Apple have finally launched their much-hyped tablet computer. The iPad sports a 9.7-inch, multitouch screen powered by a custom processor running the same operating system as their iPhone. It looks a bit like a giant iPhone, but the screen adopts a 4:3 aspect ratio with a resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels. Billed as a "magical and revolutionary device" by Steve Jobs, the unit is best described by what it doesn't have:
- Like the iPhone, it can only run a single application at a time. It means, for example, a user cannot be having an instant message conversation or playing some music while surfing the web. For most, this startling omission is a deal breaker.
- Adobe Flash
- Despite being billed as the best way to surf the internet, it fails to include support for Adobe's Flash technology.
- Multitouch technology makes the iPad great at manipulating images, but there is no camera with which to take them. Nor is there any webcam for video chat.
- As with many other Apple devices, the battery isn't removable.
- The large screen and map application makes the device seem perfectly-suited for navigation, but the lack of GPS makes this largely unworkable.
- There are no USB ports. Connecting a USB peripheral requires an adapter.
- Open platform
- As with all Apple technology, the device is burdened with proprietary hardware and software, as well as the usual Digital Rights Management-related stuff.
- High definition
- The 1024 by 768 pixel resolution allows for 720p high definition video, but cannot handle the 1080p accepted as the high definition standard. Nor is there an HDMI port.
- Surely this would also have been a great opportunity for Apple to make use of OLED screen technology?
In conclusion, the iPad utterly fails to live up to the enormous amount of hype it has received, and it would not be wrong to say this is Apple's biggest product failure in decades.