For the past eight years, journalists and bloggers have speculated endlessly over what a potential Apple tablet computer would look like and what features we might expect. Now, with yesterday's unveiling of the "iPad," they know. Here's a round-up of the best opinion on the newly-revealed iPad's features — and its future potential. (Watch a CBS report about the iPad's many features)
The iPad wildly exceeds expectations: "What this thing can do is mind-boggling," says Tim Gideon in PCMag. The "beautifully" designed screen is perfect for gaming and the device's iPhoto functionality works fantastically. "Google Maps" performs much better on an iPad than on a traditional PC and the truly "revolutionary" iBooks feature really could transform the publishing industry. As more applications and promised features become available, we'll see the device's true potential. "What we have already, however, is pretty darn good."
"Hands on with the Apple iPad"
No multitasking? Forget about it: A lot of people are "psyched about the iPad," says Adam Frucci in Gizmodo. I'm not one: It lacks both a camera and a built-in USB input; its touch-screen keyboard is just as "big, ugly" and "awkward" as "other tablets." Worst of all is its inability to multitask: "I can't have my Twitter app open at the same time as my browser? I can't have AIM open at the same time as my email? Are you kidding me?" Count me out.
"8 things that suck about the iPad"
Not "revolutionary," but iPad has major potential: "Despite months of hype," says Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times, "the reality was underwhelming." Put simply, "it's an iPod too big to fit in your pocket" but without the "capacity to hold your entire music collection." And its excellent web browser is tied to AT&T's "slow and spotty" data network. That said, with some much-need innovation from application developers, iPad could be just as "magical and revolutionary" as Steve Jobs claims it is.
"iPad less than revolutionary for now, but holds great promise"
The iPad won't replace laptops...for now: "Jobs believes that there is a gap in the market between smartphones and laptops," says Justin Williams in the Telegraph. Maybe. But "for Apple to succeed in this gap," the iPad must outperform both devices in its "web browsing, video, email" capabilities. Unfortunately, "it doesn’t do any of these competently let alone better than a laptop."
"Why I don't want an Apple iPad"
Even if it fails, iPad is still a game changer: As of today, "the PC era" is dead — and Steve Jobs killed it, says Nicholas Carr in The New Republic. All previous attempts at tablet computers were "nerdy-looking smudge-magnets, limited by their cumbersome shape and their lack of a keyboard." With iPad, we've entered "a new era of computing, in which media and software have merged in the Internet cloud."
"The PC officially died today"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How Wall Street is chipping away at reform
- 10 things you need to know today: December 21, 2014
- How I lost all my money
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- How computers will replace your doctor
- Are there dogs in heaven? Let's hope not.
Subscribe to the Week