iPad: Killer or killable?

A study in contrasts: PC World and eWeek each look at the impending iPad launch from entirely opposite points of view. PC World notes that every new smartphone that comes out gets branded a potential “iPhone killer” (though it invariably never turns out to be one in fact), and asks the question, “What things might the iPad ‘kill’?” Among the possibilities are the Kindle—PC World notes that the iPad has already caused a spat between Amazon and Macmillan—and tablet PCs. (Flash, Java, and the desktop metaphor are mentioned as well, among others.)

Even if the Kindle’s e-ink screen might cause less eyestrain (and opinions seem to vary on that), the iPad does allow users to do much more than the current generation of Kindle.

On the other hand, eWeek thinks that the iPad may not really be “all that”, and that Apple should watch out for the HP Slate tablet coming out in a few months.

Why? A number of reasons, including that the Slate is “good-looking,” runs Windows 7 (a full-fledged PC operating system, not a smartphone OS), supports  Flash, might be more useful in a business environment—and, just like the iPad, it will read e-books (and display other multimedia).

And of course, both of these articles ignore a tablet that will be shipping in just a few weeks—the FusionGarage JooJoo, which has just been submitted to the FCC. Though it runs Android, another smartphone OS, it seems to have very good multimedia chops, including a 16:9 high-definition screen and the horsepower to play HD content back without stuttering.

And, of course, it also has e-book readers available—possibly soon to include the Kindle reader.

No matter which tablet wins, it is pretty much a win-win situation for e-book fans.

2 Comments on iPad: Killer or killable?

  1. Don’t believe anybody who says that windows-based slates will kill anything. We’ve had those on the market for almost 10 years; they are well-loved by a few, and ignored by everybody else. There was only one good program Microsoft built for the tabletPC, that’s OneNote — those who use it love it. Mostly tabletPCs are used by doctors, insurance salesmen, and the like, in vertical markets.

    Another point is that a Windows7 slate must use an intel CPU, probably an Atom, probably PineTrail, the newest breed of Atom chips. While even more power-efficient than the first generation of Atoms, no Intel chip can match an ARM chip. And no regular LCD screen can match the power efficiency of a PixelQi LCD screen; and no PixelQi LCD screen can match the power effiency of an eInk screen.

    So what we have is this as our horse race:

    Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, and other eInk screens will run for a week or more before needing recharging.

    Apple’s iPad and the other ARM-bases smartbooks and slates like Notion Ink’s Adam will run almost all day before needing recharging.

    HP, Joojoo and other Intel-based slates will run between 3 and 5 hours before needing recharging.

    And PixelQi screens will help the ARM slates and the Intel-based slates run a ‘little bit’ longer, depending on circumstances. (If you’re outdoors and turn off the backlight and read plain text ebooks in low-color mode, you’ll see the biggest bounce.)

    All these analysts, like tarot card readers and palm reading fortune tellers, should be ignored. We will all know something about all this in about a year. Until then there are going to be so many new entrants into this market, and so many developments (such as the impact, if any, of new display tech like the Mirasol from Qualcomm) that it will be like the renewal of personal computing circa 1979, before the IBM PC came in.

    — asotir

  2. There have been several slates already of both Windows and Mac varieties for years now.

    The facts are if the basic applications you want to use are not built from the ground up for touch screen use and that can be a Adobe Flash website or the Adobe Reader or any number of eBook Readers.

    All you get is a pretty picture but you can’t do much with it.

    Applications with no touch screen coding still have to use a mouse or keyboard to interact and function.

    Can they change that now with the iPad coming out? Sure!

    Have they made those changes across the board yet?
    No!

    So if you want to see what HP can provide in a Tablet go look at the HP TouchSmart Laptop sitting on bought on a shelf at Best Buy.

    Try to use it to do basic functions with the OS without using a keyboard or mouse.

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