Thoughts on the Apple iPad

Since I’m somewhat interested in technology and have a blog, I am obviously compelled to give my expert analysis of the new Apple iPad.  If you have somehow missed everything about the iPad, try Gizmodo and Engadget since they’re pretty good at consolidating information about the newest gadgets.

Basically I agree with Gizmodo’s 8 Things That Suck About the iPad.  I just don’t think it offers enough for people who have actually already bought one or several gadgets that offer portability; as someone who has a Kindle, a netbook, a Blackberry, and an iPod Touch, there’s nothing new the iPad has to offer me.  Also, how in the world are you supposed to type on it?  Do you hold it up and type with your thumbs?  I’m not sure I can reach that far with my thumbs.  Or do you put it down each time to type properly?  (Not to mention I’m atrocious at typing on touch screens.  I just can’t get it right.)

And since this is a literary blog, and pretty much the only thing I care about is books, I have to comment on the iBooks app.  I certainly think it looks wonderful, but I don’t think we know enough about it yet to really jump ship.  The top publishing companies are working with Apple, but I firmly stand by Amazon’s bookstore; it’s amazing.  It has had almost every book I wanted, with the only exceptions being where the author explicitly refused (ahem, J.K. Rowling!)  We also know nothing about any of iBooks’ features.  I definitely don’t think it’s a Kindle-killer: I really think that people who want/have a Kindle are looking for a reading device which has an extensive library and which doesn’t give you a headache after several hours.  I’ve read on my iPod Touch some and I can’t stand it.  It’s not the size of the screen – I sometimes read on the Kindle with the biggest font size and there are about 60 words per page (bad eyesight + no contact lenses!) – it’s the backlit LCD screen.  I just can’t handle it for more than a few pages.  E-ink still wins on the extensive reading front.

So for me, the iPad just doesn’t cut it.  (Plus, Amazon is launching a Kindle app store.  I’m not sure if I really want any apps on my Kindle, but at least they’re addressing the Apple threat.)

Oh, and it’s pretty damn expensive.  I already pay $30 a month for my Blackberry plan, no thanks.

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