Even for the non-technophiles, there's a tremendous amount of value in such a device.
Last year my parents were moving out of their home into a smaller, elderly apartment. They found an old HP iPaq I apparently left behind in a box years ago. They called me asking if it would allow them to browse the web sort of like an iPhone, but from the couch. My response was "sort of, but not really". Their response was quite dejected. They really hoping it would've allowed them to browse on the couch.
We've been down the netbook idea road before, and the laptop road, but the solution ended up being an iMac. My father (in his 60s) has terrible eyesight, so a large display was great. Time Machine was also the "killer app" for them -- they hated making backups before, but my father begrudgingly made some every few months (I used to do it for them during holiday visits).
iPad though? Exactly what they want. Especially my Mom who is a bona-fide technophobe. She's still "afraid" of computers, fearing she'll "mess it up". The iPad is perfect for 95% of what she does. The only thing she still has to use the iMac for is a few games (which could be re-bought for the iPad or her Nintendo DS), and for scanning in the family photo albums. Instant on. On the couch. No keyboard. Nothing to "mess up". Access to all the computer's media (especially if there's AppleTV like streaming from their iTunes library).
As articles have mentioned, this is the perfect computer for the family technophobe. Or for replacing that old laptop you had around that you were considering replacing with a netbook for casual-couch-computing -- so they can futz around on Facebook or do a quick email or look up a quick thing while they watch TV or have a spare moment.
I don't browse the internet from the couch and have no desire to.
Someone should write an iPhone app that does this over Bluetooth.
The idea of typing shell commands on a touchpad makes me cringe...do people really do this?
Yeah. Not for day-to-day work, mind, but if I am on-call say, this is the difference between being able to go out in the evening and just check something quickly if I have to, or restart sommething, or lugging a laptop around and needing to find some space to set it down, connect the 3G dongle, log in, blah blah, all that business takes longer than actually fixing whatever's gone wrong sometimes! I am really looking forward to the iPad, it will be liberating.
> The idea of typing shell commands on a touchpad makes me cringe...do people really do this?
Granted, I think that about netbooks. I used a 10" ThinkPad for two years and the idea of using something smaller just sounds insane to me.
A 'reimagined' shell for the iPhone might work really well. Something similiar to zsh, with lots of prediction.
I really wish they had gone with a transflective screen, like Pixel Qi's..
It's not for me, but I can definitely see the allure for a certain (large) segment of computer users.
Once something like this comes out with a transflective screen, I might pick one up. Typical LED/LCD screens are too difficult to use under bright lights.
A back lit screen might not be great for reading on a sunny day, but for someone like myself, who has had to give up reading actual paper books because I can no longer see them, and is stuck reading only eBooks where I can have a back light and enlarged font, the iPad is exciting. Finally, I'll be able to relax on the couch again and read comfortably, rather than having to sit at my desk.
I do realize I'm in the minority when compared to the overall consumer market, but there are a lot of visually impaired users who would actually benefit from the back light.
Like old good days, with nicer display. :-)