Steve Jobs has long been one of the most creative minds in technology. Like most fans, I was thrilled that he was able to take the stage and make yesterday’s big announcement of the iPad 2. He really hit the nail on the head at the end of yesterday’s talk (as reported by Engadget). His gift is to go beyond technical specifications and meld science and technology with the liberal arts and humanities.
I had pretty well ruled out an iPad as my next tablet. In my continuously generated tablet specification comparo spreadsheet, the iPad 2 appears to win in only one category. At 0.34 inches thin it blows away all of the 0.5″ wannabes and embarrasses the Galaxy Tab at 0.47″. The resolution of the display lags behind. The resolution of the finally added cameras is embarrassingly bad, VGA front and an unspecified (usually a bad sign) rear camera. I had hoped that when they updated the iSight webcam on the MacBook Pro it was presaging a similar camera for the iPad 2. Disappointment. My phone shoots 720p. And Facetime videochat is still limited to other folks on Apple products.
A couple of random points. The screen resolution didn’t change leaving the pixel density at a far worse level than competitors. I care about that, but frankly when watching TV or movies on the iPad I’ve always been impressed by the picture quality. Never once have I been disappointed. The internet is awash with criticism of the Xoom pricing. But keep in mind that by the time you equip your iPad with 3G, a USB/SD card and HDMI connector, they are exactly the same price.
So why am I still considering the iPad 2 instead of the Xoom, G-Slate, or Galaxy Tab 8.9? Rationally, I could agree with Gina Trapani that is because it is a second generation proven platform. But the truth is that I am mesmerized by the apps. Android has some great apps, but I want iMovie, Garage Band, Netflix, and Hulu Plus. The BBC iPlayer is expected to come to the iPad by the end of summer holding the promise of watching the upcoming Doc Martin season as it happens (legally) on my tablet. See, what Jobs was talking about? Tech + Arts = Happy Customer.
Like you, I have many sides. Which side will choose my next tablet? Will the engineer pick the best specs and trust that the apps will follow (LG G-Slate)? Will the musician-videographer pick the apps and accept lower specs as the necessary price (iPad 2)? Even I don’t know the answer to that question.