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Ugh. Gizmodo is the worst example of blogging evar.

As for the new iThing, I'm only interested if the original rumored price point of $600 is correct. The $1,000 figure I've seen around lately is too much. At that point you'd might as well get a MacBook and have a keyboard. Or a Nook and a hundred e-books.

Either way, I think this is going to be the Kindle-killer if Amazon doesn't go color. And fast.

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Agreed, I think $600 is doable but $1000 is too pricey, for the reasons Editor mentioned. However, I have heard that there will be a model with a smaller screen and a model with a larger screen, which would make more sense.

Not mentioned in the original graphic is that I think this tablet (and the programs that run on it) will be cloud everything. From LaLa to iWork it will all be versions of web apps, saving onto the web in addition to/instead of a hard drive.

EDIT: I'm predicting $699 and $849, depending on hard drive size and screen size.

EDIT: Here's an article on what people are willing to pay for the tablet:

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/01/21/consumers_reluctant_to_spend_above_700_for_apple_tablet_study.html

While consumer interest in Apple's forthcoming tablet is high, a price north of $700 could turn off many potential buyers, a new survey has found.

Edited by N Judah

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Ugh. Gizmodo is the worst example of blogging evar.

As for the new iThing, I'm only interested if the original rumored price point of $600 is correct. The $1,000 figure I've seen around lately is too much. At that point you'd might as well get a MacBook and have a keyboard. Or a Nook and a hundred e-books.

Either way, I think this is going to be the Kindle-killer if Amazon doesn't go color. And fast.

Kindle is going to have to completely upgrade everything if it wants to compete in the same category.

As long as there is a huge price difference, the Kindle will be safe.

But I hear Sudoku and other simple apps are coming to the Kindle.

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Kindle is going to have to completely upgrade everything if it wants to compete in the same category.

As long as there is a huge price difference, the Kindle will be safe.

But I hear Sudoku and other simple apps are coming to the Kindle.

Well, I've been putting off my purchase of a kindle ever since I heard Apple coming out with a product that MIGHT compete with the kindle.

I'll drink the koolaid, but I'm hoping it's not over $600, plus it has to show it's a rugged little sucker.

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This could be the killer app for the Apple tablet: educational books. I would have killed for a slim, portable tablet to avoid carrying all those text books back in college.

Apple in Talks with McGraw-Hill, Hachette over Tablet

Also, for those of you with stock in AAPL, you might find this interesting:

Why AAPL dropped 10.32 points Friday

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$500 bucks? That's not bad at all.

Now I have to wonder if I wanna be an early adopter or wait for the bugs to get out of it. Apple is usually good about taking care of that stuff quickly.

I haven't been keeping track of who they made deals with publishers, but it should be interesting to see what all happens.

Sorry, my inner geek just made a little girly scream of delight.

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This could be the killer app for the Apple tablet: educational books. I would have killed for a slim, portable tablet to avoid carrying all those text books back in college.

Apple in Talks with McGraw-Hill, Hachette over Tablet

Also, for those of you with stock in AAPL, you might find this interesting:

Why AAPL dropped 10.32 points Friday

A truly horrible thought. To this day, any book I care about, is a book. I still have all my college text books. The idea of solving calculus problems with anything other than a blank piece of paper, a pencil, and a real book is just wrong. On too many levels. Some things are never meant to change. No matter how hard we try, we will never replicate the feel of a real newspaper or real books. Ever.

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A truly horrible thought. To this day, any book I care about, is a book. I still have all my college text books. The idea of solving calculus problems with anything other than a blank piece of paper, a pencil, and a real book is just wrong. On too many levels. Some things are never meant to change. No matter how hard we try, we will never replicate the feel of a real newspaper or real books. Ever.

I'm buying one for my daughter the minute (and myself) it shows that doesn't need to cart that many books around and has some savings.

As a person that is an avid reader, I wouldn't mind carrying a variety of books around whenever I am in the mood for something relaxing to read.

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A truly horrible thought. To this day, any book I care about, is a book. I still have all my college text books. The idea of solving calculus problems with anything other than a blank piece of paper, a pencil, and a real book is just wrong. On too many levels. Some things are never meant to change. No matter how hard we try, we will never replicate the feel of a real newspaper or real books. Ever.

I disagree...if the text quality and battery life are good enough I'd prefer the iPad. And you'll still have sheets of blank paper for the purpose of solving calculus problems. The only downside is not being able to sell the textbooks back for cash at the end of each semester.

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A truly horrible thought. To this day, any book I care about, is a book. I still have all my college text books. The idea of solving calculus problems with anything other than a blank piece of paper, a pencil, and a real book is just wrong. On too many levels. Some things are never meant to change. No matter how hard we try, we will never replicate the feel of a real newspaper or real books. Ever.

I would have killed for something like this in college - not having to carry around 20lbs of books would have been fantastic...

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I would have killed for something like this in college - not having to carry around 20lbs of books would have been fantastic...

Back in the 1800's... pioneers would trek for months and months across the country. Taking 5 to 7 days to travel a distance that we can travel in 1 hour in car. Carrying all sorts of heavy stuff in their wagons, horseback. Battling the elements. Battling the Indians, too. Bows and arrows. Subsisting mostly on beans... but somehow, today... we can't carry books any more on campus because they're "heavy."

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I disagree...if the text quality and battery life are good enough I'd prefer the iPad. And you'll still have sheets of blank paper for the purpose of solving calculus problems. The only downside is not being able to sell the textbooks back for cash at the end of each semester.

Can I take my pencil and write and scribble on the iPad screen (using a real pencil)? What about yellow high-lighter (a real one)? Or putting a sticky note, in the back of the book where the solutions are, so I can quickly check? Of course, I never understood people who defiled their books in such a manner. I never did that. I respected the book. Still do. But a lot of people take liberties.

Another reason I never sold my books back. I figured if I got ripped off once by buying them at inflated prices, I wasn't going to get ripped off again by selling them back for next to nothing.

Edited by BryanS

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I don't think there is enough demand for this sort of device that is not a laptop yet nearly as expensive as one and not as useful. I'd be surprised if this device took off outside of the Apple crowd.

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I don't think there is enough demand for this sort of device that is not a laptop yet nearly as expensive as one and not as useful. I'd be surprised if this device took off outside of the Apple crowd.

I kind of agree... I love Apple, and I think this thing looks pretty cool, but I'd rather pay $250 for a netbook if I want to carry something lighter than my laptop around. At least a netbook has a USB port.

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I kind of agree... I love Apple, and I think this thing looks pretty cool, but I'd rather pay $250 for a netbook if I want to carry something lighter than my laptop around. At least a netbook has a USB port.

Agreed. I want something I can use to load pics from my camera and other computer tasks, not just an over-sized iphone.  

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Back in the 1800's... pioneers would trek for months and months across the country. Taking 5 to 7 days to travel a distance that we can travel in 1 hour in car. Carrying all sorts of heavy stuff in their wagons, horseback. Battling the elements. Battling the Indians, too. Bows and arrows. Subsisting mostly on beans... but somehow, today... we can't carry books any more on campus because they're "heavy."

Yeah Yeah Yeah...and my parents walked to school in knee-deep snow....doesn't mean I want to or need to....its called progress....

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Kindle is going to have to completely upgrade everything if it wants to compete in the same category.

As long as there is a huge price difference, the Kindle will be safe.

But I hear Sudoku and other simple apps are coming to the Kindle.

So how about that measely $10 difference between the base iPad and the Kindle DX???

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Yeah Yeah Yeah...and my parents walked to school in knee-deep snow....doesn't mean I want to or need to....its called progress....

I had to walk uphill to class! Both ways! 

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The thing that really disconnects me from ebooks is the fact that you have to pay for the digital copies through a DRM'd system...you can't really easily "rip" your books like CDs (unless you scan them in page by page and extract the text, but that's time-consuming at best) and a "bought" digital copy can't be printed out for a hard copy (I could be wrong, though).

Similar thoughts exist on video game digital distribution.

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People still use Macs??

Considering that Apple sold 3,360,000 Macs in October-November-December, 2009 and Mac sales are up 71% compared with the Wintel sector being up 17% year-to-year, I think the answer is "yes."

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The thing that really disconnects me from ebooks is the fact that you have to pay for the digital copies through a DRM'd system...you can't really easily "rip" your books like CDs (unless you scan them in page by page and extract the text, but that's time-consuming at best) and a "bought" digital copy can't be printed out for a hard copy (I could be wrong, though).

It is possible to print e-books, depending on the format it is in.

The iPad's e-book are in E-Pub format, which is an open format. For the most part e-pub books can be printed just like PDF books can. Though, I don't expect this to happen with books purchased through the iBooks store.

The e-pub specification does not have any DRM in it, but it allows third parties to add DRM, just like the MP4 format that iTunes uses for songs is also an open standard, but allowed Apple to wrap the songs in DRM for a while, though that is no longer the case.

Still, I don't see people printing out their books as a backup. Even printing just a few bestsellers would run through thousands and thousands of pages of paper and ink and probably wear out a printer pretty quickly, since most home printers aren't designed to handle that kind of load all at once.

I wish there was a service that would scan your books into e-books, like those companies that will rip all of your CDs for you.

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I know that's an Onion link, but people who compare the iPad to a laptop don't get it. They're the same people who complained that the iPod didn't have a rewind button.

There are masses of people out there who don't need a full computer, but need occasional computing power. My wife and all of her friends are in this group, as I suspect pretty much every netbook owner is.

My wife has a MacBook that she used to use every day. Since she got her iPhone she only uses the MacBook once or twice every other week. Everything she needs to do, she can do on her iPhone. She is very eager to get an iPad. For people like her, they don't need a full computer. They just want to occasionally look stuff up on Wikipedia or make restaurant reservations and do Facebook and e-mail.

The iPad is a general purpose computing device that provides enough power to do the simple common tasks that people want, but in a size and with an ease that doesn't get in the way. It's the next step (the iPhone was the first) toward the long-predicted ubiquity of technology. Computing becomes something you pick up and do and put down and don't think about again, rather than an event where you sit down in front of a machine and turn it on and wait for it to boot and log in and open a browser and so on just to look up a simple recipe.

I was fairly skeptical of the iPad until the information came out about the data connections. They're cheap and best of all -- no contract. A carrier contract would have been a deal-breaker for me.

At first I was surprised that there's not a camera, but then I thought about holding up this pad, which is a monster compared to a regular digital camera, and taking a picture and it just seems like an silly and awkward picture in my head. That said, I think there still should be a forward-facing web cam. But then again -- how often have I used the one in my laptop? The only time I ever use it is when I'm traveling without my wife and we iChat while I'm in the hotel. So, it's something nice to have but not necessarily necessary.

I don't have much use for the Photo app, but it's a nice display of technology. I love the idea that the iWork apps have been broken up so instead of paying $75 for the suite, I can pay $20 for the two portions of it that I use. If I had one, I'd primarily use it for e-mail, surfing, and iWork stuff. I love the notepad. The biggest problem I have with the iPhone version of that app is that half of the screen real estate is lost to the keyboard. The iPad version is much more useful, and I'd likely use it a lot. A whiteboard app would be great. There are plenty for the iPhone, and if they modify them to take advantage of the iPad's increased screen real estate, they would be great for a lot of businesses.

If the iPad had a PHP editor, an FTP client, and Quickbooks then I could leave my laptop at home. But those are kind of a specialized set of requirements so I don't ever expect them to materialize.

I think the big losers here are the netbook manufacturers and Amazon. Not because of e-books. I wouldn't be surprised to see Amazon and Apple pair up on the books. But the Kindle is dead in the water. The Kindle DX has the same size screen and is the same price, but looks like a black-and-white silent film compared to the Avatar that is iPad. Why would anyone buy a Kindle now? I would love to see a graph of Kindle sales over the last year, and then watch the line take a massive dive right when the iPad price was announced.

The criticism I've heard so far is pretty weak. Mostly complaints from Slashdot-type geeks complaining that there's no Flash support. Funny, considering these same people have been complaining for the last six years that Flash is a bloated hog that they don't want on their PC's. They're just looking for a nit to pick, and can't find anything better.

The only thing Flash is useful for is pushing video, but HTML5 makes Flash obsolete. Safari and Chrome already support HTML video. Firefox I think either has it close to ready, or it's already deployed. HTML5 video uses 1/10th the battery and processing power as Flash. For portable units like the iPad, this is key. And the last thing I want on a mobile device is to sit there waiting for some web site's massive and unnecessary Flash interface to load over a 3G connection. Some day Flash will go the way of Geocities, the dancing baby, and the Hamster Dance.

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I agree, ever since I got my G1, I would use that even at home, but it was a pain to post on forums and so it has dissuaded me from doing that.

People are bemoaning the fact that it doesn't have multitask capability, cameras or whatever, don't know that it's important to have a proper tool to do the proper job. I will want to hold one in my hands and play with it before buying one for myself.

Music? Eh. I got XM in the car and and occasionally use Pandora at home.

Movies? At home, I don't need it. I got my beloved TiVo (and soon, BluRay). I just don't see the need for it.

Games? Maybe. If it can handle Civilization or Homeworld while I have some downtime, then I'm down for it. Just don't expect anything productive. For 10 hours.

Internet? I might use it as a substitute for the laptop at home, and might use it when I'm out and about. But only IF I have a WiFi connection.

Books? Oh Yeah, but if I can get a big enough of a selection and ONLY if they can keep it competitive with Amazon's Kindle service, including magazines for a decent price.

Photos? That's what I got a camera for. Now if it can EDIT them, then I'm down with that.

If anything, it's TOO capable, but for just a hundred or so above a kindle, it's a bargain.

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They just want to occasionally look stuff up on Wikipedia or make restaurant reservations and do Facebook and e-mail.

But isn't that what an iphone is for? My daughter recently got an iphone and I must admit I'm much impressed.

Sorry but I see the ipad as just an overgrown iphone and nothing more. 

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I agree, ever since I got my G1, I would use that even at home, but it was a pain to post on forums and so it has dissuaded me from doing that.

People are bemoaning the fact that it doesn't have multitask capability, cameras or whatever, don't know that it's important to have a proper tool to do the proper job. I will want to hold one in my hands and play with it before buying one for myself.

Music? Eh. I got XM in the car and and occasionally use Pandora at home.

Movies? At home, I don't need it. I got my beloved TiVo (and soon, BluRay). I just don't see the need for it.

Games? Maybe. If it can handle Civilization or Homeworld while I have some downtime, then I'm down for it. Just don't expect anything productive. For 10 hours.

Internet? I might use it as a substitute for the laptop at home, and might use it when I'm out and about. But only IF I have a WiFi connection.

Books? Oh Yeah, but if I can get a big enough of a selection and ONLY if they can keep it competitive with Amazon's Kindle service, including magazines for a decent price.

Photos? That's what I got a camera for. Now if it can EDIT them, then I'm down with that.

If anything, it's TOO capable, but for just a hundred or so above a kindle, it's a bargain.

For people who have regular downtime, it will be good. Commuters and the like. My wife will likely use it to watch TV shows and movies and read books during her lunch. That's actually what we got the netbook for, but video on Linux is a nightmare, and netbooks don't make it any easier because they're so under-powered processor-wise that they have to slurp up all their battery to compensate.

When we were able to get videos to play on her netbook, it ended up reducing the battery life to 90 minutes. iPad is supposed to have 10 hours, even with video; and 140 hours of just music.

I'm not excited to use it for games, but I can understand the appeal. There are some great games on the iPhone, but I find my fingers usually getting in the way. The bezel of the iPad would probably make the gaming experience more enjoyable.

Jobs told the New York Times yesterday that the iBooks will cost the same as Amazon. What I wish, though, is that more out-of-print books would become e-books. I don't mean worthless out-of-copyright crap. I mean stuff that was good 20 years ago and is still good, but you can't buy it anywhere.

I think it's a little big to really use as a music player. I think that's just a nice feature to have, not necessarily a selling point.

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But isn't that what an iphone is for? My daughter recently got an iphone and I must admit I'm much impressed.

Sorry but I see the ipad as just an overgrown iphone and nothing more. 

You say that like it's a bad thing. If you don't have an iPhone, then an iPad is a great tool instead (and cheaper!). Or if you like your iPhone and use it a lot, you might want a bigger screen.

If I had the spare money, I'd get this for my elderly mother. Right now she's using my old Powerbook. But an iPad with the keyboard dock is exactly what someone like her needs, not a whole computer.

So I guess in addition to killing the netbook market, the iPad just aborted what little there is of the thin client market, too. It's the fulfillment of everything that the networking companies have been talking about since the 90's. The network is the application.

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Mind you I have nothing against the ipad. If someone was to give it to me as a gift I would happily take it and use it. I just greet this new gadget with as about as much excitement as I did the Segway.   

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So I guess in addition to killing the netbook market, the iPad just aborted what little there is of the thin client market, too. It's the fulfillment of everything that the networking companies have been talking about since the 90's. The network is the application.

I'm not a fan of Apple but I have to agree with just about everything you've written in this thread editor.

Microsoft promised us something like this about 10 years ago called Mira. I've been waiting for 10 years and still nothing. I'm a big Tablet PC user and I'm sick of having a keyboard on the stupid thing. Tablet PCs without a keyboard cost more than the ones with a keyboard. I use the keyboard on my Tablet about once every 6 months. I guess MS will be copying the iPad in a few months.

This device will cost less than half my Tablet PC. I don't need to run Word, AutoCad, etc.. on my Tablet I just need to check email, surf, etc... I don't want to do it on a phone, the screen is too small.

I am worried about the lack of flash support though. Bloated or not it has become a standard and your average person will be frustrated when the page they are trying to load won't work right. There are about 11 million people out there who's first question will be... "Will it run Farmville?"

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Considering that Apple sold 3,360,000 Macs in October-November-December, 2009 and Mac sales are up 71% compared with the Wintel sector being up 17% year-to-year, I think the answer is "yes."

And that brings Apple up to what, maybe 5% of the total market?

The iPad falls into a longstanding tradition at Apple, lock the system and users up with proprietary systems and content. From what I hear on the reviews this may well be the most locked down computer ever...i mean, come on...no USB ports? Apple went this way back in the early 80's when they actually were a major player in the pc market and watched their marketshare dwindle to artists and universities. The golden lining of this is that, like with the ipod, it will spur competitor development of decently priced wintel (or linix) based tablets that are actually cheap and useful.

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Sorry but I see the ipad as just an overgrown iphone and nothing more. 

What I see is the iPad filling the gap between the iPhone and a full-blown computer or laptop. It offers a form factor that's superior for things like digital media, internet browsing, and movies. These activities can't be fully appreciated on a small iPhone screen. Laptops and netbooks are fine for their intended use, but they are not the right form factor for an airplane seat or a sofa.

As was alluded earlier, the killer app may just be the ability to load ebooks and the ability to cache media publications directly on the iPad. If you're about to catch a long flight, you could download the latest magazines, newspaper, books, etc. and have them all cached for use on a single touch-screen device, along with your videos, music, etc. Try doing that on your phone or laptop while sustaining 10-hours of battery life.

I agree that this iPad isn't perfect, so we'll see if Apple fixes some of the shortcomings in future revs. After all, it's a 1.0 product and just the beginning of a new platform. The first iPhone was likewise limited in functionality, and it wasn't until the App Store came along that it really came onto it's own.

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Considering that Apple sold 3,360,000 Macs in October-November-December, 2009 and Mac sales are up 71% compared with the Wintel sector being up 17% year-to-year, I think the answer is "yes."

Not to mention those of us who record audio for a living. Nothing beats a Mac.

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If you already have a data plan with AT&T for use with your IPhone, can you use that data plan in tandem with the IPad? If so I might get one, but if they want me to pay an additional $25.00 a month, no thanks.

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I am worried about the lack of flash support though. Bloated or not it has become a standard and your average person will be frustrated when the page they are trying to load won't work right. There are about 11 million people out there who's first question will be... "Will it run Farmville?"

My happiest day this month was when I learned how to turn off Farmville and Mafia Wars updates from all of my Facebook friends.

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And that brings Apple up to what, maybe 5% of the total market?

I'm not sure what your point is here. We're talking about iPads and mobile devices, not desktops. But if you want to play that game, what's fine. The problem is that different companies define success in different ways. You may think that market share is the most important factor. I like to look at it this way:

AAPL: $192.12

HP: $41.83

MSFT: $28.18

DELL: $12.91

Apple can buy Dell with just half of the cash it has in the bank.

Or you could look at it by company size:

MSFT $250.21 billion

AAPL: $174.21 billion

DELL: $25.24 billion

HP: $4.42 billion

We can play the game all day, but to dismiss Apple as a non-player because of its desktop penetration is delusional. If Apple is such a non-factor, then why does the world go nuts whenever a new Apple product comes out? Why is it being discussed in every newspaper, TV station, and radio station around the world? Why are you even motivated to participate in this thread? I don't seem to remember months of anxious speculation over the release of the Zune HD.

The iPad falls into a longstanding tradition at Apple, lock the system and users up with proprietary systems and content.

What proprietary content are Apple users locked into exactly? Music? Video? Ebooks? Apple uses open industry standards on all of them. Tell me which media format a Windows machine can play that an Apple machine can't. I can't think of any.

From what I hear on the reviews this may well be the most locked down computer ever...i mean, come on...no USB ports?

USB ports? Exactly what for? Demonstrate a need and I'll consider it. Otherwise it's just like the Dell people five years ago who couldn't believe it when Apple dropped floppy drives from its notebooks. When was the last time you saw someone with a floppy disk? Can you even buy those anymore? You're going to have to come up with a better gripe than that. I hate to break it to you, but the future is wireless, not yet another cable running to the rats nest behind your Wintel tower.

Apple went this way back in the early 80's when they actually were a major player in the pc market and watched their marketshare dwindle to artists and universities. The golden lining of this is that, like with the ipod, it will spur competitor development of decently priced wintel (or linix) based tablets that are actually cheap and useful.

So, what you're saying is that once again Apple leads in technology and innovation and everyone else follows. Well, at least that's one thing we can agree on. Just like there were a number of MP3 players around before the iPod, there are a number of tablet computers and netbooks out right now. But for the majority of people, they all suck. And just like with the iPod, Apple will come in and reinvent the market niche and the other companies will copy it.

I don't mind people being critical of Apple. I'm not entirely pleased with the iPad, and I'm pretty fed up with the paint scratching off of the keyboards of two laptops now. But if you're going to try to be critical, at least come up with some substantial argument. Something that makes sense. Something better than saying Apple isn't a good company because its latest product doesn't have a USB port.

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If you already have a data plan with AT&T for use with your IPhone, can you use that data plan in tandem with the IPad? If so I might get one, but if they want me to pay an additional $25.00 a month, no thanks.

Sadly, I don't think it works the way you and I want. I think you have to get the separate $15.00 or $25.00 data plan. I think that blows. I think the reason the much larger iPad uses microSIMs is so people with the $14.99 plan don't pop them out and stick them into their iPhones.

For me, I think the balance between price and capability will come from having an iPad with the $24.99 data plan and a pre-paid cell phone. My iPhone's off contract anyway, and I'm probably going to move outside the AT&T wireline footprint so I won't get my DSL discount anymore for combining that bill. I rarely use my phone and have over 4,500 rollover minutes. I'm all about the data, so an iPad works for me.

Of course, I can always make VOIP calls on the iPad, so that's an option. Especially now that the VOIP-over-3G restriction has been lifted and there are apps that take advantage of that.

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I wish there was a service that would scan your books into e-books, like those companies that will rip all of your CDs for you.

Well, I read about on another forum a service that scans stuff into PDF but I didn't get the name of it.

And of course, text can be extracted from scanned documents...right?

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I just looked at my bill and did the math. I used 161MB of data last month. If I drop my iPhone and get an iPad with the $15 data plan (250 MB), then even the highest-end iPad pays for itself in 13 months.

If I get the cheapest 3G model, it pays for itself in ten months.

Hmmm....

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I'm not sure what your point is here. We're talking about iPads and mobile devices, not desktops. But if you want to play that game, what's fine. The problem is that different companies define success in different ways. You may think that market share is the most important factor. I like to look at it this way:

AAPL: $192.12

HP: $41.83

MSFT: $28.18

DELL: $12.91

Apple can buy Dell with just half of the cash it has in the bank.

Or you could look at it by company size:

MSFT $250.21 billion

AAPL: $174.21 billion

DELL: $25.24 billion

HP: $4.42 billion

Uh...I was responding to your statistic of 3.3M macs sold in Q4. I think that makes it obvious that I was referring to desktop penetration.

We can play the game all day, but to dismiss Apple as a non-player because of its desktop penetration is delusional. If Apple is such a non-factor, then why does the world go nuts whenever a new Apple product comes out? Why is it being discussed in every newspaper, TV station, and radio station around the world? Why are you even motivated to participate in this thread? I don't seem to remember months of anxious speculation over the release of the Zune HD.

I'm not saying Apple is a non-factor. It's more like a bit player in the desktop/laptop market. Why does the world go nuts when Paris Hilton does something stupid or when Tiger fools around with his wife? We live in a media-centric society and no doubt a few people are making the big waves we have to surf on. The reason it's being discussed in every newspaper, TV station and radio station is because that's how modern marketing works.

What proprietary content are Apple users locked into exactly? Music? Video? Ebooks? Apple uses open industry standards on all of them. Tell me which media format a Windows machine can play that an Apple machine can't. I can't think of any.

How about you can only purchase content and programs via the App Store. Want to run some non-apple approved software? No chance (unless you hack it). Everything has to go through the Apple gatekeeper. Think that's a good thing?

USB ports? Exactly what for? Demonstrate a need and I'll consider it. Otherwise it's just like the Dell people five years ago who couldn't believe it when Apple dropped floppy drives from its notebooks. When was the last time you saw someone with a floppy disk? Can you even buy those anymore? You're going to have to come up with a better gripe than that. I hate to break it to you, but the future is wireless, not yet another cable running to the rats nest behind your Wintel tower.

You may not be aware of this, but USB has become the ubiquitous wired interface for electronic devices. It allows you to connect and charge your devices. USB will probably be superceded by something else at some point, but it's hardly at the point floppy drives were five years ago.

So, what you're saying is that once again Apple leads in technology and innovation and everyone else follows. Well, at least that's one thing we can agree on. Just like there were a number of MP3 players around before the iPod, there are a number of tablet computers and netbooks out right now. But for the majority of people, they all suck. And just like with the iPod, Apple will come in and reinvent the market niche and the other companies will copy it.

That's exactly what I am saying. Apple is no doubt an innovator in consumer electronics. They have to be since their propriatery approach to desktops pushed them to marginal market penetration back in the 80's. What I'm arguing is that the same propriatery mentality at Apple is going to lead to the iPad being a similarly marginal product as competitors do it better and cheaper and on a more open platform.

I don't mind people being critical of Apple. I'm not entirely pleased with the iPad, and I'm pretty fed up with the paint scratching off of the keyboards of two laptops now. But if you're going to try to be critical, at least come up with some substantial argument. Something that makes sense. Something better than saying Apple isn't a good company because its latest product doesn't have a USB port.

That was hardly my argument, but I can see how the example could have been construed to be the whole.

Here's a more comprehensive list My linkhttp://gizmodo.com/5458382/8-things-that-suck-about-the-ipad

Some of this is petty, in my opinion, but here's the one's I find relevent:

No Multitasking

No Flash

Propriatery adaptors necessary for everything. Nintendo does this with the DS systems, each edition has it's own power adapter. It's a PITA.

A Closed App Ecosystem

Or how about this? http://www.defectivebydesign.org/ipad

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Well the good thing is that nearly all of the other big computer makers are working on tablets of their own. However, instead of using Apple's proprietary A4 chip many of these companies will be using nVidia's Tegra 2 chipset. So instead of everybody being limited to the same chips there will be some real competition out there. I will admit I was expecting something more robust but this is much more exciting than another update of the MacBook line. I look forward to being deluged by innovation from all directions.

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How about you can only purchase content and programs via the App Store. Want to run some non-apple approved software? No chance (unless you hack it). Everything has to go through the Apple gatekeeper. Think that's a good thing?

Absolutely. It's called quality control. It's not perfect, but it's far superior to doing nothing.

Compare to what's going on in the Android world where it's a free-for-all: As pointed out by PBS tech columist Bob Cringley, there are lots of applications that let you use your bank account on your Android phone. But guess what? They're not from your bank! They're by random strangers, sometimes in other countries, and no one knows what they're doing with your log-on, or personal financial information because there is no vetting of the software or the software authors. At least with the Apple method there is some culpability. With Android? You're on your own, kid.

I don't understand how ensuring that software meets some basic functionality and doesn't wreck someone's device or other files on it is a bad thing. If every programmer out there was great, that would be one thing. But they're not. I don't see how it's infringing on anyone's "freedom" to require them to wait 48 hours (yes, it's only 48 hours now even on weekends) to have their program approved before it's unleashed on the masses. And the $99/year that Apple charges to be part of the developer program is a bargain when you know all of the support and documentation, video, and other help that is provided. I'm part of the program. I know. Apple bends over backwards to help people develop software for the iDevices. After all, when you make money, Apple makes money.

I think that it shouldn't just be Apple doing this. All of the players, Nokia, Palm, MS, etc... should institute tough standards so we have higher quality software. It's like this every time a new breed of devices come out -- the first few waves of software are garbage. The term "hacker" was derogatory when it was coined back in the 1970's to refer to people who put out crapware like biorhythm calculators and shoddy bits of code that crashed systems. Apple has, for the most part, managed to avoid that first wave of garbage software by setting the bar higher to play in its sandlot. It should be applauded for instituting some form of quality control in a world where nobody gives a damn about doing things right.

You may not be aware of this, but USB has become the ubiquitous wired interface for electronic devices. It allows you to connect and charge your devices. USB will probably be superceded by something else at some point, but it's hardly at the point floppy drives were five years ago.

You're not going to charge your phone off of your iPad just like you don't charge your cell phone off another cell phone. And in case you're talking about connectivity, guess what's on the other end of the cable that comes with every iPad? A USB connector! (Though to be honest, I wish Apple had stuck with the superior Firewire interface. But sacrifices have to be made to bring the Windows people into the fold.)

That's exactly what I am saying. Apple is no doubt an innovator in consumer electronics. They have to be since their propriatery approach to desktops pushed them to marginal market penetration back in the 80's. What I'm arguing is that the same propriatery mentality at Apple is going to lead to the iPad being a similarly marginal product as competitors do it better and cheaper and on a more open platform.

Do you similarly argue that Fords are proprietary because you can't use a Honda exhaust system in one?

I still don't get what it is you think is proprietary about Apple products. I'm still waiting for you to point out what standard media format can't be played on a Mac.

Looking at the MacBook Pro in my lap I see three standard USB connectors, two standard Firewire connectors, standard audio in and out jacks, a standard Ethernet port, a standard DVI port, a standard ExpressCard slot, and a standard DVD-ROM drive. The only non-standard part of the computer is the magsafe adapter, but it's not like every other laptop in the world doesn't have its own plug, too.

Are you talking about Mac desktops, perhaps? The ones that have the most user-friendly design in the industry to allow the Average Joe to upgrade them without having to slice his hands open in a maze of wires and circuit boards? The Mac desktops that use standard upgradable hard drives, standard upgradable optical drives, standard upgradable RAM? The only thing that's non-standard is that you have to buy Mac versions of video cards because the Macintosh architecture is different than Wintel architecture. If it wasn't, then it would be a Wintel machine, not a Mac.

I still don't see where you get "proprietary" from.

If by "comprehensive" you mean "lame," then I agree with you -- that was a very lame list. They complain about the bezel? They complain that it doesn't have an HDMI port? Apple already said it has video out through the dock connector, how does Giz know there isn't an HDMI option? I'd wager there's at least a Mini DisplayPort (oops! There's another standard, and like Firewire and USB that Apple helped invent!) option. There's a pretty good chance that HDMI will be an option because DisplayPort was designed to complement HDMI. Most of the things on that list are things that Gizmodo assumes but doesn't know since the device hasn't even been released yet.

Some of this is petty, in my opinion, but here's the one's I find relevent:

No Multitasking

I'll give you some room on this one. It would be nice to listen to my Sirius Radio app while surfing on my iPhone. I can understand why Apple doesn't trust the third-party programmers not to run down the way it happens on phones that do allow tasks to run in the background (like every Symbian phone I've ever owned). I'm not sure what the solution is to this. But I guess Apple would rather hear the nerds complain, "There's no multitasking!" than listen to regular users complain that their battery is always running out.

No Flash

This is a feature, not a bug. Flash is a scourge.

Propriatery adaptors necessary for everything. Nintendo does this with the DS systems, each edition has it's own power adapter. It's a PITA.

Not sure what you're talking about here. Sounds like you're spreading more FUD. The iDevices use the same plug that they've been using since 2003. I have a bunch of them. I use the one from the Nano I bought in 2005 to charge my wife's 2009 iPhone. The only iDevice that doesn't use the standard cable is the first and second generation iPod, which use standard Firewire connectors.

And in case you haven't been keeping up with things, Apple was one of the first mobile phone companies (along with Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG, NEC, Qualcomm, RIM, and Samsung) that agreed to put the new micro-USB plugs on its phones in 2010 so that chargers could be used between them.

A Closed App Ecosystem

Addressed above. I'd rather not have random Yuri von Sleazeball impersonating my bank and stealing my information. Quality control is a good thing, not a bad thing.

What about it? It's someone who made a petition based on a bunch of assumed things that no one knows since the device isn't out yet. How is the iPad's DRM "unprecedented" as he claims? How does he know that the iPad has an "always on" wireless signal? How does he know that Apple has the ability to reach into your iPad and erase your personal documents? The answer is simple -- he doesn't. He's making stuff up in order to attract attention. Especially considering that the eBooks are going to be in the open ePub format. I hate to break it to you, but you got suckered in by someone inventing controversy to pump up the number of visitors to his web site. It's the tech equivalent of Quannel-X. You've been p0wned, dude.

Furthermore, Steve Jobs is on the record as being against DRM. Remember that it was he who pushed the record companies into dropping it on iTunes. He did more than one interview about that. But the bottom line is that it's not really up to him, or Apple. It's up to the people who own the content. You're picking the wrong fight here. If you don't like DRM, then go after the content producers who require it, not the distributors who are required to play by their game in order to make it available to you.

Or just use open files. Like ePub, and MP3, and MP4, PDF, WAV, AIFF, ALE, H.264, and the dozens of other free, open, unencumbered DRM-less file formats that every Apple device all the way back to the original iPod support. If you don't like DRM, then don't buy any. Where do you live that the police are forcing you to do so?

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Well the good thing is that nearly all of the other big computer makers are working on tablets of their own. However, instead of using Apple's proprietary A4 chip many of these companies will be using nVidia's Tegra 2 chipset. So instead of everybody being limited to the same chips there will be some real competition out there. I will admit I was expecting something more robust but this is much more exciting than another update of the MacBook line. I look forward to being deluged by innovation from all directions.

I was disappointed to learn that Apple's A4 chip is more evolutionary than revolutionary. Apparently it's built around ARM's Cortex-A9 core, if I'm reading things right. I don't understand as much about chips as I used to. After the 68040 era things got a little beyond me.

I was hoping it would be completely original silicon. But I guess like a boss I once had always said, "There's no point reinventing the wheel."

On the other hand, he was one of the worst bosses I ever had and his company went out of business.

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I just looked it up and you're right it's based on the A9 system-on-a-chip. It has some proprietary additions Apple made with the semiconductor company they bought. I searched further and discovered that the Tegra 2 is supposedly also based on the Cortex A9 but with an nVidia GPU. The Tegra 2 will be able to do 1080p video (http://www.anandtech.com/gadgets/showdoc.aspx?i=3714), v. 720p for the iPad (http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/). So in that sense there is room for improvement (assuming comparable price and battery life, which is quite an assumption to make) and true competition is welcome.

However at the end of the day Apple's real advantage is its "ecosystem" and also its trump card. So pretty soon we'll see some Tegra 2 products with crap-tastic GUIs from various PC manufacturers and then in March, or whenever Apple has its next event, they'll launch the iPhone OS 4.0 (which may contain multitasking and enough improvements so that a person seeing the iPad for the first time would *not* be reminded of a "larger iPod") and be back in the news again just in time to ship the actual iPads to people's doors.

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