First things first, yes, I’m ordering an iPad as soon as Apple allows pre-orders. My game plan is to get the WiFi-only model first since it ships in March and get the WiFi+3G model when it ships in April.
The Apple iPad looks like a potential game changer. But, it is missing few pieces that would have completely redefined the netbook/smartbook space. Here’s what’s missing or not quite there:
1. No integrated camera. A front facing camera would have made it a perfect mobile video conferencing platform. Or, at the very least a perfect Skype platform. A higher resolution camera on the back would have made it a great device for recording presentations, field work, and other vertical market applications. Engadget says that the Apple will a camera connection kit to let you plug in an external camera though. This, however, is not as convenient as an integrated camera.
2. No multitasking. This would have been nice. But, it would also introduce potential performance issues and the problem of dealing with apps that don’t close or don’t provide the option to close. I’ve been running into the latter issue a lot with Android apps.
3. No option to use 3G from other carriers. AT&T again? Sigh.
4. No Adobe Flash. I’m not a Flash fan. So, this doesn’t bother me at all. Keep those bloated Flash-heavy sites out of my way!
5. No physically smaller model (7 or 8 inch screen) that is easier to carry and protect.
6. No speech recognition. Or, if it is available, it is not integrated into the home screen like it is on Android phones.
That said, I’m looking forward to getting an iPad as soon as it is available. And, I’m really glad that I resisted buying a Kindle. iBooks look like the ebook reading solution I’ve been waiting for.