I have been digesting the release of the iPad for a few days now, and let me say my first impression is not magical.

After all the hype leading into a the tablet release I figured it would either be a big win or a big loss. Somehow it has come out as neither. Let me go through some initial impressions (keeping in mind I haven’t touched the thing, and that seems to be the real factor in Apple product design).

  • The name sucks. Someone should be fired for iPad. iTablet, iSlate, iBigiPodTouch! Ok maybe the last one is worse
  • It looks like it should be awesome for web surfing, mobile device that has room for real websites
  • It attempts to be a game changer for eBooks, but I can’t see myself reading a full book on a backlighted device. I still like the idea of e-ink
  • Battery life = 10 hours of video watching! WOW
  • Video output = VGA?!?!?! Seriously?
  • Support for bluetooth keyboard is awesome, very smart move by Apple
  • No multitasking? I actually think that this one will be dealt with with the release of iPhone OS 4.0, but until then… nope.
  • Looks awesome for watching video.
    • It is seriously crippled for watching web video (cept for Vimeo, and YouTube)… NO FLASH!
  • I am impressed that they can sell it for $499
  • IPS capacitive display, they can’t be making much money on this thing
  • The hands on videos make it look very responsive as opposed to my iPhone 3G (no S)
  • The UI is a bag of crap. It looks like they are running the iPhone OS on a device it wasn’t designed for… Oh wait that is what they are doing.
  • The apps they have redesigned for the iPad (contacts, maps, mail) look quite good!

All in all I’m not buying this version of the iPad. Our household has 2 iPhones, and 1 MacBook Pro. To be honest there is a perfect position in the household for a device of this sort. When I am gone with the laptop it would be good if the house had something better than an iPhone for checking email/web. Unfortunately with some of the very blatant limitations the iPad is not a significant enough improvement over the iPhone to justify the purchase.

Perhaps the next version of it that will no doubt deal with a lot of these issues, but not version 1.0. This reminds me of the original iPhone launch. $599 for the 4GB version. 3 months later the 4GB version was gone and the 8GB was selling for $399. Maybe then… If it gets (limited) multitasking and flash and a better UI.

All these things should be solvable with the release of OS 4.0