Monday, February 1, 2010

'Apple' of my eyes? Hardly

The stage was set. Technoholics of the world were waiting with bated breath. And then came Steve Jobs on the scene, the man in black, the man who is responsible for making images of young and old, swooning, with a li'l device in hand...all too common. We were waiting for a tablet from Apple, a tablet which was supposed to be a cure for all touch device problems ...a technological leap in its own right. But what Steve Jobs unveiled on Wednesday was a product which had the familiar Apple logo on the back but which could have as easily been engineered in Beijing.
Steve mocked netbooks, called them cheap laptops, indicated that netbooks are nothing but a piece of junk priced low and what he is about to present to the world is actually a revolutionary product. He had no option but to grieve about netbooks simply because his iPad is pitted against them.
Well, the inconvenient truth is, iPad FAILS big time. When you go into the details, you almost feel cheated. Its actually 'iPhone on steroids' as somebody put it, nothing more. No doubt, it has got great resolution at 1024*768 but doesn't offer widescreen. Its like having wings but tied together. It translates into a not so good film watching experience. It can't multitask, that is, if you are thinking of chatting with your pal with great music in the background, forget it..it can't do both the tasks. And while talking of chatting, it will only be text, no video. Dear Steve forgot to put a webcam on the iPad. Hundreds of websites will be useless on iPad, ironically, a device designed for surfing the net, because there is no flash support.
Come on, now you may be an ardent follower of everything Apple, but this is a faux pas. And if you are thinking of plugging your USB devices to it and have all the fun, just forget it, it has ZERO USB ports & no HDMI out. Typing on the iPad will put you and your hands in all the awkward positions imaginable. Talking of Memory, remember what the iPod classic offered- 160GB of memory. And iPad offers you 3 variants 16, 32 & 64GB, now what in the world prompted Apple to pit it against netbooks which come packed with 250GB of memory, 3 USB ports, ethernet, a 92% keyboard, webcam, wi-fi, bluetooth and starting with $250. iPad with wi-fi, 3G & 64GB will burn a hole, the size of a crater in your pocket with $829. At this point, I am reminded of iPhone which had a dream launch and was on everyone's wish-list. Nobody bothered to check that it doesn't have SMS forwarding and many other features. So is the case with iPad, I guess and that is what bothers me. The world will still buy it coz flashing an Apple product is fashionable.

Now the problem is, Why this hurry of coming out with a product which could have been a lot better. And it has become all the more painful because of the Apple association. You can love it, hate it but can't ignore it. Such is the respect it commands. A great touch interface & e book reading capability can't be the face saver of an otherwise disappointing product.
I sincerely hope that Microsoft's tablet- Courier delivers on the promises and presents us with a truly revolutionary product.

Disclosure: The angst in this post, in part, has also been caused by my desire to lay hands on a netbook soon which of course doesn't have a touch screen but has everything that iPad doesn't !