The iPad: An Elegant Solution in Search of a Problem

Make no mistake about it: I am an Apple fan. I own several Mac laptops, iPhones, and iPods. I even bought an AppleTV—and love it. When the iPad was announced, I watched Steve Jobs’ announcement and the online Guided Tours. I ordered one the first day I could do so. I purchased the 64GB WiFi (non-3G) version.

Official iPad Photo from Apple's Web Site

I have now had my iPad for a little more than a week. I have been using it daily. In fact, last week, I took it on a two-day business trip without my laptop. Since I was on a blogging hiatus, I didn’t think I would need my usual heavy-duty blogging tools. I made it, but not without some adjustment to my workflow.

My conclusion thus far is that the iPad is an elegant solution in search of a problem.

The closest thing I can compare it to is the Segway Personal Transporter. Remember that device? This is the two-wheel electric vehicle that uses gyroscope sensors to balance itself and sense which direction the driver is leaning. Even though it was originally introduced in 2001, it is still an engineering marvel.

For months, the Segway was hyped in the press. Inventor Dean Kamen introduced it on Good Morning America, claiming that it would revolutionize the way we live and work. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, was an enthusiastic investor. Steve Jobs even predicted that cities would be redesigned around the Segway and that it would prove to be more significant than the personal computer.

Nine years later? Not so much. It has had success in niche markets, like law enforcement, warehouse handling, and utility inspections. But, by and large, the device fell through the crack that exists between walking and driving. There are just not that many times when you need to go faster than your feet will carry you or slower than your car can take you.

I think the iPad is a similar device. It is an engineering marvel. The screen resolution is magnificent. The battery life is unlike anything I have ever experienced on any Apple machine. The overall design is simple, elegant, and very cool—even if a little heavier than I expected.

Everyone I have shown the device to holds it with childlike wonder and eventually mutters, “Wow. I’ve gotta get one of these!” But after working with it for a week, I have to ask, Why?

Daniel Lyons is one of my favorite writers. He is currently a writer at Newsweek, but is probably best-known for his parody blog, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, where he writes under the pseudonym “Fake Steve Jobs.” (Disclaimer: Mr. Lyons often uses very course language, including frequently dropping the F-bomb. Consider yourself warned.) Last week, writing about the iPad in the voice of Steve Job’s, he revealed what I think is at the very heart of this continual quest for more gadgets:

The truth is, all over the world, across every culture, there exists a sense of yearning. A kind of malaise. An emptiness. At the risk of sounding like Dr. Seuss: There is a hole in your soul. That is what we’re addressing at Apple. That is the hole we aim to fill. Sadly, as you may have begun to suspect, that hole can never really be filled. The truth is that modernity, the condition of living in our modern world, has inflicted terrible wounds on your inner self. These wounds can never be healed. They can only be treated. At best we provide palliative care. Not a cure. Because, my dear fellow human beings, there is no cure for what ails you. The products we create provide only temporary relief. Their magic eventually wears off. The sense of childlike wonder they impart will, over time, begin to fade. And then you need a new product. Think back to June 29, 2007. Do you remember the rapture? The wonder of iPhone? The magic? Now that is gone, but here we come with another shot of digital Dilaudid. Sleep well, my friends. Sleep deeply and rest, cradled in the arms of my electronic medicine.”

Do you want an iPad? Probably. Do you need an iPad? Probably not. The iPhone is sufficient for making calls, checking email, stock quotes, and the weather, or listening to podcasts or audiobooks. In my experience, the iPad doesn’t offer a big enough improvement to warrant the additional investment.

Moreover, if I need to write a long email or blog post, manage my photo library, or really surf the web and post links to the little nuggets I find, I would rather use my laptop. It’s not that much heavier, has a much better keyboard, and allows me to multi-task and work in a way that is now largely transparent. I just get things done without much thought about how I do them.

When it comes to the eBook reader, the iBooks application is stunning. The Kindle 2 pales in comparison. Contrary to the claims of those who sell E-Ink technology, the backlit screen did not cause me any eyestrain. Highlighting important passages was a snap. The only thing I missed was the ability to type in my own annotations, like I can do today on the Kindle.

The main problem right now is the product selection. I have probably searched for about twenty different titles that do not yet exist in the iBooks store. In fact, I have had difficulty finding anything I wanted to read that I have not already read. I realize this will change over time, but for now, the Kindle has an enormous lead. (They also need to create an affiliate program; otherwise, bloggers will continue to link to Amazon rather than iBooks.)

My original complaint with the Kindle was that no one really wants to carry a device that is solely dedicated to one function: reading. After using the iPad for a week, I have changed my mind. That is exactly what I want.

I have reconciled myself to the fact that I am going to carry three devices anyway: a laptop, a phone, and either a book, an eBook reader, or an iPad. I would rather have a dedicated eBook reader that allows me to disconnect from all the other distractions and fully immerse myself in the reading experience of a book. While the Kindle doesn’t offer all the razzle-dazzle of the iPad, I still think it has the upper-hand for serious readers. With the additional competition of the iPad, I’m sure the Kindle will only get better over time.

Question: What problem do you think the iPad is intended to solve?
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  • http://sarcasticxtian.blogspot.com Scott Smith

    Brilliant post Michael. I love it!
    My recent post Calling vs. Potential

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/scottdwinter Scott D. Winter

    I blogged about this myself – the iPad is the first generation of what every computer will be in the next five or so years. As wireless/cell networks get better, and cloud computing takes over (a la Google), we won't need the bulk of a laptop.

    Because this is a first gen product, it isn't all things to all people. Yet. It will only get better from here.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I hope you are right. I didn't like the first iPhone either but now I do. Dang. I wish I weren't such an early adopter.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/human3rror human3rror

    i got one. i like it. but my daughter has used it more than i have.

    it's a godsend for long trips with children! entire season 40 of the sesame street!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      But couldn't you do this with a dedicated DVD player at a fraction of the cost?

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/human3rror human3rror

        oh, but it wouldn't have been as cool…!

        and her daddy \”wanted\” one… ;)

      • http://twitter.com/adamrshields @adamrshields

        I might have said the same thing. But my 2.5 yr old niece (I am the nanny) and her 13 month old sister already understand how to use it. They have no interest in videos. They are coloring, "reading" books, taking care of their TapFish tank. The 13 month old can only say a handful of words, but knows how to touch the screen to get to the next animal on her favorite book.

        I have never owned an apple product, but this is a good one. I have a netbook, kindle and smart phone so I wasn't really excited, but it really does change the way I interact with computers. I don't pick up my netbook and walk around with it. I do with my ipad. I can take it outside and in the girls rooms. (I am a part time consultant, so I do a lot of email). The lack of keyboard actually is the benefit, as well as the size.

        It still needs some productivity apps that work. Numbers doesn't interact with excel, so it is worthless. But once I get a spreadsheet, I am set. I also am dependent on dual screen computer for work at home. But when I travel I was always missing that. Makes no sense to take two computers when traveling. But a netbook with ipad as second screen seems to work really well.

        I agree it is not perfect and not for everyone, but I love it so far. Seriously considering a second one for my wife.
        My recent post Free book in honor of Earth Day-Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices

    • http://twitter.com/DavidGallery @DavidGallery

      I just found great App for kids too – Disney Digital Books. It can read Disney books with a bit of animation.

  • http://thatguykc.wordpress.com K.C.

    Thanks for the candid assessment, Michael!

    I know that I don't need an iPad, but I definitely want one. As a daily bus commuter the ability to read, watch movies, play games and casually surf the web on the ride between work and home are the majors draws.

    Am glad you gave Amazon credit for the Kindle 2 and the perks of a dedicated device. I agree that Amazon will only improve their device moving forward.

    It will be very interesting to see if the iPad has the same impact on mobile computing and e-readers that the iPhone had on cell phones.
    My recent post A Man’s Guide to Birthday Success

  • http://thatguykc.wordpress.com K.C.

    Thanks for the candid assessment, Michael!

    I know that I don't need an iPad, but I definitely want one. As a daily bus commuter the ability to read, watch movies, play games and casually surf the web on the ride between work and home are the majors draws.

    Am glad you gave Amazon credit for the Kindle 2 and the perks of a dedicated device. I agree that Amazon will only improve their device moving forward.

    It will be very interesting to see if the iPad has the same impact on mobile computing and e-readers that the iPhone had on cell phones.
    My recent post A Man’s Guide to Birthday Success

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I don't watch many movies, but I have watched video on the iPad. It is stunning.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/TravisRobertson Travis Robertson

    Hi Mike,

    Interesting post. There was an article over on Gizmodo yesterday showing off the new ebook "Alice" for the iPad. I almost wonder if the iPad wasn't created to actually solve a problem but to create a new medium that creates a new need. I think as more apps like this hit the shelves, less interactive methods for consuming content will tend to feel like watching a black-and-white TV in an age of HDTVs.

    You can see the Gizmodo post here along with a fairly incredible video:http://gizmodo.com/5515612/the-cleverest-ipad-boo

    For now, I think I'll follow your advice and wait. At least until the need is made big enough. :)

    Cheers!
    Travis
    My recent post 4 Free Tools for Business Relationship Development

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I did see that. Maybe it will create a new category of media. I guess only time will tell.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/rosacola Rocco Capra

    I really enjoyed your review.

    When the rumors started my expectations were for a MacBook AIR with the screen flipped over and hard fastened. The actual "iPad" – not so much.

  • http://twitter.com/jaycaruso @jaycaruso

    As a photographer, I am intrigued about the possibility of with being able to show images to a client. That being said, I'm not sure I'm ready to part with $500 just for that alone. I'll wait. I'm sure within a year there will be many more things it will be able to do and that many more apps for it and by then, a newer and better model will come out.

    Good post Michael. It's nice to see such a balanced view of the product coming from a big time Apple fan.
    My recent post Kids – Spring Portraits

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Honestly, it was really hard to write this. I love everything about Apple. And the iPad is gorgeous. I just can't find a real use for it.

    • Anne

      As a photographer myself, I'd say you can use a good quality laptop to show images to a client at about half the cost of the ipad… (Even though the ipad itself does look beautiful!)

    • Ron

      What a great idea. It's a mobile portfolio and better then using a laptop. It might help generate more sales.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/crispone crispone

    Thanks for some real-world feedback on this thing. I don't have an iPhone (I don't want to pay for the data plan) or iPod touch, or a Kindle (which I also covet) and so I find myself wanting to get an iPad. For someone who doesn't own any of those things, do you think this would be useful for tasks like note taking during meetings, sermon notes while preaching, or grocery lists? Is it too bulky to carry around, sans briefcase, during normal day to day errands?

    And speaking of eBook readers, I'd love to hear your insights, as the CEO of a publishing company, on the future of readers as you see it.
    My recent post A Moment of Weakness

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Honestly, no. I still use a Moleskine notebook for notetaking. I think that speaking from an iPad would get frustrating. Paper is a much better, less intrusive and showy technology. It's heavier than you think. It's only a 1.5 pounds, but it feels much heavier than a book or notepad.

      I don't know about the future of eBook readers. Every time I think I might, I change my mind. At Thomas Nelson, we are simply trying to get all of our books in digital format, so regardless of the device, people can access them. This is why we were able to have 1,200 titles available on the iPad from day one.

  • http://www.PurposeDrivenBroker.com Dan Foster

    Mike, thank you for your candid analysis and feedback on the iPad. I was actually waiting to read this post (my gut told me that it was coming), before I purchased one for myself. I think I am going to hold off for now and wait to see how your experience evolves over the next few months. I see the iPad being more of a device for use in the home vs. in business. The features for a stay-at-home mom are fantastic and convenient. I might surprise Sarah with one for our anniversary. I'm excited to see how sales professionals use the iPad for client presentations. I could see this feature being a huge hit with them for service presentations.

    • http://twitter.com/Jessica_Traffas @Jessica_Traffas

      The iPad might just have enough of a Wow factor right now that using it for sales presentations could be a USP….. I've actually heard of a realtor who rides around on a Segway, and that's what he's known for. (They still remind me of Wil Arnet in Arrested Development.) People are wowed by fancy new technology – the more impractical, the more fascinating.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Knowing me, I may well change my mind (again) over time. I am sure with more apps and more books available, the device will only get better.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/tommylane tommylane

    Thanks for this. I was anxiously awaiting your review of the iPad. I sensed you would feel this way about it and I tend to agree; the Kindle would much better serve my needs.

  • http://www.SwitchingGranny.com Martha

    Thank you Mike for your thoughts regarding the iPad and your experience thus far. I have a feeling that you are speaking for the majority when you state: "Do you want an iPad? Probably. Do you need an iPad? Probably not."

    Great post that btw I just enjoyed on my macbook :)
    My recent post Celebration of Life Eternal

  • http://joycedzphotography.com Joyce DZ

    I love this article. Thanks for sharing. I almost have the same sentiments although I may have to add that I love that I can watch movies (through Netflix) anytime I want. :)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/mvivas mvivas

    I also got one on day 1. What you failed to mention on your post was that you can also read Kindle books on the iPad with the Kindle app. It is a gorgeous app and the reading fits right in. This way, if I decide to take my iPad and not my Kindle anywhere and I want to read, no fear, my Kindle books are near. I have read more from the Kindle app on my iPad than the iBooks app.

    Also, remember that this is not a device that will replace your laptop or main computer. It is aimed at something that fits between the iPhone and the Laptop (or desktop). Personally, I like to have it with me when sitting in my couch and browsing the web, or in bed checking email, listening to Pandora, or playing a quick game of Scrabble with my kids. By the way, just like the iPhone, the apps will determine whether the iPad succeeds or fails.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I have the Kindle app installed. The nice thing is that I am not locked into the Kindle device. That was a relief. However, I don't think the Kindle app is as nice as the iBooks app. Hopefully that will change over time.

      I know that Apple is intending this as a device that fits between your laptop and phone; however, I am not convinced that there really is a gap here—other than the marketing one that Apple is trying to create.

      Time will tell.

  • http://www.therextras.com BarbaraBoucher PTPhD

    "The battery life is unlike anything I have ever experienced on any Apple machine." Not an insignificant problem in my book, Michael. Especially when a bigger screen and lighter-than-laptop weight is critical to people with disabilities who are clamoring for the iPad as communication devices. The iTouch and the iPhone both have Apps that have been accepted in this community – who now want more.

    Thank you for many salient observation on the iPad. Your analogy to the Segway is a good one, but they also found a market in tourism. Our family took a Segway tour around the Alamo last December – a wonderful experience.

    The market place seems to thrive on selection. (I am not a marketing expert.) But I'm doubting the iPad will go the way of the Pet Rock.
    My recent post Movement is the reason for thinking.

  • http://www.aaronklein.com Aaron

    I've only played with one at the Apple Store, but my reaction in a tweet was "magical, yes. revolutionary, no." :)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michael Michael Koenig

    Testing, please ignore.

  • Ed Roden

    Thank you for a truly thoughtful and honest analysis!

  • http://www.DerekDRobertson.com Derek Robertson

    I think it will it eventually find it’s place. I am working on the west coast Women of Faith Imagine tour and our Lighting desinger pulled it out and took over the lights we were mesmorized. Here is the clip.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaM7DPDCIJo

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That's pretty cool. Maybe you're right.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That is pretty amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGallery @DavidGallery

    I agree with you. I'm thinking whether I should rebox it now. Last week, I had it with me for 2 days trip, without laptop just iPad and iPhone. By end of the trip, I will never leave without laptop anymore, period.
    Actually as for me, Apple really has to open up a bit more on iPad then it might work better for me. Example, include usb, I can easy transfer files in and out. as photo storage (transfer from flash card) … It also need more Apps too ..

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I agree on the USB. This would be so simple and make the device so much easier to use.

      I failed to mention that you can't print from the device, so this is one more thing you have to work around.

      • Jennifer

        Don't you think Apple intended to leave these off so as not to replace the need for a computer? I think they want every person to have atleast 3 Apple products- computer, iphone, and iPad (and adding the TV makes then extra happy :))

  • http://waltshiel.com Walt Shiel

    Since I rarely travel and only use a cell phone for emergency purposes, I find the shortcomings you mentioned irrelevant. I’ve had mine for almost a week and love it. It has definitely increased my productivity thanks to being able to review all sorts of files (PDF, Word, spreadsheet, etc.) as well as ePubs of books we’re working on (it’s so easy to make a quick ePub from the working file). All of which I can now do while sitting in my easy chair in the evening with less effort than with a laptop and far more enjoyment than with my Kindle (which can’t do much of anything except display Kindle books).

    My Kindle is now relegated to nothing more than proofing new Kindle book conversions.

  • http://www.yuzzi.com Rick Yuzzi

    Very interesting. I think I would feel the same way. I can’t see why I would carry one at this point, other than the “cool” factor. Maybe one day they’ll make something like this that you can fold up and stick in your back pocket. I’d get one of those.

  • http://kbhyde.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/what-to-do-whe…now-what-to-do/ Katherine Hyde

    Here’s an example of one thing the iPad can do that nothing else can:
    http://gizmodo.com/5515612/the-cleverest-ipad-book-yet
    Whether it’s worth $500 to experience books in this way is another question.

  • http://sam.duregger.net sam (@duregger)

    nice review. I’m in agreement with your last paragraph, I’m taking my kindle over my iPad if I want/need distraction free reading.

    iPad, may lend itself well as a notebook/presentation tool for small interoffice/client meetings. I *think* I will use it when meeting with clients to show them website progression and takes notes via Evernote…

    Looking forward to the next couple months as it becomes more integrated into my workflow.

  • Rachel Hauck

    I think I'm going to go with the "hole in my soul" solution provided by the iPad, Mike. ;p Thanks for asking.

    Rachel ;)

    P.S.
    Great post and analysis!

  • http://www.kenwords.com Ken Summerlin

    Maybe the iPad meets the need for the next status symbol. If that's the case, it will soon be obsolete since something cooler or more trendy is certain to be right on it's heels. OK, I confess that that comment was snarky. I wonder how many Haitians could be helped by the money spent on this new device that you essentially describe as a "scratch for something that doesn't itch"?
    My recent post Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

  • http://flowerdust.net anne jackson

    what problem does it solve?

    boredom.

    until the next pretty thing comes along… :)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Exactly!

      • http://flowerdust.net anne jackson

        BTW, that was by no means directed toward you personally! :)

  • Andrew Acker

    There is no doubt that the iPad has everyone confused. Apple has so often succeeded at not just meeting a need, but exceeding the need. Many products can solve a problem, but Apple creates products that solve the problems problem. The iPad does not seem to have that same structure, or at least not yet. However, you note the pure beauty of it and that you want one, but might not need one. There are many items that probably fit into that category, as the world is constantly advertising hail storms of products for us to buy. It appears though that this might be one of the first times Apple is looking to create a need for consumers, instead of fulfill one. They are not looking to solve a problem, but create a problem. The problem being that, I don't have an iPad. It would seem easy to disregard foolishness of a problem like that in most places, especially with no apparent purpose to the product. But something inside tells you differently. I cannot say what it is, but I think it stems from the fact that it is an Apple product and whatever they do is done extremely well. In many ways there is a sense of "post-modern design" in the functionality of the iPad. A sort of, "It does what I need it to do"… (to justify the price and having one of course). It is so hard for people though to say what it is used for, because it will be different for everyone (aka: no one really knows, just like post-modern stuff). Yet we all still want one.

    Quite possibly one of the most simple, yet complex devices ever made.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    Honestly, I think the iPad was created to solve Apple's problem of needing to stay competitive. If tech companies are going to remain viable businesses, they are going to have to create new and better things. As Mr. Lyons indicated there is malaise in our world that keeps many of us from being contented with what is already offered and Apple is taking advantage of that emptiness. I hope that the human yearning that Mr. Lyons perceives will find its satisfaction in the power of God's absolute love. Then there will be no need of competition because God's love is great enough for all of us.
    My recent post #38 THE DOING OF PRAYING: VICTORY

  • Vicki Small

    Great commentary, Michael, on the latest "must-have" gadget–and, in the quotation, on what ails us all. You have affirmed my suspicion that this gadget just doesn't have much to offer that we don't already have access to. And I loved the analgy with the Segway!
    My recent post Spiritual warfare played out in the streets

  • http://www.todshuttleworth.com Tod Shuttleworth

    Mike – This is like telling nme the end of the movie I am going to see week after next. That's when my 3G iPad arrives. Ughhh. I really want to dump my laptop for my iPad.
    My recent post Learnings from Google Marketing Seminar

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      You may love it. I think it all depends on your needs and whether or not it solves those needs.

      By the way, if you are going to buy one, I definitely think you should go for the 3G.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/jondale jondale

        Mike and Tod,

        I agree re the 3g. Searching for a wifi hotspot is so 2009 :-).

        I think the real issue is posture. If you spend your day sitting at a desk then you should get a MacBook with a huge external monitor. But if you live life out and about, in airports, on your feet, on the couch…then a huge touchscreen is revolutionary.

        It is just a big iPhone and that's the brilliance of it. I think it only gets better from here. This is week 1. Imagine getting an iPhone 3 years ago. Before HootSuite (or even twitter).

        I'm also excited about what this is going to do to computers in general. Touchscreens make sense when they work as well as the ipad's. Like Mike said, reading on the screen is a great experience. The more people that have tablet devices the more people who have access to ebooks. Have you checked out the CrushIt Vook on the iPad? It's better than just a book.

        And I love the kindle app. The way I can highlight and take notes is so much more intuitive and usable than on kindle. And once HootSuite has an app…then I'll want something else.

        In the interest of full disclosure, I rode a Segway for the first time this weekend in San Antonio. It's amazing. I want one of those too.

  • Carol Anne

    Thanks for the insight Michael. After reading an article in Time magazine, my husband and I wanted to run out and purchase the iPad for him. I have the iPhone and love it and was convinced he could find a use for Apple’s latest creation. That’s when I took a step back and said, “let’s wait.” I realized I was creating a need, not really fulfilling one. I actually told him we should wait until your sabatical from blogging and tweeting was over and read how you like it! I thought it would take longer, but am pleasantly surprised that it didn’t. You saved us money. For now….

  • http://www.AnetteEjsing.com Anette Ejsing

    I think over the next couple of years it will not be a matter of who has the best device, but who has the best commercial platform. That is, the winner will be the one who's ahead of the others when it comes to earning the 20-30% on every book sold, every video, every TV show, every newspaper, every music hit etc. Whether we access those things on an iPad, a Kindle, or whatever is – very soon – not going to matter much. It's the software product that we want, i.e. the shows, the music and the News. Whoever can deliver that, will win the day.

    • http://www.AnetteEjsing.com Anette Ejsing

      So, the problem that the iPad solves is for Apple to buy time with us, the consumers. The iPad keep us connected to the Mac products, so that when they beat Google and Amazon in the race for the selling of TVshows the way they first started selling music on iTunes, we're ready to consume from their tray.
      My recent post

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I think you are right. This is the big strategic-play.

  • Jennifer

    What I was HOPING the iPad would bring is an interactive reading experience. When I first saw the iPad marketing, this is what I thought it was. Can you imagine an interactive book with videos, tutorials, spreadsheets, and other types of "practice" or applications weaved into the book? Biographies and Historical Non Fiction could become almost a blend of a great book and a great documentary, "How To" books could come to life with video demos or planning sheets within the book itself, textbooks could become learning environments with videos, tutorials, practice tests…. the possibilities are endless.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/duregger duregger

      totally agree! see the app Element or Outside magazine app. they get "it" and are moving on this niche market. not to be one of those people but there are more of my thoughts on this idea of transmedia here (if your so inclined :-) http://www.theomusings.com/future-of-books/

      • Jennifer

        thanks for the link. That is EXACTLY what I'm talking about!

  • http://manatt.us Steve Manatt

    I had the same progression of thought without dropping the dough to actually get one.

    – I saw the reveal and said, "I wonder how I'm going to convince my wife this is worth the money."
    – An hour later, I said, "I don't need this – it serves no purpose that my computer and iPhone can't serve."

    This scenario would make me pony up the bucks: I'm working on my Macbook and I come accross a blog post or eMag article I want to watch. I either drag it off the screen or hit a button and it automatically shows up on my iPad where I can pick it up and go. That kind of integration would be very beneficial. As it stands now – it is way too clunky and disconnected to force me to relearn over a decade of habits on the PC.

    Great article MH – keep it coming!
    My recent post Love Affair: The Paper Clip

  • Riley Stephens

    Thanks for this thoughtful post and your insights. As a day one recipient of the IPad and a multi-Mac computer user (since 1986), I’ve used the IPad in lieu of my laptop every day for the past week. As you, I’m a cursed early-adopter.

    As others have mentioned, this is the first iteration of the way we’ll interface with our computers going forward and its ease of use will appeal to those non-techies who use their laptop – with frustration from time to time – for e-mail, web surfing and other basic computer functions or for others who currently use no computer at all!. Isn’t it about time we have a computer that doesn’t have to “boot up”?

    As more apps are developed, more functions and uses will surface – just as occurred with the IPhone. And as an older person in need of reading glasses to efficiently use my IPhone, the IPad is a welcome relief and after some use makes the IPhone interface seem tiny.

    Do computer users need it? No – but did we know how useful (wonderful) the IPhone would be? The IPad will find it’s place – probably among a lot of current non-computer users and, in my view, we’ll look back in a few years having forgotten what a hard drive is and wondering why we lugged around a 5 lb. computer.

  • http://www.gabetaviano.com Gabe Taviano

    Excellent review. I think you're spot on when saying that the iPad is something we don't need. Thinking of returning it to the store? LOL. Always a joy hearing your Mac enthusiasm. Was a pleasure hearing it first-hand on God's Mac -http://bit.ly/c6OUeZ

  • MhaolainsChild

    Bless you for the thoughtful argument to share with my hubby, who thinks he needs an iPad.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/human3rror human3rror

    i got one. i like it. but my daughter has used it more than i have.

    it's a godsend for long trips with children! entire season 40 of the sesame street!

  • Denise Moser

    In paragraph 10, I think you meant iPad in the sentence that currently reads "In my experience, the iPhone doesn’t offer a big enough improvement to warrant the additional investment."

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I did. Thanks. I have corrected it.

  • http://twitter.com/emuelle1 @emuelle1

    I can see a few reasons why the iPad would be useful, but I still think of it as an oversized iPod Touch. Before I get an iPad, I'd rather have a MacBook Pro.

    As for eBooks, I wish the battle would be more over content. I have a nook. But I'm finding that Amazon is king of content, so I still mostly download Kindle titles to read on my iPhone. I'd probably run into the same issue with an iPad: Amazon still has the best level of content around.

    It would be nice to produce one form of eBook content that would run on more than one platform.
    My recent post MSN: 8 Lottery Winners Who Lost Their Millions

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      One format would sure be easier on us publishers. Everyone has their own idiosyncrasies—even with formats like ePub that are supposed to be the same!

  • http://twitter.com/gregsurratt @gregsurratt

    Great post Michael. I agree with everything but your last thought. I much prefer the reading experience of the iPad over the Kindle2, and if I could have one or the other it would be the iPad. I also posted my thoughts on the iPad today (coming from a Pastor's point of view). I titled it "Why I'm not in love with the iPad…yet".http://bit.ly/9IiKOx

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I must not have made myself clear. I prefer the reading of the iPad, too. I just can't find the books I want to read yet! The ideal device for me (at this moment, any way) would be a dedicated iBooks-like device with a color screen and the weight of the Kindle.

      Thanks for your comment. I'm heading over to read your post!

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/Adam_S Adam_S

        I still prefer reading on kindle. I am working through a book on ipad and it is ok. It is certainly better than reading on a computer and way better than reading on my old Dell Axim or Palm IIIxe, but I think kindle is the better overall experience.

        I will keep reading on the ipad I am sure because of the access to different formats (epub, etc.) But I am going to make most of my purchases for the kindle.
        My recent post Follow Me to Freedom by Shane Claiborne and John Perkins

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Kevin_Martineau Kevin_Martineau

    Thanks for the great review of the iPad Michael! You probably just saved me a butt load of money. :)

  • http://www.colleencoble.com Colleen Coble

    I’ve been waiting for your assessment, Mike. I think you’re spot on!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Are you still enjoying your Kindle, Colleen?

  • Mark

    I think it will be a perfect fit for folks that have a laptop but don't really need a laptop. They just want to be able move around the house or go to the coffee shop.

    In the living room in that comfy chair or in bed they check e-mail, update facebook, search a site they see on TV, play a quick game or catch a chapter in a book. They want more than a phone but are tired of the bulk of a laptop.

    It is not you or I but it sure is my wife.

  • Wayne Zeitner

    Steve Jobs clearly hedged his bet when introducing this thing: "If there's a need for a new device between a laptop and a smart-phone, this will be it." Jury's still out on whether there truly is a need.

    But strategically, Patricia and Annette are on the right track in seeing this as part of Apple's ongoing drive to have the best-in-class for every media space they can realistically compete in. They couldn't make a compelling play for the eBook category without some kind of reader…and they will NOT lose money on this device. Even if it doesn't live up to the iPad/iPhone level of success, it won't be another Edsel or a Mac Cube.

  • Ed Snyder

    Michael:
    Thank you for your insight of the ipad. I value your thoughts. Great post.

    Thanks again.

  • Matt

    And to think that you were considering whether or not to blog about iPad! This is one of the most original reviews that I have read, and really does come up with a different, and personal conclusion. Thanks for this. I might still have to get an iPad, for probably similar reasons that you did (despite your conclusions).
    My recent post Is the iPad Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt
    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I must not have made myself clear. I prefer the reading of the iPad, too. I just can't find the books I want to read yet! The ideal device for me (at this moment, any way) would be a dedicated iBooks-like device with a color screen and the weight of the Kindle.

  • Marshall

    The problem it solves for me is simple. It is the first computer that my lovely bride will actually enjoy using. I have a huge technology nerd and am easily distract – whoa, look at the new Core i5 Apple just introduced – by the next shinny thing. My bride on the other hand will hardly use email (imagine the frustration). When I got her an iPhone it was like technology nirvana for her. She does FB, email, a lot of web surfing, reads books, checks her calendar, etc. I could hardly believe it. The amazing thing was I never really had to teach her how to use it. She just understood how things should work. The iPad is the same way for her! She just gets it, but now she has access to Pages, etc. I am slowly converting! ;-)

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/poleary2000 poleary2000

    I think this thing is meant to serve a purpose that a lot of people are missing; the computer illiterate. My wife is a dental hygienist. She doesn't use computers in anyway, shape or form. They scare her. She doesn't know where to click to get stuff, no idea where her files are located or what a file structure even is, etc. Additionally, she has no desire to learn about computers. They aren't her passion. Her passion is teeth (yikes!).

    But when she is able to fire up the iPad and sees a nice big icon that she immediately relates too she is no longer intimidated. She is able to play games with friends (Words with Friends HD), browse our photo collection (Photos), read news (USA Today), check email (Mail), enter her calendar (Calendar), manage our Netflix queue (Netflix), etc. The iPhone OS has made all of this less intimidating to her. She doesn't feel like she can break the "computer". It perfectly suits her needs. She thinks I bought it for me, but I really bought it for her with all this in mind.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Great point. Just because it doesn't seem to meet my needs doesn't mean it won't ultimately succeed. It took me a year to be convinced I needed an iPhone.

      • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/poleary2000 poleary2000

        LOL. Me to Michael. Took me over a year for an iPhone as well.

        We just find the iPad to be an ideal living room device for doing the things I mentioned above. I certainly do some things on the ol' lappy, but my wife loves the iPad.

  • http://keepingupklapper.blogspot.com/2010/04/ilove-ipad.html Carmen

    I, too, have had the iPad since April 3rd. I actually love it. For those of us who are dedicated to Verizon Wireless, this is our iPhone, only better.

  • http://www.goingwithoutknowing.com Pam

    I’ve been using my ipad for almost a week. My assessment:
    Is it perfect? No.
    Did it exceed my expectations? Yes

    The iPad does fill a need for me. I use it like an electronic Franklin Planner. I have never found an electronic software/device combination that works for me for planning, to do lists, capturing random thoughts and working with them, etc. The main problem with the hardware was that, except for the iphone, I never hand an “instant on” device and the iphone is so small it never was really good for planning.

    I am now using the iPad, Things (beautiful on the iPad), the calendar and Notes. I use Numbers for planning blog posts and tracking their status in the writing queue and for a few other applications. I use Pages for thinking things through on paper. I’ll never write a whole blog post or paper on it, but for thinking things through, it’s great. I’m still trying out other applications.

    I have over 125 book on my Kindle, but am going to sell it. It’s obsolete for me now. It is now the “extra thing” to carry.

    I see it’s limitations, but since it does fill a need, I’m hooked on it.

  • http://twitter.com/kfjelsted @kfjelsted

    I am wondering if the analysis of the usefulness of the IPad is a bit hasty? One thing I definitely know about the IPad that causes me great excitement is that the accessibility that Apple has built in to the device means that a Blind person like myself can use it out of the box. Amazon to date has demonstrated absolutely zero commitment to accessibility for the blind. Putting aside the audio output that is available on some selected books the actual Kindle package is not at all accessible to us who are BLind.

    My recent post Accessible Productivity And Spell Check On The Mac

    • Benjamin Anderson

      I think you'd still be better off with your laptop. The iPad out of the box requires you to sync it with your computer in iTunes in order to activate it, and even after than it isn't as elegant and easy to use for those of use with out sight problems. The iPad has introduced too many new keyboard layouts and the ability to for the developer even customize the keyboard, which frustrates me while I try to use it.

      With plenty of adjustments and some nicely tuned accessories, I can see the iPad being a ideal light weight and long living device that could fit in well for the blind, but as it is right now, it isn't any better than the kindle. On top of that is quite a bit more expensive.

  • http://www.godhungry.org Jim Martin

    Wow! Your post was very interesting. I have to admit, Michael, as a Kindle 2 user I wondered if I would not regret having a Kindle instead of an iPad. Your post has caused me to not jump to conclusions and appreciate my Kindle. Thanks Michael.
    My recent post What I Wish I Had Done Differently

  • http://www.lazyperfection.com Christy

    My husband wanted to get me an iPad for our anniversary. I declined. (It was unbelievably sweet of him, though.) I'm holding out for something more like the Microsoft Courier or Notion Ink's Adam.

    I love my Kindle because I can bring almost every book I own with me every where I go. What I'm looking for now is something that will replace my paper notebook and folders so I can work on any project any where. I want a stylus so I can take notes. I want to be able to cut and paste paragraphs and pictures from magazines. I want folders!

    I love the Courier for what it's supposed to do and I love it's size, but I love the indoor/outdoor screen on the Adam and I think the larger size of the Adam will work better for magazines. Honestly, I think the only reason I want a larger device is because I love Wired Magazine's "Scrubber".http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwFbwHaP5tE That is the one thing I miss about paper books – being able to just flip through pages.

    If anything can convince me to go with an iPad, though, it'll be the apps… I'm not sure anyone will be able to compete with Apple there.
    My recent post Kindle Review

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ronlane Ron Lane

    Thanks for the review Michael. If you don't need the iPad, did you will the kindle to the kids? Without a Wi-Fi hotspot, isn't the iPad just a color, back-lit expensive eReader?

    Honestly, I would like to have an iPad, but there are two reasons that I don't. One is that I just got a Nook and the second is the price point of the iPad.

    Apple will probably eventually become the dominant name in the niche, but they need to bring the price down in my opinion.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      What do you think of the Nook?

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/ronlane Ron Lane

        I really like my Nook. I feel that too much has been made about the speed of one reader to another. I mean most people will not have the reference to know how it compares to the Kindle or iPad.

        I would like to see Barnes & Noble increase their selection of magazines and newspapers, but it's not like I subscribe to a lot of either.

        My recent post Steps in the process!

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

    I held off on investing in an iPad for many of the reasons Fake Steve Jobs noted above. I want to be on the edge of technology but it appeared to me the iPad was just going to be basically a larger iPhone without a built in camera. :) Time will tell how the iPad impacts things and having not held one on my hand myself, I can only speculate. I'm just hunkering down for productivity versus glitz these days.

  • Greg Brown

    Michael, always love your blog and the advise you share. I agree with most of what you have said about the iPad. There is always a but, here it comes. But, like you I own many Apple products and always buy the new ones that come out. I own an iPad. I am writing this message on an iPad. If someone doesn’t own a Mac, or iPhone, or a computer at all this is a great device to listen to music, email, browse, watch movies and maybe even read a book. Add a keyboard and you can even write a book. We are just so spoiled we don’t see the simple things that it does magically. One opinion, keep up the great work!

    • Benjamin Anderson

      The problem is that the iPad is priced entirely too high to fit that niche of buyer. Apple needs to allow you to activate the device as a standalone device first of all, but after that, the non-techie isn't going to be able to justify the additional expenses for those features compared to cheaper stand alone devices that do all of those things better.

      I thought one thing the iPad would excel in would be couch browsing while watching a movie or television with the family. I had to buy an app to properly use Google Reader while on the iPad because the mobile site is painful on the large screen and the desktop version of the site doesn't work in mobile safari. I wouldn't allow me to scroll to the next article in the feed, locking me into the first screen worth of first story.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jondale jondale

    Mike and Tod S.,

    I agree re the 3g. Searching for a wifi hotspot is so 2009 :-).

    I think the real issue is posture. If you spend your day sitting at a desk then you should get a MacBook with a huge external monitor. But if you live life out and about, in airports, on your feet, on the couch…then a huge touchscreen is revolutionary.

    It is just a big iPhone and that's the brilliance of it. And it'll only get better from here. This is week 1. Imagine getting an iPhone 3 years ago. Before HootSuite (or even twitter).

    I've had my iPad since launch day and I've only pulled used my laptop once since then.

    I'm also excited about what this is going to do to computers in general. Touchscreens make sense when they work as well as the ipad's. Like Mike said, reading on the screen is a great experience. The more people that have tablet devices the more people who have access to ebooks. Have you checked out the CrushIt Vook on the iPad? It's better than just a book.

    And I love the kindle app. The way I can highlight and take notes is so much more intuitive and usable than on kindle. And once HootSuite has an app…then I'll want something else.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I rode a Segway for the first time this weekend in San Antonio. It's amazing. I want one of those too.
    My recent post The new PR

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/LawrenceWilson Lawrence W. Wilson

    In answer to your question, I'm not sure iPad was designed to solve a problem. I don't every hear it pitched as a solution–always as a technological wonder.
    My recent post What Cycling Gives Me

  • Shailesh

    Loved this line… “.. Do you want an iPad? Probably. Do you need an iPad? Probably not…”

    That summed up your review.

    I was looking for such unbiased review on iPad which is neither written by fanboys nor i-Haters.

    Thank you very much for clearing the air on iPad.

    Regards,
    Shailesh

  • http://chrisvonada.com chris

    Michael,

    Good Stuff!! I like your analogy to the Segway… I'm a huge Apple fan. I played with the iPad for about an hour at the local Apple store last Friday night, and kind of came to the same conclusion. It would be great for several uses, including handing out at Panera clicking buttons on my eHarmony account,, reading books, watching movies in bed, etc… I think they need to further refine it before it replaces my laptop, until then I don't need it and therefore will not purchase one.
    My recent post All Things Gump

  • http://www.likeafire.net/2010/04/06/distinguishing-propaganda-from-prediction/ Paul

    I have had the exact same experience! I love my Kindle, and I love my MacbookPro. I think the iPad is a great device and, for some people, it will make a great all around, worthwhile thing to carry around. Yet, it isn't for me. My MBP easily leave it in the dust and isn't that much more to carry. My Kindle is exactly what I want in an ereader and benefits from less distraction than the iPad.

    So, I continue with my regular set up (MBP and Kindle) and my wife who has neither gets the iPad and loves it.
    My recent post Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/success2you John Richardson

    I tried one of these on the first day they came out. It seemed slower and a little heavier than I thought it would be. To be honest, it felt like a touch screen netbook sans keyboard. I decided to pass on it. The new Apple Macbooks announced yesterday, fit the bill much better for me… albeit more expensive but with much better battery life than before and a huge jump in processor speed.
    When it comes to books, I prefer my iPod touch and audio books. Just finished a Million Miles in a Thousand Years…awesome!
    My recent post Meet Me in Chicago

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I find that I consume about half my book in audio format, primarily because I can “read” while running.

      I would love to see publishers get to the place where they publish a “premium” edition of the book that includes all formats, including audio, and the kind of WhisperSync technology that Amazon uses with Kindle, so I can pick up on any device where ever I last left off. Right

  • YouTim

    AMEN! After all the gloss wears off and the screen is full of finger prints the glow you feel will wear off too!

  • http://danlynchonline.com Dan Lynch

    I have to disagree with the Segway comparison. With the segway it was an intriguing idea that didn’t really hit a felt need or even a desire of the general population. It was (and still is) a very expensive device which has only caught on with mall and airport cops.

    The iPad however I believe is a game changer. It’s basically a device for the expanding Netbook market. I agree it won’t replace the laptop or desktop computer, but Apple did well with the pricing strategy and it’s a great device for a person or family that has multiple needs (or desires) from a single device.

    If I wanted just an ebook reader, a Kindle is a solid consideration. I love mine and have read more books in the past six months because of it.

    If however you want a device that you can read a book, watch a movie, listen to your music, respond to email, play games, surf the web all in a very portable format, the iPad fills that need.

    Since getting mine I’ve only needed to pull my laptop out in the evenings once as I’ve been able to quickly respond to email and poke around the web as needed on the iPad.

    I also believe the iPad may be the “Toy of 2010″ as it connects with the Children’s market incredibly well. In addition to being the first device to bring Children’s books to a digital platform it will likely take share from other gaming devices like the DS, Wii and more. Parents have paid more than the first level price for a PS3 or Wii in it’s first year than the iPad. Watch for it to be “the Christmas Gift” in 2010.

  • http://twitter.com/obihaive @obihaive

    Great post. Why get something that really isn't all that necessary?

  • http://www.livecatholic.net Marcy K.

    I think the iPad will fulfill a need for me. I do not have all the Apple gadgets. I refuse to pay the inflated charges for a 3G smartphone, on top of regular service so I don't have an iPhone. My son has a Touch, but while I thought it was way cool, I couldn't figure out how I would personally use it since it has a small screen and I wanted to use it to read. I don't have a need for a laptop. The 4 computers we have a home are more than enough. But the minute I heard about the iPad, and did some research about it, I knew I wanted one. I can use it to read books, magazines or newspapers on my sofa, and get bible software for reading and personal devotion. I can use maps, notes, maybe use it to display recipes in the kitchen or read email or blogs from my bed.

    I'm on the computer all the time and love tech, but it has a place in my life and I don't use it if I'm not at home. I can see the iPad changing that somewhat. I will wait however for the 2nd Generation to let the bugs get worked out and new features (perhaps a camera?) built in. I am also thrilled that if I get the Wi-fi so I will not have reoccurring charges every month.

    You also cannot underestimate the iPad when it comes to the future of education and textbooks. It will be perfect for students. I can see it for the elderly, too. A friend of mine is giving it to his 75 year old mother who doesn't even have an email address. It will be very good for her.
    My recent post Life and the Unexpected

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Cindy_Graves Cindy_Graves

    Thanks for posting your thoughts. I have a Kindle and have downloaded the apps to my laptop (PC) and my iPhone. Love how they all integrate with the WhisperSync technology. Some observations I have: I enjoy reading through the apps more than the actual Kindle. My 46 year old eyes need the backlit screen and color! When I highlight, I want to SEE yellow! Some things I miss through using the apps are the size of the screen (iPhone is so small) and not being able to highlight or annotate on the PC. So what I guess I want is a Kindle with touch screen, backlit, and color in addition to what they offer on current models.
    My recent post Action Required…

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Cindy, I like the Kindle app on the iPad better than on the Kindle, too. I am reading a couple of books that way now.

  • Ron Stroope

    Interesting article. I have the iTouch and I now call it my minature iPad. I can answer email, read a book, check my email, text, ….etc… I also have a new Kindle, why? I agree with you…why? Because I wanted one, but I also want an iPad. Why? …Right again, why? The real answer is "because I want one" or as my kids used to tell me…."just because". I don't know about you but I guess it's just something to look forward to and although it doesn't " fill the hole", I'd like to think it would help for a while. At least until the next new thing arrives.

  • Ron

    Recently I've been helping a writer get his books coverted as Kindle book. I used my iTouch and my Kindle to see how the files looked. It's easy to get them on the Kindle and iTouch ( using Stanza and Calibre and MobiePocketCreator for conversions) For a writer who converts his book to the ePub format, the iPad would probably work great for testing coversion results but I'm not sure the iPad will allow you to load your ebook files to it. If so, there's a problem it could solve.

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  • Matt Lee

    Honestly, I think that the iPad fills a niche that doesn't exist yet. I've noticed that, with Apple products, the hype is huge and then drops off when people actually get the item. Slowly, though, I've noticed that Apple builds a digital culture around the product. Take the iPhone for example. When I first saw it, I wasn't truly impressed. But, as the apps started multiplying like insects, the utility increased until I now know people who can't live without their iPhone! So, I'm sure Apple will find some slick way to build our dependence on the iPad, even if we don't see it right now.
    My recent post Michael McMillan: Being Present

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      You're probably right about that. This is definitely how the iPhone played out.

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  • http://www.wisdomherald.com Dana Crosby

    I have been anxiously awaiting the iPad primarily because I don't plan on getting iPhone until they become available on Sprint. I love the Simply Everything Plan. I also am excited about the iPad because on long trips (we travel often), I want a bigger device than my phone to do all my non-phoning essentials. I also think all the kids with their Nintendo DS-es will be begging their parents for this, movie-watching, game-playing, social-networking, mega-media tool. I have been patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for the 3G. I have to say that I think Apple may have lost out on some impulse purchasers for the three 3G that will decide, after waiting so long, that they either do not NEED an iPad, or can stand to wait for the next gen. Besides the camera function, I do wish that multiple programs could run simultaneously as they do on my Palm.

  • http://anotherpieceofthepuzzle.com Trish

    It looks like the iPad might be a great solution for people in need of assistive technology to communicate. A lot of families have been using various apps on the iPhone or iPod Touch, but the larger size of the iPad will be helpful for many of them.

    (I see scrolling down that my friend Barbara has already brought up this point, but it's worth repeating.)
    My recent post Positive Reinforcement: A Powerful Tool

    • Benjamin Anderson

      That is true, especially since after paying for and getting the extended batteries for most of the device on the market in this niche, they end up at or above the price of the iPad. My sister's old iPaq that she used for this purpose was a little frustrating for her since she has use of only one arm and the ipaq didn't sit well in her lap while in her wheel chair. The underpowered processor and horrible battery life made it more of a toy than a real tool for life, but the iPad would fit in well here.

  • http://www.calvarychapelcheyenne.org Shaun Sells

    If you don't want your iPad I'll take it. I currently don't have an iPhone because AT&T is not in Wyoming, I use an iPod touch to run my slides for Sunday and Wednesday services, but the screen is so small I can't read it or tell if the screen has changed without leaning down to look. I don't currently have a kindle. I also don't have $100's of dollars to spare as my wife and I are working the Dave Ramsey get out of debt plan (with gazelle intensity). Your iPad is the solution to many of my problems.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I think I'll hang onto it a little longer. But thanks for the offer. ;-)

  • Babu Nagarajan

    I think iPad is Apple's version of a netbook, just over-priced.. A regular 400$ netbook can do everything that iPad can.. So the addl 400$ (for the 3g version) is really for the Apple logo and ofcourse the gorgeous touch screen…

  • Niccole Wallick

    Like you I don't NEED an ipad but I would like to have one when multitasking…watching TV and keeping up and or posting on Facebook. Lazy I know. But I view it as one of those things that should be next to your remote. It's larger than an iphone, just easier to see and use. Also my son, ripe ol age of 11 is an avid reader and wants to use it for books when traveling.
    One other place I see this little device coming in handy is for my parents. My parents for whatever reason they chose, do not have a computer at all. They live out of state and I am constantly emailing pictures to there 2inch screen phone. I think-hope this might be the device that is simple enough to give them the confidence to get on board with emailing, internet and social networking.
    They are not heavy users, just something a little better than a phone can do would work out great…I think anyway. :-)
    Anyway, I guess these are examples of the need between running and walking….I would like to take the ipad for a jog I guess. :0)

  • http://www.tikesbestfriend.wordpress.com Tim Dahl

    Yeah, I hear you.

    But, I still want one! Maybe in a year to two. :(

    Tim
    My recent post Tragic Male Behavior

  • http://twitter.com/abbylive @abbylive

    I played with the iPad for quite a while at Best Buy. I agree with your analysis of it. The e-book reader on it is indeed stunning. Much easier to read than on the iPhone, even though the iPhone isn't bad…just smaller. For me, it's like…if I have an iPhone, laptop, and desktop, I don't think I need the iPad. Even though it's cool. It would just be an extra thing to have or carry around. Plus, I can buy apps for the iPhone cheaper than I could for the iPad. So. I probably won't get one.

  • Mark

    The only problem i seeing the iPad solving is that of an E-Book reader that is large enough to actually read on. Nonetheless it's still super cool and I will probably get one when I finish saving my pennies.

  • Benjamin Anderson

    Michael, I agree with you on your thoughts on the iPad. I bought one the Monday after the launch, and I have found that the iPad only emphasizes the short comings of the iPhone platform. There are so many little usability issues that become very frustrating when encounter on a device with a larger screen and more resources than my 3G iPhone.

    The most frustrating part about the iPad is that it is NOT a stand alone device. It's painful to download and shop for applications still, and still is easier to do on the host system in iTunes. Every time you purchase and download an application it kicks you to the home screen to start downloading it, and App store loses it's place so you have to browse back through the results again. There still isn't a good "shareware" concept in the store, so your required to trust the reviews of strangers for paid apps without being able to properly evaluate your purchase before clicking the button. I'm sure there are some good paid apps available, but the increased prices for the apps for iPad have moved it closer to the desktop arena.

    I first thought it would be a fun device to browse and distract me while sitting on the couch, but Safari on the iPad still acts like the iPhone, and as a result makes it a horrible netbook replacement. Sure it will load the page and look fine, but each page or tab session is only active while it's the one being read. So, when you open up another site to go read a related link and then come back to the original site, it refreshes the page.

    Reading while in bed with the iPad isn't a very comfortable experience. It's too heavy and awkward to hold correctly with a single hand without changing the page, and it adds unneeded strain to your wrist. A heavy book at least gives you the ability to put your hand where ever needed without flipping pages on you. The kindle is light enough you don't have this problem.

    The more I use it, to more I find that the cheaper, dedicated devices do the job a lot better. For the casual browser the cheaper netbook will have plenty of battery life to meet the demand, and it will provide a better internet experience.

    If you want something to replace your old PDA, the Touch or iPad would do just fine, but who uses and needs to replace a PDA now days? The issues I have with the OS and software can been fixed, but the physical platform is still floating around in a glamour void.

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  • http://myweb.dal.ca/rb504718 Robert Flight

    Micheal,

    I have not had the opportunity to try the Kindle or any other e-reader, so I can’t comment on how the iPad compares to them. What I can comment on, is how well I am able to read Scientific journal articles in PDF format on the iPad. With the addition of one App (iAnnotate, a very useful App) I can underline, highlight, and make notes on a paper, and sync those notes back to my computer.

    This is great for me, as there is so much scientific literature to keep up on, and I really don’t like reading while at my Desktop machine or laptop, it just isn’t natural to me. With the iPad, it almost feels like I’m reading the paper version. But it’s better, as I can immediately go off to another referenced paper or look up an unfamiliar concept on the web. And I can read books on it if I am so inclined, and that experience has been great as well. Oh yeah, and it reads the PDF’s naturally, no silly conversions or anything else (thinking of the Kindle especially).

    Don’t get me wrong, this is not a perfect device by far, but it has already improved my workflow for reading and collaborating on scientific publications. Now why Apple did not build gestures (a la “mouse gestures” in Firefox) into Safari remains a mystery to me. Hopefully they will get their act together and start making even more improvements to the device.

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  • http://alexforrest.blogspot.com Alex F

    When it came out, I didn't think it was something I would need. But then I read an article in Fast Company that had nothing to do with the iPad – it was a cover story exploring how handheld devices, ranging from iPhones to laptops are being used in innovative and effective ways as educational tools for kids, particularly in the elementary school grades. Even in "third world" environments, kids very quickly and intuitively figure out how to use these devices and profit from them. There were interactive learning experiences, educational games, and plenty of interesting applications being developed.

    For us, I can very easily see a home-schooling environment where the iPad is a central classroom tool. Imagine the app store full of innovative educational games, activities, and material that can be customized for the needs, experience, and learning level of each kid. And then of course you can pull up reading assignments, quizzes, video presentations, and that sort of thing. maybe connect to a topical webinar led by a teacher or expert somewhere else in the world (either live or on file).

    To me, this is a niche that the iPad could fit into very easily.
    My recent post Blogger vs. WordPress

  • http://what-does-my-name-mean.org What does my name mean?

    wat is your myspace page

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  • http://marybk.wordpress.com marybk

    I purchased the same iPad you have. I love it and recently took iPhone for recording interviews and iPad on a week of researching. I left my 13" MacBook at home. I am a 5' female, a senior who hurt my leg and am under dr.'s care. Bottom line: Carrying only those 2 items got me thru the week. The iPad and similar devices are made for us. You young strong folks won't ask why an iPad is necessary when you're my age!
    My recent post Moving Forward…

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  • http://heavydutychairreview.com/heavy-duty-office-chair/ Andrew Collins

    nice post :)

  • http://nitewriter6.blogspot.com/ Raquel Byrnes

    I have a Droid and just heard that Google plans to introduce a tablet PC with Verizon…I have to admit, my knee jerk reaction was that I NEED one. Then I realized, much like th iPad…the only improvement to my experience would be screen size. My phone does everything else.

  • Crystal Stoddard

    Personally I am longing for a Nook from Barnes and Noble. It is more versitile than the Kindle and isn't as expensive as the iPad. While the iPad is amazing to look at and everything, I don't WANT to be able to do 100 things on my eReader. I want to just be able to have all the books I can and want to read and maybe a few diversions to that for times when I am not wanting to read but can't whip out my laptop.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/pnicholson Pete Nicholson

    With Amazon's announcement yesterday that digital is now officially outselling printed, do you think Apple identified a specific need for the consumer and has further pushed them into the digital era of ebooks? Personally, I want an iPad almost exclusively for the ebook capabilities (I am currently a student and would benefit from the digital discounts) with the added bonus of minor web browsing capabilities and document reading.

  • jrep

    I think it's intended to solve the problem of "extending the broad, multifaceted computing experience we geeks already get with our dozen devices, to the general population struggling to find a reason to own even one." The ambivalence of those of us who already fill all the niches is only to be expected: we have multiple perfected specialist devices already, there's not much room left in the need spectrum for yet another.

    However, the emergence of wrap-around iPad cases that include a physical keyboard may be a game-changer.

  • http://jasmine84.blogspot.com Jennifer Rowsell

    This is exactly what I think! I would love to own an iPad because I love gadgets. But I don’t need one. I have a Macbook Pro, and a blackberry (which will be an iPhone next year… graduation present). I like iPads cause they’re pretty and neat… but I don’t NEED one. Resisting the materialistic western mindset!

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  • Rob Dean

    One year later, you could not be more wrong. Since switching to the iPad in my law practice last fall, my laptop computer remains chained to my desk and the iPad goes everywhere.

    Rob Dean
    http://www.walkingoffice.com

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  • http://endlesslyrestless.wordpress.com/ Les Hutchinson

    Michael

    As a courtesy I thought I should tell you that I referenced this entry in my post today.

    http://endlesslyrestless.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/ipad-and-killer-apps/

    I hope that’s OK.  If not, please let me know.

    Thanks

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for referencing me. Since I posted this, I have purchased an iPad myself. ;-)