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Apple Releases iPad Tablet, iPad 2 Begins to Take Shape Immediately

Apple iPad was a very awaited device. Many wanted Apple to release an e-book reader and revolutionize the market of electronic books, some expected the slate to be a huge PDA, but it reality it turned out to be an over-sized smartphone without voice features and many other capabilities that could have been expected both from a smartphone as well as from a personal computer in a slate form-factor. In any case, the iPad is among the breakthroughs of the year 2010.

Apple iPad is based on the company's own A4 system-on-chip with 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processing core, PowerVR SGX 535 (OpenGL 2.0, DirectX 10.1, worse than Intel GMA 500) graphics engine and so on. The iPad is equipped with 9.7” multi-touch IPS LCD screen with 768x1024 resolution; 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of flash storage; USB, Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and 3G (special versions only) connectivity as well as SD card reader. The tablet PC runs iOS with all of its pros and cons and can also run applications developed for iPhone as well as specially designed software.

Even though the iPad is a pretty much feature-rich product, it lacked a number of critical features, which instantly catalyzed rumours about the incoming Apple iPad 2 and inspired widespread criticism for the model that is available.

One of the most important shortcomings of Apple iPad is the absence of Adobe Flash support. Just like on the iPhone, one may still enjoy YouTube videos on the iPad, but it will be impossible to play flash games or navigate on web-sites that use flash in the menus. Considering that even some corporate sites use flash too extensively nowadays, this does seem to be a huge drawback for a device designed for the Internet. We hoped that Adobe and ARM would eventually enable Flash on the ARM processor of the iPad, or Apple will have to somehow implement it on the next-generation iPad. But later on the head of Apple, Steve Jobs, said that there would be no Flash on the iPhone and iPad since Adobe was lazy.

Another crucial disadvantage of the Apple iPad is the lack of web-cams: the device has neither front-facing cam nor back-facing cam. Even the cheapest netbooks are usually equipped with one and the vast majority of modern phones can make video calls. It is rather strange that the device developed for those, who browse the Internet often will not be able to support video conferences of calls. While video calls will  likely be a feature of the iPad, the back-facing camera is in question. Get the Samsung Galaxy Tab, if you want augmented reality and take pictures quickly.

The nonexistence of multi-tasking was a yet another strong disadvantage of the iPad. The issue was partly fixed with a new version of operating system, but the multi-tasking capabilities of the iPad are still far worse in terms of multi-tasking than netbooks.

Apple has been selling high-definition 720p (1280x720, progressive scan) videos for quite a while now. As a result, the absence of high-definition screen (1024x768 resolution supported) and high-definition output (up to 576p resolution supported) on the iPad seems to be odd. It was logical for apple to stick to 4:3 aspect ratio since iPad should act like an electronic book reader too. At present there are probably no reasonably priced small screens that support 1280x960 resolution, but in the future similar displays may emerge and find themselves on the second generation iPad.

A very strange thing about the iPad was the lack of support of GSM voice calls. Of course, Apple needs to sell iPhones, hardly anyone will use a 680 gram device as a mobile phone in general and besides, no notebooks or netbooks with WWAN support allow to make voice calls. Nevertheless, the feature might be appreciated by some users and Apple will enable it for the iPad 2, besides, with a web-cam installed, Apple will likely enable it FaceTime service on the next-gen iPad.

Almost all devices from Apple lack critical features in their first generation. Nonetheless, Apple iPad seems to be another breakthrough of 2010 with over 7.5 million units sold.

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