Highlighted are fifteen reasons why the iPad may just be a better choice over a netbook:
1. Hardware quality – Apple builds quality hardware, both in looks and feel. A lot of the netbooks are cheap and flimsy.
2. Functionality without hassle – No worries about managing anti-virus and all of the headaches of a Windows-based operating system.
3. It’s always ready to go – Leave it on, let it sleep. Touch the button to wake from sleep and you’re using it right away. No waiting for the device to boot up every time.
4. Excellent battery life – Apple says the iPad’s battery will last 10 hours on a charge. Some reviews, with heavy testing, have shown it to last even longer. “The iPad lasted 11 hours and 28 minutes, about 15% more than Apple claimed. I was able to watch four feature-length movies, four TV episodes and a video of a 90-minute corporate presentation, before the battery died midway through an episode of “The Closer.” – Walt Mossberg.
5. User experience – No more mouse. iPad uses full multitouch interface. To me using the iPad interface feels like the future.
“The iPad user experience is instantly compelling and elegant. It’s not every computer and every function. It’s a computer that’s designed for speed, mobility, and tactile interaction (emphasis mine) above all other considerations.” – Andy Ihnatko.
6. E-Reader – With iBooks or Amazon Kindle software it’s an e-reader with the form factor of a book. “But it’s just such a bloody good book reader that some folks will never wander far from its eBook functions. And why not? From one perspective, it’s hands-down the best book reader you can buy.” – Andy Ihnatko.
7. Comics – “Reading digital comics on most devices is a pain: the screens are too small, or you’re confined to the landscape orientation, which forces you to scroll to see entire pages or zoom in to read text. The iPad, quite simply, was built for this. The colors are bright and beautiful, the text is perfectly legible, and being able to change the orientation of the screen on the fly allows you to adapt your reading to however the artists decided to lay out the panels.” – Ben Kuchera Ars Technica review.
8. Excellent Screen – Photos and movies look fantastic. It has excellent viewing angles too. Most netbooks I’ve seen have crappy screens. “You can lay the iPad flat on a table while you eat or drink and it looks just fine at a decidedly skewed angle — far more so than with the iPhone. This IPS stuff is the real deal; here’s to hoping for an IPS display in this year’s new iPhones.” – John Gruber.
9. Lots of applications (apps) at affordable prices – iPad is really about the apps with over 180,000 available apps — that’s a lot of software. Some are free, most $0.99, some more (the more expensive apps usually offer a trial version). Apps are without a doubt where iPad will excel. Soon enough, there will be some great killer apps coming, too. Right now, the Netflix App is being universally praised for more than obvious reasons.
10. Speed – iPad is very fast. Even some dissenting reviews commented on the impressive speed. “The performance is stunning. Unlike even the iPhone 3GS, the iPad never seems to be anything but snappy. Apps open crisply. Animations never slow the presentation.” – Paul Thurrott.
11. Gaming – There are some great games. I’m not a heavy gamer but have found the iPhone/iPod Touch the perfect platform for a casual gamer like myself. Many of the games available are cheap, if not free. If I get bored with a certain game, I don’t feel bad for not revisiting or quitting it because it didn’t spend $30+ for it. The idea of gaming on the iPad is similar.
12. Photo Frame – Put it on a stand and use the built-in photo display feature to run as a digital photo frame when it’s not in use.
13. Portability – The “slate” style form factor gives you options and positions that are difficult with a traditional “clam shell” style laptop. Ever tried to use a laptop standing up or lying down? It’s also a nice size to easily carry around in a bag.
14. It’s not just a bigger iPhone / iPod Touch – “The iPad isn’t a big iPod Touch—an iPod Touch is a miniature iPad that restricts the full multitouch experience in exchange for offering greater portability. With the iPad, in contrast, you get multitouch the way it was meant to be done.” – Jacqui Cheng Ars Technica review.
15. The Indescribable – Perhaps Stephen Fry has said it best:
“I had been prepared for a smooth feel, for a bright screen and the “immersive” experience everyone had promised. I was not prepared, though, for how instant the relationship I formed with the device would be. I left Cupertino without an iPad, but I have since gotten my own, and it goes with me everywhere.”
“…for me, my iPad is like a gun lobbyist’s rifle: the only way you will take it from me is to prise it from my cold, dead hands. One melancholy thought occurs as my fingers glide and flow over the surface of this astonishing object: Douglas Adams is not alive to see the closest thing to his Hitchhiker’s Guide that humankind has yet devised.”