I might now buy it, but you could give me one and change my mind!

So this is a quick 10-minute sketch that I did while listening to the end of the Apple announcement of the new iPad (are they really serious about that name?!?). I sent it up on twitter as I was feeling puckish, but I wonder if I might have been a bit harsh… I also think I should have gone with “iWanted to Believe”, but you get the idea.

You’ll get real reviews of the thing elsewhere, but let’s just take a quick look at what we got. It’s important to immediately divorce yourself from any sort of wacom/cintiq-equipped, officially-sanctioned Modbook. This is not that beast. It’s not meant to be a niche item for artists on the go, it’s meant to be a general purpose gadget. Fair enough though I’d love to see an official “modbook”.

So what has Apple done? The looked at existing products on the market, asked themselves why those items kinda suck and went to work to produce a device that everyone would actually enjoy using. In that sense, the iPad (really?!?) works. The multi-touch interface has proven itself on the iphone already, the apps store is already loaded and mobile safari is the best mobile browser around. They’ve given us 802.11n and bluetooth as well as the option for 3g at (for the market) quite reasonable prices. These are all good things…

…but I don’t really have any reason to carry the thing around…

While I realize it would risk cutting in to the iPhone market, I expected this thing to have cellular capabilities (with the optional purchase of the iCanal bluetooth ear piece, of course). If I could leave my phone at home, I might have been willing to carry this back and forth to work. Bonus points if I could have swapped the sim between my iPhone and iPad as needed so that I only had one plan to worry about… but that’s neither here nor there as there is no cellular capabilities.

On the plus side, for those that don’t want 3g, they’ve made it an optional purchase. You don’t have to buy the 3g-equipped iPad if you don’t plan on using it. The iPhone, however, has shown me that 3g-ability is a beautiful thing. One question I do have is whether those who rely on a full laptop and have a 3g modem will be able to drop the modem in an iPad (via a dock cable or usb slot if there is one) and use that. I certainly would never want to pay for *two* 3g plans. Will I be able to tether the iPad to my iPhone if I don’t want the 3g model? I mean really, AT&T, how much blood are you trying squeeze from us poor turnips?

Why is there now camera? More specifically, why is there no front-facing camera? This would seem a natural fit for Skype or Google chat or I don’t know… iChat! Maybe it’s just because I have a daughter about to head up to the Great White North, but I’d love a cheap portable video communication device with a big screen. Seems pretty frickin’ obvious… but maybe the hardware is not up to snuff or maybe it’s being held back for iPad 2.0. Seems a big mistake to me though.

As per the ebook capabilities… I’m not convinced. The nice thing about ereaders is the passive e-ink display. They’re very easy on the eyes, and you can read them for HOURS. LCDs, however, are a little more irritating… At least they use the well-documented ePub format, and the iBook interface is fairly sweet. I’m told they are working very hard to get these into the school systems to replace text books as we know them which is also a good thing. Of course, it’s tied to another Apple store…

…which brings us to the fact that this is yet another closed Apple experience. I must admit that I was hoping for an OS X device that I could install things on from… whoever. Instead we’re forced to work through the App Store, iTunes store and the iBook store. I’m really starting to miss that computer experience where I can load whatever I want from whomever I want…

…of course, I’ve never gotten a virus on my iPhone, so there is some benefit…

In any case, it looks like a nice enough device, but I don’t know that I’d have any real reason to buy one. Then again, it ships in March which happens to coincide with my birthday… If you want to send me one as a birthday gift, Mr. Jobs, I’m open to it! 😉