back to article Apple's iPad not so shiny once you get it home

Many Brits can't be bothered to use their fruity fondleslabs once they have them and don't think they're worth the money, a new study has found. The survey, by money-off coupon site MyVoucherCodes, showed that over a quarter of UK iPad users only used their Apple tablet once a week and one in 10 don't even bother with it that …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I use mine daily - office has free WiFi and it means I no longer have to lug a laptop around just to surf the web and read email..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I use my smartphone for that.

      I think I'd get some funny looks if i wandered out the lavs with an ipad tucked under my arm.

    2. A. Nervosa


      Everyone I know who has one, including myself, can't put the damn thing down.

      You've got to wonder, though, what kind of demographic was targeted by "MyVoucherCodes" when they did this survey and the validity of these findings. We're presumably talking about the kind of person that spends their time trawling a website looking to see what they can get on the cheap. The sort of person that buys something they probably don't really need but can't afford to pass up simply because they got 10% off? The kind of person that would, for example, buy themselves an iPad to massage their spending compulsion only to discover they didn't REALLY need it that much?

      £63 billion national credit card balance?

      Just a thought.

      1. Oninoshiko

        I have one of them, I won it. Its kinda neat, sometimes I use it to view PDFs, sometimes (technical) books, sometimes TED talks.

        None of this vary often. It's easily worth what I paid for it. It's not worth the price they normally go for.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why I didn't blow £450 on a iPad2

    Because it's a tablet of limited use.

    Why I blew £400 on an Asus Transformer.

    Because it's a netbook too (and I sold my netbook to part pay for it).

    That is all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What about an iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard?

      1. Captain Scarlet

        Bluetooth Keyboard

        It'll add extra costs plus the transformer can be used as a netbook.

        I still wouldn't buy either.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's not the same

        nowhere near the same.

        For starters an iPad2 even with a Bluetooth keyboard doesn't have USB ports in the keyboard, nor does it have an extra battery giving 18 hours of use.

        Apple owners won't really understand the benefits of the Transformer until they own one. They will continue to believe the line that it's just a tablet with a keyboard... It's FAR from just that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re: It's not the same

          "Apple owners won't really understand the benefits of the Transformer until they own one. They will continue to believe the line that it's just a tablet with a keyboard... It's FAR from just that."

          I use my iPad to create and perform music - mainly through apps, but also plugging instruments – and this one of the *main* things I use the device for. Would you be able to explain the benefits of an Asus Transformer over an iPad in this instance?

          Don’t get me wrong the Transformer is a lovely piece of kit – I have a couple of friends who own one and both are delighted with theirs, but their needs are different from mine (for that matter, both of theirs differ from the other, but the Transformer does them proud).

          One tool isn’t inherently superior to another - you need to know what the user needs, before making the judgement.

          1. Giles Jones Gold badge


            The device you buy must be able to do what you want. Android is still playing catch up in terms of software quality when it comes to music apps.

            iPad has iMS20, Garageband and NanoStudio. Hard to beat.

            1. Zee_SS

              Re: Exactly

              Damn, you're right I just spoke to the 4 people who got the iPads and they all said it was because Android doesn't have Garageband.

        2. Zee_SS

          It really is that pathetic

          I got a Transformer when it first came out. I took it into the office and showed it to a few people including an iPad2 owner who took the opportunity to flash his kit off too.

          Everyone to a man agreed that the amazing functionality of the extra battery, decent keyboard, SD card slot and USB port had the Transformer winning hands down in a direct comparison.

          6 months later and 4 of them now own an iPad2 and none of 'em plumped for the Asus.

          It is a pathetic display of brand fealty (FAILty?) over function.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            No, it's a perfect display of your inability to recognise that even though certain functions *seem* like a good idea (keyboard, USB port etc), the reality is that these extras are not always needed.

            Sometimes less really is more

          2. Giles Jones Gold badge

            But you don't buy a swiss army knife if you only really need or want a knife.

            I know that I don't ever need to drive a car off road, so I don't buy a 4x4. But there's dozens of people driving around London in the damn things.

            1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              You do

              If the Swiss Army Knife is cheaper.

  3. QwalifiedRegistarHack

    Riiiiight so, swapping these figures around a little bit and massaging in another direction...

    86%, or the vast majority of people bought their own iPad

    82% wouldn't even consider parting with it for money

    73% of people can find tasks that they find their fondleslab useful for

    Just over half (54%) of the respondents think it's actually quite good value for money

    In other news, statistics is proven to be the biggest source of confusion by 367% of the population...

    1. James Howat

      Even if you swap around the figures, they still mean the same. Fewer people are satisfied with their iPad that you might expect. Only half of your customers think your product is good value for money? Only three-quarters of owners have a use for your product? Those are not great results.

      For the record, I am an iPad owner, I use it often, and I fully expect that these results would be the same or worse for Android tablets.

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge

        @James Howat

        But to put it in perspective, lots of people have cars - a proportion don't use them every day.

        All sales and marketing is hit and miss. You could argue that Apple's is highly (overly?) successful as they are able to sell their products to people who don't want them and don't use them. Maybe this just goes to add further evidence to the possibility that Apple is really a marketing company, not a computer company?

        1. Neill Mitchell


          "But to put it in perspective, lots of people have cars - a proportion don't use them every day."

          The inevitable meaningless Apple car analogy in it's usual first page slot. Well done sir!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Confused of Epping...

            I don't quite get it, why is it meaningless? Seems like a fair point of view to me? :-/

      2. LarsG


        they will be gathering dust in the bottom draw along with old mobiles, pdas, mp3 players and all the other useless gadgets that promised amazing things.

        1. DF118

          "Draw" is what you do with crayons

          I believe the word you are looking for is "drawer".

          And just because nobody in the south east can pronounce "drawer" properly doesn't make "draw" an acceptable written alternative.

          1. LarsG

            Yes Teacher...

            Pedantic, but I stand corrected, but as my third language is English I don't think I'm doing to badly.

            1. DF118
              Thumb Up


              I noticed your handle, but it was a chance I had to take!

              Chapeau sir.

    2. sisk

      Flipped around those numbers don't look any better. At the pricetag of an iPad if 86% of the people bought it themselves then at least 86% should find it useful. Instead, only 73% do. And if only 54% of the people who bought any other product found it to be a good value then you'd see it vanishing from the market within a year or two. Realistically a successful product should have somewhere in the neighborhood of 80% at least who think it was worth their money.

      I will say, however, that I don't really consider this study to be very trustworthy. Consider the source: this isn't exactly a trusted consumer reporting publication we're talking about here. Much as I'd like to take the numbers and run with them I sincerly doubt their accuracy.

  4. Cameron Colley

    This amuses me greatly.

    I won an iPad and thought I am anti-Apple decided this would be a good opportunity to see what all the fuss is about.

    I have found some uses for it other than surfing the internet, but i'ts far more limited than a netbook and almkst anythjng that would be good to use it for costs more for the app. The apps also seem to cost more than the Android equivalents, which in some cases are free.

    Over all it's a shiny toy for people who'd rather spend money than make effort.

    Typed, slowly, on my iPad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ditto, won one in a raffle and ended up giving it away as a Christmas present to a computerphobe relative (he loves it and has finally ventured onto the internet because of it).

      If you have an aging relative who's scared of tech and can't cope with a proper computer then it's great, other than that?

      Shiny toy for posers with too much money.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        go on then, i'll bite - what's a "proper computer" then?

        1. Cameron Colley

          For the record.

          I kept the iPad to try it out and it is useful as a secondary device to the EeePC. Were kt not for the fact I've been without a PC for a couple of months I'd have tried to swap it for a cheap droid tab -- still might but I've lost the bix now so I know the resell value has halved.

          As for a "proper PC" I knkw it wasn't asked of me but I'd say a device on which the user can install any software they see fit, which can cary out general purpose computing tasks. The iPad is an appliance on which certain designated tasks can be carried out.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          mouse, keyboard, screen and total flexibility in how you use it, what you install on it etc and not some walled garden that's locked down to prevent you hurting it (which is, coincidentally why the iPad is ideal for newbies of the 'older generation' who are terrified of 'proper computers').

          The iPad is gorgeous, the user experience is lovely, I was honestly upset I couldn't find a use for it that made me think it was being utilised but it ended up back in the box inside a week which was a huge waste, least this way it's being used and has broken down a bit of the technofear, I can send him email and he can do his own internet research and shopping instead of asking me all the time.

        3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          @AC - What's a Proper Computer?

          To em, at least, a proper computer is something that you can have full control of without having to pay a fee to a third party. Something you can hack away at and write your own software for. Admittedly, Android systems are not as completely open in this respect as they could be, but you can download a (free) IDE, install it on your PC, attach your Android device, and transfer and run software that you have written directly onto it. You can also directly access the file system and diddle with it to your hearts content.

          With a bog-styandard laptop or desktop PC, you can do these things directly on the device, without having to involce a second machine at all. With Apple's current set of devices, you have to pay Apple for the ability to put software you have written on the device, or allow others to do so. As far as I am aware, you also have very limited access to the file system. I don't know if it is true of the current generation of devices, but with previous ones, you had to use the hideous iTunes just to transfer your files on and off the device.

      2. Kieran

        posers with too much money ...and by your own argument "users who can't (won't) cope with proper computers."

        "Here's a PC. It will do amazing things for you. But whoa! Wait. First you need to learn all about AV, Malware, Drivers, MDI vs Multiple Windows, Preferences v Options v Settings, storage options , compression, formats, codecs, file systems, protocols Zzzzzz"

        Step back a moment, and just think about how much crap you know about computers. Then about how much time it took you to acquire that knowledge. Then about all the other things you (and I) could have been doing in that time if we hadn't had to.

        1. HipposRule


          What a load of cods. I'd agree with the first two but 99% of users need no more than that.

    2. Markl2011

      well if you don't want it

      I'll take it off your hands. Thanks very much.

  5. Stewart Knight
    Thumb Up

    I buck the trend

    Because I use mine constantly, in fact I have to prise it out of my wife's hands.

    I use my 3g phone...... Ok, it's an iPhone, but I'm not a fanboi honest! To give me the same service as a 3g ipad!

    Truth be told, I'm kicking myself for not getting one with larger storage.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I'm kicking myself for not getting one with larger storage."

      And if Apple hadn't been such dicks and included a memory expansion slot then you wouldn't have to worry about that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Did you expext otherwise?

        Every aspect of Apple's designs are to maximize revenue. An SD card slot would just mean no one would buy their even more overpriced 64gb models and ensures that those lower end models will be obsolete within a couple of years.

  6. AndrewH


    I got my wife an iPad2 on the day of release, and she's used it extensively every day since. As a ready recipe reference in the kitchen (no keyboard to collect dirt), ebook reader, web browser, email reader, and much more. As a result, she has barely touched her laptop, with even less need to since the release of iOS 5

    Not only that, but during the time when she's not using it, the kids love the chance to avail of some of the games and drawing apps.

    I only wish that more of these selfish, unimaginative people who aren't using them would list them for sale and drive the second-hand prices down so that I could get one for myself :-/


      Does that tablet dissolve in water?

      > As a ready recipe reference in the kitchen (no keyboard to collect dirt),

      Yeah... like a smudge slab won't collect dirt or be prone to other kinds of damage.

      Not all of the detractors here are "unimaginative".

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Problem is.

      It's actually not very good at ANY of those things you mentioned. Sure it can do them, just not very well.

      I couldn't read an ebook on one for more than 20 minutes without eyestrain (compared to a proper e-ink reader, which I can read for hours).

      Web browsing is clumsy compared to a proper PC or a netbook.

      ditto email...

      1. Steve Todd

        You have some strange kind of allergy

        to LCD screens? The iPad screen is better than most laptops and all netbooks. Unless you're the kind of person that insists on sticking your nose in a book then the iPad screen is just fine for reading at arms length (where anyone past 40 with normal eyesight will tend to hold it anyway).

        I wonder if we'll get the same kind of whining from you after the Kindle Fire is released (and Android's font handling is demonstrably worse than iOS)?

        1. Windrose

          "Unless you're the kind of person that insists on sticking your nose in a book then the iPad screen is just fine for reading at arms length"

          You suggest holding 600+ grams of tablet *at arms length* for a number of hours? Who are you, Hercules?

          "I wonder if we'll get the same kind of whining from you after the Kindle Fire is released"

          Was that for me? Why, thank you. The Fire's 169dpi display isn't particular useful either, so cut the crap about whining. This issue isn't about Apple, it's about making poor design decisions - and have them defended right, left and center by people with nothing better to do with their time.

          1. Steve Todd


            "You suggest holding 600+ grams of tablet *at arms length* for a number of hours? Who are you, Hercules?"

            You hold books straight out in front of your face rather than rest them comfortably in your lap? What are you, some kind of idiot?

            1. Windrose

              Decidedly some kind of idiot. The kind, specifically, that doesn't manage to hold a book at "arms length" and "in my lap" at the same time.

              I am as much an orangutan as you are polite. Which should say it all.

              1. Steve Todd

                Most people

                have arms that come down to crotch level and can hold a book at arms length in their lap with ease. Orangutans need only apply if I'd suggested holding the book between your knees. Don't do a lot of reading do you?

                1. Windrose

                  Just a little

                  ... bit more than you do, it appears. I'd ask why you insist on being such a stuffed shirt, but your rudeness does speak for itself.

                  Now. "At arms length" means "with your arm stretched out". Sitting in a chair, with my arm stretched out, means I easily reached ... the knee. So holding it "at arms length" *and* in the lap becomes quaintly difficult, unless you are Möbius or Listing.

                  Or perhaps you insist, Jobs' style, that we should STAND while we read, necks bent, and looking just slightly idiotic. Well, that's up to you. Me, I'll go on thinking that half-a-kilo-plus is somewhat more than I like holding as if it was a book.

                  Somewhat like your 'tude, actually.

                  1. Chad H.

                    Ipads just fine for browsing and reading

                    In fact I'm reading more thanks to the convenience factor. Its fine at normal book length.

                    Maybe he's right - you could be holding it too close... No offense meant but have you had your peepers checked recently?

                  2. Steve Todd

                    @Windrose - let me get this right

                    you're trying to stretch the definition of "at arms length" in a way that HELPS my argument (with arms locked rigid most people would be holding a book resting on their legs above the knee, your Orangutan jibe implied that your arms were too SHORT to reach even your lap.

                    Add to that you're making what may be most charitably be described as controversial remarks on an Internet forum and are receiving responses that would be regarded as mild in almost any debating chamber you care to mention, and you complain that I'm not being courteous to you? You're two kinds of idiot for thinking you'll get any better than that.

      2. pdogguk

        Web browsing is clumsy compared to a PC or netbook?


        A proper PC? I agree.

        A Netbook? Don't be ridiculous.

  7. Mark #255

    And remember, you can assign your Sale of Goods Acts rights to the recipient (all my love and SoGA rights...)

    Or so I recall Which saying once.

    1. Naughtyhorse


      Its an iDevice...

      the user/owner ^has^ no rights.

      he may be dead but it's still all steves

  8. Zot

    It makes me wonder...

    ... about the people buying it and not using. Are they simply suckered in by the advertising, and don't normally use things like laptops and computers much anyway?

  9. jubtastic1

    Use mine all day long

    Even when I'm using my desktop or laptop, the iPad sits next to the keyboard, when I surf on something else I instinctively try and double tap to zoom in on the content, which is a bit annoying when it doesn't happen.

    In order of usage: surfing (research & recreation), email, Plex (films), games, books, music, ssh, VNC & system monitoring. Best gizmo I've ever owned, wife hates it.

    1. LarsG

      THEN YOU NEED TO.......

      GET a job and get out more.

      If you've got time to use it all day you must have bought it on benefits.

      1. jubtastic1



        1. LarsG

          Get the disability....

          Living allowance and you'll have all day to play with your iPad.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wife? yeah right, pull the other one!

      1. jubtastic1

        I know, married IT worker, how can that be?

        She's not mail order either, I'm one in a million me.

        1. Mark #255

          One in a million

          So there's 7000 people just like you?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let me guess

    "The survey, by money-off coupon site MyVoucherCodes" seriously?

    Was this was one of those online polls anyone can submit to, eg with no major statistical significance?

    I'd expect a bit more credible sources...

  11. Chris_Maresca

    I completely agree. We have an iPad and several computers dotted around the house, the iPad gets minimal use. Mostly just reading the news the in morning and thats it.

    My wife commented that she feels restricted when using it, that there is not much scope for creating, it's mostly about consumption.

    Is it worth all the money? Probably not. Should you get one if you are into tech? Yes, absolutely, even if it's not used that much in our household, having one helps to understand it's attraction. It's basically a TV, but highly personal and has the internet as a content source.

    It challenges a lot of the computing industries paradigms and brings 'personal computing' to the masses as a traditional consumerist device (e.g. one way, mostly passive). While it may not fit our particular computer usage, this seems to appeal to a large amount of people.

  12. HP Cynic

    It's simply overpriced (like all Apple products).

    Cut the price and more people will get value for money both subjectively and by definition.

    With Apple reaping a 60%+ margin on these they have plenty of room to make them more accessible.

    Obviously none of this will matter to Apple.

    1. Audrey S. Thackeray


      It's more expensive than it needs to be in that Apple could still make money selling it for less but in relation to other products of the same type it's still looking pretty competitive in price terms.

      Until there's a competitor which is equally good but costs significantly less (Amazon?) I'd not call the iPad overpriced.

      People who aren't finding a use for it would consider it overpriced even if it was sold below cost.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We could use a 2nd iPad

    Our iPad is in constant use and routinely fought over. I'm not in the scramble - being a dedicated laptop user, I don't really need it. I think difference accounts for the wide variety of reactions to a tablet. If you use a laptop all the time, you might wonder why anyone would want a tablet. But a huge number of people want an appliance for communication and entertainment that 'just works' - a laptop or netbook entails knowing far more about computers than they can (or want to) cope with.

    1. Naughtyhorse


      Our laptop is in constant use and routinely fought over. I'm not in the scramble - being a dedicated desktop user, I don't really need it. I think difference accounts for the wide variety of reactions to a computer. If you use a desktop all the time, you might wonder why anyone would want a laptopt. But a huge number of people want an appliance for communication and entertainment that 'just works' - a desktop or workstation entails knowing far more about computers than they can (or want to) cope with.

      there fixed it for you :-D

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Tablet vs computer

        Not recognising the difference between an appliance and a computer is a bit disingenuous. We are surrounded by devices that technicians understand to be computers (under the bonnet so to speak) but no one else does. I'm not going to refer to my washing machine as a computer simply because it has a programmable imbedded processor.

        All the complaints about "Apple's walled garden' spring from the same inability to understand the difference. iPhones and iPads are made to be appliances, distinct in their presentation, usage, and target audience from devices that are commonly referred to as 'computers'. What most of the world understands to be a 'computer' is better suited to technicians and professionals. The vast majority have no use for (or interest in) them.

    2. Windrose

      Ok. I get it.

      "Our iPad is in constant use and routinely fought over."

      Ok. I get that people use it. What I don't grok is WHY. Seriously. I've got a variety of these devices in the lab, and so I've tried the iPad2 for "non-site testing" purposes.

      The dpi is way, way too low for e-books - and the devices is way too heavy for same. It's 4:3, so playing movies are, well .. if I could even get some ON there (iTunes tells me it won't even transfer the .mov file I wanted. mkv isn't worth bothering with. ). Type on it? Nope. I saw someone mention ssh - ssh to what? There's no ctrl key, no alt key, no ... music? I don't even WANT to think what I need to do to get flac on there - no, I don't have mp3s, and I don't WANT to conver 800+ albums :(

      Fingerpainting, yes, I can see that one even if the precision is poor ... but honestly, ALL the time? Surfing the web? It's ... HEAVY, and there's no stand unless I buy one - but then it isn't very portable.

      It drops wifi constantly, I can't very well carry the thing with me for todo-lists and calendars, and it'd look bloody silly screwed to the dash of the car for map apps.

      I've used it for a photoframe, but it's a damned expensive one.

      Nope. Don't get it. Really don't.

      1. Naughtyhorse

        The clue is in the question...

        you grok!

        ergo you dont want a idevice

        anyone who groks anything dont want an idevice


  14. I_am_Chris


    I'm surprised. We got one as a present last Xmas and we use it everyday.

    My, self-affirmed technophobe, wife reads emails and surfs the Internet, and the kids play games.

    I wouldn't have got one beforehand, but now I'm considering getting an iPad3 when it come out.

    1. Macka

      Me too

      I'm surprised too. I have one (3G) and get loads of use out of it. I check email, catch up on news (MobileRSS) and read books & PDFs on the way into work in the morning; use OmniFocus heavily during the work day to manage my projects and work load; and it's perfect for a bit of light browsing, catching up on FaceBook and the occasional game when I get a spare hour or so in the evenings (N.O.V.A, GroundEffect, Nanosaur 2, RiseOfGlory, etc). It's even handy for calming down my son when he gets a bit hyper .. he loves SoundTouch and AlphaBaby. It's size, weight, portability and (best of all) amazing battery life make it a must have item for me. My other computers hardly get a look in these days,

  15. Jason Hindle

    Odd, I bought my Luddite Dad one...

    And he dotes over it. There seems to be a few more apps on it every time I take a look and he seems adept at finding decent, free apps.

    Sent from my iPhone......

  16. Mike Bell

    "They don't have a 3G model so they can only use it with Wi-Fi"

    I have my WiFi-only model tethered to my HTC phone so I can use the internet when I'm out and about.

    Last thing I want is another SIM and a network contract just for an iPad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Surely the problem isn't so much another SIM, but that it isn't hooked into the same contract you already have so that it just uses up the same data allowance. Any network that did this would have quite a bit of interest I suspect.

    2. Anomalous Cowturd

      @Mike Bell

      Free Giffgaff sim card, then £5 / 500Meg or £12.50 / 3Gig Goodybag

      No contract.


  17. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    And to state the bleeding obvious....

    The same percentages may well apply to Android Fondleslabs.

    Did they ask that question? Probably not.

  18. Jolyon Smith

    Same results for Android ... ?

    I don't think so...

    Most people I know with an iDevice have one because they just had to have one. There was no consideration of alternatives, no consideration of actual need - they just had. to. have. one. now.

    Most people with Android devices have at least considered the alternatives and positively chosen Android as being better/more appropriate/more desirable for them.

    It doesn't surprise me in the least to learn that a good proportion of those people that "had to have" an iDevice eventually realised that they didn't need or even really want one after all because iDevices aren't sold on the basis of functionality, just desire.

    I would be very surprised if the same proportions of satisfied/dissatisfied are found in the Android space.


    With the pocket device in the pocket.

  19. Paul Docherty
    Thumb Up

    Very Satisfied

    ...but then I bought my iPad 2 for content consumption. Had me laptop theived, and decided to junk whole laptop idea since it spent most of its time interwebing and iPlaying. I use it every day - its even packed alongside my unloved (work) HP Elitebook - it's faster and easier to deal with email on the train on the fondleslab. I've got the 3G 32gb version, and have to say the WiFi only version doesn't appeal in comparison.

    I'm pushing for our IT bods to approve it as an alternative to laptop + blackberry combination. I'd rather have a laptop (for longer business trips) + iPad (short trips). It can't replace my work laptop, but it's certainly more convenient about 75% of the time.

  20. LaeMing

    I imagine

    (and I will say 'tablet' here as I am fairy sure that while the study was on iPads that much the same results would be found across the board) that it would come down to people who bought a tablet to do particular activities vs people who bought (or were given) a tablet to have one.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Which is why...

    ... I've resisted buying one - ok ok, and I'm completely skint, so I can't actually afford one.

    Heck, they are really tidy little numbers, well sexy, tricked up to the max and erm, well, what else?

    Ah yeah, portable 1024 resolution - pretty good, looks nice on the coffee table, you can bore people with your family photo's.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again - and this time, nobody will be listening either - the Tablet is the new Netbook, in terms of 'the new hotness' - the public will, in time, get bored of them.

    It's a nifty little portable computer with a touch screen interface - that is all.

    Certainly the way software is designed for multi-touch is, in some ways, revolutionary - and it will improve over time, but really, that's about it.

    Where tablets *will* shine, once the price has shifted down to the right level, is for work related tasks. Hospitals, delivery men, labs, public transport staff, boardroom presentations, students.

    Basic 'touch' screen devices have been around for decades, but they've been klunky and the portable ones have been stylus driven.

    As a recreational device, the initial hype will cool down, probably after this xmas season.

    What's very clear, get the price point wrong, get the marketing wrong and get the software wrong, it's dead-in-the-water on release (just ask HP) - which actually proves that the public still doesn't really know what they would do with a tablet device.

    The Apple marketing machine is hurtling along at breakneck pace, making the iPad the ultimate desirable tech gadget - but for how long?

  22. LarsG


    but when in possession it suddenly becomes apparent that it had few practical uses.

    Check emails

    Watch film

    Play with aps

    Then suddenly it dawns on you that it lacks application, tiresome to type on, limited storage space, needs to be.......


    1. Euchrid

      @ LarsG

      Would you be able to point me in the direction of a piece of software like Snapseed for the same price?

      In any case, I use the PC version of Nik Software plug-ins, but I don't always want to carry my laptop around with me and find my iPad more convenient to do so. Additionally, the touch screen interface affords me a different kind of functionality than the PC one - which has led me editing in ways that I wouldn't have with the latter?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Everytime I read one of your posts LarsG I imagine a sad little 13yr old sat hammering his keyboard, crazy eyed and foaming at the mouth.

      Give it a fucking rest - we get that you don't like Apple (you're one of the most prolific fandroids I've seen) why don't you just stay away from these topics that apparently cause you so much emotional conflict, enjoy whatever non-apple product you use and let others who go the Apple route enjoy their kit. It might just do your blood pressure some good.

  23. Craig 28

    Re:Toy for posers

    Or for people with disabilities, believe it or not but Apple's kit is great for people with disabilities thanks to features built in that noone else offers in that manner. As an example I'm visually impaired and my options for a portable device would be:

    Laptop plus "screen reader" software for Windows, say £300 for a netbook plus £700 for a commercial screen reader (Narrator is the worst kind of crap)

    MacBook Air with "Voice Over" screen reader built in, £850

    "Notetaker", essentially a specially built PDA with integrated screen reader, £1,650

    iPad, £500 plus the ability to actually access some of the apps

    Android screen readers are available but presently the only ones worth using are commercial, plus require sighted assistance to install.

    I imagine similar facts exist for low-vision users (built in magnification as opposed to paying extra, if a magnifier package is even available for the OS), along with many other disabilities which may struggle with conventional devices.

    If I didn't have the need to balance accessibility (in the disability sense) with OS features I'd probably have gone for Linux given a free hand, I'm no Apple fanboy by a long margin. The simple truth is that Apple do accessibility right and for many people this makes a world of difference, many of us possessing a fair amount of technical knowledge.

    On the other hand this doesn't change the fact that it's overpriced and underfeatured for users without such niche requirements.

    In the interests of disclosure I'm using an iPhone but not an iPad, I decided that I don't presently have a requirement for an iPad nor any pressing need for any computing device I can carry with me aside from a phone. If I were still at college/university however I would have been yearning for such a device since I wouldn't need to rely on the crappy college/uni computers, nor fighting with the IT department to get the access software already owned by the institution installed on computers where I can use them and not to remove it whenever they change around the software available to that room or reformat the room as a substitute for defragging their old win 95 computers. (my old college used win 95 until at least summer of 2004, they claimed it was more stable than 98)

    1. Windrose

      Or not?

      "Or for people with disabilities, believe it or not but Apple's kit is great for people with disabilities thanks to features built in that noone else offers in that manner."

      Yes - and no. It's *excellent* for people with visual-related disabilities. Those missing limbs, or using mouth-held pointers ... not so much.

      (Yes, it CAN be fixed, but then we are suddenly back to "we have to modify the tech to make it work", and Apple has no advantages.)

  24. chipxtreme

    My experience

    The people I know with an ipad barely use them, in fact one said it had been in a drawer for months. Two of those that I know are what you'd consider proper crapple fanbois too - they absolutely buy everything crapple - although they didn't buy the 4S and are now both considering Android for there next phone after being let down so badly with the 4S. One of them is selling his ipad as he says he just has no use for it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Think you know the wrong kind of people.

  25. Chad H.
    Thumb Down

    Dear El Reg

    Dear El Reg,

    Please thank the maker you do not have to survive on subscriptions as I would be cancelling mine.

    How much longer are we going to be subjected to lazy articles like this and your exclusive report series on how careless (or not) civil servants are?

    For this report to have any meaning you'd need to do exactly what commenters like myself told you in those articles - you need to provide a point of comparison. How many PC/Playstation/Electric Drill users use their devices every day?

  26. Paul 135

    no sh1t

    Many of us could have told you that before tablets came out - useless pieces of junk.

    Then along comes Lord Jobs and his reality distortion field, backed by his armies of religious zealots and combined with the tech media having nothing else to write about and hypying them up. The result is crAppl€ earning $$$$$$$ for nothing, and Micro$oft destroying the next version of Windows by foisting a useless tablet UI upon PC users.

  27. gurugeorge



    Here's why... I have a dual core Atom N550 Asus netbook with 12 hours of battery. I use it to do some rendering, coding etc. but most of the time a netbook is a broswer and emailer that I lug around. It takes 30 seconds to resume from standby, 90 from hibernate. Every few standbys the thing gets so slow I have to reboot, thats just using standard browsing apps and a few Office files open.

    I didnt use my ipad for 3 weeks. Before I could open the cover it resumed. Let me repeat this so it sinks in. After 3 weeks of non-use, it booted up **before I could open the crappy smartcover**. Thats less than one second. And had 96% battery left. No screen lock, because I used the cover. Thats faster than my laptop, desktop, phone, or psion. Nothing else does that. Thats amazing.

    I'm not a fanboi. I desperately tried Blaclberry, every major Nokia since 1995, a few droid phones (Nexus, Desire, Galaxy).... WHY do you have a 100mb limit on apps in HTC DEsire? So I have to choose between Skype or Medscape? Why do you have to say "New contact" click the name, scroll down, click the number, hide the keyboard, then scroll down to save?

    After 2 years of android, I gave up and got an iphone 4s.The navigation/maps cant compare to android, BUT there are many free nav programs that dont use any data for the iphone.

    Skype video, far better and faster than droid, on the same network. Same with Voip/SIP calls. Its one step ahead on the iphone. Same with the ipad, no other droid tablets compare.

    Yes ipads basically a big phone without a phone, ie a brick without using a droid/iphone as a hotspot. And its severely crippled and limited in what it can do. But for web browsing, internet, skype & SIP it is a joy to use.

    Iphone & ipad all the way.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I know a number of people

    ... who have bought an iPad -- all of whom have within a fortnight regretted it bitterly.

    The novelty is fun for about 2-3 days then wears off totally after then.

    Waste of 600 quid. Could've had a decent lappy for that.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My shiny is better than yours

    Have to love the comments on these sort of articles - always good for a chuckle.

    For my two penneth worth the iPad has never held any great appeal. It is undeniably an expensive tablet (probably because there's a lot of expensive tech in it - c'mon it can't really just be down to slapping an Apple logo on it?). Personally I can't forsee a situation where I'd need one. However my interest has risen in the kindle fire, it's the right price point (I realise it's effectively a muchly scaled down iPad) and will do what I want it to do - play the odd movie/tv series or read a book. big enough to be visible without being unweildy (yes, I find the iPad ergonomic but unweildy for holding in one hand while navigating with the other.) So, in summary if someone gave me an iPad I'd downgrade straight away.

    Now, before I get tarred with the anti-Apple brush I'd like to point out that I've owned a few macs, several ipods and am just about to join the iphone brigade for the first time. I like Apple design and the quality of their products but I do have a few issues with how they operate. For example, the first thing I'll be looking to do with my new phone is jailbreaking, so that I can actually do what I want with the hardware I've purchased. It's probably also time they started selling a cheaper iphone/ipad (like the mac mini is to the mac line up.) Joe Schmo isn't going to use half the features on his ipad/iphone so why not make a bid for a bigger market share by making a cheaper variant? Then all you have to do is focus on the design/hardware and killer apps you bring to the next version to make people go out and upgrade.

    1. Zack Mollusc

      Surely penneth should be written as penn'orth as it is a contraction of 'penny's worth' ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Joe Schmo isn't going to use half the features on his ipad/iphone so why not make a bid for a bigger market share by making a cheaper variant?"

      They do, it's called the iPod Touch...

    3. Euchrid

      re: My shiny is better than yours

      “… It is undeniably an expensive tablet (probably because there's a lot of expensive tech in it - c'mon it can't really just be down to slapping an Apple logo on it..”

      Okay, I’ll bite – I deny that the iPad is an expensive tablet. It might more than you want to pay (and it does sound the Kindle would suit you to for the ground), but that’s another matter.

      When the iPad – or rather, an Apple tablet – was rumoured to be launching, it was expected to cost around $1,000. When Apple revealed the actual pricing, there was amazement that that it was going to be half of that price. IIRC, there was disgruntlement from people, who expected rival manufacturers to produce something as good, or better, for less than £300 then discovered this wasn’t going to be the case.

      Around the time that the iPad price was confirmed, Amazon was taking orders for the Motorola Xoom for around £750 – that wasn’t an official price, but that was what was being estimated… the price came down pretty damn cheaply when it was realised that a product supposed to be undercutting Apple was going to cost a darn sight more.

      As manufacturers like Motorola and HP have found, producing a good bit of tablet kit don’t come cheap. Prior to its firesale, HP had reduced the cost the price of the Touchpad by $100, which meant it was making a loss on each sale.

      According to some breakdowns, the bill of materials for the iPad is $333 ($326-60-ihs-isuppli-teardown-analysis-shows.aspx) – the manufacturing costs aren’t supposed to be great, but you need to throw in marketing, R&D etc. Incidentally, the iPad 2 launched at a slightly lower price than the iPad – and Tim Cook has said they’ll be trying to bring down the cost more.

      Recently, El Reg ran a round-up of ‘premium Android tablets’ - - for the most part, ‘premium’ means ‘it’s a actually a decent bit of kit’. Although there are well-regarded (and I’m going by what people I know have said, forum posts, as well as the article) products which are cheaper than the entry iPad 2, they’re not drastically cheaper (e.g. less than £75), whilst others as more expensive.

      I know there’s a temptation to think Apple kit always has an “Apple tax”, but I’m still surprised that people have forgotten that the ‘smart money’ was betting on an Apple tablet that was going to cost twice as much. If Apple were selling it for £250, I bet there will still be those who say it only costs that because of the logo.

  30. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge
    Thumb Up

    "...61 per cent said they were just too busy to fondle their slab"

    I just love El Reg's "fondleslab" moniker :D

    Also got one - but use it at home after work. It is the model with both 3G and wifi.

    Prefer it above a cellphone as it's got a larger screen for emails and IM.

    /goes off to fondle the slab

  31. Dave 142

    Given how many people make impulse buys of new gadgets and leave them sat doing nothing in a few months this isn't surprising. For this to have any real meaning you'd have to compare this survey with other products.

  32. Belgarion

    Timely reminder

    "Before you wonder why they shelled out over £400 for it then, it turns out not all of them did. The survey found that 14 per cent of people polled had been given the iPad as a gift and hadn't had much use for it in the first place."

    I fall in this category. I was considering one as a gift for an iPhone user even though she shows no interest in them (I took her by a shop to see how she would react).

    This article was the last nail in the coffin. The money would be better spent elsewhere than on a £500 coaster.

  33. Dave 125

    I use mine for music

    iGigBook to save lugging tons of RealBooks to every jazz gig I play at.

    OnSong for all the chord charts I use at church (transposable too!)

    iRealb is considerably cheaper and easier to use than Band In A Box.

    Ten hour battery life guarantees that it won't run flat half way through a gig, even after it's aged a bit and this is down to 5-6 hours.

    Decent sized screen means it's readable on a music stand, and it's light enough not to cause the less solid music stands to collapse under its weight.

    Everything above but OnSong got me interested, but you can get PDF viewers on other tablets (although there's more to iGigBook than simply viewing PDFs), and I have BiaB on my PC. OnSong was the tipping point.

    Obviously you only buy hardware for the software you can run on it. If you can do everything you want on a laptop, get a laptop. No point buying an iPad if you don't know what you plan to do with it. It's a heck of a lot to spend "just to see what it can do".

    Fringe benefits but I wouldn't buy an iPad for any of these (unless it was around half the price): several games, net usage, email if I switch to GMail but I still do this on my main PC, downloaded several Bible translations (YouVersion), got my entire photo album on it too, and still exploring. There's loads of free stuff on the App store.

  34. Richard Scratcher
    Thumb Up

    Not a Toy

    I wasn't going to buy an iPad because I already had a lap top and a smart phone. Although a tablet device would be great for e-mail and web browsing, it was a lot of money for something I didn't need.

    But then I saw how useful the iPad is for giving presentations. Apple's Keynote software is easy to use and will also play windows Powerpoint files. It's great to be able to stand and give a presentation holding an iPad as one might hold a book. Hold a finger to the screen and a red dot appears like a laser pointer, which can be moved about to draw elements on a slide. It's the future!

    The only thing missing is a wireless link to the projector.

  35. Kungfugerbil
    Thumb Up

    Great for some people, not for others

    I bought the missus one for her birthday. She's at home with our newborn and isn't without it at any point in the day. There's a feeding reminder app, email that she can use when cuddling a niggly baby, handy recipe thing so she can make me nice food for when I come home, games to distract her, calendar for baby appointments...

    For her it's perfect and she loves it. I think it's nice but wouldn't buy one for myself, but as it keeps her happy its worth every penny of the 400 quid.

  36. Jay 2

    I picked up an iPad2 in the US a few weeks back. More often than not I use it every day whilst slumped on the sofa after work. It does exactly what I expected it to, namely web browsing, email and a few games. So my Mac doesn't get switched on as much.

    The only real down side for me is that some websites don't quite play well with Safari (and sometimes Opera).

  37. ukdeluded

    Touchpad win!!

    I have an under 100 pound Touchpad, overclocked, dual boot with Android, and for that money great, but more than that? No thanks, not enough use for it.

    some great features on it as well, like mobile pairing, but never was worth the original price tag.

  38. andy 45


    If your regular laptop takes 30 seconds to resume from standby you must be doing something wrong. My crappy 2004 laptop takes less time than that on Win7 with a mere 1.5gigs ram.

    I suggest you uninstall Realplayer or something mate.

    I don't doubt that the iPad resume is faster, but I'm sure I can smell the all too familiar gut-wrenching whiff of exaggeration....

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mine was a gift and...

    I use it lightly every day, more intensively at weekends to read the Times.

    Actually started reading newspapers again after a long time of not buying them.

    Also a great by-the-sofa ready reference aid, TV schedule display, Internet radio/TV catchup device and instant language translator.

    Still essentially a toy as it does not do anything a laptop does not.

    It provokes thoughts about whether everyone will want one.

    At £100, lighter in weight and working like an iPad, yes they all will, and this will happen.

  40. darklord

    theres a surprise

    Saw this coming two years ago. Like the Wii which now sits under the telly gathering dust was a good idea at the time. I am not poking at just the ipad i think the whole fondleslab thing is flawed due to the lack of a decent usable keyboard.

    ill stick with my FJ lifebook P8130 for a while longer.

  41. propinquity

    thinly disguised gorilla marketing

    given that 84% of the text (remember that 94% of statistics are made up on the spur of the moment) was about slab usage - why the android slab ad at the end.... what started out so credible ended up inedible.

    1. Audrey S. Thackeray


      Where can I buy one of these thinly disguised gorillas?

  42. rvt

    Some guys talk about the Asus transformer but it has some issues...

    The screen is to small for a laptop or a notbook, the keyboard and mousepad are small and the touchscreen should be good enough to type on anyways, like the iPad.

    The transformer cannot connect to anything in my house, like my apple TV and iMac, and it doesn't use the iCloud and doesn't come with Numbers or pages and I cannot even install it from the appstore of all items I bought already for my iPhone.

    I have no use for USB sticks and memory card readers, because every picture I shoot with my iPhone already got automatically send to the iCloud and will appear magically on my iPad, and Apple TV, and iMac and all my apple connected devices.

    Really, the asus transfer is old school computing, Apple figured out the way we like to do computing in the feature. Just wait and see, Google will do the same with android later on, however, Apple is the feature way of computing, just many people don't realize it yet

  43. Ned Fowden

    sounds like ...

    A story of people with more money than sense ... the stereotypical new Apple consumers

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hater, I actually own and use an ipad2 on a frequent basis

    I bought it as an entertainment item rather than for it's work related functionality.

    As Apple say, there is an app for just about everything, I can watch movies in almost any filetype out there with little fuss, music plays just fine (I couldn't give a hoot about FLAC files), the only issue I have is down to Flash/Java but my requirement for that is better dealt with by my laptop anyway.

    Both myself and my children derive a lot of enjoyment from using it and I do consider it value for money based solely on that.

    It is limited in what it can do, but why would you buy something when you need it to perform beyond what it is capable of ... that just baffles me

    1. Windrose

      Sounds more like ...

      "I couldn't give a hoot about FLAC files"

      Good for you. As long as you are happy with doing what Apple's engineers have decided you should do, everything is - mostly fine. See below.

      "I can watch movies in almost any filetype out there with little fuss"

      HOW? I've dragged files into iTunes, I've dropped them, I've opened them, I've converted them, and so far *nothing what so ever* play on the bloody thing. Ripped DVDs, home movies, downloaded tv series ... I COULD see a use for it to watch stuff on, but so far absolutely no go what so ever.

      Trying to add a .MOV-file and having iTunes tell me - for once TELL me - that it isn't supported was, perhaps, the single most hillarious moment of this sad story. Mostly it just doesn't say anything when I do drag'n'drop or 'add file to library'.

      1. Markl2011
        Thumb Up

        "I can watch movies in almost any filetype out there with little fuss"

        "HOW? I've dragged files into iTunes, I've dropped them, I've opened them, I've converted them, and so far *nothing what so ever* play on the bloody thing. Ripped DVDs, home movies, downloaded tv series ... I COULD see a use for it to watch stuff on, but so far absolutely no go what so ever."

        What are you converting them with? Try handbrake.

        Don't forget to donate

        1. Windrose

          No ...

          "Try handbrake"

          0.9.5, using the 'iPad', profile. Converted nicely; 'least Handbrake said nothing. iTunes keep quiet when I try to add the resulting file. Zip. Nada.

          Any other ideas?

          1. Markl2011

            So you presumably have a .m4v file?

            With your iPad connected to iTunes, Select the iPad in the Devices list and under the Summary tab select "Manually manage music and videos". You should then be able to just drop the file onto the iPad.

    2. Chad H.

      Have you tried...

      One of the multitudes of free media players available in the App store that promise to play all?

      I find most of them work quite nicely.

  44. Matthew 17

    they mess with my OCD

    I like my shiny computer bits all shiny, the iDevices by their design mean that they're constantly covered in finger prints and smears.

    So I constantly have to wipe it and get it all shiny again.

    I can use a laptop or desktop no problem, unless my wife feels the need to point something out by touching the screen!


  45. Greencat

    Still find mine useful

    I admit I was suckered in by the whole Star trek thing when it first came out - and I've had a on/off relationship with it ever since. It has spent days forgotten about only for me to pick it up and intensively use it (yep still has plenty of battery and springs to life near instantly) for a few hours and then put it down again.

    At first I used it for web browsing while the missus was watching TV. It's especially good for following twitter while the xfactor is on. I was often shushed for laughing at the comments being made. Reading comics and most pdfs is far more fun than on Kindle or my laptop too. I doubt there is a better tool for browsing and deleting email.

    It is terrible for inputting text (the bluetooth keyboard is a serious drain and the on screen keyboard frustrating for touch typists) but with a Poundland stylus and Noteshelf is a fantastic notetaker. I put all of my handwritten notes into it now (and it's far friendly to take to a meeting than propping open an netbook and furiously typing away). iThoughtsHD is a great mind mapping tool too. Garageband is fun to tinker with as well. I also use it to give the odd presentation to small groups of people.

    In Borneo last year I had a magical time with my 5 year old nephew (neither of us speak a word of each other's language) playing with one of the virtual pond apps. My 2 year old nephew in this country also loves the baby games on it.

    Is it the best gadget I've ever bought? I doubt it. It's not quite the transparent yet facilitative creative tool I hoped it would be (MS's courier might have been a better bet if it had existed) - but as long as I keep finding new uses for it I'll be happy and it is a very nice toy.

  46. Fatty Eglon

    To be honest ...

    I'm kind of tiring of all this. Daily bus trip to work is full of people glued to their smart phones, ipads, kindles etc. No one looks up, even less so than when people just read books and papers. The highlight of my week was seeing a guy reading a paper back!!

    I'm in a bad mood anyway, as I'm doing data recovery. Sometimes I hate everything to do with IT.


  47. Long Fei


    I can understand the figures shown. I still believe that, yes, whilst many people have a legit use for a pad (of any denomination), their (the pads I mean) functionality is limited for most people.

    I'm not an Apple fan, but the pad is nice to use (some friends have them). However, I own an Asus Transformer because I simply couldn't justify *any* pad for my daily usage.

    Yes, sometimes I detach my AT's screen and use it as an ebook, but 90% of the time it's attached to its keyboard and is used as a laptop (with looaadds of battery life).

    I do have a few niggles with it, but that's just because it's not yet a mature system. I have confidence the few features lacking will be added eventually.

  48. bahamut
    Thumb Down

    Like Windows 95

    The applications are crashing all the time on it, when I use it, I have the feeling that I'm using a Windows 95.

    I'm totally not surprised. Have anybody seen the language they use, called: "Object C" ?

    It's the one of the worst languages ever created, it is not object oriented at all. It is impossible to manage complex software with that sh*t.

    1. Chad H.


      I've never experienced that issue. And Objective C has been used for many things in the past. Perhaps its not the tool, but its user at fault.

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