The iPad, as it sits, is a pretty impressive device. It’s very powerful and, as we know, there’s an app for virtually everything. Some school districts are looking and experimenting with the product with success. (Although nobody ever does a pilot and reports that it was a bad idea…)
After all, it’s an internet device, runs applications, serves as a book reader, creates movies, authors music, can word process, generate spreadsheets, create presentations, … It really is a solid educational tool.
There are still some things that stand in the way of a wider adoption to replace notebook computers as the device of choice.
- the lack of a traditional keyboard;
- a method of licensing applications in bulk (at least here in Canada);
- durability – the costs to repair glass from a drop is pretty high (may you never have to realize this);
- an easy solution to synchronization and charging.
Kudos go to those who are experimenting and having success with it. There are many who are finding the iPod Touch a more affordable solution. The challenge here though, is that while the iPad might be considered a notebook replacement for many things, the iPod Touch can’t. The pricing itself for the iPad hasn’t shown any sign of dropping into a comfort zone for bulk purchases.
So, it was with real interest that I read this from the rumour mill. Many people are salivating at the prospects of an iPad 3 announcement. I like the concept from the article about a packaged keyboard. I know that I certainly use my Bluetooth keyboard to turn my machine into a truly portable device with awesome battery life and it works so nicely.
Ah, but the idea of a 7 inch iPad Mini sounds so educationally sweet. I’ve had many a trip to Best Buy to fondle the competitors’ equipment. The 7 inch screen is a nice size indeed. It doesn’t take a back seat to the readability of the current iPad at all. The applications and displays on these machines are very nice as well. The most appealing aspect though is the price. If only takes once to repair a broken iPad screen to realize the high cost for maintenance. A smaller starting point and potentially smaller maintenance cost would have to ensue. I can think of nothing that would speed up the adoption of this form of technology than to address the list above, starting with ways to reduce the cost.
We’ve all heard that the 7 inch screen was never an option for Jobs when he was steering the Apple ship. But, time marches on and perhaps the current leadership is listening and considering alternatives. In a world of BYOD, it would also ease the financial pain of families who want to head in that area.
Or, maybe it’s just another juicy rumour.