On Monday, we presented our expectations...our hopes and dreams...for the Apple tablet. Now that we have actual information to go on, our hopes and dreams have been amended accordingly. And in the case of Steve Johnson, his life has been given a whole new meaning. But first, enjoy this video presentation of myself and Patrick Klepek discussing Apple's new baby.
Eric Eckstein, Director of Gaming Editorial
Naturally, no one was surprised that the device in question was a tablet, but as a gamer, I'm a bit disappointed in the end product. Sure, it's a mass market presentation, designed to get children to buy for their parents and gadget fiends to impulse buy only to sell it on eBay a month before generation two streets, but I was hoping for something a bit more revolutionary in the hardware. In the end, everyone's joking that it's essentially a giant iPhone and, as suspected, gaming is just a byproduct. Maybe if they had figured out a way to work with Ubisoft to show off R.U.S.E. or another game that utilizes the screen real estate and touch mechanics, I'd be interested but gaming seems to be just one of many things you can do with the iPad, but it's not done significantly better or different than before.
Now I wouldn't dare the knock the innovation of the product; there are many things it does well, but none of them matter to my life. I already own an iPhone and a Macbook Pro, which the iPad clearly sits between, so my needs are met. If I had money to burn, I'd certainly buy one, but even then I suspect it'd sit on a shelf gathering dust between infrequent use. I do strongly believe that future generations of the product will become more compelling, especially as Apple resolves battery life issues, adds a camera with some sophisticated technology around it, and optimizes its pricing. But right now? iPass.
Sterling McGarvey, Sr. Reviews Editor
I’m less blown-away by the device as I am by how quickly the Internet can jackhammer a joke into Earth’s molten core, in this case, tampons and maxi pads. For $499, there’s not much on hand here that I haven’t been able to accomplish with my netbook and an iPhone, both of which I’ve owned just shy of a year. I’m not interested in burning more cash on a device that doesn’t fulfill a need for me right now. I’m sure I’ll be hypnotized by the iPad’s dazzle when I confront one (or one of my media peers breaks one out at E3 to liveblog a press conference), but gadgets aren’t something that I adopt at launch. The iPad will not be breaking that trend.
If Apple’s planning something really impressive with this device, I guess I’ll see it next year when the second generation shows up. For now, I’ll continue with business as usual.
Patrick Klepek, News Editor
Apple was supposed to convince me why I need another device to complement my iPhone and Mac Book Pro. That hasn't happened. The iPad remains a curiosity whose personal relevance is maintained by the impressive price point of $499. Anything above $499 would have required some truly revolutionary features, which the iPad doesn't currently possess. But given the amount of time I spent sitting on front of my TV with a far-too-hot Mac Book Pro sitting on my lap for hours on end, there's plenty of ways the iPad could convince me that Apple’s on to something. There's also the distinct possibility the iPad is aimed at someone who is not me, a hardcore tech enthusiast.
Apple bragged the iPhone has trained millions on how to use the iPad. If the iPhone has revolutionized the mobile world, Apple seems ready to take on the wider world of computing, too. Traditional computers aren't going anywhere, but the rise of the netbook seems to have triggered Apple's response mechanism. iPad is their response. In a few months, we'll find out if people think it was the right one. If I've learned one thing, though: never doubt Apple.
Andrew Pfister, Sr. Games Editor
The temptation to pick one up on launch day is still there, but it’s not nearly as compelling as I was expecting, so I guess I’m sticking to my “2nd/4th/6th” iteration cycle for Apple products. For travel purposes, I’m excited about full-screen video, larger maps, iBooks, flexible data plans, and cataloging photographs and personal journal stuff. For work, I’d like to carry around a semi-lightweight conduit to my calendars, notes, e-mail, and G4tv.com – but the lack of multi-tasking puts a damper on that aspect.
For games, I’m interested in what developers can do with the bigger canvas (what the pad itself should have been named, in my opinion), especially in regards to local multiplayer – every time I visit family back in Wisconsin, my little niece and nephew are fascinated by my iPhone games, and it would be neat to play games with them. I’m also excited by the idea of digital magazines and newspapers attempting resurgence. But the missing multi-tasking, the missing camera, the missing GPS, and the knowledge that the second iteration is going to be a significant improvement means that I’m going to wait and see.
Stephen Johnson, A Brand New Man
The iPad is the tech device I have been waiting for. As a long-time fan all things geeky and technologically awesome, I’ve purchased many cutting-edge gadgets in my time. All of them seemed to have the potential to make my life a lot easier; to allow effortless connection to my other devices, and to fill the terrible, yawning emptiness that grows within me.
Sadly, the old-fashioned, outdated devices of the past have all fallen short. After a day or two of self-conscious satisfaction, I begin to see my new cell phone or MP3 player as a cold piece of glass or plastic that offers neither solace not love. “Where have I gone wrong?” I think to myself, “CNet gave my Sony Ericsson Aino 8.5 out of 10 stars, but still no human alive cares whether I live or die." Before long, the Unspeakable Darkness returns, having grown even larger as my hope is destroyed again.
Not this time, though! The iPad is going to work for me; I can feel it.