iPad Review: Debunking 10 Reasons Not to Buy

At TechRepublic’s 10 Things blog, Debra Littlejohn Shinder recently critiqued the iPad in her article “10 reasons why I’ll be passing on the iPad”. While some of her points hold water, others invite debate. It’s an interesting discussion that highlights common misconceptions about the iPad’s capabilities and its target market.

Firstly, Debra points out the absence of a physical keyboard on the iPad. True, but Apple offers a keyboard dock, and the device supports any Bluetooth keyboard. This flexibility is arguably better than having a built-in keyboard, which would either reduce screen size or increase the device’s bulk.

The iPad’s virtual keyboard in landscape mode is nearly full-sized, making typing more feasible than on the smaller iPhone keyboard.

Despite the lack of a physical keyboard, this hasn’t deterred iPhone sales, and likely won’t affect the iPad negatively either. Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica confirmed that any Bluetooth keyboard is compatible, not just Apple’s.

Debra also argues that the iPad’s 9.7″ screen is too large. However, Steve Jobs positioned the iPad as a device that fits between an iPhone/iPod touch and a 13″ MacBook, not as a device that directly competes with smaller netbooks or phones. The iPad’s size enhances its usability for reading, watching videos, and browsing the web, which smaller devices can’t match.

Another critique is that the iPad runs on a mobile OS, which some see as a limitation. However, the iPhone OS is a variant of OS X, tailored for touch interfaces without the traditional desktop OS features, which wouldn’t be user-friendly on a touchscreen device.

While the lack of multitasking is a valid criticism, it’s likely that future updates could include enhanced multitasking capabilities.

Storage is another concern, with Debra noting that even the largest model might not meet everyone’s needs. However, a 64 GB iPad can hold substantial data, including thousands of songs, photos, and apps, sufficient for most users’ needs.

Debra also mentions the lack of HDMI output and a camera. While true, the iPad supports video output through other connectors, and its aspect ratio is optimized for a variety of media, not just video. The absence of a camera is notable, but not a dealbreaker for all users.

Regarding connectivity, the lack of USB ports and a flash memory slot is seen as a downside. However, the iPad offers alternatives like cloud storage, and most users will find these sufficient.

Price is another point of contention.

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Tj Luoma

Gary is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail, Gary covers everything from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to in-depth reviews of the MacBook Pro and Apple Watch. His insightful articles help readers navigate the ever-evolving world of Apple technology. Gary’s expertise and clear writing make him a trusted voice in the Apple community.