David Pogue has a great two part review of Apple’s iPad in the NYTimes. The first part is devoted to so called techies who find the iPad missing a lot of basic amenities and therefore less than desirable. The second part is for the rest of us and I will let David do the eloquent talking:
The iPad is so fast and light, the multitouch screen so bright and responsive, the software so easy to navigate, that it really does qualify as a new category of gadget. Some have suggested that it might make a good goof-proof computer for technophobes, the aged and the young; they’re absolutely right.
And the techies are right about another thing: the iPad is not a laptop. It’s not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it — books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on. For most people, manipulating these digital materials directly by touching them is a completely new experience — and a deeply satisfying one.
In effect David is saying that iPad [and also iPhone, iPod] and its touch screen interface is the winning “touch” for Apple.
But we have been saying this for years [just enter “touch screen” in our search widget].
And the difference for Apple this time in comparison to the GUI groundbreaking Lisa and Mac, is that Apple does not have a lead of several years but only several months at best. The question will be can all the tardy Tegra 2 devices or the HP Slate or the Google Android and Chrome OS smartphones/netbooks deliver enough bang for the buck? I have said it before but it bears repeating – Apple has given its competitors a lot of room to maneuver. But after the iPad and its pursuers, Touch is here to stay and in a big way.
Now some point out as David does that Touch makes for a great, easy to use and easy to learn “consumer” machine but may leave big gaps for “creators”. But let me tell you having worked with an big Intuous Graphics pad, I can say that Touch really adds to creativity as well . You are not just 4-5 times faster but also inclined to be more creative with good Touch support. iPad signals that catering to Touch and Gestures has finally arrived; but the iPad is far from being the last word.