Look at this thing, will you? It looks like an iPhone, or an iPod Touch on steroids... but holy cow, all the things that it can do!
Yesterday, Apple unveiled the much-anticipated, and much-ballyhooed computer tablet. That's right, a tablet. How cool is that? Of course, the tablet has been the stuff of science fiction even before Yeoman Rand started using one for Captain Kirk to read and sign memoranda on the Enterprise. A tablet was the educational and entertainment platform of choce for Andrew "Ender" Wiggin and his friends at the Battle School. How can a man who was raised in the 60's and 70's not appreciate or be excited by the arrival of such a piece of technology?
The iPad isn't the first touchscreen computer, and it isn't the first tablet, but it will be the first one of these items to make it into mainstream use. Having the Apple brand behind it with all of the available applications and media buzz that goes with being an Apple product, the iPad seems certain, in my estimation, to be destined for success.
Along with the coolness factor, the iPad comes with an attractive initial price point, starting at $499 for the most basic model, with 16 GB of memory, and $829 for 62 GB. There will be two versions of the iPad, one with Wi-Fi access, and one with Wi-Fi and 3G access. I'm telling you, my friends, this is going to be big.
So what is the big deal about a tablet? Well, first, A touchscreen takes the place of a monitor and keyboard so no more folding and unfolding your laptop. This cool gadget will play/store music; play video at great resolution; help you shop for and read books; and will have immediate success with over 140,000 iPhone applications(I hate the techy-term "apps"... I will not be assimilated, damn it!),which will make all of the iPhone people salivate. More importantly than it's usefulness is the fact that the iPad has "cool" written all over it. Seriously. It's cool, and you know that I am right. Even better than cool, the iPad is sexy. This gadget is going to be a blessing to the social lives of no small number of people in the very near-term for reasons I shouldn't have to explain (and if you need an explanation, email me).
So, it's useful, techy, cool, sexy, innovative, forward-looking, and practical.... does that translate into sales? For that price, you bet your ass. The iPad isn't going to cost much more than a mid-range laptop, and will do a lot more than many laptops... but I won't be buying one. Nope, not me. Why? for several reasons: First because my computing needs are minimal, all I really need a computer for is to blog; send/receive photos and email; word processing; and surfing the 'net. Second; I have a perfectly fine platform sitting on my desk at work. Third; I have a perfectly fine platform on the desk in our home office. Fourth; I already have a laptop. Fifth (and this is important to me); This is first generation stuff... I'll be watching to see how it all evolves.
Oh, and a final word for those who believe that the iPad will be a Kindle-Killer: Fat effing chance. It isn't all about brand loyalty, either. I say all of this as a (new) Kindle owner, but, I already have a laptop, so I don't need to replace it just to have a place for my books. I suspect that there are plenty of people who will enjoy using their iPads as a reader, but I really don't think that the Amazon Kindle has anything to worry about.
So, there you are. The iPad.
What say you?