Analysis: A dozen reasons not to buy an iPad

 

Why you should wait for the next version.

The iPad may be the web's darling and the genesis of a new product category but its shortcomings and some ugly bugs are rearing their heads within days of the product's release.

For all its geek gadget appeal and innovation, a look at the spec sheet and Apple's support forums reveal a less than perfect device.

Here's a dozen reasons to not buy an iPad.

1. No USB

Lacking USB input, the iPad becomes a locked down device where the only peripherals you can use are ones that link through Apple's proprietary dock connector. And in case you didn't pay Apple enough for your iPad, they get a cut of every accessory as that port is licensed.

Without that USB port, you can't easily hookup a keyboard, mouse, digital camera, USB modem or any other useful add-on.

2. No presenter notes

The Mac faithful have been waiting for years for a decent portable presentation solution and they were all betting on the iPad.

Sadly, the iPad has failed to deliver. Keynote for the iPad lacks a bunch of its desktop versions' features including the ability to playback video on slides and some visual effects. And there's no way to display presenter notes on the iPad while it's connected to a projector.

3. Can't connect to wireless projectors

For a device that's being sold on its connectivity credentials, the iPad is unable to connect to the latest projectors in any way other than with Apple's optional cable.

4. Dealing with Office files

At the iPad's initial announcement, Apple made a big deal of the availability of their iWork productivity suite. Now users are fuming that they can't open Microsoft Office files and are finding all sorts of basic features missing.

Users have found that they can't create spreadsheets in Numbers and then export them for sharing with colleagues as Microsoft Excel files. Pages can import and export Word's formats but lacks support for headers and footers, footnotes and other essentials.

Keynote is causing grief with reports of poor font support, broken animations and video playback. Worse still, some edits on the iPad, when synced back to a desktop Mac, result in the loss of critical elements such as speaker's notes.

 5. Flaky WiFi

One of the most active threads on Apple's iPad forums deals with weak WiFi connections with users reporting fluctuating signal strength on their iPad even where their notebooks are reporting full signal strength.

In some cases, connections are getting completely dropped and users need to re-enter WPA credentials to reconnect.

Some users have found that even when they have a reliable connection that performance is poor.

One user posted results from the speedtest.net app both on his iPhone 3GS and the new iPad. The iPad download speed was rated at 1.83 megabits/sec whereas the iPhone 3GS download speed of 14.77 megabits/sec was more than eight times faster.

6. No SD slot

Many people were hoping to use the iPad as a way to backup photos while travelling. For that, they''ll need to stump up for Apple's iPad Camera Connection Kit. The lack of an SD slot means that you need this pair of connectors that convert the dock connector to either an SD slot or USB port. 

7. No camera for video calling/Skype

This is one of the biggies. Why would Apple think that that a mobile computer and communications device wouldn't be used for video calling? Incredibly, images of the iPad's internals reveal that there's a place for a camera on the top edge of the display but Apple deliberately chose to omit it.

All of this makes us think that iPad 2.0 will have a camera, making us a tad cynical about Apple's intention to get early adopters to stump up for a second iPad in the not too distant future.

8. Weighs 2.5x what a Kindle does

If the iPad is all about portability then why does it weigh so much? Amazon's Kindle comes in at 290g but the iPad weighs about 700g - more like a middleweight than a lightweight.

9. No file system access

Most handheld and portable devices appear as an external storage device when connected to a computer. That makes them handy for grabbing files from a colleague's computer. However, to copy files to the iPad's Document Manager, you'll need to use iTunes or get the files emailed to you. You can't even browse network file shares.

10. iBook Store might not have any material in AU

Remember the two or three years when there was no iTunes Store in Australia? It seems that we'll be destined for the same with the iBook Store.

Until Apple does deals with local publishers, only those with a US iTunes account will be able to buy books. On the upside, Amazon have a Kindle app and there's also Stanza for buying books locally so you can avoid being locked into another part of Apple's content ecosystem.

11. Micro-SIM

On one hand the use of the Micro-SIM might seem like another example of Apple being an early adopter a new standard. Or, perhaps, it's a way for Apple to keep their carrier partners happy by blocking customers from using the SIM cards from their 3G modems or mobile phones.

Either way, there's no way you'll be able to get a 3G capable iPad without at least buying a new SIM card from your carrier.

12. No printing

A portable computer that can be used on a local network, but can't talk to printers - what was Apple thinking? Everyone knows that there's no such thing as a paperless office and that being able to print documents is useful. It's not that it can't be done, as third parties have sprung up with printing solutions. But to not have it natively built into the iPad is damn annoying.

What do you think? Which of these missing pieces can you live without? Are we expecting too much from the tablet? Is Apple likely to address these issues before its next release? Comment below.


Analysis: A dozen reasons not to buy an iPad
 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  21%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1438

Vote