Thoughts on the iPad

I’m typing this on my iPad. I pre-ordered it and it came yesterday. I spent a fair bit of time playing with it last night.

I don’t know where the complaints about typing come from. Compared to the iPhone, I find typing on the iPad to be much easier.

I also find it much easier to read on this device than the iPhone. The bigger screen size makes a huge difference, at least on my middle aged eyes. I downloaded the Kindle app and love the fact that the Gotham Gal and I can now read the same book at the same time on multiple devices. That’s been possible with Kindle and iPhone for a while now but reading books on the iPhone never interested me.

I showed the Gotham Gal several books she has just read on the Kindle displayed on the iPad. She grabbed the iPad and immediately said “this thing is way too heavy.” I guess I will be reading on the iPad and she’ll be reading on the Kindle. I agree that the iPad is heavy. I’ve been holding it for about five mintues so far while typing this and can feel the strain in my left forearm. The Kindle never feels that way even after hours of reading with it.

Reading (and watching some video) is how I will use the iPad. It is just not that good for much else. I sat in the family room and watched the Duke Butler game with the Gotham Gal and my son last night. Even though I downloaded a beautiful version of Tweetdeck onto the iPad, I was not the least bit tempted to use the iPad to be my Twitter dashboard during the game. My MacBook is still vastly superior as a computing device and it’s not much bigger or bulkier.

You give up a lot with the iPad and you don’t get much in return. You lose multi-tasking which is a huge deal for me. I can’t listen to music while I write this. That alone is a showstopper for me. Plus it’s slow as a computer. The apps run slow and so is the browser. That could be my wifi but my MacBook runs on the same wifi network and there’s a noticeable difference in the speed of browsing between them.

The selection of apps is still poor. There’s no Facebook app that I could find. None of my favorite web music services have iPad apps yet and I won’t even get into the no flash thing other than to say it totally bums me out.

I think the iPad is stuck in a difficult place between the smartphone and the laptop and it’s not nearly as convenient as a phone or as powerful as a laptop. That’s based on all of four hours playing with it. The device will get more powerful and lighter and less expensive. Over time it may turn into a mainstream computing platform but I don’t think it is there yet and I don’t think Apple has the kind of hit on its hands that it had with the iPhone.

All that said, I am excited to put two Velcro strips on the back of this thing and mount it to my elliptical trainer. It’s perfect for that application and my blog reading and occasional posting from the elliptical will benefit mightily from the iPad.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Carl Rahn Griffith

    I don’t feel so bad about not having one, now. Thanks, Fred!

  2. Isao

    Here in Taiwan it takes forever for a new Apple device to reach here (even though Foxconn, a Taiwanese vendor manufacturers these devices). I am lucky to have read about the heaviness. Maybe like Gotham Gal I will stick to Kindle – all I want is a good reading time without distraction and Kindle looks like a superior device.

  3. ErikSchwartz

    Tablet computers have been niche for the last 10 years. I think the problem is the form factor not the OS experience. I don’t think the areas Apple concentrated on (and did a good job with from my limited use of the iPad) are enough to overcome the larger strucutral issues with tablet computers.As soon as I need to put a device in my bag rather than in my pocket why would I NOT bring my MacBook Air or a netbook?

  4. Paul Robinson

    Why can’t you listen to music while writing? The iPod app runs in the background. The iPad does do multitasking, just not for non-Apple apps.

    1. fredwilson

      I don’t listen to much file based music anymore. I didn’t even bother tosync my iTunes music to the ipadI use streaming services to listen to music. Its much better for me

      1. Christian Brucculeri

        Which ones?

        1. David Kadavy

          I personally like, but I’m interested to hear what others. Pandora’s selection is a bit limited for my tastes.

      2. Bill Davenport

        I just saw a Pandora iPad announcement so I think that one is available now.

        1. Elie Seidman

          You still won’t be able to multitask with the Pandora app. Non native (Apple) apps can’t access the – limited – multitasking capability of the iPad. Good article about it here:

      3. Eric Leebow

        Good observation, the growing trend seems to be music from services such as ClikThrough, Deezer, Dizzler, Thumbplay, Spotify, TheSixtyOne,, Pandora, StereoMood, Streamdrag, Streampad, Playlist, Songza, TheCloudPlayer, Vevo, etc. It seems there are a lot of great music services out there. I’ve been collecting a list of these music player sites. I personally enjoy Thumbplay, and it’s interface is somewhat like that of iTunes, and you can import your iTunes into it. I’m a fan of music sites in general.

  5. kidmercury

    thanks for hatin’ on crapple boss. much addition to all the hate fred dropped, note how overpriced this piece of crap is, and how crapple will probably do that thing where they dramatically slash the price after robbing the suckers i mean fanboys who wait in line for days on end to get this tyrannical product. crapple is such an insulting company. i urge folks to boycott them, especially since they’re all buddy-buddy with at&t, folks who help the NSA violate the constitution and put americans under surveillance. not to mention at&t’s service completely blows.

    1. andyswan

      I’ve never met anyone that needed another reason to leave AT&T.

      1. Tereza

        Here’s my question.Is it any better at loading DISQUS comments than my iPhone?Jiminy Crickets I can’t check what I said that made Kid laugh because it’s taking 15+ minutes to load up all…30 comments?If iPad is better, maybe this is a differentiator. An on-the-go Disqus tool that works. πŸ™‚

        1. andyswan

          I wish they’d just put the original comment (that was replied to) at thebottom of the notification email.Andy

          1. Tereza

            I’d respond but I don’t know which comment you’re talking about. πŸ˜‰

          2. kidmercury

            i second this beef.

          3. Fernando Gutierrez

            Completely agree. When I check comments on my Blackberry I always feel I’m losing something.

          4. Tereza

            Fernando, I also miss your fabulous avatar when I’m on e-mail.Makes me laugh every time I see it.

          5. Fernando Gutierrez

            lol glad to be useful!!

        2. kidmercury

          i was laughing at your comment regarding uninterrupted doom and gloom via train reading — a dream come true!

          1. Tereza

            Oh, good!Wasn’t sure if it was that or my iBoogers comment.Perhaps I was trying too hard to entertain on that one. Got smacked down for being a Bad Mommy. Sheesh!

          2. ShanaC

            I highly doubt that….

        3. Mark Essel

          I shot an email to Daniel Ha, he’s aware of the issue and will be working on it (they’re scaling like mad right now)

          1. Tereza

            you rock, mark.

          2. Mark Essel

            Thanks Tereza, I needed that feel like I’m hitting the wall with enthusiasm. Day job drains it, startup fuels me back up – but spring time just makes me wanna wander the world carefree (Michelle wants to travel so we’re not at odds πŸ™‚

          3. Tereza

            Hey Mark — hang in there, my friend. You are sooo not alone!I have this final writeup I need to do for a client…the one that pays me, so I can fund this startup that’s not moving as quickly as I want to…yeah, that one…and it’s a really mundane deliverable, finally finished taxes, the birds are chirping, my kids want to play in the park….<sigh>.Let’s make a blood oath to keep at it. OK?Even if it means from your laptop on a deck chair in some exotic locale with Michelle.

          4. Mark Essel

            No chance of giving up. Not as long as there’s an ounce of energy left in my bones :D.

          5. Tereza

            you go, girl

    2. raycote

      Watch out throwing that fanboy slogan around, your’re likely to take someone’s eye out if your’re not careful.I never use that term because it is just too darn subjective. It also suggests that anyone with a differing set of value equation assumptions is epistemologically wrong because they don’t share your set of value equation assumptions and that is a poor epistemological launching pad.Are you suggesting that if we could roll back history and erase Apple’s existence we would be in a better computing space?I have Apple stock so I am biased. I’m really Ok with Apple milking the last dollar out of the design update cycle. I’m sure you will agree that they are experts at this. Why include wasted feature you can resell later in the upgraded product πŸ˜‰

  6. shehab

    I have been watching my parents and an uncle who has never owned a computer and can barely use a cell phone use the iPad over the past few days and the form factor, UI etc make a lot of sense for them.What excites me about the device is finally seeing us move beyond file and window interface metaphors in a high-enough-profile product that should encourage the next iteration of UI innovation.I also think the larger form factors will allow for some really neat new apps.

  7. RacerRick

    Porting the apps over isn’t a huge upgrade so most of your favorite apps will be there soon.But sorta dumb for Apple not to figure out a way to make them all just work on the ipad.

    1. ErikSchwartz

      It was the paranoia about seeding the developer community. Apple fundamentally does “not get” 3rd party developers. This goes way, way back before the iPhone.

      1. kidmercury

        IMO crapple thinks the third party developers need to compete for the platform. it’s the other way around, the platform needs to compete for the developers. but being filled with hubris they’ll never see that.

        1. Guest

          Your personalizing it too much!Apple is just another corporation picking and choosing strategies to bet it’s profit margins on.I bought it years ago at around $15. It split 2 for 1 and it was easy to play it’s big crash. I was a little slow out at $155 back in in around $90 now $239. Apple been very very good to me!So you bedda stop trash talkin my good money buddy :)))For sure there are services and disservices to Apples strategies but for now the developers seem to be hanging in there?

          1. Prakash

            Agree. Developers are hanging in there. Users are downloading apps like crazy. Tons of Ipad sold in a few days.They must be doing something right. πŸ™‚

          2. kidmercury

            Apple exploits the fact that most consumers won’t really understand the true implications of their strategy. And, their relationship with ATT is disappiointing, to say the least. ATT is a treasonous corporation, and they are one of Apple’s closest business partners. Why doesnt apple acknowledge this, or try to fix it? Probably because that would get in the way of making a lousy buck (at least in the short-term). And then everyone else just bows in silence and puts up with it. That’s their choice, of course, but there are consequences to tolerating this that will be paid sooner or later.

    2. fredwilson

      iphone apps suck on the ipad

  8. Tereza

    It’s expensive for what I’d use it for.I’d held out for a Kindle but now I’ll get the Kindle.

    1. ErikSchwartz

      Distraction is the biggest reason I don’t read as much as I would like to. If my ereader received email, played games and videos, and could be a portal for wikipedia spelunking I would never read anything.

      1. Tereza

        Wikipedia spelunking, that’s hysterical!Yep agree.To further that, most of my reading time is on the train. An hour each way. I already have my laptop and iPhone with me. Every ounce counts so I’m glad Gotham Gal called out the weight issue.You’re right Erik, the special thing about that commuter time is that it’s uninterrupted, one of the few opportunities to finish reading something you started.I don’t really understand the lack of camera. Odd choice.I’m curious what’s the word on the street re: iPad battery life?

        1. kidmercury

          i’ve heard the battery life is legit, which is a surprise given the usual nature of crapple batteries. but i don’t own an ipad so i don’t know for sure, just what i’ve read from people going in expecting battery issues — but pleasantly delighted there were none.i’m not educated enough to know, but perhaps lack of camera helps with battery issues?reading on the train is the best.

          1. Tereza

            Yeah Kid — uninterrupted gloom and doom! πŸ™‚

          2. kidmercury

            lol totally!

          3. Jamie Finn

            Had my #Kindle for 4 months and I have charged it 1 time. Read 6 books on it as well. A record for me.

          4. Fernando Gutierrez

            I don’t have an iPad either, but they say around 8h of battery life. However, you have to consider that batteries go worse with time. And I suppose the those 8h will depend a lot on what you do with it. So, probably you won’t be able to use it for 6 intense hours in a few months.If it could give me much more time that my laptop I could consider it, but if it has the same problems and only some of the advantages I don’t see the point.

    2. Tereza

      meant to say, held out for an iPad but will get the Kindle.

      1. Fernando Gutierrez

        That’s exactly what I think I’m gonna do. Late adopters, I guess!

  9. Kevin

    When I look at everything that is on my coffee table and living room I think I see where these will head. It’s not hard to imagine that you’ll be able to control your TV, HVAC, stereo, alarm system, etc., while also getting all of your magazines and casual email to one of these … and that is probably all within 6 months or so. The utility right now is probably limited, but looking around a living room or office I think there are all kinds of analog or semi-digital things that will translate pretty well to one of these over time.

    1. Tereza

      I think you’re right. But it’s an expensive way to manage it.In particular I question the durability when there are kids are in the room. I’ve said this before about an iTouch remote solution, my concern being the device walks very quickly.The fights I’ve broken up about my iPhone….don’t even get me started.One tug o’ war –> drop to the floor –> cracked screen and Game Over.At this price point that is painful.

  10. rdeichert

    My wife had the opposite reaction – she’s excited for the Kindle app on the iPad along with watching Netflix and some light emailing.There’s no question the lack of multi-tasking is a big miss – I look forward to the day I can stream Wolfgang’s Vault and read.

  11. jeffyablon

    Fred, you’re missed the point, and illustrated that perfectly. Which actually is kind of impressive. Seriously: you led with “I don’t see what people are complaining about”, and then listed one bad thing after another, while offering only lukewarm rebuttals.Acknowledged, the bad things you mentioned were anecdotal and opinion based. But that’s the issue: what people are complaining about ultimately comes down to exactly what those of us willing to go firmly on the “con” side have said side day one: it’s nice enough (and it is!), but ultimately the iPad is A) just a big iPod Touch and B) isn’t all that useful compared to any number of other more practical choices.And we haven’t even gotten to the point where the 3G devices start showing up and people are tehered to something this size 24/7.It may be cool, but the iPad simply makes no sense.Jeff YablonPresident & CEOAnswer Guy and Virtual VIP Computer Support, Business Change Coaching and Virtual Assistant ServicesAnswer Guy and Virtual VIP on Twitter

    1. raycote

      Maybe no sense to you!But you should resist speaking for a whole spectrum of consumers most of who just happen not to be you.Time will tell but you have repeated a lot of rear view mirror cliches here.

  12. Harry DeMott

    “None of my favorite web music services have iPad apps yet”Last I checked – Pandora has a beautiful app up there.I played with one of these for a while on the train last night. Very cool looking, very slick – but I’m not going to run out and buy one. I could see it if I was on the road all the time – would be a great device – but given my life (home with lots of computers and laptops wired and unwired – to the train with its analog newspapers and iphone apps – to work, well wired and back) I just know where this would fit in.At home, I can already use by iphone or touch for a host of remote control features – and while the ipad is nice – so is an 11” crestron remote – but to some degree it is overkill.Seems like a lot of folks got it right when they said that this was a media consumption device.

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t use pandora. it’s too mainstream for my tastes. i like niche services like hypem, wearehunted, etc

      1. Harry DeMott

        It is one of the issues with Pandora and its algorithms. As it has gotten more popular – it moves more to the mainstream. It is why I have advocated for a slider that allows you to toggle between popularity and more pure genome for a long time. I think this would allow folks like you to enjoy the service more and allow you to discover new bands on the service. I remember 2 years ago or so you were blogging about the Arctic Monkeys who were an internet phenomenon. Now they are essentially mainstream. We shouldn’t have to lose folks like you.

  13. Rob K

    Fred- Thanks for the balanced review. I’m confused why there needs to be apps at all. If you have a (near) full sized screen and Wifi, can’t you just use the browser and pull up a normal web page. The whole point of iPhone apps to me is to create a unique mobile experience because of the form factor.

    1. David Kadavy

      Haha, I think this sometimes about some iPhone apps. I don’t bother downloading many of them (Facebook comes to mind) because just visiting them on the browser seems to work just fine.

    2. Fernando Gutierrez

      Good point! One of the great things of internet is that you can access the same website from different platforms and computers. But now, with apps for every device the developers are going mad and the consumers are confused. It had sense for phones, but not for a 11″ screen.

    3. fredwilson

      well for one, you need apps to listen to music since the thing doesn’t support flash and most streaming music services don’t support html5 yet

      1. Rob K

        That seems silly. I would think I could simply pull up Pandora and listen just like I do from my laptop.Actually, I was more speaking to the form factor importance of apps on mobile devices.

  14. danstuken

    The thing, the real thing, about the iPad is the stable it comes from. I think of iPhones in the same way the world saw plastics in the ’50s. Plastics were great, they were to revolutionise the way we manufactured stuff and interacted with our nascent technological world. But then we learnt that plastics were way harmful and so we now try to steer clear of them.Same with Apple. Yeah, there products are pretty nice but their horrendous attitude to the developer community is stifling open creativity for them. As a dev I would have to shell out for a Macbook and an SDK licence and redistribute solely through the appstore. At which point I have the privilege of writing code in archaic Objective C.As a blog dedicated to entrepreneurship I hope this argument carries some weight. I wish Apple no ill but there is a dichotomy between their projected persona and their actions.

    1. Joel_Fiser

      Tablets are a dumb idea. The clamshell-style design a la Laptops / Netbooks is just way better. The design folds up and protects the screen – not with some otherwise useless protecting case – but with a piece of the computer that is crucial to its functionality – the keyboard / mouse. In addition, it opens up to create a natural way for the computer to rest and for the screen to be most viewable.The tablet design means your screen is unprotected unless you use some kind of a case. And if you have to carry a case – why not just use the clamshell design and have a keyboard / mouse? Also, there’s no way to set the thing so it’s propped up for viewing.Tablets fit a niche market more as a silly toy than anything else. Even when HP, etc produce their far superior tablets, this will continue to be the β€œcase”.

      1. Elie Seidman

        So far, I’ve found that the ergonomics of the hinge/clamshell of a laptop are vastly superior to those of the iPad.

        1. raycote

          So you have put in a fair amount of testing time on your new ipod?

      2. Tereza

        Paradoxically, I find laptops not so great on a lap, which is the usage scenario on, say, a commuter train.Ergonomically unpleasant, have to crane your neck too much. A chiropracter’s field day.That’s where the tablet/reader works. You can hold it up to your eyes, and it’s not heavy doing it.

        1. braker1nine

          It may not be heavy, but having to hold anything up for an extended period of time is just straining enough to be irritating. That’s why we don’t see a lot of touchscreen desktops. They’re out there, but it’s just not good for extended use. Holding your hands up to use it is straining. (gosh that sounds incredibly lazy, but it’s true).I’m with Fred in that I think I prefer the ergonomics of using my laptop in my lap. Screen is adjustable for getting in the right position and a full featured desktop OS just suits me better. I’m interested in the iPad and particularly what comes in OS 4.0. But at this point I’m not dying to get one.

          1. ShanaC

            Most people don’t like holding things up- it has to do with the ergonomics of holding stuff above heart level…

        2. Dave Pinsen

          Makes me wonder when Fred is going to back a hardware company that makes a goggle interface, like the one Neal Stephenson imagined folks would use to browse the Metaverse in Snow Crash.

          1. Tereza

            I believe that is planned to immediately follow seed funding for the Cone of Silence.

          2. Mark Essel

            I’d love that interface!

      3. David Kadavy

        Tablets may not be the best thing to get things done on, but I think it would be nice to have a separate device for lounging with in my living room and looking up YouTube videos. I still don’t have plans to buy an iPad.Once they develop a screen with the color vibrancy of an LCD, but the readability of [whatever technology the Kindle is], I’ll be waiting.

      4. ea exam

        Don’t necessarily agree. The clamshell design is bulkier.

    2. Ethan Bauley

      The “plastics” analogy is good but (as described here), the developer-Apple relationship reminds me more of the musician-record label relationship circa 1995.In this analogy, both Apple and the record label own a fat distribution pipe to many customers. They are dependent on third parties to create the content to fill that pipe, so they have to cut them in on the deal. Only a few of those 3rd parties get rich, but it’s enough to keep many many more motivated. Meanwhile, the people that own the pipes get *filthy* rich.I’m not a developer, and I work for HP, so take this for what it’s worth.Sounds really similar to me though. The main difference is that Apple isn’t 100% dependent on the content going through the pipes, they are selling pipes and investing in content to make the pipe more valuable.If anyone is still reading this comment, thanks. I salute you.Ethan

      1. danstuken

        Heh, analogies are like business ideas; you should probably sleep on them for a day or two to make sure they really fly. I agree with what your saying, it probably does make more sense to use a personal analogy in this case.I guess, from a capitalist p-o-v, it’s solely about the personal relationship between the producer (devs) and the distribution pipe. If the consumers are kept happy at the other end of the pipe, the mechanisms of that pipe don’t matter to anybody. Regardless of how many delicate river valleys are flooded in the laying of said pipe.Apple can run their show anyway they want but, I suspect, in the next 2 – 3 years they’re going to need to have more substance to their style.

  15. Christian D.

    Man, just think about the fingerprints/streaks it will leave when you’re all sweaty and swiping about on the touchscreen. You might need to bring an extra towel to the gym for your iPad.

    1. Tereza

      And kids fingerprints too.Nuthin’ like a combo of sticky fruit rollups, strawberry GoGurt and boogery sneezes.Pass the iPad, please.

    2. fredwilson

      i’m going to enjoy sweating on itit will be like pissing on itgotta get my apple revenge some way

  16. Dan Ramsden

    I don’t think the iPad is intended to replace the laptop or the smartphone, it’s intended to replace the magazine, the book, and the TV set. Not immediately, but in the long term. It is not a computing device, but a portable entertainment unit… and the kid is right, the price will soon drop and open up the consumer market considerably. This will have ripple effects in every part of media, including the web. Much like media began to adapt to the internet in the 90s by demonstrating an online strategy, I think we will see a similar adaptation to the iPad. Rather than online and offline, the next degree of contrast will be between sites and apps.

    1. Jared McKiernan

      Great comments Dan-Thinking about this sort of thing always makes me wonder when we’ll reach a line across which TV will be essentially worthless to advertisers. Ad spending at large corporations seems to continue bubbling upwards, but as new platforms have been introduced it is not necessarily true that the “old platform” spending is removed if it no longer has any positive effect on sales. I seem to notice that car commercials may be even more common than ever on TV, and are not on any web advertising platform that I have noticed. (perhaps this is bias due to me not having and not caring about cars, but i think the core thought is fairly common)At some point, the dinosaurs are going to either go out of business or figure out the world is different from when they decided on their advertising plans. Although these large companies may just turn everyone off to the new media ad concept- imagine if instead of Farmville, all that white noise was coming from people playing the hot new Can Wars app, sponsored by Bud Light, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi.

      1. ShanaC

        I think it’s figure out the world is different- can’t help but think about the Marvel App. It’s about buying and reading comics- and in some ways a huge change from old school reading of comics.Also, as a general rule, considering that everyone here is a consumer- I don’t think we’re all that susceptible to sponsored marketing of games. I think one of the critical ways to think about sponsored marketing is if it is enough of a spectacle- and a game has to be immersive and may not work well in synergy for such direct sponsored marketing (though- the Army has proved me partially wrong about this- but they were trying to replicated the immersive experience of being part of the Army- much harder to do for Beer and Soda)

        1. Tereza

          I don’t think the sponsorship of the games drives gaming engagement, but the cleverness of the game does.My cousin came to visit last week. He is my 7-yr-old daughter’s godfather. He called in advance to ask her what she wants. She could have anything, within reason (e.g. $20 or less).Her immediate answer? “The Pink Poodle Webkinz, please. OR the Bunny Webkinz, please.” In either case, it would be her seventh Webkinz.If this isn’t high susceptibility to sponsored marketing of games, I don’t know what is.How did it play out in full? He brought two, one for her, and one for her little sister. Younger sis (who’s too young for the game part of Webkinz) traded hers with Big Sis. Big Sis ended the evening with two Webkinz (for a grand total of 8), and Little Sis got to play iPuppy on my iPhone, until bedtime.Each ended the evening with a Win: a game that’s addictive to her.My cousin greatly enjoyed his “Best Uncle Ever” status.And what about me? Besides two happy girls, I got an iPhone smudged over with tiny fingerprints in pink cupcake icing.It’s not for every night, but for a fun holiday weekend — priceless.

          1. ShanaC

            A) Super Super Cute!!!B) I am not totally sure if I would call WebKinz sponsored marketing in and of itself. Something about the gameplay makes me think of tranversed worlds- where we are here than back doing are day to do. it happens to be in order to play there are toys to buy (that’s the business model) but I am not sure if the push is on the toys or the virtual world with the toys in it? And that is a huge difference than say Coke- coke the only way to consume is to, well, drink it.

          2. Tereza

            Yes I think most offline brands suffer from how to weave their relevance into the online world.Lots of money to be made there, if only because there’s lots of money to be spent.

    2. fredwilson

      it might replace the magazineit feels too heavy to replace the book right nowand i think the tv set replaces the tv set

  17. Christian Brucculeri

    Great to see some real feedback from actual use. I agree on the “stuck in the middle” issue that this product suffers from, but I hoped that Apple could somehow circumvent that issue by making the user experience next level– sounds a little underwhelming

  18. paramendra

    Of course typing on the iPad is easier than on the iPhone, but how does the iPad compare to the good, old laptop? Could you do hours of typing on the iPad?The weight observation is important. If it is too heavy for books, it is maybe too heavy for magazines and newspapers. What about the heat aspect? Can it stay in the lap for hours?”Reading (and watching some video) is how I will use the iPad. It is just not that good for much else.”I guess it is a welcome addition to the computing experience ecosystem, but it is not the next computer.”My MacBook is still vastly superior as a computing device and it’s not much bigger or bulkier.”That summarizes it for me.”You give up a lot with the iPad and you don’t get much in return.””…. the no flash thing other than to say it totally bums me out….not nearly as convenient as a phone or as powerful as a laptop….I don’t think Apple has the kind of hit on its hands that it had with the iPhone..”Grade: C++? πŸ™‚

    1. ErikSchwartz

      Objectively, I think it gets a C…:-)

  19. Simone

    “All that said, I am excited to put two Velcro strips on the back of this thing and mount it to my elliptical trainer. “That’s hilarious. I reckon it would be awesome for that too.

  20. DavidWeinfeld

    While it is integral to look at the iPad as a singular device, I think it’s more important to consider the device within the evolution of computing. Yes, the iPad doesn’t yet fulfill enough needs to replace one’s laptop. It exists in the nexus between smartphones and laptops.It does, however, showcase the direction toward which computers are moving. The device’s natural user interface embodies characteristics that will be shared amongst all future computers. It is the first step in what will be a long journey to a new computer paradigm. When evaluating the device, one must weigh its role as a keystone in the foundation of future computer development.

  21. Mark Essel

    I’ve written a few and commented on a number of ipad posts. It’s not bad as a reader (compared to a phone), and it’s pretty smooth fr watching video on (wonder why netflix doesn’t work on iPhones now, CPU?).My gripes are a lack of root access, easily dragging media to it from my Ubuntu desktop, and the restrictions. I suspect one of the 14 competitors discussed on TechCrunch to be strong alternatives to computing with training wheels.

  22. Bill Davenport

    I got one on pre-order as well and like it so far. I especially like the speed & screen size. In our family we had 2 imacs and no laptop, so for us this is the first portable device and was evaluated vs. a laptop. From a price point perspective, the comparison is more like $499 vs. the low-end Macbook, so this is quite a bit less expensive. And though Kid Mercury lambastes AT&T service, this is a pure wifi unit so AT&T isn’t necessarily a limiting factor. I think the comment that “it’s just a big ipod touch” that’s out there sometimes misses the point. There’s a lot of stuff I would never want to run on an iPhone/iPod Touch (like an e-reader, lots of other stuff) that becomes usable on a bigger screen. Unfortunately I haven’t had much of a chance to look at too many apps as the iPad is in heavy Plants vs. Monsters rotation with the kids.

  23. Stylewalker

    When you do the velcro trainer thing, I’d love to see some pictures!

  24. andyswan

    Excellent review.My uncle is a 55 year old farmer in rural Indiana. When I gave him my iphone, his world changed because he could “send pictures to his kids and check corn futures in the field.”He now wants an iPad so that he can use email….because there is just a button on it that you push to use email.Apple is bridging technology and simplicity. That means a lot of the features we (fredlanders) require will not be there….but between the fanboys and the farmers/soccer moms….I have a feeling Apple will be just fine.

    1. ErikSchwartz

      I’m not sure technological luddites are really a growth market in 2010. Some will come to a device like this because it is simple, but some are technophobes because they just don’t care not because it is too hard.I think the home run here is bringing a multi-touch screen to the macbook line.

      1. andyswan

        Seems to work for facebook πŸ˜‰

        1. ShanaC

          Facebook actually has a very complex ecosystem….and it drives traffics…

    2. Tereza

      I love that example.

    3. leeschneider

      Andy, very cool story. Oddly, that’s not the first story I’ve heard this week of farmers using an iPhone/iPad to better manage their operations. Ignorantly I don’t think I realized farming was so high tech!

      1. andyswan

        You should see the GPS-based fertilization systems. Unreal.Everyone should take down a few acres in a badass john deere combine. Totalwin.

          1. ShanaC

            Expensive though- consider debt load to own one of these things…

    4. fredwilson

      i tried the email app on the ipad. i can’t even archive my messages to gmail with it. i can’t use it.

      1. andyswan

        That sucks (like a lot of things about the ipad)…..But, will soccer moms care?My contention is that this thing was not built for you, me or most of theavc community.

        1. Tereza

          As an e-reader, soccer moms will care about the weight.As a light home netbook, soccer moms will be annoyed that there are not separate accounts. It’s a problem if little Jack futzes with mom’s Decor budget for the Spring Fundraiser.

  25. leeschneider

    1) Please let us know how your eyes hold up after reading on it for a while. I just can’t imagine the experience is as pleasant as on the Kindle2) Please post a pick of your iPad on your elliptical. For some reason I really want to see this.

    1. Jared McKiernan

      It’s the future we waited for all these years…now you can use a hybrid TV/book/magazine/computer while using your hybrid treadmill/bike/stairmaster,Clearly we are getting close to the best of all possible worlds…if only we can toss an elliptical, iPad, and Wii in a blender and combine working out seamlessly into the singular media device. (only somewhat kidding…)

    2. peterarmstrong

      Agree re. pics of it mounted to your elliptical! I actually mounted a Dell laptop to an elliptical trainer many years ago, so it will be nice to see what this looks like with an iPad. This alone may be the deciding reason to buy one…

      1. ShanaC

        i’m trying to figure out how you typed….

        1. peterarmstrong

          I primarily used it to read email and Slashdot (this was around 2003 iirc). However, I could also step through code in a Java debugger, and also just stare at large amounts of code and mentally debug things to try out afterward :)…but no, it wasn’t much good for actually attempting to *write* email or code…

  26. Matt A. Myers

    I already have my MacBook that I take everywhere with me, and have been for 4 1/2 years, carrying it around in my backpack. Sure, I’ve had to change the keyboard once..I think if the word spread that it’s more of a toy than a utility then the growth won’t be so viral. Maybe Apple has something up their sleeves though – a heavy price drop and increased power and speed perhaps?

  27. Elie Seidman

    “You give up a lot with the iPad and you don’t get much in return.” That about sums it up and when you tack on a 550+ dollar price point to get in the game…I had a similar reaction and wrote about it late last night here:

  28. Bif

    My 86 year old father in law used my ipad non stop for two days. He has never used a computer in his life and has been unteachable up to this point. He was navigating the web and using apps within minutes of picking up the device.This morning my work phone started forwarding to my home at 6 am. My first choice to log on to the system and shut it off was the ipad (it is a lot quicker to bring to life than the laptop that was sitting next to it)Web surfing on the couch or in bed is much better on the ipad than my laptop. The news apps are great for digesting information quickly, the browser is excellent and video streaming apps work really well.My biggest complaint so far is that I frequently can’t find it as someone in the house steals it.There are tons of things it doesn’t do, but what it does do, it does very well.The ipad eliminates the need for a laptop for the vast majority of users who use their computer to digest rather than create content.btw in landscape mode I can type more than 30 words per minute with it on a table or in my lap.The device is not perfect, it needs limited multi tasking and a video camera for chat (huge oversight to me) but if you live with one for a few days you may find that it is very good.And Tereza, get your kids under control.

    1. Tereza

      Ouch!Tough with the tantrum-prone 3-yr-old. She wants her hands on all technology that crosses her path.She will grow out of it.

    2. Prakash

      For content consumers this might be the best device out there.

  29. Andy Rosenberg

    I was debating on being the first guy to bring this into the gym – glad to see someone else is pioneering the “iPad on the elliptical movement.”- Andy

  30. Eric Leebow

    Very good observations Fred, and I think there’s a lot to be said about Apple wanting to be different and simpler. There are plenty of alternatives to the iPad that will allow you to multitask, listen to music as you browse, and if you currently are sporting a Nexus One, this is what you can use for multitasking. You might even be able to use TheSixtyOne or an APP from Thumbplay (I recommend this one, it’s kind of like Spotify) or Pandora to listen to music. There’s no doubt in my mind that the iPad is a tremendous device because of its developer community, and there will be plenty of apps that will be released for it. There will also be an influx of Android devices coming out in the 3rd quarter of this year. You can expect some great devices such as Notion Ink’s Adam and WePad to have some of the features and multitasking that the iPad is missing. I think that the iPad is just the beginning, and I believe Apple purposefully comes out with a heavier device, a device without a few features or functionality, just so it can improve over time, so that someday they will be able to come up with a paper thin device that rolls up in a tube, and call it the Apple iRoll (I’ve already drawn pictures of this one). I’m sure they could have made it lighter, as they have a Macbook Air, yet they knew that people would buy it if it were heavier. What I like is Vook, and think this is something that will take off on iPad, and Android devices. The next generation of reading will not be about what you’re reading, yet how you read it, where you read it, as well as a social reading experience. One thing I do wonder, if there will ever be a hybrid tablet device, like one where you can get the best of the Android and Apple OS. I think the coopetition between Apple and Amazon Kindle with the Kindle App has a lot to say. There will always be those who want the “book” and they will opt for the Kindle, and those who are more the Vook type will be prone to order the Vook. This is a very interesting and exciting time.

  31. Marc Siry

    I find laptops to be an isolating experience in the home. The fact that you need to find a place for them to site, the focus you need with both hands on the keyboard and the mouse, the difficulty in easily handing it off to show someone something on the screen…So far, my iPad has filled the role of “magazine” in my home. It sits on the table or kitchen counter, and we casually browse it for information or messages from our social networks. If I were to sit down for a work session, I’d choose my laptop or desktop- for casual hanging out, the iPad feels more accessible.The iPad is meant for, and will excel at, being the coffee table computer. For most of the people who read this blog, who are interactive professionals of some sort, that won’t be enough.(and yes, Disqus comments work- I’m on an iPad now).

    1. Tereza

      I like that term: “coffee table computer”.

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Hmmm, most ‘coffee table’ books/magazines are typically all style and no substance, no?;-)

        1. Tereza

          True, indeed!But I sense there is some (expensive) utility to have it there.Imagine you and some guests sitting around chatting after dinner. A question arises. Someone checks the iPad that’s on the table. It has an open feel to it, that shareability which many others have mentioned today.Somehow that feels socially acceptable compared to leaving the room to consult the desktop, fetching the laptop into the conversation, or pulling the iPhone out of the pocket — all of which remove you from the conversation and are rude!So, yes, if the open stance of the tablet enables it to play a role in a group conversation, I find that quite interesting.Maybe not ‘$500-1200 interesting’, but something I’d keep my eye on.

          1. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Good scenario – can see that being feasible and ‘desirable’ for a certain demographic.

          2. ShanaC

            So basically it is the big screen that makes it sociable- ok so why not do a networked computer in a household of that expected income level with lots of touch screen- where the touch screens are inherently virtualized instances of the much larger computer? Or something similar, depending on the rooms/needs? Does this has to be its own separate “machine”- if its total use is derived from coffee table lifestyle?

          3. Tereza

            Who knows, clearly it’s a personal experience.But here’s my take. When we look at a screen that’s vertical, even if there’s a group of us doing it together, it feels like we’re each in our own world while looking at the same screen. You might be able to discuss, but you can’t easily make eye contact because you’re sitting in a line facing it, and you have to take your eye off the screen and turn your head.I guess I see the screen that’s horizontal as more of a campfire that a group can circle around and discuss. So the primary activity is the discussion and each other, and the “digital campfire” just plays a supporting role in that discussion. Or maybe like circle reading time in pre-school.

          4. ShanaC

            Not disagreeing with you, just wondering about the implementation and the cost- I think it might become cost effective to essential run a small server in a house and virtualize your OS versions depending the screen and it’s use (thermostat? tv? handheld screen thing like the Ipad? terminal for typing at?) At the end- this is a screen versus computer issue from the way you are portraying potential use- so why not invent technologies that let us clarify that situation….

          5. Tereza

            Yes you are correct — networking may be the solution. Although for the masses it has to be more turnkey because as described, it’s beyond the reach for most folks. Sounds too tech-y.

    2. fredwilson

      i see your point, but that’s not what happens in our home. we all sit and watch the basketball game, talk about it, email/chat/twitter/facebook with friends about it, and its just like having a few other friends in the room

  32. Farhan Lalji

    I wonder if the gaming + books + browsing segment is enough to give it a place in the market. If the iPad > the Kindle for browsing and for games doesn’t that make it a more useful device?My guess is that in a couple of iterations they’ll have the weight issue solved and that’s probably when I’ll pick one up. Would be great if it had a camera but then you’d probably sacrifice the battery issue that Kid brought up.I think it will be less successful than the iPhone/touch but still a fairly useful / profitable vertical for Apple.

  33. Bora Celik

    Fred, you “can” actually listen to music and do other things. Aside from playing music from iPod part of the iPad and do other things, if you open a browser tab in Safari and go to a site that plays music with an HTML 5 player (instead of Flash) such as , you will be able to start your music there, close the browser, go open another app and you will see that music still plays. I think it’s a matter of time before sites like, lala, soundcloud unleash their HTML5 players. Standards FTW.

    1. fredwilson

      i tried all of my favorite streaming music sites and none of them work in safari on the iPad

      1. Bora Celik

        I give it 51 days before, lala and Soundcloud make HTML5 players available that will work on iPad. Let’s check on May 28th again and if I’m wrong, then dinner is on me at Havana Alma de Cuba πŸ™‚

  34. simonbrocklehurst

    Fred,A few points arising…- I think it’s pretty clear the iPad and iPhone will get multi-tasking 3rd-party apps soon. The technical implementation for Apple is simple, being a matter only of API design, given that the OS itself is already fully multitasking.- It’s likely the app ecosystem will improve rapidly now that the product is launched.- I’m not sure so it’s much “stuck” between a full-size laptop and a smartphone, as it is competing with Netbooks (which have been a big hit in terms of number of units sold and rate of growth of market size).For me, the truly billion dollar question about the iPad is: will it appeal to Windows users that have until now chosen Windows-based Netbooks as their secondary/tertiary long-battery-life computing device? Or will the appeal be essentially limited to iMac/Macbook users looking for their “Apple Netbook”?For anyone interested, more on this topic on my blog:

  35. Kevin Palmer

    We would love to hear your ideas for any industries you feel the iPad will help to revolutionize on our discussion here…

  36. mainak

    Like th balanced perspective Fred. I feel ipad is more blurring than clarifying. Disruption is good as long as it’s open and simple…

  37. leigh

    For consumption, it’s amazing. To me, it’s a reader with benefits.

  38. gregorylent

    needs grips .. triumph of design over function .. coach with a clipboard, 2010

  39. Peter Cranstone

    It’s clear – the future is the cloud. Mobile apps won’t cut it on the device for much longer. iTunes is Apple’s Achilles heel. The future is “horizontal integration”. Any Time, Any Place, Any Screen. That’s it. The killer app that goes with that – simple, Trust. Trust drives transactions. Customers need a convenient way to manage “their trust account”. (Web sites that forget that it’s the customers data first will lose that trust).The iPad is too heavy, and everything has to go through iTunes. The alternative is Dropbox but unless you’re somewhat technical that’s a pain. Why do I have to load another app to get “My Data”.Fred – you said it best – you stream data (music). That’s horizontal integration.

    1. TimTheFoolMan

      Yup. The success of universal identity and the failure of iTunes explains the massive failure of the iPhone.Oh wait…

    2. fredwilson

      you’ll like my partner albert’s post on his iPad out of the box experience peter…

      1. Peter Cranstone

        I only got as far as the end of the title before I had a smile on my face. Totally spot on. Horizontal integration will take you farther and higher than vertical integration. The next rev of the iPad will be lighter, they’ll fix the camera, and WiFi issues. People will use it and the dominant app will be the Browser.The future is clear – any time, any where, any device, any screen. Only one app that works for that.

  40. philiphotchkiss

    Wow, I’m surprised at these reactions – especially so soon after the release. From my perspective, the iPad, and your view of it, has a great deal to do with what your expectations were before it’s release. I repeatedly tweeted that I though it would be a ‘tweener’ product, so my expectations were set there.I purchased one on Saturday, after interacting with it through late Saturday night I was blown away. It’s not just a bigger iPod Touch. The additional touch surface and screen real estate fundamentally changes the user experience and allows apps like Bloomberg, BBC News, IMDb, YouTube, Molecules, etc. to shine.In a family setting, the other thing I immediately noticed was how my wife and kids interacted with it compared to a laptop – they shared. They passed it back and forth looking at photos, videos, etc. Passing a laptop back and forth is very unnatural. The iPad’s size and UI encourages this kind of group sharing, and I think many of you will be surprised just how many at home and out of home use-cases this ignites.On the weight issue, for reading books, I agree, it’s heavy. This is a problem.I was pleasantly surprised on the heat front, it runs very cool. I am very sensitive to devices that throw off too much heat, and of course, Apple has always been notorious for designing beautiful devices that run very hot. You can warm up a cup of tea if you set it on top of an Apple TV box – it’s ridiculous.I would encourage open minds for a while, the app ecosystem is nascent, and OS will soon run apps concurrently, and I believe the iPad will not only succeed in its own write, but it will create a new and large media consumption and personal computing category.

    1. fredwilson

      yup. i started off my post this morning with a story that essentially acknowledges your last point

  41. Jason L. Baptiste

    So I went to the Apple store yesterday to play with one (i’m waiting for the 3g version). It’s really great for version zero, but there are certainly some short comings. A lot can be fixed with software and hopefully that’s addressed on thursday with v4 of the iPhone OS. Here’s why I think the iPad with 3G (and possibly other tablets) will change everything:- Everything is now a “mobile app”. We usually think of the phone itself as the only mobile app platform, but once our computers/tablets have the same level of ubiquitous internet, then the same happens there.- HTML5 Web Apps will be bigger than the iTunes app store for the work/productivity space. Offline access + a constant connection means that you can work anywhere on any screen with the same data using SaaS apps. We have close to 350 SaaS / business web apps on the app store. Most of those have only been released in the past 18 months, and I think that’s just the start. HTML5+Ubiquitous internet via 3G will boost that number way way up, especially in “on the move” professions like healthcare, construction, restaurants, etc.

  42. BmoreWire

    Well for someone like you, when you have an iphone and a macbook sitting right in front of you, it will pale in comparison. That said my parents like the computer, email, pictures, videos and they won’t be doing twitter or any office functions and they like reading news and books. I think this will be perfect for them. They like the idea of the iPhone but it’s just too small for them and a MacBook is too expensive for their taste. This simplifies everything for them and the fact that it doesn’t multi-task is a plus for them. They need to focus on one program at once or else too many things are going on and they get lossed or mess something up. Also the fact that you can get a keyboard and a stand is a huge plus for them. I think this might have a huge market in the 55-70 age group.

    1. fredwilson

      you are not the only one to say that. i’ll have to ask my parents. my dad (82 this year) has a kindle and loves it.

  43. ttunguz

    I think we’re looking at the iPad through the lens of technophiles, an audience that isn’t the target market for the product. Rather, the iPad is bringing internet and media to the general public in their living rooms, much the way the iPhone brought smart phones to the masses.The iPad is as easy to use as an iPhone but is capable of most functions of a laptop, without the mess of configuration, installation or connection issues. It recognizes that 30% of hours spent with TV are shared with computers and so provides gaming, video and easy web surfing. Moreover, it has the potential to replace the TV, video game console and computer for a large audience.http://expostfacto.posterou

  44. Tony_Alva

    I was thinking that it would be a book reader with some extra function, but that’s not how they’re pimping it. Since I’m still a dead tree book consumer at least for now, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the launch of this thing to see what the big deal is. Yeah, it’s going to look and feel nice, but no wireless beyond WiFi, no MS Office for MAC, no multitasking, I’ve been skeptical. I’ve got computers all over the house, both mac and PC, all serving different functions Macbook in the kitchen for wife and kid for adhoc browsing and email, Dell box upstairs in the office for biz, G4 in the listening room for music only, a Dell Mini 9 in the family room for whatever, and iPhones for me and the Mrs. I was giving serious thought to jumping on one of these, until I asked myself: What real need do I have for it? My immediate thought would be to leave it in the family room to replace the Min1 9, but since it can’t multi task, it would be a step backwards. I really get the feeling that, unless you’re going to use it as a book reader, this thing was born too early. I can always rely on objectivity from you on matters like this, and am glad I didn’t jump on one. I’ll save my bucks for Verizon iPhone refreshes for the Mrs. and I later in the year:-)TA

    1. fredwilson

      you are such a geek tony. i love it!

      1. Tony_Alva

        It’s funny to hear someone refer to me as a geek when three years agoa ny network or hardware issue meant calling my trusted next door neighbor IT guru and hoping he was around. When we moved I was forced to become self sufficiant. At the same time, my company dropped CPE, peripherals, and fulfillment procurement on my desk and I really had to catch up in a hurry. Now I’m building machines for family members and hooking up their networks. You gotta go geek these days or let other people take your money when something breaks. The best part of my job is being the point guy for asset liquidation since I get first pick over all the used stuff. I know you guys deal in the latest and greatest, but I’m amazed what even our little company calls useless and obsolete. I’ll take a couple of 3 year old Dell laptops, frankenstein them into one decent machine and voila! my niece has a great machine to go to school with. I figuring out how to fix these things. I now wear my geek badge proudly!

        1. fredwilson

          so i have a very real issue you can help me with tonywe are moving and the gotham gal is making me toss out old laptops,desktops, and blackberries that are gathering dust in my officethere are probably a dozen machines in total if you include a half dozenphonesthey all have personal data on them which is why i haven’t tossed themi’d like to send them all to a trusted service provider who would wipe allthe personal data and then dispose of them as safely and ecologically wellas one can do with this sort of thingideas?

          1. Tereza

            Try this: founder is a friend. She started it when she moved to Boulder and had to figure out how to ecologically dispose of her printer. It’s turned into a national directory.I think I heard Best Buy does green disposal?I cannot validate anyone’s trustworthiness vis-a-vis wiping out your data. Big issue.

  45. TimTheFoolMan

    Fred, as Scoble inferred on TWiT this past Sunday, people who loved tinkering with carburetors hated the electronic fuel injection and computer controlled ignition in much the same way that techies loved tinkering with computers and hate “closed” systems like the iPad. When I gave this analogy to one of my car buddies, he said, “I can create my own EFI profiles for my car anytime I want.” I responded, “Can my wife install one of those profiles on her Acura?”Out of roughly 7 billion people in the world, less than 1 billion are currently using computers (per Scoble), and roughly 2 billion are using phones. I wonder if the iPad was designed for the 1 billion, or the other 6?

    1. ErikSchwartz

      Of course most of those 6 billion people make less in a year than the retail price of the cheapest model of iPad.

      1. kidmercury

        ErikSchwartz > TimTheFoolMan

  46. Ira Mitchell

    I agree with Phil on the family aspect particularly. I’m not the best at sharing (and I’m not even an only child), but the iPad doesn’t appear to suffer from my predisposition. I view my iPhone as a fundamental business tool — even though it has a fair share of games and eye-candy apps — so when the kids want to use it, I hesitate. The iPad has been passed all around and everyone seems willing to keep sharing which is unheard of with my three boys.I’m impressed with the hardware. It’s Apple solid. I know I’ll read more web-based content with it. I don’t think I’ll use it much as an ebook reader. I like physical books too much and the glossy screen is less than ideal for many environments.As a blogger it’s going to be a great tool as well. The keyboard is very usable and will keep me brief which is often difficult for me.GET THE APPLE CASE! It’s protective, pretty, and very useful. A great design to wrap around a great design.

  47. Nick Giglia

    Thanks for the even-handed take, Fred. The cold hard truth is that first-generation Apple products are never all they’re cracked up to be, and since I already have an iPhone, netbook, and Kindle, I see no reason to purchase an iPad at this point. Maybe down the road the iPad and tablets in general will be a true game-changer, but right now it’s just not there yet.I’ll revisit tablets when my netbook dies, in about 2-3 years.

  48. Carl Rahn Griffith

    Possibly the most cringe-inducing ‘review’ I am yet to read:…In the UK we have a satirical magazine called ‘Private Eye’ and therein a regular column, ‘Pseuds Corner’ – this is a prime candidate for inclusion.

  49. Glenn Gutierrez

    Nice practical breakdown. Now I know I should probably wait for the next version. Gotta have my Pandora while I do other stuff.

  50. matthewdbenson

    Having read lots of iPad reviews so far (that’s all I can do, since I’m in Europe, still awaiting launch here) I have one core hypothesis: it seems that those who didn’t expect to like the iPad don’t, and those who expected to like it, do.As with most products that aren’t perfect (and few are) there are positives and negatives. You can focus on either category, and justify a pretty good argument. There are many people in each of these camps.Therefore, two conclusions: (1) each to their own, and (2) try before you buy, unless you want to be a first adopter (but then please, no talk of returning the product to Apple – that’s just embarrassing; if you insist on being an early adopter, accept the risk of disappointment – people who then talk about returning the iPad to Apple, and there are few people who have posted blog posts to this effect, simply appear to be naive and petulant).

  51. LIAD

    annoys me that they are trying to push people again into a walled garden.i know the average user wont know or care what that is and that the lack of a USB port for example only seems a practical annoyance to them rather than a fundamental strategic decision by Apple but annoys me nonetheless.

  52. Mihai Badoiu

    I find this to be an interesting move from Apple. On one hand it expands the iPhone territory, making the iPhone apps more versatile than the Android apps. On the other hand, it enters the Kindle territory, competing with it directly.The first point is important in the fight with Android, while entering a secondary market (kindle). Although, the move is not that original. After all, Nook does run on Android. The difference is that the iPad is probably much better executed. I expect other companies to come up with Android gadgets of this type.As a gadget, I find the iPad almost useless for me. For the things I can do with it, I can do better with either an iPhone, MacBook or a Kindle. Sorry Apple, no iPad for me. However, for an average user, I think the iPad looks more chic and less geeky than a MacBook, and I expect to see it a lot at Starbucks.

  53. Jan Schultink

    Sitting here in Tel Aviv, I am jealous of all you people that managed to get your hands on this thing.Random observations from “far away”:1) It’s the user interface that is the real innovation, now we need apps that can leverage it.2) This type of device will be one that is floating around a living room, (maybe an office) to be picked up now and then, check a blog, check the weather, watch a short video [where content matters, not form factor, i.e. news], find driving directions, peek at the occasional email, show pictures to your grand parents, etc. shared by all family members.3) I hope that this device will create a new dynamic in short 1 on 1 meetings, replacing the laptop with heavy PPT deck. The device is here, the software/app to design presentation not (yet).

  54. Bill Davenport

    Forgot to mention that the one thing I really wish they’d add is the ability to have user accounts. I think for many households this will be a shared device and thus would benefit from that.

    1. Tereza

      that’s a really good point.

    2. Alex (@alexin140)

      That is really a great point. My girlfriend and I both use it at home now and don’t necessarily want to share apps, desktop images, etc…

      1. Bill Davenport

        Right on, plus some apps you can’t even share. E.g. Mail. I set up Mail for my wife. I can’t use it then myself or for older children. Likewise Photos, I have hers there but not mine. And so on. For me and I suspect many others this will be a shared device like a laptop / desktop. So I think the lack of user accounts is the biggest miss for 1.0. While I’m not holding my breath for it (as Erik mentions) it’s such a big miss that I think they’d sell more by having it available. I suppose one might argue that perhaps it needs multitasking for this capability to be put in place, so perhaps we’ll see it down the road when/if multi-tasking gets added.

        1. Tereza

          As you describe it, it really is a mind-blowing miss.

    3. ErikSchwartz

      User accounts would be HUGE.Except that Apple wants to sell multiple devices per household so don’t hold your breath that multiple accounts per device will happen.

    4. andrewscott

      Completely agree. We use our existing iPod Touch as a shared device and have exactly this issue today.It flows through to the apps as well, e.g. the Facebook app doesn’t show who is logged in on most of its screens, and it doesn’t make it easy to switch between user accounts.Shared devices need shared services. Putting personal services (like a single-user Facebook app, or a single email inbox, etc.) on a shared device is broken.

  55. Alex

    I’d definitely agree with all of the above Fred. Apple really has two problems on their hands with the iPad, (1) the iPad offers no new function/value prop and doesn’t simplify an already existing computing solution and (2) the iPad as of now doesn’t seem to have the proper place in the Apple product line to reach significant scale.With respect to function & usability, the iPhone revolutionized the phone industry because it combined design, a simplified OS and with the app store, offered a fundamentally new function/value prop than previous devices had. Similarly, the iPod revolutionized the music industry because it combined the relatively new offering of digital music with the first truly user-friendly, plug-n-play device.The iPad however offers no new function (like the app store) and doesn’t simplify an existing usability issue (like the iPod).With respect to product line placement, the iPad has been incorrectly compared to the iPhone when it should be compared to the Macbook Air. Similar to the iPad, the Air offered less computing power, less features and less functionality than classic laptops. The tradeoff was supposed to be for design & a lightweight computing solution–but at $1500 that tradeoff wasn’t worth it.Apple is in a strange place with the iPad and the only way I can see it being truly successful is if they find that pricing niche where customers are willing to supplement their current computing solution with a sleek, sexy, lighter-weight device. But it will supplement and definitely not substitute, as Walt Mossberg inappropriately suggested.

  56. honam

    Interesting discussion. Most of the comments reflect Techies (vs Normals) perspectives which is not surprising given the audience that follow this blog. Here is what I wrote this morning after reading this and John Doerr’s post on @Techcrunch: Fred Wilson and John Doerr disagree about the iPad. Who’s right?

    1. fredwilson

      i read your post honam and you are right, i skew geek in the things i like and the things i invest in.but my kids don’t and they don’t seem to be that into the iPad. it’s sitting on our family room table with the magazines and gathering dust with them.

      1. honam

        The iPad allows its users to get immersed in apps and information more deeply and intimately. But whether or not we or our kids love the iPad will depend on the app. Can’t wait to see what developers come up with over the next few years. I have high hopes for the Facebook app, for example; it should be much better than the full web experience. I’d love to see another post from you after 6 months or so to see if you or your kids find some apps or use cases that are compelling.BTW, the first time I felt that the iPad was painfully slow, compared to my laptop was visiting! Trying to render a web page with so many comments really shows the limitations of the CPU. Good thing Apple did a lot of software magic to hide the fact that they are running on a relatively cheap, low power processor with very limited RAM. Aside from HTML rendering, the iPad actually feels faster for me. Yesterday, I had to schedule a years worth of meetings for a group I’m involved with and it felt so fast and intuitive. I just love that built in calendar app!

  57. agawley

    I seem to remember you use air mouse. have you tried pad mouse? It’s the best (if most expensive!) mac remote ever. Also the epicurious app is gonna be a big hit in my house…My wife pointed out what I see as being the biggest flaw of the device (if you ignore ‘it’s not a computer’ and some of the physical funkyness) which is that it doesn’t support profiles. I can’t share it with her. If I’m logged into gmail she has to log me out. she like some apps that I don’t etc. This seems like a big one to fix.

    1. raycote

      Apple has a solution.It is waiting for you at the Apple store.Bring your visa card!

  58. Radu Panciuc

    I see iPad as a great tool for students. Get your books on it, your presentations, read your courses everywhere, download whatever you need for your course, etc. I know I would have used one…

  59. hypermark

    It’s interesting to note some of the responses here. Having lived with the device for a few days now, I have noted that, like the iPod touch before it, there is sense that the hardware came out ahead of the software (when iPod touch shipped there was no iPhone SDK; when iPad shipped few developers had access to an actual device to develop against). Time will remedy that one.Also, whereas my kids instantly grokked the iPod touch from day one, and the engagement has only grown, my seven year old literally got up before me so he could play with the iPad by himself. And my wife, who usually has no interest in these things, spent about five minutes on the device before proclaiming, “I want one!”Then again, I am not of the school that Apple is Crapple, Openness is an Absolute or a member of the Cloud or Bust clan.I am focused on outcomes, not attributes, and while the device is a tiny bit green, I think it’s destined to be a winner in the long run, something that I blogged about in:iPad First Impressions: The Good, the Not So Good and the Not Yet it out, if interested.Mark

  60. kenberger

    HP Slate:…Similar form factor as ipad, but full-blown OS, so you can run real apps like Boxee.(yes I recognize that most readers here will scoff at Windows)

  61. Michael Weiksner

    It’s all about new uses. It’s not a laptop; it’s not a phone. Price is a huge factor, because how many people have $500+ to augment their eliptical trainer? That said, who knows how many neat new uses like that will spring up as app developers get their hands on it.I think that the iPad is a modern day Apple Newton. This version still isnt quite right, but someday in the future it may be a new mainstream device. (I was an early adopter and still have found no use for my graffiti skills.) I am not templated to buy an iPad — yet.

  62. HowieG

    This is just the beginning for Tablets. The CEO of NVIDIA told Business Week they were working on custom chips for over 50 different Tablets set for release in the next 2 years. This device is going to evolve and one day I do see TV/Movies everywhere. Not sure if Apple will win the masses due to price and how they control delivery via their stores. But when someone gives similar to open web functionality where I can watch stuff from any content provider it will be a winner…and I think great for newspapers and magazines. I would be shorting the paper industry in the stock and commodity markets because we will see a massive decrease in paper use/need over the next 20 years.

    1. raycote

      Striking a fine balance between control and flexibility creates an optimal slipstream experience for all key stakeholders, content/service providers, advertisers, digital delivery agents and consumers.Rather than being an impediment to Apple’s success, it is their ace in the hole. They have developed some sophisticated end to end systems for executing that slipstream in ways that will be especially attractive to content/service providers and their advertisers, yet giving end users convenient options to pay instead of receiving ads.Most people think Mr. Jobs is full of hot air when he speaks of Apple being year ahead of the competition. He does not say it too loud or too often. I think most of us tend to underestimate the powerful synergism that a well planed, long term, step wise, ecosystem rollout brings to an organically complex market place like mobile digital devices. I thing Google groks this and others are recognizing the importance of this business model. Their challenge is the lead time required to execute this type of strategy. I think that is the issue Mr. Jobs is speaking to more than a simple claim of technical leadership.As for the iPad and the many competing devices of it’s ilk that are surely on their way. ——————————NEW CATEGORY =Virtual Digital Appliance =stop looking in rear view mirror——————————The iPad is not intended to compete with net-books or ereaders. Those are just the up front, shot term, rationalized camouflage use-cases. These old school use-cases are still great use-cases for the iPad. The iPad has an elegant simplicity that can easily reach out to encompass most everything a Digital-Appliance-User needs to do on a daily bases.————————————–NEW CATEGORY =Virtual Digital Appliance =click to repurpose! ————————————–Process Displays / Process Controllers / Data Capture / Data Message / Data Visualization —> FOR:—- factory floor use-cases—- office use-cases—- medical use-cases—- service industry use-cases—- transportation industry use-cases—- home media control use-cases—- home security control use-cases—- home smart energy & home plug use-cases—- universal remote control use-cases of all mannerAll these use cases can be instantly switched to an alternate Virtual-Digital-Appliance use-case at will. This allowing you to repurpose your Virtual-Digital-Appliance as needed throughout your day or cycle shared units to employees as needed for various tasks, offering users great reuse cost efficiencies with low learning curve costs and the older units make great hand me downs for less demanding uses.All these use-cases have built in wireless communications with web access, email, video/manuals, books/PDF/manuals, sound files and more as the base line functionality. Now add a simple to use multi-touch interface based on Apple’s clever perceptual ergonomic sensibilities!Virtual-Digital-Appliance Example:When they start mandating power smart panels that control the power to every plug in your home based on the power grids ability to deliver, you will need to setup all your priorities for each plug, designating which plugs/devices receive how much of the remaining juice as the panel starts dropping down the maximum power you are allowed to consume under any particular power grid circumstance. Apple along with many others have developed hardware/software smart-grid/power-smart control & monitoring systems. Apple’s systems meet all the various standards out there and you can be sure that Apple’s advanced perceptual ergonomic presentation skills will serve it well in these types of setup, monitoring and control applications.

  63. mcbeese

    Fred, I think with the iPad we’re experiencing a new kind of device and the term ‘content consumption’ that’s being used a lot fits pretty well. I find that the things that this device does, it does really well. I do agree it has a couple of holes, but I expect they’ll be plugged before long. I’d like a camera and I’d like Flash support. Multi-tasking is not critical for me because the only reason I need it is for streaming music and I always have my iPhone in my pocket. But in any case, I think Apple will add a camera and some multi-tasking before long. I also think Adobe (not Apple) will solve the Flash problem by providing a tool suite for Apple products.I tested a smaller 7″ tablet from a Korean manufacturer and I want one of those too, but not yet. It didn’t have the slick capacitive screen technology that the iPad has. In my opinion, OpenPeak, Archos, and every other manufacturer might as well through their resistive screen tablets in the garbage. Nobody is going to want one anymore.I’ll be very curious to try the HP Slate when it arrives. I like what I see about the form factor. What worries me now is Windows 7 “with HP UI enhancements”. That sounds like a kludge. I do want a camera, flash support, USB support, etc… but I sure don’t want a Windows desktop UI that was designed for a mouse. We’ll see.BTW, I used my iPad in the gym today. I have a Clear Spot 4G wireless router that throws out a wifi network. The router stayed in my gym bag and the iPad sat in front of me on the treadmill. I caught up with all my video blogs while putting in the miles. GREAT experience.

    1. McBeese

      Oops, sorry, brain fart. ‘through’ = ‘throw’.

    2. McBeese

      Oh, one more thing. I get a kick out of the people who chose not to buy an iPad who are wading in to criticize it. Remember when you were a kid and your parents made you try a new food before you could say it was yuchhy? Same deal. The iPad is a new experience. It isn’t like a laptop, a netbook, or a windows o/s hiding in a tablet with a resistive screen. This is new. Try it, then comment.

      1. Tereza

        Two types of people in that camp.The first, chose not to buy it. They may or may not have tried it. And whether or not they got their hands on one, there may well have been legitimate reasons why they chose not to.The second group. Couldn’t buy it if they wanted to. It’s the “I can’t afford a Louis Vuitton bag so I’ll list for you the (non-price) reasons why I’m not getting one”.I’m in the latter camp. This is a high price point. It’s not a free food tasting. (Incidentally, I never, ever say No to free food)An iPad would be fun to have. And there are higher priorities right now.But our perspectives still count for something, I hope?

        1. McBeese

          Sure, your perspectives count and I didn’t mean to come off as arrogant so if that’s the case I sincerely apologize.The mobile phone, the laptop, broadband Internet, MP3s, the Blackberry, DVRs, flat screen TVs, the iPhone, and now (likely) the iPad are the technology events that I would stick a pin in on a timeline of the past quarter century. This list consists of game-changing advances, each of which would be impossible to really fathom the impact without real-life experience.The first mobile phones were pretty awful, but look where we are now. I bet if Fred were posting on his experience with the first motorola cellular phone, it would read a lot like his iPad review. But just like with the moto brick, the iPad seed has been planted. A new wave of Internet devices and experiences is coming.A lot of the value of what the iPad delivers is new experience, not new technology. It’s like an extension of the iPhone experience. Like the transition from 12″ b&w TVs to color sets. If you haven’t tasted asparagus, you can’t really comment on the flavor. You can comment on the price and compare the nutritional value with broccoli, but that’s not the same. That’s my point with the iPad. I was a critic because of the specs until I tried it. Now I’m hooked. Cheaper and more open solutions are needed. They’re coming.

          1. Tereza

            Apology duly accepted. Thank you.I think everything you say below is true.I love technology. The thesis I operate on, for creating highly scalable businesses, is how this stuff weaves into real people’s lives, at a very granular level. I find time and again we can anticipate all we want, but still, when things get into the hands of regular ol’ joes, you never know what might happen.And that, to me, is very exciting.

    3. fredwilson

      yeah, it’s going to kill as the workout computer

  64. Kontra

    2001, CmdrTaco (founder of Slashdot) on iPod: “No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.”2010, Fred Wilson on iPad: “Reading (and watching some video) is how I will use the iPad. It is just not that good for much else.”

    1. fredwilson

      the iPod is lame.the Rio mp3 player i had in 1999, that was rad

  65. robyncowie

    Jesse Schell totally nailed why the iPad doesn’t work in his Dice 2010 presentation “Design Outside the Box”. He uses the analogy of a Swiss Army knife to explain why technological convergence doesn’t work, except if something is small enough to fit in your pocket (like an iPhone).The iPad is like having a large Swiss Army knife with a soup ladle, bread knife and a potato masher on it.If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth seeing:

    1. Kontra

      “nailed why the iPad doesn’t work”Without having ever held or touched the device that’s nothing but touch.

    2. Tereza

      Interesting link, thanks.

    3. fredwilson

      i’ll check it out

  66. ShanaC

    I think, if you are correct, one of the larger issues is that the IPAD is an intro to a computer (as consumption media) for some groups of people. (from comments here) I’m curious to know what happens when they outgrow the machine. The system doesn’t seem to be designed for deeper exploration- and I kind of wonder what the next step is if the IPAD is supposed to be an in between device….

  67. Prokofy

    What I like about your reviews Fred is that they are honest and don’t go with the stampede of hate from all the geeks, you give the good and the bad. Most of all, you aren’t afraid to indicate that there might be a demographic here (middle aged eyes) that could be served.Do you know if it can play games and does it play Second Life? I heard not. That would be a deal-breaker for me. But I’d let time ellapse to get the bugs out and let it come down in price then I would buy it to relieve the congestion around the computers in our house so that I could put at least one kid on something else that had at least Facebook and movies.

    1. fredwilson

      my friend who has been in the gaming business for years says he thinks it will not be a big gaming device.

      1. The Central Scrutinizer

        Your friend from the gaming industry is spot on. I wonder how many hours a week the ones who claim for a gaming revolution on the iPad, actually play. Sure, it may be OK for the occasional Scrabble while waiting for a Dr’s appointment on the way to work (if you can be bothered to carry it along with your cell phone, laptop, and what ever else you carry to work). Ask any serious gamer what they think about the iPad as a gaming device, and they’ll laugh. They would all prefer the DS or PSP, hands down! I wonder if any here has tried holding an iPad and pretending it’s a wheel while playing a racing game. If you last 3 laps, I’ll give you a medal myself. On the positive side, your forearms, will get a great work out.

  68. Prakash

    IPad is a bigger version of the Itouch – so what? No one complained when a bigger car came into the market. Some people want a bigger ITouch!I really think it is a kindle killer. It’s about the user experience. The ability to touch a screen, pinch, zoom and navigate is surely miles ahead of the experience that the Kindle provides.Keen to know what people think about the use of the Ipad in education. Healthcare?Once again – I think that the developer community would use their creativeness to create reasons to use the IPad.

    1. fredwilson

      didn’t kill the kindle in our housemy son did when he took it to school to read poetry to his class and dropped itfortunately amazon is taking it back and replacing itwould apple do that?

  69. im2b_dl

    Fred this is a great review …I felt the same. Interface for the living room and multi-task will not be until next gen. and I expect at least 2 of the other tablets this year will beat them..and they will be open. (Little birds told me…as well as deals being struck with Comcast and cablevision))

  70. Philip J. Cortes

    Although I agree that the iPad keyboard is a significant improvement over the iPhone’s – it by no means is ideal. The keyboard issue is enough of a problem that most people will probably use it much in the same way that you do – for consumption, meaning the device is limited in its capabilities. That having been said, I think the keyboard in general is due for an overhaul/replacement – it’s an archaic and limiting way to input data. Companies like Swype are trying to revamp our data entry process, and hopefully some of their ideas will catch on. (Unfortunately we’re quite a ways away from cybernetics and brain wave reading devices…)

  71. toddgeist

    I wonder if the iPad will hurt iPhone sales at all? It is certainly canabalizing my iPhone use.The iPhone was the best computer I could carry around. Therefore I was willing to put up with really crappy phone service from ATT, a very small screen and difficult typing. Now that I have an iPad I find myself less tolerant of the iPhone’s shortcomings. Returning to the small screen is a little annoying, and I have honestly wished for a simpler phone that just worked.

  72. aanwar

    One killer business app for the iPad is Square.

  73. RichardF

    Does the iPad connect to a printer easily ? I still have a need for paper sometimes.

  74. Glitch

    I would love to pose to the community here and important for developers if anyone has insite if Flash is ever going to come to any of the Ipod/Iphone/Ipad devices. It seems that HTML5 developed by Apple and Google is the way they want to take everything but seems like a tough battle with the penetration of Flash…yet no Flash has shown up on those Apple products. It could be impactful to developers to anticipate either move and thought i would mention if anyone has any instes! Thanks!

  75. Phil Simon

    There’s no way that I’d be able to give up listening to music while working.You give up a lot with the iPad and you don’t get much in return. You lose multi-tasking which is a huge deal for me. I can’t listen to music while I write this. That alone is a showstopper for me. Plus it’s slow as a computer. The apps run slow and so is the browser. That could be my wifi but my MacBook runs on the same wifi network and there’s a noticeable difference in the speed of browsing between them.For me these are deal breakers. For this reason, I can’t justify one.Simon’s First Law of Technology: Never buy the first version of anything.

  76. Mukund

    This is one of the most lame reviews of a device I have read. Note that I am not an apple aficionado. But I AM writing this on my iPad. I hate reviews that make mistakes on facts. For example, theipad (and even the iPhone) allows you to play music while running another app. Only the iPod application though – has to be an apple built in application. All that said the success of the iPad is the time my son, all of 8 years spent with it all day (the first day he has had access to it). I think it is a stellar device which is well produced enough to warrant a lot of demand as more killer apps arrive.

    1. fredwilson

      and this is one of the lamest comments i have ever readeveryone is entitled to their opinioni’ve had the iPad in my house for a weekit is gathering dustit is a fucking picture frame

      1. Tereza

        Hey Fred — curious about your take on today’s NYT piece about news organizations evolving their policies on anonymous online commenting.Whether/how your view has changed over time. Would make an interesting post.

        1. fredwilson

          i guess i’ll have to go read the piece

  77. fredwilson

    nice idea to use the velco straps on the planei wish i could have an elliptical trainer on a plane