One thing he showed me was a comic book he had downloaded, as well as some newspapers. Both things look great on the iPad. The iBook function is interesting. You can chose to make an iBook display in two open pages, like looking at a book. And of course, the touch screen— the reason for all those smudges— works beautifully when you "stroke" the corner of the page to "flip" it over. The Kindle for iPad app is okay but needs some work. I really think Amazon should put some effort into upgrading that ASAP. Right now Amazon has a real edge in books available in their store versus the iBooks store, but if they want iPad owners to buy books, they need to get cracking. These folks like glitz or they wouldn't have bought an iPad.
From what I have read on the web, I don't feel any compulsion to go out and buy an iPad. Sure it's the ultimate in shiny, but it's a lot of money for a tablet version of a netbook, especially a netbook that can't be hooked up to a printer or have a flash drive plugged in without buying an extra piece of hardware. I also don't like the fact that the iPad can't be your only "computer." Apparently, you need to connect it to your Mac or PC and snyc it with your iTunes account to even begin to use it.
Which is not to say I think the iPad won't be popular. I think it will. But as a "game changer" I see it having the most impact on netbook sales. That, to me, is its closest competition. The iPad has a better screen and is easier to use than most netbooks, but it won't multi-task and it has the above-mentioned hardware connectivity limitations. Also, the touchscreen keyboard is very good for a touchscreen keyboard, but I doubt most good typists will want to use it for any length of time. Typing an email on an iPad? No problem! Typing War and Peace? No so much. The only games I saw was a driving simulator; it looked like fun because the iPad functions like a combination steering wheel and throttle. I have no clue about other games.
The iPad is sized like a netbook; it's enough bigger than a Kindle 2 that carrying one in a purse will require a satchel-sized purse. On the other hand, the iPad will take less room in a backpack than a a true netbook because it's so much thinner. And unlike the WiFi, the battery actually weeks better than advertised, 12 hours or so, instead of ten. Still nowhere as good as the two weeks I get with my Kindle but then you can't watch movies on a Kindle. I still prefer an e-ink screen for reading hours at a stretch, but I don't think most iPad owners are going to read for hours.
I think Steve Jobs was really smart about one thing. He offered a stripped down model for $500. Now when people who want an iPad compare prices, they think they will get the $500 model because it sounds so reasonable. But when they look at what it has, they will decide they need more memory or the 3G connection, and then before they know it, they've spent over $800!
So, what about you? I have a brief poll about the iPad, if you wouldn't mind letting me know what you think about this new thing that isn't quite anything else.
Do you think you will buy an iPad in the next year?
If you answered yes, in any variation, what do you think you would use an iPad for? Please check all that apply.
Where do you anticipate using the iPad most?