Chic Tech: Apple’s iPad

Happy dude with iPadApple’s latest product has finally been released after over a year of speculation and rumor, and months of anticipation and media attention. On the very first day the iPad was available, Apple claims to have sold 300,000 units. Facebook, Twitter, and pretty much every news source were lit up with stories about Apple’s new device, and just about everyone was wondering how this new gadget works.

Elegantly, as it turns out.

No stranger to great design, Apple has created another beautiful device with the iPad. It is thin and minimalist; it has a sleek aluminum back, and a glossy screen with a black bezel on the front. It only has three buttons: The home button at the bottom of the screen, the sleep button on the top edge, and a volume up/down button. There is also a switch that will lock the screen orientation in place.

Upon first turning it on, it is immediately apparent how to use it. Videos have already shown up on YouTube (see below) of cats and dogs touching the screen and interacting with the device. For a human, it makes even more sense. Tap an icon to launch an “app”, press the home button to quit the app. Swiping your finger across the screen is the most common way to navigate your way around the device. If you’ve already used an iPhone or other touchscreen mobile device, the iPad will feel completely natural and intuitive. To those who haven’t, the device will make complete sense within 20 seconds.

So, what can you do with it? If you already have a laptop or netbook, the advantages of the iPad don’t seem immediately apparent. The beauty of the iPad is in the apps. Sure, computers already have thousands of applications and programs available to them, and there is an equally vast selection of web apps available to everyone on the web, but the iPad makes many of these applications completely portable.

Laptops and netbooks can travel anywhere, but they can’t necessarily be used everywhere. The iPad can. To use a netbook or laptop, you need to set the computer down on a surface to be able to type or use the trackpad. The iPad doesn’t require this. If I need to do any sort of task while I am standing up, or on the move, the iPad is my buddy.

In addition, there are so many tasks that are currently reliant on computers, yet don’t really need much computing power or sophisticated input to be accomplished. The iPad is perfect for these tasks. Imagine doctors being able to access your medical file, or warehouse workers doing an inventory, or even scientists out in the field collecting data. The uses for the iPad will continue to expand as developers write more software for it.

Of course, there are so many other things that it can do right now: Manage your contacts, browse the web, play movies and music, plus act as a digital reader. Right now, publications are hard at work porting their content to the iPad. Before we know it, we may be reading all of our books, newspapers, and magazines on devices like the iPad.

Tablet computers are still very much in their infancy, but I think in a few years, your average person will no longer consider owning a computer. Everyone will be carrying a tablet, because they do so much of what a computer can, yet are cheaper and easier to use. Once again, Apple leads the way in practical and useful computer technology.

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.