iPad: The Computer You’ve been Waiting for

It’s still two months before the iPad shows up in stores. But I’m betting that five years from now, it will be looked upon as one of the most important new tech products in many years. Here’s why:

1) Screen size. The Ipad hits a sweet spot in terms of screen size and resolution that hasn’t been tapped previously. I’ve enjoyed -tremendously – the iPod touch. But the truth of the matter is, there simply isn’t enough screen real estate to make it good for more than limited skimming of articles. even the shortest column requires several taps and scrolls to get to the bottom. The Ipad allows you to read in a much more natural, intuitive manner.

2) Instant on. From the earliest days of the PC we’ve been dealing with the annoyance of a “boot time” that varied from a several seconds to a good few minutes. Why? Bloated operating systems and an array of disparate hardware components. Many of us have resorted to leaving our computers constantly “on” – with the result that their electric power consumption is making a serious (negative) contribution to the carbon footprint.

3) Sometimes (really) less is more. Don’t believe me? Think of how “feature riddled” so many products – and especially tech products – have become. Cellphones come with two or three thick booklets, describing all the different features and functions you can use them for. Address books, alarm clocks, calculators, music players. And yet many people are totally baffled by these features.

4) Silence is Golden. For as long as the personal computer has been with us, we’ve dealt with its constant hums, beeps, and groans.  Steve Jobs (famously) virtually crippled the performance of the original Macintosh by refusing to have a fan in it: precluding such niceties as hard disk drives. (One of the most quirky Mac aftermarket products ever conceived was the “Mac Chimney” – a cardboard tube that allowed excess heat to escape from the top of the machine.) But with the iPad the USER is in total control over the sounds emanating from the machine. There simply is no annoying hum or whir – everything is totally solid state.

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