iPad: Can this "Middle Child" Stand Out Enough to Win Hearts and Wallets

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Apple made the long (very long) awaited announcement that finally made the Apple Tablet a reality. Welcome the iPad.

ipad tablet

There have been rumors and predictions about a return of the mythological Apple Tablet ever since the computer maker discontinued the ahead-of-its-time Newton. Is this finally the tablet we've all been waiting for, or will the iPad, like it's forefather, end up with a fanatical userbase that is ultimately too small to sustain growth?

Apple is calling the iPad the "best way to experience the web, email, & photos."  But, the iPad suffers from serious middle-child syndrome. It's not a robust, creative machine like the MacBook. It's not "putting the world in my pocket" like an iPhone. And, unlike either of those products the iPad doesn't have a camera or a microphone! The iPad — and the soon-to-be released iPad-only apps — will have to establish a unique identity if the product is to be taken seriously as a must-have device.

The important question for most users will be, what does the iPad offer that I can't already do? The answer, if you own a MacBook and an iPhone, is not a whole heck of a lot. So the next question becomes, is "the iPad experience" worth $600, assuming you buy the mid-grade model without 3G. How about $829 for the top of line device?

Personally, I'm probably going to buy an iPad. Even though the features aren't particularly unique, the iPad fills a hole in my digital lifestyle. It's smaller than a laptop for lightweight media consumption and bigger than the iPhone which never seemed quite large enough for enjoyable Internet browsing. Plus, my current mobile phone contract bars me from getting a 3G S for another 6 months and I need a new toy.

One thing I won't be doing ... getting the 3G add-on. As far as I'm concerned, AT&T can suck it.

Walk down memory lane and watch this commercial for the Newton. Let's hope the iPad can deliver the goods.

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  • ZiggyBop

    The iPad has a microphone.

    Check the Apple iPad specs page.

  • Stephen

    Never thought I'd say this but sometimes my laptop is just too much to lug around, especially with today's air travel. So the iPad is actually a welcome sight!

  • http://twitter.com/wonet/status/8333540562 Warren “WO” Owen

    iPad: Can this “Middle Child” Stand Out Enough to Win Hearts and Wallets http://bit.ly/9ievzD /via @hot_iphone_apps Hey, I'm a middle child.

  • http://www.xby.ch handy kaufen

    I don't think the Ipad will be as successfull as the iphone, as it is not as knew and revolutionary.

  • Harley

    In my opinion, this will make my parents (in their 80's) and some friends of mine that aren't computer savvy very happy. I'm the one that currently services their PC's and I've been searching for something that will give them the chance to enjoy the 'net, check email and view pictures without dealing with OS issues, viruses and non-intuitive interfaces. Something very simple; I hope this will finally be it and they will be recycling their old Windows machines.