Once you’ve read this please also read the followup article here.
I came up with this list while answering the question, “What makes an iPad better than a netbook?” at a forum I frequent:
1. Hardware quality – Apple builds quality hardware, both in looks and feel. Most of the netbooks are cheap and flimsy feeling.
2. Functionality without hassle – No worries about managing anti-virus and all of the headaches of a full computer.
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. No waiting for booting
4. Excellent battery life – Apple says it 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 touch interface. To me interacting with the iPad 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 .99, some more (the more expensive apps usually offer a trial version). Apps are where iPad will excel. No doubt there will be some great killer apps coming too. Right now the Netflix App is being universally praised.
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/itouch the perfect platform for a casual gamer like me. The games 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. iPad should be similar. There some pretty robust games out there that the sluggish netbooks would find difficult to run.
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 / iTouch – “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.”
Agree? Disagree? Hit me in the Comments.