Mar 072012
 

The new iPad is very slick and has a lot to recommend itself. But it also has some disappointments and omissions that we could have reasonably expected to see included.

So, the new iPad has now been revealed for all to drool over, but when you strip away the hype, and once you’ve agreed that, yes, the new screen is lovely, what else does it have for us – and, more to the point – what does it not have that we’d hoped for?

The biggest disappointments are :

1.  Size and Weight

The new iPad is very slightly bigger than the previous iPad 2, and is also very slightly heavier.  This is not a good thing – ideally Apple should be slightly trimming the size of the bezel around the screen, and slimming down the thickness of the device, with a corresponding reduction in weight.

Instead an already big and heavy unit becomes even bigger, and even heavier.  Definitely, a disappointment.

2.  Battery Life

‘You can never be too thin or too rich’.  We’ve already discussed the thin parameter, as it relates to tablets, and as for being rich, that clearly refers to how abundant a battery life the device has.

While it is true the iPad has a good battery life already, you can never have too much battery life.  It has up to 10 hours of battery life, but if you’re on a long coast to coast flight, with a bit of downtime in airports too, you can easily use up your battery before you get to a charger.

More battery would be nice.  Instead, the new iPad has about the same as the older ones.  And, same as before, you can’t swap over the battery for a second battery if you do run out of power part way through a day or journey.

3.  No Smaller Screen Option

What is the ideal size and shape for a tablet screen?  Is it a 9.7″ diagonal screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio such as the iPad has?  Or is it a widescreen, perhaps with a 10.1″ diagonal and 5:3 aspect ratio such as the Asus Transformer, Samsung Galaxy and Toshiba Excite have?

Or is it a smaller size screen, such as the Amazon Kindle Fire, with a 7″ diagonal and 5:3 aspect ratio screen?

Maybe the idea size is even bigger, or smaller, or somewhere inbetween.  And maybe also, like so many other things in life, the perfect size varies from one person and use to another.  Perhaps there is no such thing as a perfect size, and perhaps there are valid arguments for multiple different sizes, for multiple different purposes.

But Apple continues to offer us only one size screen.  Surely it is about time for them to come up with other screen size options, too?

4.  SD Card Capability

Come on, Apple.  Play fair.  You’ve restricted the amount of onboard storage on an iPad to a maximum of 64GB; which is probably only enough storage to hold 12 movies, and possibly less, particularly if we want to also have some music, some photos, some apps and some games all on the iPad too.

Why not let us plug in and swap over external memory cards as well, allowing us to have all the extra external memory we want, to have as many movies to choose from as we wish?  It isn’t like this would cost Apple anything appreciable, or cause any problems, and it truly would make their device much more open ended for us as its users.

5.  Near Field Communications

One of the big new things is Near Field Communications – NFC – the new name for the technology previously known as RFID, and renamed so as to sound less threatening and ‘big brotherish’.

NFC would enable the iPad to be used both as a device to make payments with, and also as a device to receive payments from, and would definitely position the iPad as a device built to bring the future closer to us.  NFC capabilities would add almost no measurable extra size, weight or even cost to the device, while affirming Apple’s commitment to being at the front of technology, rather than at the rear.

6.  Multi-user Settings

I have an iPad that I share with my young daughter.  When I use it, I don’t want to have to wade through all her games to get to my apps.  And when she uses it, I don’t want her inadvertently making changes to some of my apps and data, or (as she has done by mistake before) sending unexpected and inexplicable emails to business contacts of mine.

Why not allow for multiple user logons, with each user having their own profile and apps and settings?  Or does Apple see the solution to that as requiring each and every user to buy their own personal iPad?

7.  Flash Support

Yes, I know we said ‘six disappointments’, but neither we nor you really truly expected to see Flash support, did we!  But we can always hope…..

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