Lemme at that overgrown iPhone!

Is anyone surprised that I 1 Or anyone else for that matter have a post on the iPad? Thought so.

A good articulation of the concern I’ve always had since rumors of the tablet started, would be from an article at GDGT:

Will people buy it in droves? Is there actually room for a device between smartphones and laptops? That I don’t know — I’ve always been skeptical there’s room for a third category in there. But if there is a contender for this space, the iPad is it.

My knee-jerk answer would be “no” as far as how much people would actually prefer using this over laptops and phones. But then again, Apple has been known to be such a great “game changer” in any industry that they might just successfully create a new “perceived need” in the minds of the people.

However, having said all that, I still am getting one 😉 Not only because of the hype; but I really feel this is exactly the type of “large factor” mobile device I would like to be lugging around instead of a laptop.

There are three reasons I want the iPad.

Reason One: Apple’s Sex Appeal

It’s just so fucking sexy. 2 Apple’s “reality distortion field” at work here What can I say, I’m a gear slut and this thing is so shiny and shit, how could I refuse!

Reason Two: Practical Usability

It addresses a bunch of usability issues I have with my iPhone/iPod Touch and my MacBook Pro.

MacBook Pro

When I got the Unibodies for Cris and myself, I was seriously considering getting a MacBook Air. Because over the range of Apple laptops I’ve owned, I really began to appreciate the value of size and weight. In a nutshell, I just don’t enjoy lugging a [heavy] laptop around anymore.

This is partly because of how I use the laptop when out of the house. My main computer is still the desktop – everything is done there. I only use the laptop when I need to do mundane things 3 Read, Email, surf, blog, chat, etc. away from the main computer (if I’m eating, or lazy in bed). Out of the house, chances are I’ll be in a situation where there’s too much distractions for me to do anything “focused” so I’ll probably end up with surfing, emails, chatting, etc. the usual stuff an everyday internet-savvy user does. 4 And pretty much how I use my iPhone at the moment. And you have to admit, having the computing power of a MacBook Pro to do those things is really unnecessary.

MacBook Air

So, I considered the MacBook Air – but eventually abandoned that thought because of its price.

I certainly could live with sacrificing power in favor of mobile practicality. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a tipping point as far as “premium paid” goes. The premium you pay for the MacBook Air is for its size/weight, and it’s only natural you trade-off some power/features to accomplish that – fair enough, right?

But when you get to the details of how much “function” you have to trade-off for form, that’s when it becomes a deal-breaker.

I always thought that at best, the Air should’ve been priced the same as the lowest end MacBook; roughly a thousand dollars. Because the thing is weaker than the weakest MacBook 5 Not to mention lack of some useful hardware like a CD-ROM drive (hence lowers its “value”), but then it makes up for it by its form factor (hence increases its value). So it evens out with [as long as its compared to] a MacBook… not a MacBook Pro – which is where they decided to price against.

So as much as I was drawn to the Air’s appeal, the fact that there were tangible alternatives to put it’s value to the test, made it an easy decision for me to simply just get a MacBook Pro for the same price. 6 Ok so I paid a bit more since I didn’t want the lowest end MBP hahahaha Which left me stuck with the whole issue of having a much heavier device.


Which brings me to the iPhone, it’s obvious that I believe in the product. Yes it has its weaknesses, but I still would rather lug an iPhone which can do a lot of the “mundane things” I like doing on the go – instead of carrying a laptop. That’s why I invested in it, 7 Even paid the premium for a legitimately unlocked version that’s why I even bought apps for it. 8 I can count with my finger the applications I paid for in OS X, but all shareware AppStore applications I have on my iPhone are legitimately purchased. The iPhone for me was an extremely productive tool because of the applications that had augmented its value.

But, while it was productive, it was not necessarily “enjoyable.” The “viewing experience” (browsing, photos, etc.) was certainly unique enough to put a smile on the face of any first time user, but as you get used to it, no amount of cleverness could hide the the fact that there were compromises being made in order to make such a small device access media that was designed to be viewed in a larger screen.

In other words, smartphones in general, no matter how powerful they are, are really only good for “realtime quickies.” By “quickie” I mean those simple tasks that already have become part of our everyday routine; those things that only take a few seconds or minutes at the most to accomplish. Want to check important mail? No problem, wanna see a video everyone’s talking about? Got some minutes to spare while waiting for someone? Then sure, browse or watch a video, or go Twitter/Facebook-ing if you like. But doing all those things for extended periods, having to constantly pinch or tap just to read a single page, can get really old, really fast.

So there you have it; the iPhone/iPod “form” has its weaknesses – it’s just that those weaknesses weren’t a big deal at the time – simply because there were no other alternatives that could do it better… until now.


The tablet, in a nutshell, for my purposes, addresses what was missing from the MacBook Air (ideal price tag) and iPhone (decent screen size to work with for extended periods).

Given its size and weight, I can totally imagine myself lugging it wherever I go just like Cris would be bringing a Novel she’s currently reading. You can stow it just like you’d stow a book or magazine. And most importantly, the weight penalty is considerably less than bringing my MBP. I can totally imagine myself mailing, surfing, watching, or reading stuff with it for extended periods in the dining table, on the bed, or on the go.

Reason 3: Why The Fuck Not!?

Given everything discussed above, and the price point they put it in, I’d be crazy not to get one. To put things in perspective: my 16GB iPhone 3GS (a legally unlocked, non-plan-subsidized unit) cost me about 700-800 dollars.

Then we’ve got the iPad, which pretty much does the same thing, only much better – with its top-end configuration costing about the same as my “base” 3GS model. How can I not see that as a great deal?

Overall, I think it’s fairly priced (cheap even) for what it can do. Also, I don’t really see the iPad as an overgrown iPhone/iPod Touch like I joked about in the title. Instead I actually see it as what the iPhone/iPod Touch was supposed to be. 9 But of course we can’t really be making voice calls with huge tablets against our heads, so the iPhone has it’s own place In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the conception of the iPhone/iPod Touch was possible because of their research/development of making a tablet.

As a side-note, I wouldn’t be surprised if the iPad cannibalizes the Air’s sales here on out. The Air is severely underpowered as it is, so if you’re willing to put up with an underpowered machine in the first place, then might as well get an iPad. That way, you still get what drew you to the Air (slim and light), 10 Possibly even slimmer and lighter! and you get to save 400-800 dollars while you’re at it.

Of course the device is still far from being “ideal.” Here are some issues for me. Some major some minor. Some not important

No Flash support (minor)

It’s my understanding the reason Apple doesn’t want flash in Mobile OSX in general is because Flash acting up accounts for the majority of browser-related crashes in their desktops.

I honestly don’t know what to think if this in fact is true. On the one hand, I guess I wouldn’t want to force the issue if it compromises system stability… on the other hand, it’s nice to have the option of taking the risk.

In any case, lack of flash is more of an annoyance; that is to say the only reason I want it is because so many sites I come across need it – not necessarily because it’s a plugin that is necessary. If sites don’t use flash, then I don’t mind not having flash – simple as that.

No multi-tasking (major)

I understand that any mobile device may be too underpowered to handle “unlimited” multi-tasking like a desktop could. Still, it would’ve been nice to have even a “limited” implementation of it; maybe something like only being able to run 3-4 applications at the same time. Or being able to “sticky” a finite amount of applications to prevent them from being released from memory when you switch views/apps.

The iPad’s much larger screen simply begs for some semblance of multi-tasking – the screen real estate available is simply too big for a user not to expect/want it to multi-task. I can just imagine having a hotspot somewhere where you can switch between apps that are running in the background; surfing while chatting, etc.

Besides, if the Nexus can do it with a processor of the same speed 11 Granted, the nexus doesn’t have that big a display to drive I don’t see why Apple can’t do the same – or at least some approximation of it.

No camera (not important)

… but wouldn’t it be awesome if you could video-conference with the iPad? Or I guess just be able to have some photo-booth fun with your peeps spontaneously.

But all these weaknesses are not enough to be deal-breakers as far as my “usage preference” goes. And there’s one aspect that “regular” consumers often forget and I’ll preface it with John Gruber’s opinion upon trying the tablet out:

Everyone I spoke to in the press room was raving first and foremost about the speed. None of us could shut up about it. It feels impossibly fast.

One major factor that allows something that’s otherwise underpowered by normal computing standards to perform wonderfully is a very efficient way of resource management. So the lack of multitasking, the lack of CPU intensive Flash decoding, the lack of this and that, all that contributes to all that speed and battery life.

Take the iPhone for example; imagine how much eye candy it’s able to crank out given its interface, yet it does it so seamlessly. Anybody who’s used to other mobile operating systems cannot deny that its amazing how they can make a smartphone as snappy as the iPhone is.

The Nexus One may be faster than the iPhone today, but still just as fast on average. And the 3GS has a 400MHz handicap at that (it runs @ 600MHz compared to Google’s 1GHz). Also if you hadn’t realized, the Nexus One’s processor is just as fast as the iPad’s. And iPad is said to be crazy fast while driving a considerably bigger display. Which brings me to another point from Gruber:

What happens if Apple has figured out a way to make a CPU like A4 that fits in an iPhone? If they pull that off for this year’s new iPhone, look out.

To end, I’ll leave you yet again some of Gruber’s words:

Apple now owns and controls their own mobile CPUs. There aren’t many companies in the world that can say that. And from what I saw today, Apple doesn’t just own and control a mobile CPU, they own and control the hands-down best mobile CPU in the world. Software aside (which is a huge thing to put aside), it may well be that no other company could make a device today matching the price, size, and performance of the iPad. They’re not getting into the CPU business for kicks, they’re getting into it to kick ass.

And kick ass they already have, and if the iPad’s any indication, they will continue to do.

btw, all the quotes I got from Gruber’s article @ Daringfireball.net


1 Or anyone else for that matter
2 Apple’s “reality distortion field” at work here
3 Read, Email, surf, blog, chat, etc.
4 And pretty much how I use my iPhone at the moment.
5 Not to mention lack of some useful hardware like a CD-ROM drive
6 Ok so I paid a bit more since I didn’t want the lowest end MBP hahahaha
7 Even paid the premium for a legitimately unlocked version
8 I can count with my finger the applications I paid for in OS X, but all shareware AppStore applications I have on my iPhone are legitimately purchased.
9 But of course we can’t really be making voice calls with huge tablets against our heads, so the iPhone has it’s own place
10 Possibly even slimmer and lighter!
11 Granted, the nexus doesn’t have that big a display to drive

6 Replies to “Lemme at that overgrown iPhone!”

  1. I was actually waiting for this review from you, haha!

    I want one too. Originally, because of the hype, I had thought that Apple would introduce a product that can be a true laptop substitute. I mean, a tablet that can run OS X, and of course all the software that the RAM could handle (it would’ve been my perfect sketchpad-on-the-go if it could run notation software). But maybe I was expecting too much, and from a sales standpoint, I don’t think Apple would create a line of devices that would rival the iPod Touch line and the MacBooks.

    I would buy this in lieu of the Kindle (I was planning to get that.. glad I waited). Are you gonna wait for the next gen’s, or di na?

  2. @James
    It’s ranged from the base 16GB WiFi @ $500 all the way to the 64GB 3G enabled one @ $830. So now you have to get one na; wala ka na palusot na natira hahahahah

    Nope, I won’t wait for the next generation. It’s my belief that with devices such as this, it’s really the OS updates that make or break the bugs… not the hardware. Unlike a full blown laptop or desktop computer, these devices have considerably less components by nature (hence musch easier for QA). so I don’t think they suffer from the whole “1st gen hardware syndrome.”

    As proof, I submit my 1st generation iPod Touch and 1st gen iPhone. The former still works like a charm 😉 The latter’s radio component (which governs the phone functions) did break down – which is why I was forced to upgrade to a 3GS – but I attribute that more on constant hacking and abuse rather than the hardware being of “1st gen quality.”

    The only thing that’s missing from the hardware that could make me think twice is the lack of a camera… but for me, that isn’t really something worth holding out for.

  3. Good breakdown of the iPad. The device is interesting to say the least. It’s like Apple’s version of a netbook. I think most of the people that hate/dislike the iPad are those that had high expectations for it.

    About the iPad missing a camera, feeling ko it’s marketing ploy for the next gen. Para may ‘significant’ upgrade ka na makita, which in turn will entice fence sitters to finally buy one and current owners to upgrade.

    Pero for all the creative thinking that went into the device they gave it the most hideous name…iPad?! Makes me think of a sanitary napkin/pad. 😛

  4. @Ed: MISMO! People expected it to be some kind of laptop replacement instead of a different class of hardware (that addresses different demands) altogether.

    To me having all three “devices” fills distinct “scenarios” I may encounter. My iPhone will always be with me. I bring the iPad whenever I can afford to bring it, and the laptop I only bring when I need to.

    Yes, I agree din about the camera. I personally don’t need it since I seldom even get to use my iPhone’s camera so that’s not really a selling point for me. What I thought would prevent me from getting one ASAP was the lack of GPS… until I found out that the 3G model has it.

    And I totally agree with the lousy name. To hear something like “Hey guys, listen to this new song I have on my iPad” – pagkamalan pa tayong jologs niyan! My vote went for iSlate, or even plain old “Apple Tablet.”

  5. I got one. 🙂 Hati kami ni Ces sa cost, pero ang stipulation, dadalhin muna nya pauwi ng Pilipinas mamaya. Hehehe

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