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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  • zodiacfml - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Another quality review, useful as trying the device myself.

    I'm not buying Apple products but you touched on features that it should have.
    One is the ability to stand on its own to function as a picture frame, movie screen, and reader while someone is eating or something else.
    Support for mouse device and keyboard when it can already stand on its own.
    Support for uploading media such as video and photos from either flash cards or directly from cameras. it is such a good device to use with cameras.

    one more thing, they could get the intel atom cpu once it gets to a smaller process to improve size and energy efficiency.
    Reply
  • Spivonious - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Anand, I love your writing and have read the site since the GeoCities days, but please learn the difference between "lay" and "lie". Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    My biggest pet peeve with the iPhone UI is the lack of an indicator for when an app is visible but busy processing something and not currently accessible.

    The default Notepad app on the iPhone 3G is a great example - as soon as you tap the icon, the yellow Notepad interface pops right up. However, it actually takes several seconds to finish loading until you can tap to edit a note or tap the (+) sign to start a new note. There's no indicator at all of when the loading is complete - you have to keep tapping periodically until it finally works.

    The same is true for resizing a web page using multitouch - there's no indicator that your input has been received but it's going to take a few moments to make it happen.

    In Windows 7 when an app is "thinking" and thus you can't interact with it, your mouse pointer becomes a a little circle (aka an hourglass). If an app is ever extremely busy thinking, the app may even gray out to indicate that even Windows can't get it to respond at that time.

    The iPhone's lack of this feature just smells of Apple trying to make the device appear on the surface to be more responsive than it really is. Perhaps you'll question whether you tapped correctly, and won't realize that the device is just slower than you expect it to be.
    Reply
  • archcommus - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    This article, like your others, despite being 22 (!) pages long, is a quick, refreshing read. It feels more like you're talking about your experiences and less like you're writing an article as a journalist (which can make some other long reviews a little boring). Also seemed pretty unbiased and highlighted the good and bad. Another solid article, thanks. Reply
  • Mumrik - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Hehe, this isn't a big deal - it's just amusing:

    "Although there's no mute button, holding the volume down rocker for 2 seconds mutes the device instantly."

    Nope. Sounds to me like it takes about two seconds to mute the device :)
    Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Good one. My thought exactly... Reply
  • leospagnol - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    I'm planning to buy one of them when I travel to US next month. THe Eee 1001P is $ 280.00, and the iPad $499.00 at least. I usually read more than I write during classes and I have wifi available during class. I'll probably buy the Eee, but wich do you think suits this task best? Reply
  • Mumrik - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Imagine the iPad lying flat on your desk and then imagine the position you would have to sit in all lecture long if you wanted to be able to write.

    Then imagine how much of the time you'd have to look down at what you were writing because you didn't have the physical response of a keyboard to make touch typing easy.

    Now imagine not being able to multitask.

    It would not be a difficult choice for me - Anand said it himself - the iPad is generally not a laptop substitute.
    Reply
  • videogames101 - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    I love the M3, great episode there.

    Good to know I can watch it on the iPad, lol.
    Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    As far as i remember, this was not mentioned in the review (the overheating problem):
    http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=18075

    Personally i don't think it's worth commenting. It's not just the iPad but all other electronic devices will overheat when put out on the sun. And i wouldn't call it overheating but more like misuse.
    Reply

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