Ap­ple’s iPad is not a must-have de­vice, say crit­ics

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

SAN FRAN­CISCO: Tech ex­perts and gad­get fans damp­ened the early hype this week over Ap­ple’s new iPad, say­ing the touch­screen com­puter tablet is not the must-have de­vice the com­pany claims it is.

Hours af­ter Ap­ple chief ex­ec­u­tive Steve Jobs un­veiled its lat­est cre­ation, com­puter and tech­nol­ogy blog­gers were di­vided on whether it would trans­form the way we spend our leisure time.

Users ea­ger to judge for them­selves will have to wait two months be­fore the iPad is shipped world­wide at an en­try-level price of $499 (R3 792).

Jobs showed off var­i­ous fea­tures which in­clude brows­ing the web, check­ing e-mail, work­ing with spread­sheets and charts, play­ing videogames, lis­ten­ing to mu­sic or watch­ing videos.

While some crit­ics pre­dicted it would be­come the best-sell­ing elec­tron­ics de­vice of 2010, oth­ers com­plained it has no cam­era or USB, it can­not multi-task, can­not be used as a phone and does not sup­port Flash.

“The iPad isn’t go­ing to be a phe­nom­e­non with ei­ther net­book users or power users,” tech blog Mash­able wrote. “The iPad isn’t the trans­for­ma­tional de­vice so many Ap­ple en­thu­si­asts were hop­ing for. It won’t turn all the con­tent in­dus­tries up­side down, it won’t be your pri­mary com­put­ing de­vice and it’s not even a big­ger, bet­ter iPhone.”

Ap­ple said the ba­sic iPad would be avail­able world­wide in March and the 3G ver­sion in April in the United States and se­lected coun­tries from $629.

It has a 24.6cm colour screen re­sem­bling an iPhone, is 1.27cm thick, weighs 0.7kg and has flash mem­ory of 16, 32, or 64 gi­ga­bytes.

Screen im­ages flip be­tween por­trait and land­scape modes de­pend­ing on how an iPad is held.

Mo­bile game applications for iPhone also work on the iPad, and de­vel­op­ers are adapt­ing soft­ware to take ad­van­tage of the ex­tra screen “real es­tate”.

It has a pic­ture frame mode for pre­sent­ing slide shows of stored pho­tos and Google Maps cou­pled with geo-lo­ca­tion soft­ware.

Frost & Sul­li­van an­a­lyst Todd Day said it is “more than a smart­phone, less than a note­book, but just the right per­sonal de­vice for ev­ery day users”.

Clau­dine Beau­mont, tech­nol­ogy writer for Bri­tain’s Daily Tele­graph, hailed its sleek­ness, read­ing soft­ware and vir­tual key­board. “It won’t re­place your lap­top, but I think it may have sounded the death knell for note­book com­put­ers,” she wrote.

But Michael Hiltzik, a tech­nol­ogy colum­nist for the Los An­ge­les Times, said it was like an iPod that was too big for your pocket but too small to con­tain your en­tire mu­sic col­lec­tion. – Sapa-AFP

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