It's a Tablet Running a Touch OS

At the heart, er surface, the iPad is a tablet computer. This has been tried before and usually met with very little success. The problems were three fold: hardware, form factor and UI.

What sets the iPad apart from those that came before it is that it finally has the right combination of all three. The hardware is powerful enough to run the OS quickly while maintaining good battery life, the form factor is thin and light enough to be portable and the UI is tailored to the device.

The latter is especially important. Where Microsoft has failed in the past with both its approach to smartphones and tablets is in its attempt to scale down a desktop OS. As we've seen countless times, the only way to design for a different segment is to start from the ground up. Microsoft itself learned this with the Media Center Edition UI on top of Windows.

Since this isn't the 1980s, the iPad only has four physical buttons on the device. At the top you have a power/lock button, on the right you have a rotation lock switch (keeps the desktop from rotating) and volume rocker, and then at the lower part of the face of the unit there's a home button. If this seems familiar it's because this is the exact hardware layout of the iPhone, just on a larger scale.

The vast majority of your interface to the iPad takes place via it's 9.7" capacitive touchscreen display.

Along the bottom edge of the iPad you'll find Apple's standard 30-pin dock connector. You can use existing iPod Touch/iPhone USB cables, however this is a much more power hungry device and thus you can't charge off of a standard USB port (more on this later).

For your charging needs Apple supplies a single 10W power adapter, which looks a lot like the power adapters for the first iPhones.

Will it Part the Seas? Pricing: Heard Ya Got Robbed
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  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    I definitely appreciate the corrections :) Fixed!

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • odditude - Friday, April 09, 2010 - link

    Bottom of P12: "Most developers just got access to the iPad on " - unfinished fragment Reply
  • afkrotch - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    I found a bunch of errors in the article, but I chalked it up to him trying to use the iPad for actual work. Something it apparently sucks at. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, April 09, 2010 - link

    lol, I thought the article might have been a little rushed, kinda like the iPad. Great insight and content, but could have stood for a little more editing. Reply
  • CyberMonk - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    According to Apple, you're incorrect about the iPad not having an oleophobic coating. From the iPad's tech specs page: "Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating" Reply
  • solipsism - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    3rd-party accessory are allowed. Bluetooth keyboards already work with it and Apple licenses the iPod Dock Connector port so there is nothing stopping anyone else from selling their own keyboard, dock, or whatever, which I hope they do as the one Apple supplies has no option for folding down for easy travel.

    You can even use a simple USB-A(f)-to-USB-A(f) coupler for syncing your photos instead of paying for Apple's adapters. There are other options that already exist in this arena for USB.
    Reply
  • Grump642 - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    Think I will hold on till the HP Slate comes out. It will have most of the things on it that the iPad is missing. Reply
  • afkrotch - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    If the HP Slate runs Win7, I'd be all over it. I picked up a HP TM2, but the touchpad was broken on it. I went for a replacement, but none available. I'm waiting for more to come in stock, hopefully that's before the Slate comes out.

    I tend to jump right into purchases and I'd rather see how the Slate does. If it comes out before the TM2 comes in stock, that might not happen.
    Reply
  • joe_dude - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    That was a very detailed review. Only disagree on the gaming aspect. While the touch interface is cool, the CPU, GPU & memory seriously limits its potential. Others have already mention that.

    http://www.gamesradar.com/f/real-gamers-review-the...

    Nothing against retro-gaming, but Worms, C&C, RE4, Scrabble, etc. are netbook quality at best.
    Reply
  • ekul - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    Anand,

    An excellent article as usual. While most of the ipad reviews have been quite through you have managed to discuss elements of the device no one else has touched on.

    That said I have to disagree with your plea for a moorestown cpu. Even with moorestown being so much more efficient than regular atom based systems it can't touch a cortex a8 for idle or load power draw. Combine that with smaller packaging for arm, lower costs and true SoC designs and it isn't even a contest. The price is lower performance but I'll take the trade for battery life.

    Keeping ipad the same architecture as existing iphone OS devices is a big bonus as well, lowering development costs for both apple and app developers. ARM is also providing an excellent upgrade path from a8 to the a9 SoCs that are sampling now and should be in devices shortly.

    Once there is a true SoC design based on atom it might be worth considering but for now it's just not ready
    Reply

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