Today we’re expecting the iPad to be in our labs. I’d be seriously excited about it were it some new technology, but that’s grossly redundant now. I will admit though, the iPad still tickles my technology bone this long after its global launch. After having experienced all that’s already been available here, it still strikes me as a slightly better product than most. That not withstanding, the delay of it’s launch in India and we’ve all heard the explanations why, as ‘economically’ sound as they may be, still annoys the heck out of me.

A lot better than a year ago

Here’s what irks me even more – we’ve read all the stories for the past year talking about what the iPad can and can’t do, which we’ll go through again a little later just to recap, and we’ve seen the various ads that made it out back then talking about how great it was, but how come we’re being offered the device that’s a ‘magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price’? Are you kidding? Was that really necessary, the ‘magical’ part? We’ve been in the tech game a long time now and except for Apple, we’ve got all the latest gadgets and gizmos the world has to offer, even the once elusive iPad (in gray obviously) and the yet to be launched (in India), iPhone 4. It’s not like we’ll be experiencing brand new technology that would simply mystify ‘our simple minds’. That I find a wee bit insulting.

Forget about the Galaxy Tab, the slightly more sophisticated device when compared to the likes of the Olive Pad or the Viewsonic ViewPads 7 or ViewPAd 10, we’ve also had device like the Dell Streak, wherever it fits, make its way here. We’re not without and Apple isn’t the be all and end all of the Tablet community. But that being said, it’s been a long time coming and even though I’m not the ‘better late then never’ type of guy, I’m anxious to see the impact the iPad will make on the Indian community this late in the game.

Sophisticated with tons of apps for all purposes

So just to reiterate and I know you must be well versed with the details by now, here are a some of the Pros and Cons this much awaited device comes loaded with –

The Cons –

The iPad still doesn’t offer tethering for using the device with a mobile handset’s data plan.
In this country we love still love our mobile phone cameras and to quite a few, the absence of one on a mobile device is a deal breaker.
No one wants to spend an additional sum for a third party device. This is where the iPad next generation would be worth waiting for.
Apple’s native browser still doesn’t support Adobe Flash which means as rich as the web will look on this device, its still lacks a little something.
No standard USB support which means you’re not going to be able to connect an external device directly to the iPad or use standard cables to hook it up to your PC.
iTunes is still the primary liaison between your media, files and apps when it comes to PC interfacing. While some swear by it, others still have issues.
No native Bluetooth File transfer functionality but there are apps that will fix this.

No camera is a real bummer

The Pros –

We’re almost into the 3G revolution but not fully there just yet. But I have to agree with Apple though, the timing is perfect. Wi-Fi hot-spots are still a little hard to come by but we’re a lot better equipped now than we were a year ago. Even microSIMs are easily available with most providers.
While the lack of tethering might be an issue for some, one can consider Android and other smartphones running Froyo or other OS’ that offer Wi-Fi Hot Spot functionality. This means you can still use the device on the go and save some money by going in for the Wi-Fi only model.
The design is by far as sleek as one has come to expect from Apple devices. Its Wi-Fi/3G model weighs in at 0.73Kg and is just 13.4mm thick making it both light weight so portability will never be an issue.
The 9.7-inch multi-touch enabled touchscreen display is clear and vibrant enough for very comfortable viewing, menu navigation, reading Ebooks, Emagazines et al and of course web browsing even in its slightly limited condition.
iOS 4 has definitely brought so much more to the table than a year ago including folder management and a fair bit of multitasking, among other features.
One of the biggest selling points of the iPad is that all your iPhone applications can easily be ported to it. With the device's ability to ‘pixel-double’, the apps can be run on the device’s larger display; of course it will look a bit pixelated but not enough to complain too much about.
Gaming can be a little tricky at first but the HD versions of games look and feel just as great as they do on the iPhone.
The Ebook reader has taken it’s time getting to India but it’s here now and it seems like the technology is catching on quick. In this case, the iPad with its luxuriously large display and the fact that Apple has launched an Ebook Store will help the device fit right in.
With Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR on board the iPad can be used via A2DP so no need for a short-wired headset, go wireless.
The battery life is just brilliant clocking in at almost 9 hours plus of non stop usage (tested). This time around you’ll get an official bill and warranty for the device that can be bought legitimately from your local Apple i.e. Imagine store.
Speaking of buying, the iPad is considerably better priced than we initially estimated as well – So if you were considering an iPad the Pros far outweigh the Cons this time around which is probably what has old Steve Jobs smiling incessantly right about now. When you think about it, and I hate admitting this, a late launch like this might actually be a good thing. What we’re getting here is completed product now with no more than the usual Apple kinks one expects to find in their devices.

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