Apple falls short releasing new iPad to market

David Karnowski
February 17, 2010
Filed under Reviews

By David Karnowski

Magazine editor

I’ll be the first to admit that I am at heart a “Mac Fanboy.” Slap that magical bitten-apple logo on just about anything, and I will usually give it the benefit of the doubt for it’s superb German-come-California engineering and design. Unfortunately, Apple Inc.’s recently introduced iPad product falls short of my wants and desires for a newly revived tablet computing market.

Culminating his multitude of years in fanfare experience, Apple’s digital divo Steve Jobs dropped the big news in one of his classically built-up keynote presentations on Jan. 27. The iPad is being billed as Apple’s “most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.”

No offense Apple, but your device is neither revolutionary nor reasonably priced. The introduction of the netbook computing market (Asus EeePC, Dell Mini 9 and 10) in the past couple of years has provided consumers with a more powerful solution than the iPad delivers at prices well below the iPad’s starting price of $499.

The claim of innovation for interface is simply unfounded. Tablet computers have existed for many years and yet their use remains confined mostly to commercial workers in highly specialized fields that require a hand-held computer. The essentially enlarged iPhone that is now called the iPad does not deliver to this established market nor does it open the doors to others.

My biggest gripe about the iPad is its lack of computing power. The specially designed 1 Gigahertz Apple ARM A4 processor is suitable for iPhone-like applications, but the inability for this device to ever run a full version of OS X eliminates so many consumers from its target market. While I don’t do it often, I would love to be able to open up Adobe Photoshop and do some light editing while sitting on the couch.

Apple would have been much better off by delivering a product that supports one of Intel’s line of Atom processors. These spicy yet miniature chips are capable of running the latest version of OS X and are essentially a scaled down version of the Intel Core 2 Duo line of chips.

The reported 9.7-inch screen size with a resolution of 1024×768 pixel and an antiquated 4:3 proportion does not mesh with modern media design. Almost every digital screen currently available for purchase, whether it’s an HDTV, laptop or traditional desktop display uses a more cinematic friendly 16:9 widescreen ratio. This means that when you are viewing a movie on your new iPad, expect those black bars on the top and bottom that so many of us have almost forgotten. By the way, 1024×768 pixels is a far cry from the full 1080p resolution of 1920×1080 that our eyes have grown accustomed.

Being marketed as a media display device, one would think that the output from such a device would be capable of high definition resolution. Apple has not included the ability for the iPad to deliver a video signal to HDTV’s in popular formats such as HDMI or DVI. An older connection type called VGA is available with the extra purchase of an adapter.

Video over IP service proliferation over the past few years has introduced many to the simple functionality of video conferencing. The iPad’s exclusion of a camera of any orientation eliminates this more and more popular mode of communication. If you like Skype, count it out on the new iPad, or at least the ability to use video with such a service.

When Apple introduced the MacBook Air in early 2008 the featherweight computer had mixed results in the marketplace. I think it would have been beneficial to the corporation to convert this currently offered product into a usable tablet. This would allow for a full computing experience with the advantages of a tablet interface.

Axiotron, a Los Angeles based company, offers a service to “mod” your currently owned MacBook into a “ModBook.” For the fee of $699, one can get a full-size and powered MacBook transformed into a tablet computer including an advanced Wacom digital interface. It even includes the MacBook’s built in iSight camera.

Ultimately, I desire what Apple has yet to introduce, an iPad Pro, if you will. Something that is capable of soaking up the massive amounts of hard work on my “heavy flow” days while providing a comfortable interface. Try again Apple.

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