Not only is your definition of a computer narrow, it's not even accurate with regards to the iPad.
If it is left up to the user to not permit those things to beckon, well, gosh, I can do that right now on any machine I choose, there's nothing special about the iPad.
There is no such thing as "work machine" or "personal machine". There are only computers. Turing machines. A computer is what you make of it. In fact I'd fight anyone who tries to hide this fundamental mathematical truth, because they're probably trying to lock me in a trunk. Which in fact Apple is. (The metric works!)
On both a PC or an iPad, you can (for free or for pay) download lots of other peoples' content. And on both there are lots of opportunities for creating your own content. They don't completely overlap (each will be better for different scenarios) and that's exactly why both types of device should continue to exist.
To conflate the inability for one to compile one's own kernel with being unable to be creative on the device is silly.
The point is that there is a fundemental difference.
The first home computers let you create your own books/fanzines, then they let you make your own websites, then make your own albums and videos.
This is going back to the 50s, you buy the hardware and pay to watch content made by large studios.
Mobile devices like iPads contribute heavily to websites by uploading text/photo content. Are they the best way to start from a blank new .html file and build your whole website by hand? No, but why do they need to be? We've got computers for that.
There will be a ton of content created on iPads. I don't know why the fact that one of their main usages is likely to be for content consumption (seems like there's a hell of a lot of that going on on "computers", too) makes you think that's all they can do.
There is nothing software-intensive about creating a book. The hard part is typing it in. (If you don't have a keyboard, that is.)
So I can use it the vast majority of the time without having a keyboard attached. And I can make edits or small additions to my novel from anywhere in addition to all the other things that I do, the vast majority of which aren't typing-heavy. Then when I want to sit down and focus on writing for a long time, I put it in the keyboard dock or use a wireless keyboard.
If all you ever want to do with the device is to type your novel, yeah, just get a notebook instead, it'll be better for you. Which is fine: they still exist and nobody that's buying an iPad is buying it only to type their novel on the thing.
What about dictation?
"Even novelists, working in a form so very written, have needed to write by voice. Stendhal dictated “The Charterhouse of Parma” in seven weeks. An impoverished Dostoyevsky had just six weeks to deliver the manuscript of “The Gambler” or face complete ruin. He hired a stenographer, knocked the book out in four weeks, then married the girl."
From "How to Speak a Book",
(I'm amazed by the accuracy of Dragon Dictation on the iPhone.)
I can picture this thing being passed casually around the living room so that family members or friends can look at photos or check out something on a webpage ('look at this!'). You can't really do that with a laptop, and it's not very appealing with a smartphone. I can imagine it becoming a staple of the lounge just like TV&remote or newspaper.
Also I can see many workplaces adopting it to kit out their practices/garages/surgeries/kitchens like Star Trek... iPads bolted to the walls or mounted on stands etc.
iPad with a keyboard and maybe bigger screen will be the netPC et al, done right.
A wonderfully concise way of putting the key difference.
It’s the first Personal Computer- good for hanging out in the living room, terrible for ‘real’ work. That’s why it’s fantastic!
However, this misses the mark. It's only a matter of time before we iron out the kinks and such interfaces are used for work.
Does most people's version of "work" consist of setting something down on a table, and then never breathing on it?
This idea of a tablet as a work device has been solved many many many times already and is already extremely successful; it's called a toughbook and it is a wonderful machine. I have guys drop their toughbooks, use them in the rain, use them when their fingers are covered in grease, I've had toughbook get run over, and left in hot cars for a day. There is absolutely no possible way that the iPad could survive in these conditions.
Howabout doctors? Lots of people are claiming that doctors are going to be all over this...why? How is this different then the myriad of tablets that are already available? I've heard people praise the iPhone's interface as some marvel of modern design, but really? I've had mine for about a week and a half now and I cannot TELL you how much I miss buttons that do things. The phone's interface feels like there was a lot of shoehorning to get it to work with only a few buttons. I really miss my blackberry.
My iPhone is great for updating my twitter status and making people laugh by having them sing into the "I am T-Pain" app, but it is absolutely not in any way something that is designed for work.
We'll see, but I think that the iPad is just going to be an iPhone SUPER, and I think that we've already seen why the iPhone doesn't work as a business tool (at least not for the people I've met). I replaced a few people at work's blackberries with iPhones because they begged and begged for them [I talked to their boss and had them set up the iPhone as a sales incentive for them, it worked really well, actually :)] and after about a week they started crying for the return of their blackberry.
My opinion is that the iPad will be the same story.
Oh, come on! That's the current capability. If you can't see potential capabilities which can be introduced in software, especially if you saw the Brushes part of the keynote, then you lose designer acumen points right there!
The iPad is just about as useful to me after just one hour or so of App Store downloading. It's a bit faster to write posts with, even typing one handed. I haven't been able to sync the Bluetooth with my Plantronics 510 headset, though.
That doesn't mean either of our use cases are optimal.
Sidenote: Anyone order 2 and are willing to let the other go? Or are going to pick up in store and could grab another? I'd really like to get it 3 weeks before the international launch :P
My friend tried to order 6 and Apple canceled all 3 of his orders :( If anyone can help me out @yurechko on twitter or mmikeyurcom
I said she should just get an Ipad and showed her the video on Apple's site.
She went bonkers for it.
Absolutely loved it.. started saying "I want a MomPad!!" along with lots of "ooohs" and "ahhhs" and a few "oh my gods!"
Arguably iPods are very useless things, too (except for the iPod Touch maybe), yet they sold like hot cakes. Again I suspect it's because of advertising. Marketing is something Apple is REALLY good at.
Also iPods were good for displaying status (maybe the only real use) - the same isn't true for an iPad you keep at home on your couch.
Except maybe for some commuters on the train. But I don't think most buyers were commuters.
You are unlike much of the human race. Music is part of every culture and part of the way your brain works. http://www.amazon.com/This-Your-Brain-Music-Obsession/dp/045...
I listen to a lot of music at home.
As I said, I can understand if somebody has to commute a lot.
But somehow apple turned the ipod into something that wasn't an mp3 player and was an ipod.
And Apple is really good at marketing and also making their products pretty (so that they can be marketed).
Sansa or Creative, for example, don't seem to spend anywhere near the marketing money on their products as apple does, and it seems to show. (iPod is a household name, no one knows what I'm talking about when I talk about my SanDisk).
(I'm sure iTunes had something to do with it too...)
I think that too often we want to attribute the success of a product to rational causes such as technological superiority or 'innovation'...
But really, I think there is a lot more that needs to be said about clever manipulation of your consumer's thoughts/desires.
I also don't get why you are getting downvoted. Disagreement by downvote is not cool. Disagree by disagreeing, downvote when someone is being an idiot.
Just think of how important it really is to be able to set your laptop down in front of you somewhere. Anywhere. What about holding a cup of coffee while browsing? Or writing?
Just because people "want" one doesn't mean they are going to get "used".
A lot will be purchased, sure, a lot of apps will be sold, but will it change personal computing forever? Nope. People will realize the laptop keyboard and form factor is a pretty sweet thing.
Imagine trying to type your comments on HN using that keyboard on the iPad? Hmm.
Apple is lightyears beyond anyone else in virtual keyboards, which will be shown off big time with iPad.
A Swype like feature on the ipad can have great potential.
Is the iPad special?
Heck yes it is. Show me a tablet computer other than the iPad that is as polished, has as much of a vibrant app store and does most of the things you'd expect from a freaking 10 inch small slate, I'll join you side.
Is the iPad revolutionary and magical?
Of course its all a joke -- never heard about marketing before?
""" The iPad isn't a computer. It has a cpu, but so does my toaster, it's a portable cableTV box. The point of a personal computer is that you are in charge, you create content, with an iPad you pay to download and watch other people's content. It's the difference between writing your own blog and reading the national enquirer """
The iPad is a 10 inch slate. Even if it had full blown OSX on it, I doubt it could be used for full blown "content creation." For light editing / writing work, there are apps on the app store to help you do that.
If the iPad were to be a bigger slate, thats something different. But, for a 10 inch tablet..c'mon.
I'm not sure I believe the author's analysis either. But the least we can do is represent it faithfully and not argue to straw men.
That's a ridiculous claim. (Not that the article was of a much higher level of quality.)
It is ironically a good limitation for some situations. But, you can achieve the same thing by just doing one thing at a time. (And I think that's a lot better for a lot of work activities too.)
I sometimes carry my notebook along when traveling. Not so much for just going to work at a cafe, but that might be because there are no really nice cafes around where I live.
But still, good points. I don't know if I'm ready to shell out 500 bucks to chill and read stuff, but I know there are tons of people who will be.
Those of us waiting on Saturday orders are a little jumpy right now.
Still, I want one.
The 20+hours/wk playing games would beg to differ.