Well this post is a bit of a milestone for me on two fronts. Firstly this marks a return to writing for me after several months. The second is that I never actually thought I'd be writing about a "tablet pc" by Apple, not so much because of the long standing rumours but no product but mainly because before the release of the iPad I simply wasn't interested in tablet / slate computing (Dell XPS M1210 Battery) .
My skepticism for all things tablet is well founded after years of terrible devices. All of these devices were bulky, badly thought out and ran a full operating system that was about as at home with a touch screen interface as a canoe would be in the open sea (Dell Latitude X200 Battery) .
Plain and simple it just didn't work, and hearing about an Apple tablet running OS X that no doubt would be better just didn't seem to excite me in any way.
Then the day arrived and Apple demonstrated the iPad in a media event. Oh how my feelings have changed (Dell Vostro 1710 Battery) .
Apple showed off a product that was thin, ran a modified version of the iPhone OS (which is still the best touch screen interface I have seen) and above all else looked like a product that would appeal to a wide audience (Dell Latitude XT2 Tablet PC Battery) .
I was instantly taken with the product, but why? Was it the Steve Jobs reality distortion field kicking in? Nope it wasn't that. Something was very different here, a custom made OS for a custom made device. Low power use, long battery life, stunning screen and usability in abundance here (Dell Precision M70 Battery) .
This is a product that would meet a long standing need of mine, enabling me to email and browse the web from the comfort of the sofa. Sure my iPhone is great, but for long emails or serious web browsing, the small screen just doesn't cut it (Dell XPS M1330 Battery) .
What about netbooks? Well, they run a full bodied operating system on low power hardware. It works well enough but the laptop like design makes it a little harder to use on the sofa, when you may not want to be sitting up all the time. So Apple created a device that can be used pretty much anywhere, anytime and without having to sit in a particular way (Dell TT485 Battery) .
That's an emphatic tick in the box for me.
Next, the interface. Netbooks tend to have 10 inch widescreen displays, never a bad thing but window clutter eats in to the useable space. By window clutter I mean things like the taskbar, menu bars, window dressing etc (Dell XT832 Battery) .
All things that the iPad doesn't suffer from. All applications are full screen and even the browser bar in safari doesn't take up that much real estate. More screen for your applications? Another tick for me (Dell Studio 1737 battery ) .
As you'd expect from Apple, the way the iPad OS works is seemless and slick. Animations, functionality and responsiveness all appear to be intact. But beyond anything else, the iPad just looks fun to use. Interacting with your content the way Apple envisage makes simple things like browsing photo albums come alive. I think that's another box ticked (Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery) .
Once again Apple have created a product that is desirable and for me personally looks like a great option for sofa browsing. The catch is though, the iPad is released in the USA as I write this and selling very well. The rest of us however, still have a couple of weeks to wait before we see the iPad on these shores. I for one can't wait to test drive the iPad in my local Apple store (Dell Latitude E6400 battery) . This is one product to watch, it could prove to define a market and change the way we think about computing in ways we never thought of before.