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The iPad : an iWonder ?

The iPad : an iWonder ?

Well it is all over, the much speculated, rumoured, discussed Apple product is out there for public awe. Like many tech lovers I hogged the various live blogs waiting for the next nugget of information on the new Apple wonder product.

Twitter survived the onslaught of people tweeting information from the live blogs to their friends who were in fact also reading the same blogs anyway, but was it the same buzz as the iPhone ? well no, but how could it have been ?To compare the launch of the iPad to the iPhone isn’t a realistic comparison, everyone has a phone but I suspect no matter how well Apple market the device not everyone is likely to own an iPad. They are completely different products.

The big question : what do you think ?

I personally don’t see a place for the iPad device in my  own workflow. I have a great Macbook Pro that I can connected to an external cinema screen when necessary and for situations on the road my iPhone, with a trusty Juice Pack (read our review) is all I need.

The strange thing is despite my reservations I suspect I will still own at least one iPad.  I see the device (ironically in that I have not actually used one) as the ideal solution to family computing. ICT continues to be at the centre on most educational establishments and this certainly isn’t going to change.

Parents are placed under pressure to supply their children with the latest technology PSPs, iPods, Phone and often a laptop for school. For parents the iPad could be a one stop purchase offering the function of all these devices (except the phone) but at a considerably reduced cost.

Imagine the digital home of the future : A single master computer or home server with the family photos, productivity and digital media (lets  face it I have just described dad’s computer) each family member with their iPad can sync the necessary content (books, TV etc) yet still have the perfect device for school, watching movies or surfing the internet.

With Elgato offering remote access to EyeTV (see here) and the amazingly small EyeTV DTT Deluxe device lets hope we see some sort of iPad TV device very soon.

I have produced a diagram of this very concept not because it is hard to understand but as I thought it would make an attractive diagram.  Seriously though, the iPad isn’t going to compete with a full laptop for productivity but it does meet the general ICT productivity needs for most people. In education we carry out research, we read books and journals, we write reports, create presentations and most importantly communicate, the iPad does all of this.

Web Apps

With many schools moving to web applications for both teachers and students the iPad’s usefulness will continue to grow. Google docs offers a viable alternative to the new iWork but at only $9.99 an application are you really not going to have Pages or Keynote on your device?

For me the iPad is the affordable solution to family computing. Easier control over what your child can do on the device (you have control over what apps are installed etc) and I suspect like the iPhone there will be some parental control built in reduces the worry of child protection on the internet.

Financially why would I buy my children full laptop devices with dual core processors when the iPad would meet their needs perfectly. I don’t think it will be too long before we hear future generations say “Do you remember keyboards ?”

So what do you think ? Are you getting one and what will you use it for ?

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