbook rival. There's far too many points against it. For starters at 10" it's roughly the same footprint as a netbook, even if it's thinner. However a netbook has a keyboard, can run a browser with Flash, has loads more storage, has the freedom to run any app you want, has a built-in webcam, and isn't restricted to the audio and video codes Apple approve.

    Then there's the non-16:9 ratio screen on the iPad which means HD content gets squashed down to sub-HD resolutions or the sides get cut off if you want to keep the vertical resolution. All new netbooks have 1366x768 screens that will run 720p content perfectly.

    Why pay more for an iPad when you can get a netbook for less and do much more with it?

    I love my iPhone, but I think the iPad is a very shiny, very pretty chocolate teapot.

    1. Solomon Grundy


      I agree completely. My netbook isn't perfect but it is a solid business tool with far more robust capabilities than the iPad.

  37. Rogerborg

    So, now it's only hardware-crippled

    Tell you what, you buy yourself an iPad and a keyboard, then wait for Apple to make it usable. Meanwhile, I'll spend the same money on an EEE PC, slap Ubuntu on it and start enjoying it today. Plus one for the wife. And another for the kids. And when my Windows refunds come in, I'll buy one for the dog too.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "What are your deal breakers?"

    Sorry to tread old ground but:

    a) Lack of Flash & Java. I can understand Apple banning these features, but users should have the option of adding them without jailbreaking.

    b) Form factor. It's all about portability of course, but this is a bit too big to carry on a casual basis. If it was pocket sized, it would make a great replacement for my Gen1 iPod Touch. 5" iPad Nano anyone?

    c) Lack of USB and built-in SD slots. There are times when I need to port data or files from my USB stick into a larger drive. I hate having a collection of adapters that I can misplace or lose.

    d) Micro SIM card. Now, really, was it necessary to go this route?

    e) iAds. It depends on how that is implemented of course.

    f) No camera. Perhaps it will appear as part of the usual annual upgrade.

    Horses for courses. The iPad, in its current implementation, doesn't work for me. Hope it works for you.

  39. Dan 10

    Wrong Question

    I think the author has asked the wrong question. The iPad itself isn't the deal-maker/breaker - it's the apps. Look. All Apple have done is look at the app store and go 'sheesh, these iphone/ipod touch devs have written all sorts of stuff which we didn't anticipate - everything from novelty crap to remote clients, graphics apps, you name it. And hey, the users are lapping it up! Hang on, what's the key hindrance to further innovation? Oh, right, that diddly little screen. What if we made a bigger one?"

    So, the better question would be "What apps would make you buy this thing?"

    And yes, I well appreciate that the appstore approval rules are on the overzealous side, but this is actually 1 problem, with the solution having 2 different consequences - having an approval process and strict resource usage rules etc is partly the reason that the iPhone/iPad OS is yet to be exploited. Clearly, the modest-powered hardware also necessitates efficient use of resources, which would go out of the window if they simply let anyone install whatever they wanted without any vetting. The fact that useful stuff which just happens to disrupt Apple's business model is also rejected is merely a casualty. The question is whether you are willing to accept that casualty.

  40. A B 3

    In the old days...

    10 years ago I would have loved it. But everything is gimped now. Either so they can sell you a slightly less gimped device in a year or to save on tech support calls. I'll wait till a chinese company makes a clone that you can put any software you want on it and also includes 3 USB3 plugs on it.

  41. tgm

    deal breakers

    The form factor.

    It's good for movies yeah? So I hear - but spending 2.5 hours with my arms in front of me like a I'm driving a car doesn't sound like fun. I only have two hands and I want them BOTH available whilst I'm watching a film (to eat/drink/smoke/masturbate).

    Touch screens are great for small and large devices - small devices like a phone, large devices like a blackboard or screen for presentations.

    When I first saw the iPad, I thought it looked rubbish because the plastic surround was so big - then I realised, "how else can you hold it with one hand?!".

    The only thing I'd want this device for, is an e-reader, and my Kindle does a better job. I can turn the pages with one hand, the battery lasts for months at a time, I don't have an annual contract and can use it anywhere in the world with cell phone reception, it's easy to read, works great outside in sunlight, and I get my newpapers delivered to it every morning. It doesn't have nice page-turn animations like in the iPad advert (the guy turns 10 pages in 2 seconds...who really does that!?), but in reality I don't care about how "realistic" the page turn animations are - page turning is less than 1% of a reading experience. The rest is, well, reading!

    It may very well work for games - although I have my money on Project Natal at the moment for that....

  42. Rob Burke

    Looks nice and a pleasure to use

    But so is my iPhone... if I'm paying that much for a device, think I'd rather wait for the HP Slate and pay a similar price for a similar device, but with flash support (I like the thought of being able to watch streaming episodes of 24 and southpark rather than buying this stuff from itunes), and also a two way cam so using skype will be fun. There's two features you know wont be available in iThings OS 5.

  43. bexley

    why is the register the only forum that wont let you post without a title

    so the verdict is that it's crap and is likely to remain crap for the next few years until apple give in and give people what they want such as happened with the iphone.

    The author clearly has not put much time into using netbooks.

    The only people that will buy this pos are the apple fanatics that will buy anything that apple make regardless of if it's any good or not.

    I accept that most of the readership here are IT professionals of sorts and will lean towards functionality, interoperability and supportability everytime so perhaps not the best place to publish an article pitching the ipad against netbooks - which are just smaller, more efficient laptops with no limitations once you get used to typing on a smaller keyboard.

  44. Will 12

    I have an iPad

    and in my leisure time, the laptop rarely gets a look in.

  45. Grubby
    Thumb Down

    Multi Task... umm... yay?

    I couldn't think of a use for it, now I have to think of 2!?

  46. This post has been deleted by its author

  47. Anonymous Coward

    New title: The iPad will become usable - in six months time.

    New title: The iPad will become usable - in six months time.

    This isn't shipping for six months, and yet it's suddenly made the iPad usable? WTF?!?

    When did vapourware ever make anything usable?!?

  48. Daf L

    Look at it objectively

    Whether you love it or hate it try this simple exercise...

    Imagine this exact same tablet, identical in every way except one. It has been designed by a Chinese company called ShouCorp and named the HaoYun-8. The quality of the components and the machine is not in question.

    You look at the specs and it doesn't have a USB port but you can buy some ShouCorp adapters. It uses a non-standard SIM card so you can't pop your own in there. There is few networking capabilities and there is no simple way to upgrade the storage. The company also seems intent on telling you that you don't need or want a lot of the features you say you do because they decide it is best for you.

    So would you really go out and buy the HaoYun and be defending it to everyone?

    Are you really trying to convince yourself that the iPad is a great (magical?) device because Apple made it... so it must be...right?

  49. Olaf

    USB and FLASH - signs of the past!

    Remember how people complained when Apple was among the 1st to do away with floppys and then diskettes. Deja Vu with USB as you copy files via wifi, wirelessly. As moves to the future with HTML5 (FREE) to replace the memory-hog & slower FLASH, people complain. Try it yourself at:

    Those of us who have been around a while can see technology trends, and USB and FLASH are being passed by for very good reason. If you don't believe it, wait a year or two for it to be clear to you.

    1. Craigness

      Too soon

      Maybe one day we'll all have wifi/bluetooth compatible mass storage devices which we carry everywhere, and all files we ever need will be on a wifi/bluetooth-enabled device waiting for us to grab them. But until then we'll need USB, and even then we'll probably still favour USB external storage in some instances - it's faster and more secure than uploading stuff to "the cloud". I've got a desktop with a floppy drive, CDrw and USB ports. This enables me to transfer files in a number of formats (DVDrw happened after I bought this machine).

      Anyway, the iPad doesn't completely remove USB - you just need to pay extra for an adaptor. That's as good a reason for leaving it out as any profit-seeking corporation can have.

    2. M Gale
      Thumb Down


      Seriously, USB going to be replaced by wifi?

      Have you ever tried to explain NAS to a "normal" computer user? I promise you won't get very far. Probably not much further than "Network". Even domestic NAT routers are oversimplified to the point of ridiculousness, just so that Joe Public can plug it in, and switch it on. What you're asking is for someone who would rather pull out their own eyelids than learn what DHCP, SMB or NFS stands for let alone what they do, to set up shared folders with access permissions. Even with the GUI wizards that every OS including Linux seem to possess, this is just not "normal user" territory.

      Speaking of which, have you ever tried to explain shared folders to a "normal" computer user? I promise you won't get very far with that either. USB flash drives are as simple as "plug it in, drag your shit across". NAS.. isn't.

      That and I don't see how you're going to plug a wifi device in, via wifi.

  50. Jack Prichard

    Breaking the deal.

    I see it like this.

    The iPad is good in that it is a multi-function device with a screen big enough to read books, watch movies, whatever.

    This is why it will kill book readers like the kindle, why have a device that only does one thing?

    It is never going to be a primary work device for anyone. Yes, the netbook is starting to look more and more like a lap top but performance is a trade with portability and there will always be space for devices with key boards.

    You can't put and iPad in your pocket and if your carrying something your probably doing for work, so iPad is a poor second choice.

    So, it is something to use at home for media consumption, emailing etc and maybe on holiday, maybe.

    Therefore, is $500 worth it for a device like this? Or just to smash one?

    I think there is space in the market for another tablet, if there were app support.

  51. da_fish27
    Thumb Down

    Nah, apple

    Why would I need a device which is expensive (I can buy a decent laptop or a pretty good desktop for the price),

    can't do nearly anything I use my computers for (mainly coding, though obviously this is personal), has no connectivity to the outside world (as in, at LEAST 2 or 3 USB ports, crucial for me),

    and, last but not least, Apple, slower than my netbook (first, 1GHz < multithreaded 1.6GHz (I don't care for graphics); and second, people all around assume that people use only the bloated-by-OEMs Windows XP/7 on netbooks; try a good, unbloated linux distro (!=ubuntu) or even a clean XP/7 install and you'll maybe be surprised)?

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Stop thinking PC

      No USB, clock speed, coding?

      It's not a PC. If you want a PC use one, it's not a phone, if you want a phone use one. If you want to access applications, games, books and movies on the move, buy some music, surf the net then an iPad is pretty handy.

      Try getting your laptop out and set up in seconds. An iPad can be as quick to access as a phone, it isn't a clamshell design.

      Your laptop will not last 10 hours on the battery!

  52. Sead Alispahic
    Thumb Down

    Go back to school!

    Now, for a “technology magazine”, one would think that you should know about “the technology” enough to know what is a multitasking and what is not. iPad most certainly is not a multitasking gadget and here is why.

    Multitasking, by a definition is “sharing of the CPU” and iPhone 4.0 does not have that. Sharing goes something like this.

    1. Application does something

    2. OS serializes the state of the application

    3. OS allocate CPU to something else

    4. OS de-serializes the application

    5. OS allocates CPU to the application

    6. Application does something

    7. OS serializes the state of the application

    8. OS allocate CPU to something else

    9. OS de-serializes the application

    10. OS allocates CPU to the application

    11. Application does something

    iPhone 4.0 does not have CPU sharing. If you say it does have multitasking, you might want to take up cooking, or mowing lawns as a profession. Something that does not require knowledge of “the technology”.

    You will not be able to surf while waiting for Skype call, pre-buffer youtube movie while doing something else… It is not a multitasking, not even close to multitasking. Go back to school!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Please define


      Time sharing?

      Time slice?

      Parallellism (threads, geographical ...)?



      Operating System?


      Virtual thread?


      Virtual fork?



      Exception handling?

      Event driven?

      Interrupt driven?

      Semaphore (classical)?





      Virtual memory?

      Physical memory?


      Single CPU?

      Multiple CPU?


      Ignorance is bliss, especially when shouted at the top of one's voice to tell the world how good/bad this OS/chip/design/device is.

  53. Winkypop Silver badge

    The big apple

    The iPhone is too large as a phone. Yes, really.

    The iPad is too large as a web/computer/non-phone thingy.

    What's the deal with this Apple obsession with BIG?

    Is it the show-off factor?

  54. Anonymous Coward

    Food for the trolls

    Opera Mini is now available at the App Store.

    Has the world ended?

  55. Stephen 10

    Just thought I'd mention

    that it's Autumn right now - have they released it yet? Or is only 50% of the globe used arbitrarily for determining the season?

  56. E 2

    Input-challenged device

    Repeat after me:

    Netbooks have keyboards. Netbooks have keyboards. Netbooks have keyboards.

    Netbooks have keyboards.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The ipad is...

    Overpriced, and with no redeeming features. It's the Paris Hilton of the computer world. Utterly pointless in every way.

  58. Gil Grissum

    Not for me

    I don't have an iPhone for similar reasons that I won't be having a first generation iPad. I need devices that don't lack functions I need. I'm not into "making due" with a device that has a pretty shell and nice user experience in exchange for technology and capabilities that I need. If the iPad had a full version of OSX, USB port, and a camera at the same price, I'd be sold on it, but simply making a big screen iPod touch and calling it a revolutionary product that allegedly out does a netbook is more than mis-direction, it's a blatant lie. And before anyone chimes in that I "don't get it" and that the "iPad isn't meant to replace a laptop", for me, that's what it would have to do in order for me to need one like I need my laptop and my black berry. If a device doesn't do what I need, I don't buy it. Simple as that. Would definitely take one if someone gave it to me, but I'm not going to spend money on something that doesn't meet my needs. if it meets yours, I applaud you, but I need more from my devices than the average Apple user.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like