The new iPad – My own thoughts …

We have all the details now from Apple, and many have already blogged the specs, so I’ve no intent to fall victim to echo chamber syndrome and repeat it all… if curious, go here (Shane in the Telegraph), here (CNET), here (Guardian Video), or here (BBC) to read more on that.

Like many, I’ve been curious and tempted, so have been tapping into the rumor mill, and asking if now is indeed the time to seriously consider getting one. Now that we have a clearish view of  what is on offer, what are my thoughts? Well, that is what I’m blogging about here.

First … what are other ordinary mortals thinking?

Well, as a quick finger in the air, below is what the Telegraph poll shows at the moment. Treat this with a huge chunk of salt, it is a very black and white (yes or no) poll, there was no, “I’m still on the fence and thinking about it” option, which is where I suspect many people really are. In other words, given just four choices, I’m not able to pick any, so 43% declaring that they wish to rush out and buy is not a credible number … I’m (gasp!) skeptical regarding that.

OK, so my first very basic questions is …

If I did get one, would I find it useful and practical, or is it just a soon-to-be-forgotten toy?

The answer to that is “yes”, both useful and practical, but not necessarily for this specific new iPad variation. The basic concept of being able to browse the web, check emails, or read e-books using a light tablet is indeed of immense practical value. The alternative, a laptop, or Zeus forbid, a clunky desktop, gives me issues such as the time it takes to boot the fracking OS, the need to worry about power (two hours max on laptop … fun indeed on an 8 hour flight), and just the sheer hassle of carrying such a clunky bulky device around the house, trains and planes. In one stroke it solves all this, just open like a book and off you go.

So yes, I’m on board with the concept.

So what about the new iPad vs say the kindle and the older iPad?

If you just want e-book access, then clearly kindle is the way to go, it is far more cost-effective. However if like me you want more, then it is first a …

  • Apple vs some other tablet question…

For me it is Apple … they are a more expensive option, but I really like the ease of use, and also feel a lot more comfortable going for the clear technology leader and not an also-ran … yea, OK, I’m biased, and while that is me, it might not be you, so you may indeed want to check-out other tablets as well.  My bias is not just driven by the apple fanboy thing, but also because of the stuff that comes with it … the iCloud, access to a vast choice in the iStore, nice integration with other stuff and ease of use. Also, if I need to read a 200 page (or for that matter a 2 page) user guide, I quickly lose interest, if it is not a nice slick clear, clean intuitive user experience – I’m out.

OK, so iPad 2 vs the new iPad?

Now this is where I shuffle my feet and pause ….

Stuff I don’t care about …

  • Camera specs … nope don’t care, I use my iPhone, lighter and far better spec (but I’d still like to play and see, so I may change my mind here)
  • 4G connectivity … great if you are in the US … but I’m not, I live in the UK … no hope of 4G until perhaps 2013 (oh joy!) … and even then it might be a case of  “How much?” when available.
  • Retina display … do I really care? … I don’t honestly know. Until I can put an iPad 2 and the new iPad side by side and play a bit (during an Apple store visit at some point), I can’t answer this. Will it be a, “Oh, I just have to have “that” experience, or will it be a, “ho-hum, nice but I’m not blown away” experience. Regardless of what others might claim, I’m the buyer, so only I can decide by taking a look.
  • Faster chips … is this “Oh wow that’s fast“, or is it, “Ah yes, that was 2 nano-seconds faster” … so once again, I need to play to make a decision.

Yep, I am indeed seriously pondering the thought that the iPad 2 might indeed be good enough for now, but I have yet to work this out by …

  • playing and seeing if it really is good enough for what I want to actually do
  • checking to make sure I don’t get left behind … for example will they cut the tether and not update the IOS or have New iPad only apps that don’t work on the older iPad 2 … yep, I need to dig a bit there as well.

Finally … I’m curious …

  • What are your thoughts?
  • What else should be considered?
  • Have you managed to get your hands on one and played with it … if so personal impressions?

Drop a comment, I’d be really interested.

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