Friday, 28 May 2010

iPad - first impressions

This is really a very interesting and different device to enter the educational market, not that it was designed with education in mind (of course). I have been asked on numerous occasions by people who discover I have one here in Hong Kong to describe what it is like. It is a struggle. Let me say what it isn't first. It isn't:
  • a fully fledged computer;
  • a fully functional notebook that you take on the road with you; 
  • a low powered notebook; or
  • a phone, it is too big!
The first thing one really notices is the stunning screen (think reading a book or watching a video). The second, is the ease-of-use and just how intuitive and fast the iPad is. So, if it isn't a net book, notebook or a fully fledged computer what is it? I am still considering this question myself.

 I have the simplest least costly version of the iPad. It is very user-friendly (being extremely simple to use), very easy to read online newspapers, comics and books with, surf the Internet, handles e-mail and VoIP communications such as Skype very well,  accesses Google maps, and everyone I have shown it to his captivated by what they see and touch.  The range of applications being developed for the iPad mean it is impossible for me to list them all here. I think the quality of the screen and the ease of use are likely to overcome some of the disadvantages (which don't seem to be reflected in the sales) such as the lack of a USB port or a camera. For my mobile learning project starting in September I am now wondering if the ease-of-use, larger screen, speed and low price (compared to the iPhone) make a better choice for the project: providing somebody has developed a cable that allows one to plug in a camera. Only time will tell.

No comments: