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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad - I am torn - too big for mobile casual usage.

Now it is out. We have been waiting and we have seen the keynote, read the specs, watched the videos and seen the tweets.

I am a torn about it. I think it is too big to fit nicely into the middle between a computer and phone. At that size it is too much computer and too little pad. A pad for me is a casual computer for short usage, lean back, reading in short relaxing.

The computer, a Macbook Air, for me is a doing device, lots of work, but also some casual surfing and communicate. The iphone and my iPhone Touch (Spare memory and battery for the iPhone) is for me, my communication device and my entertainment device.

So where does the iPad fit in. It would be my casual computer, but now most of my thoughts right now are around how it would fit into work. Could I replace my Macbook Air and just use the iPad. I guess I could, will I? Probably not. I do have to write a fair amount. Well I could bring along the keyboard for that. Nix, too geeky. The reason is I struggle with iPad is that I struggle to separate work and life. Intertwined e-mails, intertwined Facebook, Intertwined blog, Intertwined phonebook, Intertwined Calendar. I do not think I am the only one. Increasingly we will struggle to separate work and life.

I am worried about its large size, it weighs more than twice the Kindle2 and that might be too much for comfortable one-hand reading. It is also significantly larger. I totally get why it is larger,  it would not be a good browsing experience otherwise. The Web requires about 10" screen.

My biggest issue with the iPad is lack of camera on the front. This is fundamental for my casual comms experience. I use Skype video everyday. I am also worried about lack of multi-tasking.

So do I think this device will shape my usage, yes it will. It will be the leisure device. It is the device I take out when I am not using the web for work, or going to work on e-mails. It is the device that goes into bed with me.

This will be a msssive hit with young people, who are at universities and schools. For them it is the new computer. Once hooked on this paradigm they will look at us the 'lappies' (=laptop user) and think luddite, who needs a keyboard. The only problem, - it is not a computer, as it is a pad to a computer, so you need a computer to run it properly.

So next we wait to the Pads and the Pods liberated from the 32-pin wire and connected to the cloud.

Time for bed...but I wanted to jot down first impressions.

11:29 PM | Permalink


Thanks Christian for great comment once again -- it's always insightful to read these!

Although I agree with most of what you say -- I perceived the device a bit disappointing etc. --, I think that iPad fits very nicely into the cloud computing paradigm. iPad may be 1-3 years too early and the demand for this type of device may be mostly latent at this stage, but I see that these type of 'semi-computers' could replace the current home computers as the client-side terminals if the cloud computing model takes off.

For instance in my own case, had iPad been available one year age, I would have bought an iPad instead of a MacBook Pro for a home computer. All the local applications are already substituted with cloud services (for instance, Google Spreads is the current Excel, Gmail over 'Outlook' etc.), and the heavy computing is done on an enterprise laptop. There would have been a free slot for iPad between the full-fledged laptop and the iPhone.

Do I see this trend to continue? Yes, sure. If I look at how my younger brother and his friends are using computer, I can notice they don't even use e-mail any more. E-mail and other application are replaced by social networks and other SaaS products. That type of behaviors make the market for iPad.

iPad doesn't fit all home computing needs, but I think that iPad type of products may become the primary computing platform when SaaS software model takes more ground.

Posted by: Heikki H. at Feb 1, 2010 2:37:29 PM

Hi Christian,

A device which fits existing behaviors better than other alternatives is valuable to consumers. One that makes digital content feel more intimate is innovative. The iPad aims to do both for consumers while remaining true to the Apple business strategy (walled content-garden).

Intimate is not something consumers nor product managers can really put their finger-on. Something feels intimate. That’s just the problem. There isn’t a way to quantify intimate. No continuum for degree of intimacy in a digital content experience. Or is there?

I've got my reasons to like the iPad from a purely UX innovation point of view:

Posted by: Jokko Korhonen at Feb 1, 2010 4:49:36 PM

My second impressions of the iPad are even more favorable. I may be stating the obvious but the desire to master the PC is a compelling reason to buy an iPad. It is a compelling reason for Apple to introduce a new device category and set a new baseline for digital experience.

Full post at

Posted by: Jokko Korhonen at Feb 2, 2010 4:57:53 PM

The ipad with its superior touch screen technology may well prove itself to be the preferred device where a camera on the front is not the highest priority. i.e. Doctors needing a large portable screen to view patient charts or in homes to view security cams, set alarms, home climate etc.

Posted by: Free Christian Dating Sites at Sep 21, 2010 11:20:09 PM

Apple is the leading brand in today's market and most of all people like to use its products. A device which fits existing behaviours better than other alternatives is valuable to consumers.I may be stating the obvious but the desire to master the PC is a compelling reason to buy an iPad.

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