Thursday, 26 August 2010

Magic And Revolution Found Heavy, Distracting, Gimmicky, Useless

My views on iPad should not be news any more, but all I wrote to date was based on press reports, word of mouth, and one instance of the device spotted in the wild. This morning, however, I had a chance to lay my hands on the magical and revolutionary device for a few minutes. My, was it an eye opener!

First and foremost, and as I have already surmised just from the specifications, the iPad is heavy, And I mean HEAVY. You can really feel all of its 700 grams (give or take), especially when you try holding it aloft in just one hand. If you ask me, it's unusable and certainly uncomfortable. A deal breaker.

The interface was smooth as you'd expect. No problems there. But then I opened the iBook application. It looked really great, too. Apart from when it decided I turned it upside down, and presented me with the book the wrong way up. Easily solved by a bit of a shake, rattle, and roll. Also, just as advertised, a flick of finger turned the page with a very realistic page flip animation. Which sadly grew old - very old - after I turned one more page. Worse than that, it was truly distracting. I hope it can be turned off or made faster - or something. But the device is sold on this particular feature. I've seen (one too) many huge posters on British railway stations to prove it, too. 

In summary then, after having a little play, I must say that all my reservations seem to be well placed. I am most definitely not getting an iPad. It's too big, heavy, and gimmicky for anything more than showing off, and I need my gadgets to do real work (and fun!). I grew out of showing off my plumes sometime between ages 9 and 12. Especially if they're like peacocks - pretty, but really more trouble than they're worth...