Wednesday, January 27, 2010

There's A Lap For That

My biggest concern when apprising the rumours regarding the Apple iPad (formerly the iTablet) were how much flesh I'd have to give up to have it, and whether I'd have to cancel my iPhone contract prematurely in order to have one.
Turns out, not so much. I didn't think this would replace the iPhone, since a) it's too big to stick in a pocket and b) it would have cannibalized sales of the new 3GS just as that was hitting the markets in Asia.
But, it's a nifty little travel Mac. It's most like the Macbook Air, which means it's basically useless as anything other than a device you'd take to the beach to read a book or around town to upload photos with.
But the price might make that usefulness turn into downright utility. At $499 base price (without 3G, with 16G of memory, or the low-end iPhone current capacity), it's a Kindle on steroids, a portable television (HD, no less), and that alone make it comparable to buying two devices (a good DVD player and a Kindle).
The top end, 3G capable, 64G storage (flash memory only, which means this thing will zoom) will go for $849, absent a data plan (AT&T announced a $30 per month plan, no contract, but the iPad has already been cracked for use with any other network you can sign up with).
Still not bad, still in keeping with Apple's premium pricing policy, and yet, still not a netbook per se.
But not bad. Not bad at all even at the low end.