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Apple iPad Reviewed

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the under-the-hood dept.

Handhelds 443

adeelarshad82 writes "Since the iPad's initial introduction back in January, many of us still wonder why we should drop hundreds of dollars for what is termed as a large iPod. Missing features like support for multitasking, a built-in camera for video chats, and Flash support in Safari only add to the dilemma. However, a recently published review of the iPad starts to clear up these doubts. To begin with, the iPad is packing some real quality gear under the hood. Even though the in-house-designed 1GHz A4 chip got little official comment from Apple, the touch screen's instantaneous responses prove that it is outstandingly fast. Furthermore, the iPad runs iPhone OS 3.2, and is currently the only device that runs this version of the operating system. iPad's graphics capabilities come from a PowerVR SGX GPU, similar to the one found in the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch. It can render about 28 million polygons/second, which is more powerful than the Qualcomm Snapdragon found in devices like the HTC HD2. Also, iPad's extraordinary battery life is not just a myth. According to the lab tests, the battery netted a respectable 9 hours and 25 minutes, very close to Apple's claims of 10 hours."

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443 comments

Here come the DRM whiners (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698074)

Let me ask you something in advance of the inevitable comments, for a chance: do you complain because the firmware in your TV set, microwave oven, and dishwasher is "locked down," too?

Re:Here come the DRM whiners (5, Insightful)

munehiro (63206) | about 4 years ago | (#31698084)

yes.

In particular when it decides to accelerate.

Re:Here come the DRM whiners (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | about 4 years ago | (#31698134)

Pointless banter aside I would like to simply point out that UI responsiveness is not an indicator performance. Let alone a metric to use in judging the devices processor!

Re:Here come the DRM whiners (5, Interesting)

adeelarshad82 (1482093) | about 4 years ago | (#31698148)

Actually for tablets it is a big indicator given that they don't really run multiple applications that we can test them out on. What the good responsiveness shows is that the chip is capable to running the OS very smoothly.

Re:Here come the DRM whiners (2, Informative)

HateBreeder (656491) | about 4 years ago | (#31698214)

Actually for tablets it is a big indicator given that they don't really run multiple applications that we can test them out on.

I would argue this is only a limitation on apple device.

Furthermore, you say:

What the good responsiveness shows is that the chip is capable to running the OS very smoothly.

But not more than that. You can't possibly begin to compare processors through UI responsiveness when they're running different operating systems.

Re:Here come the DRM whiners (4, Insightful)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | about 4 years ago | (#31698590)

I would argue this is only a limitation on apple device.

You're wrong. It's a limitation on Palm devices [softsailor.com], it's a problem with Android [laptopmag.com], it can be a problem with Windows Mobile [t-mobile.com]. It's therefore very very important for a mobile device that the interface doesn't feel laggy, and it's not a trivial problem.

But not more than that. You can't possibly begin to compare processors through UI responsiveness when they're running different operating systems.

As an end user, that's exactly what you'll do. You don't care about the particular processor, what you care about is whether the device you have in your hand is responsive and performs well - that's a combination of lots of factors, and it's perfectly valid to compare different devices based on their UI responsiveness, and attribute some of the speed to the processor (not all, but some).

Re:Here come the DRM whiners (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about 4 years ago | (#31698656)

You're wrong. It's a limitation on Palm devices, it's a problem with Android, it can be a problem with Windows Mobile. It's therefore very very important for a mobile device that the interface doesn't feel laggy, and it's not a trivial problem.a

The gp was talking about tablet devices, and of those only the iPad from Apple doesn't support multitasking, afaik.

You're talking about mobile touchscreen devices, which is a completely different class of devices.
The iPhone and iPod Touch are comparable to Palm, Android and Windows Mobile devices, the iPad is supposed to be something different.

Re:Here come the DRM whiners (4, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 4 years ago | (#31698300)

Pointless banter aside I would like to simply point out that UI responsiveness is not an indicator performance. Let alone a metric to use in judging the devices processor!

No, but it is an indicator of UI responsiveness, which for the prospective customers is the most important performance indicator. Well, that and the ability of playing video and music without stuttering.

Re:Here come the DRM whiners (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | about 4 years ago | (#31698414)

No, but it is an indicator of UI responsiveness, which for the prospective customers is the most important performance indicator.

I wish someone could tell that to the designers of modern operating systems.

I'm serious. If MS-DOS has a faster response time on 4 MHz than your OS on a dual core, you fucked up.

Re:Here come the DRM whiners (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698164)

I certainly would, if my TV, microwave, or dishwasher had hardware capable of general purpose computing.

Multi-tasking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698256)

That's the tipping point for me - I don't give a damn about cameras or flash or any of that. During Steve's entire presentation, I was thinking, "If this thing has multi-tasking, I'm in." Oh, well.

Re:Multi-tasking (-1, Flamebait)

wish bot (265150) | about 4 years ago | (#31698446)

It's a tablet, it's got a small screen. For the love of god please tell us what the fuck you'd use "multi-tasking" for on a device like this?

90% of the Windows users I know run everything full screen. Even on 24" monitors. Including the file explorer. None of them would know if the machine was capable of multitasking or not, as long as their open apps came up in the same state that they left them. Which is exactly what the iPhone/iPad do!

Fuck me, if multitasking was that important to you, the first thing you'd be thinking is "cool hardware, how do we jailbreak it". I do wonder what Slashdot has become. News for Nobs is more like it.

Re:Multi-tasking (5, Insightful)

Vectormatic (1759674) | about 4 years ago | (#31698566)

it's not so much about running multiple apps, as it is about having stuff running in the background. (non-apple stuff that is)

even on the iphone it would be usefull enough to have a chat app in the background while you are surfing (for people who chat, i dont). Or how about being allowed to chose your own music-streaming app, instead of the ipod app? (which doesnt do streaming). And i'm sure the app-writers out there can think of a bajilion other usefull, new, funny, cool or interesting things running in the background.

Re:Multi-tasking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698762)

Running full screen is *not* the same as not multitasking. You can have email running in the background, a music player, instant messaging...

It can be argued that the iFamily OS does allow you to do all of these, but this is only true when it comes to using the built-in apps.

Personally, I've already hit this issue on my iPod Touch: you can only listen to last.fm when the app is actively running in the foreground.

I probably will pick up an iPad at some point - as the NYT review said, it's an appliance for media grazing, not media creation. However, I'll wait until such time as it actually works the way I want it to.

Re:Here come the DRM whiners (4, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#31698532)

Let me ask you something in advance of the inevitable comments, for a chance: do you complain because the firmware in your TV set, microwave oven, and dishwasher is "locked down," too?

If any of them were TCP/IP or network enabled then, yes, I would.

Re:Here come the DRM whiners (4, Insightful)

thrawn_aj (1073100) | about 4 years ago | (#31698728)

Let me ask you something in advance of the inevitable comments, for a chance: do you complain because the firmware in your TV set, microwave oven, and dishwasher is "locked down," too?

You're right. Considering that the tablet in question is about as versatile as the appliances you mentioned, I now have no complaints about it being locked down. Just lock it away somewhere and my joy will be complete.

So it is... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698078)

"Missing features like support for multitasking, a built-in camera for video chats, and Flash support"... "the iPad runs iPhone OS 3.2" ... "PowerVR SGX GPU, similar to the one found in the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch" ...

So it IS just a large ipod!

You almost had me going, but... (3, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | about 4 years ago | (#31698090)

"Also, iPad's extraordinary battery life is not just a myth. According to the lab tests, battery netted a respectable 9 hours and 25 minutes, very close to Apple's claims of 10 hours."

*sigh* Guess we have to wait until after April Fools' Day to get a real review.

Re:You almost had me going, but... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698140)

No, it's for real. Walt Mossberg, David Pogue, and Andy Ihnatko were able to push or exceed 11 hours of usage. (reviews from before April 1)

http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20100331/apple-ipad-review/

Re:You almost had me going, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698230)

Almost all of Apple's devices exceed their mfg spec for battery life.

right. (3, Interesting)

Adambomb (118938) | about 4 years ago | (#31698096)

I guess this makes the news "Apple iPad contains specs Apple claimed it would have!"?

then again i guess its the 1st already.

Info on their swpat woes (-1, Offtopic)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | about 4 years ago | (#31698106)

I've gathered some info already about the patent problems that have arrised around the iPad:

swpat.org is a publicly editable wiki, help welcome.

Re:Info on their swpat woes (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#31698270)

Apple v. HTC (2010, USA) [swpat.org] (including multi-touch prior art)

Since when did the Apple vs HTC litigation have anything to do with multi-touch?

Re:Info on their swpat woes (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 4 years ago | (#31698640)

Don't worry about it - he pops up with that biased site every time an Apple/Google/Big business story shows up. Ending software patents as a whole is a noble goal, but they're going about it the wrong way with that wiki. Shame, it could be quite a good resource.

Ok, so... (1)

YahoKa (577942) | about 4 years ago | (#31698108)

Ok, so this is what I got from reading that short: well, this doesn't really address any of the concerns people have mentioned, but it's super duper powerful. Wheee!

I still don't quite get it myself and wouldn't buy one, but I guess its hard to speculate how the market will react.

Re:Ok, so... (3, Informative)

julesh (229690) | about 4 years ago | (#31698240)

Ok, so this is what I got from reading that short: well, this doesn't really address any of the concerns people have mentioned, but it's super duper powerful.

Except, you know, the average netbook has a processor that's 50% faster, 150% more storage capacity, a screen about 10% larger, plus the option of using a keyboard if you'd rather not play with handwriting recognition. Oh, and most have cameras, and quite a few have longer battery life.

Re:Ok, so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698264)

The iPad has handwriting recognition?

Re:Ok, so... (4, Insightful)

AaronW (33736) | about 4 years ago | (#31698296)

At least for me I think I'll stick with my netbook as well. I tend to use the USB ports and built-in SDHC slot on it quite a bit for things like copying photos off of my camera, burning DVDs, etc. I also tend to make heavy use of multitasking. It's nice when I can just plug a 500GB drive into one port and my camera into the other and copy several GB worth of photos off.

Add to this that the netbook is significantly cheaper than the iPad.

Re:Ok, so... (3, Insightful)

Vectormatic (1759674) | about 4 years ago | (#31698312)

Except, you know, the average netbook has a processor that's 50% faster, 150% more storage capacity, a screen about 10% larger, plus the option of using a keyboard if you'd rather not play with handwriting recognition. Oh, and most have cameras, and quite a few have longer battery life.

For half the price...

anyway, i dont get the hubbub about it being powerfull, i mean, device three times more expensive then ipod, more powerfull then ipod, who'da thunk it?

and im reading the review right now, the guy is actually writing about the mail app as if it is new "i cant seem to acces the gmail chat function in the mail app" well no shit sherlock..

Re:Ok, so... (4, Interesting)

hitmark (640295) | about 4 years ago | (#31698340)

50% faster? i think atom and cortex-A8 benchmark closer then that.

while the storage space is bigger on a netbook, its a HDD. I morn the loss of SSD from most netbooks today, because they need the room for windows. Using SSD in a netbook rather then a HDD made those small computers a fair bit more rugged.

no comment on the screen size.

there is a keyboard dock (basically a combo of the normal dock/stand and the usual apple keyboard without a numpad). Yes, it results in the ipad standing in portrait mode. However, if one is using the ipad to hammer out documents, a portrait ratio may actually make sense, as thats bascially the same shape as the paper it may be printed onto.

if it was not for apples bonehead insistence on only allowing programs to be had via the app store, and other ball and chain measures, i may actually have grabbed one. I can see it sitting on a desk or table, either for typing or basically as a expensive photo frame, but that one can at any moment grab for looking some info up while on the bed or sofa. If it had a webcam, or could have a usb webcam attached, it may act nicely as a video phone as well.

still, all this seems to be available in the archos 8 home tablet, so maybe i will buy that instead. I just worry that they will require me to fiddle with a charger attachment each time i set it down, rather then just pop it into some stand that also provides charging.

Re:Ok, so... (5, Insightful)

znu (31198) | about 4 years ago | (#31698356)

If you can really look at the iPad and think Apple should have just shipped a netbook, then not only have you completely missed the point, but the next 10 years of computer industry evolution are going to be very confusing for you, as the mainstream market increasingly ignores the tech specs that geeks obsess over in favor of user experience considerations that are far more relevant to normal users.

Re:Ok, so... (5, Informative)

nneonneo (911150) | about 4 years ago | (#31698408)

Hmm, I think this comparison of netbooks [wikipedia.org] wants to disagree with your claims.

As listed in the table, most netbooks have substantially less than 10 hours of battery life, (indeed, only three entries out of 35 with published battery life estimates have an operational life of more than 10 hours), have a screen resolution of 1024x600 (which is *less* than the iPad's 1024x768), and, excluding the less-than-5" netbooks, weigh substantially more than the iPad's 1.5lb. Most are running 1.0 to 1.6GHz Intel Atoms, which aren't directly comparable with a 1 GHz ARM chip, so I can't comment on the "50% faster".

The iPad also doesn't use handwriting recognition for English (it's a standard QWERTY touchscreen keyboard), and you have the option of using a wireless Bluetooth (full) keyboard as well (this option doesn't even require any additional hardware beyond the keyboard).

So, I'd have to say that on several fronts, your argument about netbooks fails. Care to demonstrate what your "average" netbook looks like? Perhaps you'd also like to tell me how much it weighs, and what its actual battery life is like?

Re:Ok, so... (2, Insightful)

snowgirl (978879) | about 4 years ago | (#31698452)

So, I'd have to say that on several fronts, your argument about netbooks fails. Care to demonstrate what your "average" netbook looks like? Perhaps you'd also like to tell me how much it weighs, and what its actual battery life is like?

I think he's mistaking Netbooks for what he wishes the Apple iPad were.

Re:Ok, so... (1)

Swampash (1131503) | about 4 years ago | (#31698672)

Yes, but the average person would rather shoot himself in the face than use the average netbook. Apples, oranges.

Re:Ok, so... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698802)

In my experience, the average netbook is painfully unresponsive and slow to use, regardless of more GHz and Gigabytes. Only thing that matters to me is that the machine doesn't slow me down. Right now, Apple is the only player in town that understands what I'm on about. But that's only my opinion.

But for some reason you obviously did not read the story, I wonder why. Ipad has a keyboard - not handwriting recognition. You can even use a regular keyboard, if you really want to. And please tell me where I can find a netbook with even remotely the same dimensions and longer battery life.

I agree that it would be great if the thing had a USB port - that would make it the ideal travel companion.

Secicolon splice (4, Funny)

edittard (805475) | about 4 years ago | (#31698110)

Even though the in-house-designed 1GHz A4 chip got little official comments from Apple; touch screen's instantaneous responses prove that it is outstandingly fast.

A semicolon splice? You don't see many of those around.

Re:Secicolon splice (1)

hitmark (640295) | about 4 years ago | (#31698354)

must be a author thats doing the review, the average journalist/blogger would not have done so.

not really surprising, as apple have been selling to artists (or people wanting to appear as such) for decades.

Slashdot is becoming a failure.. (-1, Redundant)

mxh83 (1607017) | about 4 years ago | (#31698122)

Screw this sh*t.. another iDud review? Gimme a break. What exactly is the "news" here, that we do not already know? Either "pcmag" is gaming system, or Slashdot is getting money for these stories. Both scenarios are equally likely. And I presume this post will be modded down by the same people responsible for this story.

Re:Slashdot is becoming a failure.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698150)

iDud - my much preferred name for it is iFad.

Re:Slashdot is becoming a failure.. (1)

WalksOnDirt (704461) | about 4 years ago | (#31698184)

It's the first story dated April first, and it's a slashvertisement. Maybe that will be the theme.

Re:Slashdot is becoming a failure.. (1, Insightful)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | about 4 years ago | (#31698218)

Apple has been receiving an extraordinary amount of attention on /. these last years. Apparantly some of \.'s editors are serious Apple fans. Just mod the article binspam or better yet, ignore Apple stories and move on with your life.

Re:Slashdot is becoming a failure.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698750)

...or you're a Apple hater who can't stand to see Apple finally crawling out of the ditch that they dug themselves into during the 90's

Finally. Proper audio support (4, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 4 years ago | (#31698132)

The built-in speaker gets fairly loud and provides decent sound. There's no bass response, but the small grille houses both a left and right speaker.

Since the disco era, there has been this constant push for more bass, to the point where the drive to get lower has become a caricature of itself in places like Miami and Los Angeles. True audio lovers know bass is only one aspect of a rich audio experience.

So when I hear that Apple is turning bass way back, I know they are answering the prayers of audiophiles. Finally a company with the balls to do the right thing.

Thank you Apple!

Re:Finally. Proper audio support (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 years ago | (#31698202)

So when I hear that Apple is turning bass way back, I know they are answering the prayers of audiophiles. Finally a company with the balls to do the right thing.

Before you sing (in stereo) praises of His Jobness, ponder on the concept that the itty bitty micron sized bits of magnets in these 'speakers' couldn't produce bass if they were made of unobtainium. Physics rather than Steve's musical taste dictates this.

Re:Finally. Proper audio support (5, Funny)

somersault (912633) | about 4 years ago | (#31698224)

What's that sound? It's a low rumbling.. oh now it's getting closer - is it a really big bird? Is it a plane? Oh, no, it's, it's..

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSHHHHHH!!

Re:Finally. Proper audio support (2, Interesting)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | about 4 years ago | (#31698232)

Also, you'd be a pretty poor excuse of an audiophile if you'd been praying for less bass from shitty speakers in portable rigs.

Re:Finally. Proper audio support (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | about 4 years ago | (#31698250)

either that, or small speakers/speaker ports just SUCK for low-wavelength sound.

I don't know who would expect a small tablet to have a decent bass-reponse. If you want propper sound, get a half-decent set of speakers. You'd have to be an idiot anyway to use any type of built in speakers on a mobile device when you want good quality sound.

Touch (3, Interesting)

CaptnMArk (9003) | about 4 years ago | (#31698144)

Personally, I find that I am slowly developing an RSI type problem wrt touchpads and touchscreens, preventing extensive use. Anyone else?

Re:Touch (1)

Eyeball97 (816684) | about 4 years ago | (#31698316)

Personally, I find that I am slowly developing an RSI type problem wrt touchpads and touchscreens, preventing extensive use. Anyone else?

Indeed. I notice my hands cramp up a lot faster on my Storm II than they did on my Bold 9700. I thought it was just me...

Re:Touch (1)

pankkake (877909) | about 4 years ago | (#31698404)

Ican't use "touch" stuff at all. It is painful and inefficient. Apple UIs are all about intuitiveness (and being shiny), not ergonomics.

Better reviews here (5, Informative)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | about 4 years ago | (#31698152)

Andy Ihnatko's Sun Times review [suntimes.com] + Unboxing [youtube.com]

Xeni Jardin's Boing Boing review [boingboing.net]

Goatberg's WSJ review [allthingsd.com]

Baig's USA Today review [usatoday.com]

and Pogue's awkward review for NYT [nytimes.com]

Re:Better reviews here (1)

Quantumstate (1295210) | about 4 years ago | (#31698738)

A couple of things which I noticed in the WSJ review was that the email client lacks local folders, sorting rules and contact groups. Also the web browser lacks tabs. To me these seem like pretty major limitations given the quantity of email I receive and the way I use my browser.

Re:Better reviews here (5, Insightful)

tingeber (1129619) | about 4 years ago | (#31698742)

From Pogue's review (emphasis mine):

the iPad is not a laptop. It’s not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it — books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on.

I think he hit the nail on the head there.

Electronic Music Production (5, Interesting)

fan of lem (1092395) | about 4 years ago | (#31698160)

In the realm of electronic music production, the iPad is showing a lot of promise [createdigitalmusic.com].

This is sort of a big deal amongst electronic musicians, as before the iPad the only similar alternative was the US$2,000+ Jazzmutant Lemur [wikipedia.org].

Re:Electronic Music Production (1)

hitmark (640295) | about 4 years ago | (#31698364)

given the track record apple products have with artists of all stripes (and the wannabe artists), color me unsurprised.

28 million polys/sec (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698166)

So now the scourge that is Intel's integrated graphics gets pwned by even a low-power, handheld device. Have they no shame?

Re:28 million polys/sec (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | about 4 years ago | (#31698358)

i rather doubt that, the playstation 2 is capable of ~66 milion polys/sec, and from what i've seen, intel integrated graphics are capable of rendering ps2 level graphics without trouble (keep in mind the low resolution of the ps2 and such). Off course this doesnt go for something like the 82815 intel graphics chip, but that thing is 10 years old, hardly a fair comparison.

Also ipod maxi != pc

I can't wait for mine! (0, Redundant)

MikeFM (12491) | about 4 years ago | (#31698170)

I ordered the 64GB 3G model so I have to wait. Shouldn't the people who paid the most get theirs first? Of course I'd have paid $100 more for a video camera built-in.

Re:I can't wait for mine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698594)

$829 plus a monthly contract. That's a bargain you have there.

AAAH!!! (4, Funny)

bain_online (580036) | about 4 years ago | (#31698172)

But does it run Linux ?
* ducks *

Re:AAAH!!! (2, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 4 years ago | (#31698276)

But does it run Linux ?

No, but it runs a full Posix compliant Unix implementation.

Re:AAAH!!! (3, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#31698394)

Oh yeah? So where's the command-line shell then?

Re:AAAH!!! (1)

AresTheImpaler (570208) | about 4 years ago | (#31698508)

hidden.. but there's even ways to run a sshd.

Re:AAAH!!! (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#31698680)

Oh, I see. So in other words, in order to get down to the command line, I need *TWO* machines to do it, one the SSH server and the other the client to connect to it... because presumably there's not an SSH client program for it.

Re:AAAH!!! (1)

AresTheImpaler (570208) | about 4 years ago | (#31698714)

well, for one, you have to install a sshd by hacking the iphone or ipod touch (and I guess an ipad in a few days/weeks when hackers find a way). Once you have sshd access you can install some kind of terminal app and run it from inside your app. I think the popular way of jailbreaking it installs both the ssh cliend and server. If you dont want to jailbreak your iphone/ipod touch, there are several ssh terminals you can buy from the official ipod app store. There are also several VNC and RDP apps. I dont have an iphone, but I do have a first generation ipod touch. I have not jailbroken it, but I do have an ssh client that I use to log into my server.

Re:AAAH!!! (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 4 years ago | (#31698658)

Just because you don't have root on it doesn't mean it's not there.

It would be nice to have it out of the box, but then, most people don't need it - they can buy a Nexus One.

No Flash (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698192)

This isn't a missing feature. It's a bug fix.

So what? (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | about 4 years ago | (#31698212)

For all I care it can have a Ferrarri F1 car under its skin ... I mean, who cares if it doesn't do anything particulary usefull?

Re:So what? (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 years ago | (#31698386)

For all I care it can have a Ferrarri F1 car under its skin ... I mean, who cares if it doesn't do anything particulary usefull?

Because it doesn't do anything particularly useful really fast!

Actually, most of the world's population don't do anything particularly useful either. So a device that doesn't do anything particularly useful is an ideal gift for them.

Hi Steve. Slow news day? (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | about 4 years ago | (#31698254)

"""
Furthermore, the iPad runs iPhone OS 3.2, and is currently the only device that runs this version of the operating system.
"""

Because 3.2 > 3.1.

Don't Support Closed Systems... (5, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | about 4 years ago | (#31698260)

When you buy into closed systems, you put money into the hands of people who will perpetuate closed systems. As a result, more advertising, sneaky (I say that because its closed) innovation, and influence is produced and then the culture of computer use trends further in that direction...

Many forces right now are interested in producing limited/closed systems, and furthermore very thin 'clients' that would have the majority if the processing and data storage done in the cloud. Nevermind that you are limited by the permissions inherent to the construct of the closed system -- and subject to the inevitable "nickle and dime" pay/fees attached.

Buying into this junk is a way of voting with your money for a future that has more of it. I'm pretty happy with the freedoms I enjoy in computing. Right now, computing is still kind-of a 'wild west' of sorts, with many freedoms still open and available. As have many other aspects of life, the power of the susceptible consumer buying into bad ideas has led to the limitation of access to variety/possibilities/alternatives; that which is not mainstream loses its ground and at some point has no platform to present from.

Think for yourself. Do you want a 'computer' that only allows you to do what they want you to do? Do you want people who offer this to get your money and drive the market further in that direction?

Re:Don't Support Closed Systems... (4, Interesting)

Bongo (13261) | about 4 years ago | (#31698380)

It is a fair point but it also applies to closed software where you don't get the source. It applies to any product that was created for a market where the purchaser simply wanted a ready made thing that just does certain things. Most people don't design their own house, design their own plumbing, grow their own food, prescribe their own medicines, build their own cars, and so on. Most people don't even bake their own bread. We have people and companies that specialise in these things, and because we delegate the work to them, they have more control over it than we do. We get to choose to some extent whether to buy it, but on the whole, if you want open computer systems, you'll need to explain to people why it is more advantageous and worth their time, to learn to use them. The app store basically removes most of the sys admin tasks that a person might have to otherwise do. People drive down the motorway, discover they're almost out of petrol, and in two minutes, tap tap they've found and installed and run an iPhone app that'll tell them where to find petrol. It is closed, but it fucking works.

iPad != desktop/laptop replacement (5, Insightful)

itsdapead (734413) | about 4 years ago | (#31698420)

Think for yourself. Do you want a 'computer' that only allows you to do what they want you to do?

If you want a general purpose, programmable computer, don't buy an iPad. Nobody is forcing you. I see plenty of uses for one which don't involve running much beyond the standard software.

If I want to do more than that, I have a "real" Mac (something upon which the iPad also depends).

Now, the moment Apple try to "close" the Mac, I'll drop them like a ton of bricks for PC/Linux, but currently the Mac scores pretty high on openness.

Meanwhile, if you want to run your own software on the iPad its simple: forget the App store and code whatever the hell you like in loverly open standards-based HTML5/ECMAScript/SVG and host it on your Real Computer. Practical upshot: odds are your "cloud" apps will also be compatible with anything running a half-decent browser.

...and I love the way that the slashdot group mind treats Flash as the spawn of Satan and destroyer of worlds until Apple leaves it out (and, consequently, persuades a number of large video sites to switch to standards-based HTML5 video).

Re:Don't Support Closed Systems... (0)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about 4 years ago | (#31698422)

For all the people that endlessly complain about Microsoft... just imagine if Apple had one the computer wars. We'd all be on closed platforms...

Re:Don't Support Closed Systems... (1)

warrigal (780670) | about 4 years ago | (#31698550)

So what platform are you on? Windows? That's not closed much. Just have to ask uncle Bill if you're allowed to put some more RAM in it. Can't use it until he says you can.

Re:Don't Support Closed Systems... (2, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#31698608)

That's a pathetically weak response, I'm sorry to say.

Firstly, RAM detection is done by the BIOS in the machine, not by the OS.

Secondly, if you're hinting at the RAM memory limited on 32-bit processors, that's a 3.2GB hardware restriction based around what the CPU can physically address and is the same whether you use 32-bit Windows or 32-bit Linux.

Other than that, I do recall some memory limitations in Windows 98, something about it having problems running with more than 512MB RAM, but that's an OS from 12 years ago.

Incidentally, personally I'm more Linux than Windows user these days so I'm no MS fanboi - but I hate seeing incorrect comments from people who clearly have no idea what they're talking about.

Re:Don't Support Closed Systems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698630)

Not necessarily. The Apple 2 was an open platform. The only reason you didn't see more clones of them is that you couldn't clone the firmware without breaking a lot of software (noone respected entry points).

Re:Don't Support Closed Systems... (2, Insightful)

Exitar (809068) | about 4 years ago | (#31698628)

And when you buy into open phones, you either get incompatible devices like Android (http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/02/23/1616221) or *cough cough* Openmoko.
I prefer to put my money into something that works well and not into a "RMS approved" device.

Re:Don't Support Closed Systems... (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | about 4 years ago | (#31698688)

The iPad (and the iPod Touch before it) are net-aware appliances, not general purpose computers. There are still plenty GP computers around for those who want such things; the iPad's existence doesn't change that in any way. Horses for courses.

Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698274)

"iPad's missing functionality is offset by Apple providing hardware that would have run those functions really, really well."

Don't give credit to Apple (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31698304)

Even though the in-house-designed 1GHz A4 chip got little official comments from Apple; touch screen's instantaneous responses prove that it is outstandingly fast.

I'm sure Apple engineered the entire chip, including the ARM core, which is the reason why it's so fast. Actually, I'm not sure. Designing a modern pipelined cpu is extremely difficult, especially one that is fast and low power. ARM (the company) designs and implements their own cpu's, including the Verilog/VHDL source for the actual layout, along with some hand optimization at the synthesis stage. They then sell this to Apple/Philips/Qualcomm, who add the peripherals and then fab the actual silicon itself. Apple isn't going to reinvent the wheel by reimplementing an entire cpu. They're going to buy the core from ARM at a cheaper price than what they could do themselves. Apple is not the only one that wants a fast and low power arm core: everyone does. ARM already employs the best people to do this, they know the most about their own cores, they've had the most experience, and they are the ones most interested in doing it, so they can sell it to pretty much everyone. (How many arm cpu's are around you? More than you think. WAY more than you think.) Anyways, don't give credit to Apple for the fast ARM cpu, they most likely just bought the core from ARM, who did most of the engineering, and Apple added some other on chip stuff and had the chip manufactured.

Now I get to watch this modded into oblivion after I spent 5 minutes writing it.

iTampon (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | about 4 years ago | (#31698314)

if you asked anyone what are critical requirements for computers today are, multitasking is going to be on the list.

it's no good claiming is't super fast if it can only run one fucking thing at a time. my god damn 286 was snappy running one thing at a time.

just another over priced toy from apple, move along.

Re:iTampon (0, Flamebait)

jo_ham (604554) | about 4 years ago | (#31698686)

You realise that a tampon is a small cylindrical object and never called a "pad" right? Maxi pads and tampons are two different things that do a similar job.

It does't surprise me that you don't seem to know the difference though - I mean, that would first mean you would need to get close an actual girl.

So, let me get this straight . . . (1)

SEE (7681) | about 4 years ago | (#31698510)

The critics say it's just a big iPod. Your response is . . .

iPad's graphics capabilities come from a PowerVR SGX GPU, similar to the one found in the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch.

But, hey, at least you're only paying double (32 GB iPod Touch, $299; 32 GB iPad, $599).

Re:So, let me get this straight . . . (2, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | about 4 years ago | (#31698698)

Indeed, while the GPU may be similar, the screen is bigger.

Bigger LCD screens cost more than smaller ones.

Re:So, let me get this straight . . . (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#31698702)

It reminds me of the famous scene in the Spinal Tap movie:

Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...
Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
Marty DiBergi: I don't know.
Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
Marty DiBergi: Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.

The real "secret" of Apple (5, Insightful)

LordFolken (731855) | about 4 years ago | (#31698758)

Is that they have a very clear idea of what their users do with their products. Not because they leave it up to their users to decide, but because they tell them.

Here is your powerbook.. with it you can videochat and edit your holiday photos.

They are doing the same with the ipad: http://www.apple.com/ipad/features/ [apple.com]

They take the application and then very much optimize the hell out of the application until it fits perfectly to the device its running on.

Other manufactures just build a tablet. And this is why this product will be a success.

Please not i'm not an apple fanboi. I don't even own any of their products.

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