Confidence is built upon credibility, something Apple really earned thanks to the first iPod. Apple gained the mainstream credibility to introduce a product, say it's going to be the best thing ever, and have customers give it the benefit of the doubt.

Credibility is a finite good however. Promise the world and deliver beans instead too many times and you'll find yourself back to square one. Luckily for Apple, that hasn't happened yet.

The iPod gave Apple credibility, but Mac OS X, Mac hardware and eventually the iPhone all made deposits in that bank. That's not to say that Apple devices are flawless, but the company has won the confidence of a huge part of the market.

The road to the iPad announcement was riddled with rumors and unsubstantiated claims of what the Apple tablet would do. It was to be the replacement for everything from cable TV to netbooks. Hype is a difficult thing to control, but in the case of the iPad, the market's expectations were beyond unrealistic.

The hopeful child in all of us wanted to believe. We wanted to believe that Apple would introduce something truly revolutionary, something that would let us do anything we ever wanted to do. We just didn't know what that was, but we believed that there was a slight chance Apple might make it happen.

What followed on January 27, 2010, the day of the iPad announcement, was a collection of excitement, disappointment and confusion.

I do have to place some (a lot?) of the blame on Apple. By saying nothing, confirming nothing (short of threatening law suits) Apple let the hype get carried away. And I'm not totally convinced that Apple itself wasn't behind some of the leaks in order to generate free marketing for this device. The worst? Jobs calling the iPad magical. If the device was shipping today with no ergonomics issues, no slowdowns, no crashes and with a full list of heavy hitter apps (real ones, not just ones that showed us what the iPad could do in the future), then I'd call it magical. You can't call something magical if it just promises magic at some point in the future. Well, you can, but then you'll anger a lot of people who oppose to such liberal use of language.

You have to hand it to Apple PR though. Through careful planning and seeding of review units, it managed to end up in all of the right hands a few days prior to its launch.

It had been on every single late night talk show in the span of a couple days. It even made it to the grammys earlier this year. Folks looking to catch a break would kill for the sort of free publicity apples iPad has received. It has celebrity status without even adopting any orphans.

And like a celebrity, the iPad is very polarizing.

The iPad, even moreso than the iPhone, is not the end all, be all universal device for everyone. In fact, unlike the iPhone, it doesn't replace any existing device in your life. It's an addition. There are things it does beautifully, things it does ok, and things it just plain can’t do. Today, I'll try to take you through all of that as best I can.

It's a Tablet Running a Touch OS
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  • solipsism - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    I also thought the Moorestown recommendation was odd, especially when the next page was about the phenomenal battery life. If he made a more detailed case for it perhaps he'd have a point, but the simple "because it's faster" stance is lacking. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Initial power specs for Moorestown appear to be fairly competitive with ARM based SoCs. Remember this is Moorestown, and not Pineview. The two chips are very different.

    Realistically I don't think it would be Moorestown, but the 32nm follow-on starts to make a lot of sense.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • metafor - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Just curious, what are the initial power numbers for Moorestown anyway? Keep in mind that with the change in bus architecture and the use of LP DRAM, performance will be significantly slower in some cases than current netbooks. Also, would it really compare to an A9-class SoC? Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Friday, April 09, 2010 - link

    I have a feeling Apple didn't go Moorestown for two primary reasons.

    1) Timeframe
    2) Cost

    Moorestown should be announced shortly, but the devices based on it won't be available until Q3 of this year. That's 6+ months from when the iPad is going to release. And although Intel might achieve both better performance and comparable power usage, but the sacrifice there will be higher cost. Fully integrated SoC like the A4 costs significantly less.

    Performance should be quite good. There's a 600MHz version for smartphones that can use Burst Mode to 1.2GHz, and a MID oriented version that probably clocks at 1.3GHz base and does 1.9GHz burst. It's supposed to feature "Bus Turbo" as well.

    If they also do a full integrated memory controller unlike Pineview we have a good chance it'll be clock per clock faster than Netbook Atoms. Earlier on Intel claimed "30%" boost over previous platform but clock speeds weren't mentioned.
    Reply
  • metafor - Friday, April 09, 2010 - link

    Moorestown will be a fully interated SoC. It'll have LP DDR1 and LP DDR2 memory controllers as well as a GPU, the Atom CPU and various peripheral connectivity. It's comparable to the A4 in terms of features although I really would not write it off as "comparable" in terms of power until some data is published. Reply
  • ekul - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    I'd agree the successor to moorestown is more promising. Are there even any shipping products based on moorestown yet? I don't think apple is going to take a gamble on an untested platform.

    I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing performance numbers for cortex a9, especially since there will be real dual core mobile variants, not just hyperthreading. A technique like what MS is planning for IE9, rendering a website on one core and compiling javascript on another, would help bridge the perormance gap along with the higher clocks.
    Reply
  • michal1980 - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    really this is easier then a laptop/notebook?

    A notebook by its vary nature I can rest on my lap or a table and adjust its screen. To watch a movie I dont have to hold the thing up.

    To type, I dont have to bend to werid angles to hold the device up, etc etc.

    IMHO, it seems like alot of the experance is attributed to the newness of the device vs its actual usage. I'm wonder how this newness will wear.
    Reply
  • manicfreak - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Can't you do all of those aforementioned things on an ipod touch/iphone? There are already home automation apps for the iphone right now.

    What can the iPad do that the iphone/ipod touch can't? Beside having a bigger screen and longer battery life?
    And for such a big device, the performance should be closer to an atom instead of a snapdragon.

    If something doesn't fit in my pocket, then I would rather bring a light-weight CULV laptop with me... with touchscreen if one wishes (i.e. Acer Timeline 1820T) or a hybrid notebook-tablet (Lenovo IdeaPad U1).
    Reply
  • jasperjones - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    "there are some things the iPad does much better than anything you might own today. Web browsing, photo viewing, reading email, any passive usage scenarios where you're primarily clicking on things and getting feedback, the iPad excels at."

    What exactly makes it better at those tasks? It's not that I disagree but, in my opinion, you didn't drive this point home. I don't understand why you think it's better. And yes, I read the whole article.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    I don't think anything anyone can write can convince you. Many aspects just feel more natural to use. That isn't to say it's perfect everywhere but I think that as a casual mobile consumption device it's much better than a notebook, and much better than a netbook. Reply

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