Well, the big unveiling happened on January 27. Get ready for the iPad. Smaller than a letter-sized sheet of paper, about as thin as the average magazine, and weighing about 1.5 pounds, the iPad is what I expected in name and appearance. But, from what I've seen in the video clips of Apple CEO Steve Jobs introducing the product and the development team discussing how it came to be, I'm less than impressed.
The new iPad is basically an oversize iPod Touch. Built-in are all of the applications Apple is know for: Safari, Contacts, Calendar, Notes and iTunes. You also get YouTube access, iPod functionality, and access to E-mail and the AppStore. Aside from the larger size which I'm sure will make surfing the web more pleasant, I already have all of these functions on my iPhone except that you have to be connected to Wi-Fi. Apple will offer a 3G version through AT&T Wireless, but the model will only be data capable. No phone features.
I'm thinking I already have an iPhone which I love and I have a MacBook Pro laptop which I also love. Why would I need an iPad? To read e-books, of course! Not!
E-books are the in thing these days and Apple's venture into the notepad market is seen as an attempt to challenge products introduced last year like Amazon's Kindle. But, while a book is bit more bulky in size and can be heavier than an iPad, it's a lot less expensive. I don't think I need to spend hundreds of dollars-- the iPad will start at $499-- for the ability to carry several books around with me, of which I can really only read one at a time.
I know, call me old school. But, with the laptop and phone that I've already mentioned and the iMac desktop that I also have, the iPad isn't worth the investment especially since it has no phone functionality and falls short of the convenience of a full laptop.
It would appear that Wall Street is skeptical, too. Apple shares, which trade on the NASDAQ, are retreating as I write this.
When it comes to the iPad, "iPass." At least until it shows up in Apple Stores where I can play around with it.