After reading Wall Street Journal’s Walter Mossberg and a Microsoft diehard on how great Apple’s iPad is and then other influencers like Vivek Wadhwa deciding to craigslist their iPad, I decided to find for myself and share my experiences with other prospective buyers and customers of iPad.
Let us first understand few key differences or killer features of iPad before understanding its usage
- Orientation – The mere fact that laptop creates screen as a barrier between two people while iPad allows you to be at the same level as the other person, iPad is a better media consumption device for individual and a co-worker.
- Instant On and Connectivity – Brooke Crothers, in his CNET article about Four Killer Features identifies this as a key one and I fully agree that it changes everything.
- Battery Life – Being able to watch movies throughout the intercontinental flight and still have battery left over is an achievement that makes iPad ideal for media consumption of all kinds.
- Size and Weight – Weighing a mere 1.5 Pounds and the size of a standard notebook, it is much more portable than a laptop but not as tiny as a phone.
iPad is a media consumption device and most of us are consumers of media most of the time with occasional commenting and replies. However, if you are a media creator like a writer, movie creator or database entry person then iPad is a wrong device for you. Once we agree it is a media consumption device, let us compare it with other devices for different media types so that you can make a more informed decision on whether iPad is the best device for you or not. When I hear stories like my 3-year old and my grandfather who have never been comfortable with a laptop are now enjoying the company of iPad, it just confirms my assertion that it is a good media consumption device even for non techies.
In my opinion, Table 1 below is a comparison of how each of the three devices compare for various media consumption functions. A is the best with C being the worst and B in the middle. I will expand on these points in subsequent blogs and look forward to hearing your feedback on these.
iPad is not a media creation device but is a media consumption device. As a media consumption device, it sure beats a laptop or a smartphone. It is not a replacement for either of these devices but an attempt by Apple to create a new category that will soon be imitated by many vendors.
However, iPad needs some major changes like inclusion of Flash (unless Apple can hire Harry Porter to use his wand and have all of the Flash sites converted to HTML5 overnight), new applications written for iPad like multimedia textbooks beyond just PDF version of books and inclusion of camera and facetime like application.
Table 1 – Rating of Media Consumption for Laptop, Smartphone and iPad
|Type of Media||Laptop||Smartphone||iPad||Comments|
|Web Surfing||A||C||B||iPad’s lack of Flash limits its use on many sites|
|Reading Newspaper & Magazines||B||C||A||Reading Newspapers & Magazines is really pleasant on iPad apps – consistent with Cooper Murphy|
|Reading Non-Text Books||B||C||B||Kindle beats iPad here for its size and screen type|
|Reading Text Books||B||C||A||Lack of multimedia content is limiting iPad here|
|Enjoying Music||C||A||B||Smartphone smaller size better for music listening|
|Sharing Pictures in person||B||C||A||Great screen and orientation of iPad makes it the best portable Photo frame|
|Watching Movies||B||C||A||Excellent battery life and great screen makes iPad the best in its class|
|Using Social Networking like Facebok, Twitter & Linkedin||B||B||A||Using these apps from a couch or bed is just so much better on iPad|
|Playing Casual Games||C||A||B||Depends on the type of game|
|Running Enterprise Apps||A||C||B||VDI makes it easy to remotely run Windows Apps on iPad|
|Using on Airplane||B||C||A||Finally you can watch a movie even in economy|