What is an iPad?

Apple recently announced its eagerly awaited tablet product to mixed reviews. YOURLifeChoices, Webmaster, Drew, looks at it in detail and gives and compares it with similar products already on the market.

Rarely has the anticipation of a new tech product been as great as that of the arrival of the Apple iPad and Apple have not disappointed with the must-have gadget of 2010. Surpassing everything on the market at a competitive price is no mean feat but how will the iPad be most used? And is it worth buying?

The two main competing e-readers to the new iPad are the Amazon Kindle and the Nook. Both products are currently available and have enjoyed market success up to this point. Listed below are the pros and cons for the new Apple iPad compared to its competitors.

1) More than just an e-reader:
The iPad offers more than your average e-reader. As well as being able to read books comfortably on screen, it also allows you to play games, watch movies, browse the internet, edit documents, download iPhone applications and other applications.

2) The Amazon Kindle is currently the top selling e-reader on the market, although it only comes with a black and white screen unlike its other competitor, the Nook, which comes with a colour screen. The Apple iPad will come with a multi-touch colour screen.

3) Amazon has had the publishing industry over a barrel, taking 70% revenue share on all products sold. It has been reported that Apple has offered a 30% revenue share to all publishers signing up with them, and this is expected to create lower prices overall for consumers.

4) The price of the iPad for the low-end version will be $10 more than the current Amazon Kindle DX. From $500 RRP you will get a colour e-reader, which has many additional features beyond what a Kindle can achieve.

1) E-Ink. Unlike its counterparts, the iPad is not using the smart E-Ink technology. E-Ink does not refresh on the screen, which is much better for your eyes and reduces strain. This is the single greatest reason not to buy an iPad if you are looking to use it solely for reading books online.

2) Apple released a product… without a camera! It is unbelievable that a product of this technology did not include a camera of any kind. While there is no doubt that some developer will create a camera you can attach to this product, you would expect it on such a groundbreaking device.

3) The biggest issue I have with this product is multitasking. It has been proven that setting up multitasking on iPhones, which have far less processing power than this item, is possible as long as it is coded correctly. Apple has chosen not to introduce multi-tasking onto the iPad, which is a big mistake. What does this mean exactly? You cannot write a document on your iPad while having a book open in the background or a messaging program. Multiple windows should have been an essential part of this product.

4) The Amazon Kindle uses a keyboard similar to one on your computer, while the iPad has opted for a touch screen keyboard. There are advantages and negatives to both but from a usability point of view, having a keyboard that does not require you to touch the screen is generally easier to use.

It is clear from the above comments that Apple has tried to please not just the e-reader buyer but also a large target market of happy Apple consumers. Apple has tried to combine many features into one product, while leaving out a number of vital items, which may just appear in more expensive later versions – a pattern of many Apple products.

If I were solely looking to purchase an e-reader to download and read books, I would choose either the Amazon Kindle or Nook e-readers. If I was looking for more than just an e-reader and did not think I would use the e-reader for more than two or three books a month, then I would definitely consider the Apple iPad, even though it is several months away from release in Australia.

For more information on the iPad, www.apple.com/ipad/