The iPad – major achievement or giant letdown?

ipad.pngWell, Apple launched their long-awaited iPad last week and reactions were mixed – to say the least! Some people think it’s the slickest, most beautiful device they’ve ever laid eyes on, while others think it’s a world-class let down. Personally, I was underwhelmed by the news. I couldn’t figure out what the target market was, or who Apple thought would want to buy it.

Since it’s been out, though, I’ve read articles and considered lots of opinions and I think I’m beginning to change my mind. The iPad is probably never going to cut it for the more technically-oriented, but for people who just want to check their emails and watch a few movies (all while looking super-cool) the iPad is perfect. Not everybody agrees, however, so let’s take a look at what some of the other Softonic editors have to say….

Say what you want about the iPad, but…”simone_photo1.jpg
Say what you want about the iPad, but the bottom line is that Apple is so cool it can afford to do things the other way around. I mean, traditional producers went from big and ugly devices to small ones, while Apple has gone from a small one to a big one! Apple is Apple and there’ll always be people to buy its products, even if this one does look like a giant iPhone!

Simone Gerevini (it.png Softonic IT)

I’m not sure if I can justify owning one, but I can’t rule it out…”jon_photo.jpg
So: No flash, no camera and no USB ports. And it sounds like it’ll be just as closed as the iPhone. Not a geek’s dream then, but I’m sure it’ll be difficult to hate once we’ve had it in our hands. I didn’t want an iPhone at all until I picked one up – now I can barely put mine down. Like all Apple products, it’ll no doubt work beautifully. It’s not a NetBook, but I bet it’ll turn on a million times faster, and such a big touchscreen will make it incredibly easy to use. Having seen how well the iPhone’s little screen has been used by app developers, I’m sure there’ll be some incredible stuff for the iPad. I’m not sure if I can justify owning one, between my MacBook and iPhone, but I can’t rule it out…”

Jon Riggall (gb.png Softonic EN)

My first reaction to the iPad was “wow”josemaria_photo.jpg
My first reaction to the iPad was “wow”, but after Steve Jobs’ presentation, it turned into more of a “meh”. For mobile users who aren’t used to computers, the iPad will be great for watching movies, listening to music, editing documents, playing games, reading e-books and surfing the web, all using a touchscreen. For us hardcore Mac/PC users, however, the iPhone OS is really limiting and forces you to rely on the App Store for any programs you need. Maybe the iPad 2G or 3G will look a little more attractive to people like me, but for now, I’m sticking with my MacBook – despite the lack of a touchscreen!

José María López (es.png Softonic ES)

It may be a netbook-killer, but the iPad’s definitely not a Kindle-killer”elena_photo.jpg

As a proud Kindle owner, I’m surprised to see the iPad being constantly compared to Amazon’s reading device. For me the iPad is more like a sleek notebook with which you can do some interesting stuff, but it’s not suitable for reading ebooks at all. A backlit screen is nothing against the e-ink technology used on ebook readers – and I’m sure anyone who has ever used a Kindle, or any other ebook reader, will agree with me. The iPad seems to be oriented for people who use their computers mostly to browse the web, watch videos, blog or check email. It may be a netbook-killer, but definitely not a Kindle-killer.

Elena Santos (gb.png Softonic EN)

It’s revolutionary, especially for games”raul_perez.png
The long-awaited iPad is here, but is it what we wanted? Well, that depends on how you look at it – it’s what we all expected, but not exactly what we were hoping for. Given all the things it lacks, the iPad could have been much more than it is. Even so, it’s still a seriously advanced device and its kick-ass multitouch screen has huge potential. In the world of games, I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of the iPad. I can’t wait to try things like R.U.S.E or Pixeljunk Shooter on it – it’s revolutionary, especially for gamers.

Raúl Pérez (es.png OnGames)

Apple already tried to launch a tablet… and it didn’t exactly take off”nick_photo.jpg
Apple already once tried to launch a tablet – the Newton – back in 1993 and it didn’t exactly take off. Of course, both Apple and mobile computing have come on in leaps and bounds since then and the iPad surely won’t have the same fate as the Newton did. Its biggest stumbling block is something that a tablet device simply can’t help – the lack of a keyboard. I can’t imagine having to work, send e-mails and spend much time doing anything online using just a light-pen and a touchscreen.

Nicholas Mead (gb.png Softonic EN)


As you can see, the editors have spoken and the general feeling seems to be that the iPad is pretty cool, but… A lack of features, namely the absence of built-in USB port and keyboard, as well as the fact that the iPad will be tied to the iPhone OS and therefore the App Store, mean that it won’t be versatile enough to catch the eye of more intensive computer users. Then again, Softonic editors are a pretty specialist group, and maybe what looks like a stumbling block to us will be a major selling point when it comes to convincing the average Joe that the iPad is the device for him.

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