Nick Charlton

Thoughts on the iPad

Tablets and small computers have always interested me. My iPhone is a great little mobile computer - the internet in the palm of your hand, and the rest of that..

The thing is, I’ve never seen the actual point of tablets. They are generally not convenient enough to make them worthwhile, the wrong size, too limited and have an awful input mechanism.

There was an interesting discussion on Hacker News earlier today about tablets in medicine. The article itself suggested that tablets would be a great way for doctors to enter information about patients - forgetting of course that paper has worked wonderfully since pre-Nightingale and such an adaption would be an uphill struggle. Anyway, I digress.

From my rather biased perspective, I think Apple has done something interesting with the “iPad”.

The interesting bit here, at least, I think, is their showing off of iWork on the device. The biggest issue with such a device is text input. Being just a large screen, there’s not the ability to easily enter text. The iPhone isn’t a bad, if a little small, but still a pretty good mobile keypad, the iPad is similar, although on a larger scale.

What I can’t see though is the gap between the iPhone and the MacBook models. Therefore, I don’t think it’s revolutionary, at all.

I find reading to be quite possible on both my iPhone and MacBook Pro, leading me to not need something to fit in that gap. At least, not with just a LCD screen. e-Ink would be something different entirely, reading of an LCD screen is tiring on the eyes.

I can’t see why you would use such a device for writing a document when a laptop is far nicer and why you would use such a device for watching TV, recorded or otherwise.

What I do think is clever though is the price point. It’s not cheap enough that I would buy one - not least at the 3G end of the scale, but priced cleverly enough to provide another option for people looking for a new machine.

Maybe the revolutionary aspect is producing a excellent, portable device?

I intend to see it pan out, I can’t see me buying one, but it’s interesting, none-the-less.