Is the iPad a Disappointment?

Is the iPad a Disappointment?

When the iPad rolled out in early 2010, the consensus was that the device was a huge disappointment. Jokes about the device being nothing more than a “big iPhone” notwithstanding, users of the first-gen iPad had plenty to complain about: the screen size was a let-down, with as much as 20% of the surface of the device made up of bezel. iPhone apps displayed poorly (usually a tiny screen with a lot of black space around the edges) and those apps that were “translated” for the iPad were simply doubled in pixel size, making text-based apps practically unreadable.

Now that the iPad 2 is set to pop up at your local coffeeshops and college dorms, has the iPad really been as big a disappointment as it first seemed? Unfortunately for Apple, I have to say yes.

No MultitaskingIs the iPad a Disappointment?

We were led to believe that the iPad was more than just a really big iPhone–that it would replace our netbooks altogether. Unfortunately, you can’t multitask. No listening to Pandora while you play Angry Birds. No reading a scathing Pitchfork review of your favorite indie band’s new record while you look up your ex-girlfriend’s new apartment on Maps. No multitasking at all.

Keyboard Woes

When Apple chose to use the same old touchscreen keyboard, they really let us geeky Apple fanboys down. The darn thing is just too big to “thumb-type” on. We all expected something revolutionary, a new style of keyboard or input method, but instead we found ourselves standing in line at Best Buy an hour after we got our iPads picking up keyboard docks. Lame.

HDMI? What’s HDMI?

Apple has sorta fixed this problem, but it still stands that when the iPad first appeared, it had no HDMI-out capability. It seemed like Apple was trying to force us all to buy AppleTV rather than use our fancy new iPad to play those beautiful HD videos we just got from The Pirate Bay downloaded legally.

No Flash

Not allowing Flash on your devices in this day and age is just ridiculous. I understand that Steve Jobs has some kind of weird beef against Flash, but we’re living in 2011, not 2111. Flash is still a big part of the Internet experience, and if you’re going to try to invent something to take the place of my beloved Netbook, it darn well better be Flash-capable.

The list could go on and on–and while some of these issues can be fixed or improved with after-market add-ons, hacks, and user generated repairs, I want my expensive Apple technology to arrive at my home ready to go. Call me old-fashioned, call me a Luddite, call me whatever you want–the fact remains, when I buy a netbook and get it going for the first time, I don’t have to tweak it to get it to do what I want.

There have apparently been some improvements to the iPad 2. My first iPad experience was such a disappointment, I”m not sure I’ll be standing in line, eager to buy another overly-bezelled, over-hyped paperweight.