Bad news: Fanboy blogger sadly underwhelmed by shiny new object

If you can spare five minutes, watch the promo video at Apple’s website or the shorter clip from today’s presentation embedded below. If not, WaPo has a bullet-point list of new features that’ll take you 10 seconds to scan. The name of the game is video: They’ve made it 4G for rapid downloading by those who use their iPads on the go (which I do not) and they’ve added a super mega ultra high resolution display that beats the pants off of even an HDTV. Which is nice, except that on my list of things I wish were different about the iPad, the screen is at the very bottom. It’s always been sufficiently crisp for my needs, and really, who needs high-high-high-high rez on a screen that’s 10″ wide? Another 500 bucks down the chute so that I can watch 80s sitcom detritus on Netflix with crystal clarity instead of very high clarity? You can separate the fanboys from the fanmen by watching to see who shells out for this.


I e-mailed HA’s resident tech Jedi, Mark Jaquith, to get his take. In the interest of equal time:

Don’t discount the display upgrade. The previous screen was
rather low resolution. Text didn’t look so great on it. The new one
should look amazing. This is probably something that should be seen in
person, since they also said saturation and color gamut was improved.

For people who use it on the go, 4G LTE could be a big selling point.
I have a pretty decent 25mbps fiber connection at home. I’ve seen 4G
LTE go past 60mbps in the wild. Things like streaming HD video when
not on Wi-Fi are going to be enabled by this technology…

Buy: people without an iPad, people who play lots of graphics-intensive games.

Don’t buy: people with an iPad 2 who don’t play a lot of games.

Consider: people with a first generation iPad.

I’m on the fence. I have a first generation iPad. But I don’t use it
for anything really intensive. Just news consumption, mostly.

Yeah, that’s my predicament too. All I really use it for at this point is Twitter, Flipboard, and news apps various and sundry. What I really want to be able to do is use it for light work — inputting Headlines and such — but it’s not even suitable for that task. I’ve written about that before; year after year, they keep neglecting the software and upgrading the hardware even though the latter is likely already equal to most users’ needs. Further to that point, read Doree Shafrir on why she and her friends are still holding out on the iPad. When you’ve already got an iPhone, a Kindle, and a laptop, what’s the point? You can’t work comfortably on the thing, so it’s not a true laptop replacement, and you can consume all other media on the other two devices. But then, maybe this goes to show how smart Apple was to focus on video in today’s new release. That’s one thing the new souped-up iPad can indisputably do better than those other three. If you’re going to be a niche gizmo, might as well play to your strengths.


Oh, and in case you (like me) were hoping for Siri voice recognition controls in the new Apple TV: Nope. It now supports 1080p but that’s the only upgrade. Pretty lame — or is it?

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