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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

iPad, What is it Good for? Absolutely Nothing! Say it Again

By Sarah Krumholz

Imagine owning a device so incredible that it exceeds your ability to understand how it works, causing it to seem almost magical. Or at least that’s what Apple is saying about the iPad, the latest addition to their slew of revolutionary technologies. Apparently this piece of technology is going to change the way we do the things we do on a daily basis. Okay Apple, please tell me how what is essentially an iPhone blown up 4X its original size is going to change the way I do my daily tasks. Due to its increased size, it will, however, make me unable to stick it in my pocket, discretely check my e-mail, or have it act as my iPod in the gym. The amazing features of this device include web browsing with the convenience of a finger, emails that include photos and PDF’s, landscape typing, and a built in Apple store to purchase music and apps on the spot. Funny, I thought my iPhone could already do all of those things.

You must understand that I would consider myself a decent Apple loyalist; my first computer was a Mac, and they have been ever since. I am also not someone who fears the first generation Apple technologies. Yes, I know, they often are full of kinks and frustrations, but I promise this is not a biased review by a PC lover, who beats on all things Apple. However, the technologies I purchased were revolutionary necessities, not pointless luxuries.

Seriously Apple? After all the hype, all the rumors of a revolutionary piece of technology that would change my life in ways I couldn’t imagine, of a double-sided transparent screen that was touch sensitive so that I could see the imprint of my finger on opposite side-the rumors that said the tablet would act as a pencil and paper, only with an imaginary pencil. Now that would have been something worth buying a first generation of version of.

The, iPad-released last week-questionable in the name itself, is a far cry from the awesome rumored versions, and really is nothing more than an iPhone on steroids. Why would I want something that isn’t great in it’s natural appeal, but instead has to inject itself with bulk to act as a facade to its disappointing infrastructure? Personally, I had enough of that on the Jersey Shore, thank you Mike the Situation.

Okay, maybe I am being a bit harsh. There were a few, and I mean a FEW, positive attributes to the iPad. Yes, the enhanced screen will make web browsing easier, the large display will make movie viewing and TV watching more enjoyable, and yes the sleek design may make traveling a bit more convenient. Yet Apple’s claims that this is a magical, revolutionary device go beyond overstatement. My advice: the iPad is a great idea in theory, a sleek, manipulative, usable mobile device. Right now it is still a concept, still in need of more developing, but with the right tweaking (perhaps with the edition of Microsoft Office, flash capabilities, a USB, and a camera for video messaging and Skyping), and of course a change in name, this device could push away from being just another piece of technology to being a truly revolutionary necessity.

The actual breakdown:
-It measures 7.5 x 9.6 inches and is only half an inch thick.

-It weighs a pound and a half. It has a 9.7-inch multi-touch screen with 1024 x 768 resolution.

-The 25 watt battery is claimed to last ten hours.

-The iPad comes with 16, 32 or 64GB of Flash, and each version is available with or without 3G. Pricing starts at US$499, the most expensive 3G model runs US$829.

-AT&T wireless data deals are available for 14.99/month for 250 MB or 29.99 for unlimited wireless.

-The standard version will be available within the next 60 days and the 3G version within the next 90 days.

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