Apple iPad is many things to many people. It is a consolidated device that can be anything – from a gaming console to an alternative to a 'real' computer and a replacement for popular e-reading devices. It is also a media player, a web browser, an e-mailing device…to highlight a few things it can do. The fact that it does so many things while offering a better experience than the original devices built for iPads' specific applications is enough to confuse people what role iPad really fits in their lives. We'll try to break the device down a bit for you.
It is a superb media player. – Playing video is, perhaps, the forte of iPad, but Apple doesn’t really claim that so it can't be confirmed. Nevertheless, like its older distant cousins – laptops, DVD players and even plasma TVs – it can display videos very well. With its crisp, glossy screen, you can expect high from this device and you won't be disappointed. Maybe you'll find the fingerprints on the screen gross when you turn of the device, but that's an entirely different issue.
You can watch live stream TV on iPad, and even watch YouTube and other video sites without a glitch, given of course that you have the right application to 'convert' Flash to iPad-hosted file. If you are looking for a device that can help you catch your favorite video online, you can watch nearly whatever you want with iPad without a hiccup.
It's a major gaming platform, almost. – Everyone thought that gaming apps are just value-added features that can enhance the use of iPad. Well, everyone was wrong, dead wrong. iPad may not be built as a dedicated game console, but definitely has the qualities of a great gaming console. In some respects, it even beats existing gaming consoles with its features and capacity to enhance gaming experience. Gaming console developers could be cursing that extra horsepower and that extra huge multitouch screen that Apple threw into their tablet PC.
It could be a computer replacement. – In the future, we could see iPad-like devices replacing real computers. As 'raw' as iPad is now – raw, meaning having the superb and diverse apps and functions it has now – it already shows great promise for end users. It somewhat gives us a glimpse of personal computers 5, 6 10 years ahead. Maybe even less.
Despite all its glory, iPad is nowhere near to replacing 'real' computers just yet. It can't do as much as laptops and desktops can but it can definitely run as a winner against netbooks and other smaller devices. It can even beat e-reading devices, portable DVD players, and even plasma TV. Knowing Apple, we know that some great things are in store for iPad 2.0.
So what is iPad? Let's just say it's the first device ever to deliver on its promise while taking existing technologies to much greater heights. It may take a while before Apple unveils its predecessors, but
iPad is definitely the future of personal computing.