I would be remiss to not mention at least SOMETHING about the freshly announced iPad today. There is so much to talk about, but yet not much of it is positive.

The words “magical” and “amazing” were thrown around a lot today by Steve Jobs and his cronies. However, the general consensus among the blogosphere is a lot less positive than it has been for past product introductions.

With the introduction of the iPhone, we had a evolutionary improvement over currently existing tech. The iPhone could do everything everyone wished they could do with their current smartphone, which is why it has had such startling success since its introduction. Same goes for the iPod – everybody who was using a discman wished they had immediate access to all their CD’s, and the iPod solved that problem.

The iPad, however, does not solve any problems that currently exist in our available options. Simply put, the iPad is a giant iPod touch – offering no additional functionality (arguably less) besides a bigger screen.

Consider this as well – nearly all of Apple’s brand loyalists already have either an iPod touch or an iPhone. That means the new tablet is going to be introduced to a already flooded market that can perform 99% of the same tasks in the same fashion.

On top of that, there is not a single compelling reason why someone would want to carry around both devices…when would you need both a mini screen iPhone and a large screen iPad? How do you decide which one to use?

Introducing the Macbook Air PadThis tablet is as ridiculous as Apple someday announcing a 27-inch screen version of a Macbook – it defeats the fundamental purpose of the device. The reason why laptops have success are because they are smaller and lighter than regular computers. Making a larger laptop, while it allows you to do some cool stuff (it doubles as a Plasma on your wall!), just isn’t practical for all sorts of reason.

Unfortunately for Apple, the market for tablets has been historically tiny for good reason. To announce a product that has LESS features than its competitors (the HP Slate and Microsoft Courier) and does not allow software customization seems foolish. All of the “magical” features people were expecting to help this product work are missing – a swing and a miss for Apple.

This is simply an iPod that’s too big for your pocket and a laptop that’s too small to do any work on.

If you’re still thinking about buying one, please at least consider these facts:

  • One of the selling points that is mentioned is the integration with iLife. Can you imagine creating a spreadsheet on this? Its annoying enough even with a mouse and keyboard.
  • No USB ports means no external hard drives or digital camera connections – you’ll need an adapter for that. Laptops have had more than 16 GB of storage and a USB port since pre-2000’s.
  • While the keyboard dock is pretty snazzy looking, are you going to want to pack that thing up and bring it with you when travelling? The two items combined would be a lot heavier and bulkier than a netbook…
  • The AppStore is great for something like the iPhone, but it also means that you’ll be limited by Apple as to which programs you can install – unlike a laptop where you can install anything you want. Don’t expect to see Firefox or Outlook in there anytime soon.
  • A front facing camera would seem like a no brainer here – every other laptop from Apple has one, and it would make video conferencing even more fun on such a portable device. Sadly, there is no camera and there is no way to even hook an external one up.
  • Before you get too excited about the potential for gaming, try to imagine holding a 1.5 pound tablet up in the air when you’re steering in a game, or how you’re thumbs and fingers are going to be able to reach buttons on the center of the screen while holding it.
  • Again, I must reiterate that nobody in their right mind would want to create a complex document on a device like this as opposed to a laptop/desktop. For making minor edits and changes, thats fine – but you can already do that on your iPhone.
  • If you’re already in the market for an e-Book reader, its worth the cost difference between a Nook or a Kindle. However, staring at the color and backlit LCD screen will be noticeably harsher on your eyes over long reading sessions.
  • Lastly, no Flash and the lack of the ability to run multiple applications is absurd for a “magical device.” Every other netbook and laptop has no trouble running Flash websites (like Hulu), and multitasking is necessary for any real work. I can’t imagine writing a report where I had to close down Word everytime I wanted to check something on the internet.