More on the iPad.


What I have been reading during the last hour, was a lot of criticism, lots of people seem to be disappointed of the iPad.
Well, that´s pretty much normal, afair – take a look at all these latest launches of Apple products. All these rumored features in the time before whispered by tons of experts and “experts” are too much to be delivered at one launch – and no one would expect any other company to bring that much innovation to the markets in single products.

Of course it is dissapointing that the iPad does not support Videochat, does not support Flash (I do not believe that Flash is the best technology for flash video, anyway), is unable to beam you to the Maledives – oh, wait, that wasn´ t rumored? I am so sorry.

The dissapointment is the lack of multitasking – but I do believe, that Apple will add that, once they have it worked out in a way that is appropriate for such a tablet device. But still, even though I do not love Apple: This is the best tablet to date, and it will most likely be the best tablet when it will be available. Of course, the hardware is not perfect, a flat bottom would be better for on table use, iPad is a bit heavy, or think of a second dock connector for keyboard use in landscape mode (which was much more laptop like). And the screen will (compared to PixelQi solutions) suck at outdoor use I bet. Or more video out options, like Display Port or HDMI. I don´ t have to mention that I would love USB Host on a device of that size, do I?

All nice to have, but not that necessary – because it has Apples software on it, which is just impressive and has huge competitive advantages like all the iPhone Apps and iTunes. No other company will (ever?) be able to offer those.

And let´s not forget one other thing: This is a home entertainment device rather than a mobile companion device – battery life, the screen – all this makes it a device for at home use, particulary when you are on holiday and stay in a cabin or so. A leisure device with some sunday work features. Maybe I am wrong here, and I believe future iPads will be different, better.

Let´s be realistic: This is Apples´ first torpedo to sink netbooks (meaning: the devices between notebooks and sub 4 inch devices. Not perfect, it will most certainly miss its target, the ship will not sink. But better be scared of the next one. The iPhone 3GS was the one that sold best until now – I believe a 3rd generation iPad will be similar. If Apple just listens a little bit to the complaints of the people, this generation will sell more than O.K. and future iterations will be .. just fantastic, at least as far as sales figures go.

iPad. First thoughts.

I was expecting a lot of Apples new device. Having had read most of the rumors, I believed that it would have a 9.7″ capacitive multitouch screen (because there were these rumors of Apple having ordered large quantities of these), I believed the “own silicon” rumor (as Apple aquired P.A. Semi years ago), I did not believe in those Verizon CDMA rumors (simply because GSM is almost worldwide). So, I was pretty close to what Apple delivered announced today.

But still I am pretty impressed having I only seen text and pictures at The only thing I can think of is “Well Done, Apple!” (And: “Goodbye JooJoo (the ex Crunchpad) and others!”).

Of course, yeah, Wacom like stylus input for handwriting (as we know it) was nice to have. Or voice recognition (which is most likely just a software matter, if iPad has a microphone). And Apple was apparently pretty silent about video, so most likely no 1080p like nVidia Tegra (II) powered solutions… besides: 4:3, not 16:9, so not that great for “mobile cinema”, anyway. And a personal issue: Openess.. (Free Software? Apple!? Rather not.)

But besides these few points, this is a great product. A impressive one. Just like the iPhone was. Just look at the accesoires – a keyboard dock, and a bag, which is a stand. The fact that they made productivity software for this device. They didn´t forget too much, did they?

(More might follow later.)

CES – Aftermath?

Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA is over and I am sitting here in snowy Kiel, Germany and don´ t know what to write – though (or because?) I spent the last week idling on twitter and my Google Reader for CES tech news.

Now what do I remember? Lots of tablets, many of them nVidia Tegra 2 powered, X86 smartphone prototypes based on Intel´s new Moorestown platform running Moblin, some netbooks, based on Tegra 2, Intel´s Atom N450, Freescale´s i.MX515 or Qualcomm´s Snapdragon, 3D TV devices, and some more stuff.
Let´s have a short list of devices, that I got exited about:

Freescale Smartbook/Tablet. I like its general approach (tablet+docking), though there are certainly some shortcomings about this reference design:
– the keyboard could be a little bit bigger without expense of the docking unit
– a touchpad or trackpoint would be nice, and as we just started dreaming: what about a foldable docking/keyboard (you know, like these old PDA keyboards)
– resistive touchscreens are nice, but capacitive ones are usually even nicer
– no active digitizer –> no real handwriting input

That´s it – still this is a nice design, if a device like this reference design would hit the market at $200, I would not hesitate too long buying it. Still, I would prefer a device that has the additional features mentionned above for $250 to $300.
Check out Sascha Pallenberg´s Hands On at

Next interesting device is another tablet: NotionInk´s “Adam” tablet, based on the nVidia Tegra 2, featuring a Pixel Qi 3Qi screen technology (which is power saving, has an e-ink like mode (good daylight readability), but is TFT based – a development based on the OLPC XO´s screen)

Check out Slashgear´s Hands On session – this is certainly an interesting device.

More? Well, I like the look of Lenovo latest additions to the Thinkpad line (Thinkpad Edge and X100e), but the specs do not sound too promising, as the battery life of the AMD powered offerings are unlikely to offer a satisfiying battery life – and the Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300… I would have prefered a Core i3 CPU, but that might be a matter of time. High end smartphones will run on ARMv7 and x86 SoCs in 2010 – we will see which kind will perform better.
Many interesting devices, but nothing really mind blowing for a person that follows tech trends all the time.

Maybe that Apple tablet… no, it won´t be that mind blowing, but surely its presentation will be awesome and whatever it will be, it is supposed to sell well ;-)