heard on the wire

Why the iPad 2 is rubbish and you shouldn’t buy it, by someone who hasn’t used it

iPad 2 is a disappointment. I know, I read it on the internet.

Take Jemima Kiss in The Guardian, lamenting that Apple’s thinner, lighter tablet, with its “faster processor, dual-core A5 chip, that will mean it can operate twice as fast and render graphics up to nine times faster”, is “underwhelming”. And Kiss is clearly being kind, she even credits the addition of a front-facing camera for making free video calls.

Like everyone else, Kiss is plainly aware that without Flash, without USB ports, without an SD card slot, with a display that’s no longer good enough, the pointless iPad 2, like iPad 1, will never sell.

I bet Apple’s glad it only has to sell millions of devices in the open market and not a handful to tech bloggers, commentators and analysts. If Apple listened to its critics, it would have made a netbook, a form factor that has proved so successful that sales are already in decline.

The market doesn’t deal in wish-lists, must-haves and might-have-beens. For every blogger who moans about the lack of Flash support, there are thousands who delight in using the internet without being bogged down by Flash ads and other, er, flashing distractions; for every tweet demanding a USB port or SD card slot and a Retina display, there are thousands who would rather Apple continued to concentrate on keeping the price to a minimum and battery life to a max.

The market cares about what the iPad can do. Apple boasts of the 65,000 native apps, an impressive figure but one that does no justice to the range of capabilities they provide, from free games to £40 professional business tools. Apps are the reason my laptop is gathering dust in the spare room. iPad is my default device for the web, checking email, Wikipedia, dictionaries, weather, Facebook, Twitter, viewing photos, calendar, maps, TV listings, even, on occasion, reading. I’ve even spent a week working with nothing more than iPad and simple text editor. I typed most of this on my iPad. All “high fashion, not high function”, apparently.

I don’t care whether anyone else buys an iPad, Xoom, Galaxy Tab or any other, yet-to-be-released tablet. It’s your money, make your choice. I can only tell you about my experience. What is galling is the stream of uninformed opinion from commentators who write about any device, Apple or otherwise, that they haven’t, don’t and won’t use. And if that makes me an Apple fanboy, so be it.

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7 Responses

  1. Matthew says:

    ” I’ve even spent a week working with nothing more than iPad and simple text editor. I typed most of this on my iPad”

    Did you at any point attach a keyboard or mouse to it? I know lots of people that do this as well as propping it on a stand (thus making it a netbook)

    Also the iPad only being able to do one thing at a time would drive me insane.

    • Simon Aughton says:

      No, no mouse and no keyboard. It was an experiment to see if it was possible to write and edit a blog using nothing but an iPad.

      Switching apps was a bit tiresome, though the biggest drawback was the lack of proper editing keys on the keyboard, ie. cursors and text selection using the cursors with modifiers.

      Biggest plus was battery life and portability. But if pushed, I’d recommend a MacBook Air (or similar).

      • Susan says:

        Hello Smithsocks!
        Thanks for sharing!
        I agree, the missing ports and flash are a shortfall. We wished they were on board… The advantage apple has always had, is its monopoly. We have a soft spot for the things so we tolerate their (planned) shortfalls, we overlook them because we appreciate Apples user friendliness and we are loyal. The genius bar was the best thing going in my old neighborhood, helping grandma and grandpa along too was sweet. It is for this reason among others that we purchased the ipad2, for family and friends, so we can communicate and “see” our family and friends. After further afterthought (albeit buyers remorse) and careful deliberation about future purchases, my dreaming wishing thoughts were…. when are they going to reinvent the laptop so we have the disc player on board. Our laptops don’t have dust they’re just cumbersome, they are still an integral part to the foundation of our home system. BTW, the ipad 2 we purchased was with the wifi feature~ to avoid the monthly reoccurring fees. We still love the thing, the apps are great, there is even one to learn how to yodel!
        Best regards
        SueSea

  2. Dave Spellman says:

    Yo simon,

    Loving the blog, you do this a lot? sounding like a fluent pro!

    Cheers
    Davescunningplan
    Cressboy
    but you can call me Dave

  3. Stephanie says:

    I’m not much of a blog reader, but I’m loving this one. It’s almost as if you have something interesting to say!
    Stephanie

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