Did Apple hit a sour note?

A new addition to the technological spectrum left a series of mixed reactions from both critics and potential buyers as Apple’s tablet computer, the iPad, was unveiled to the public in San Francisco on Jan. 27, leaving speculation over its development.

According to online news sites such as Gadgetorama and the New York Times, although the iPad’s functionability cannot be questioned, a few “holes” in its programs and prices are still under much scrutiny. Apple ensured in many of their advertisements and on their official website that the iPad’s capability goes well beyond their previous products and compared it to others of its kind.

The tablet computer’s function extends from its light exterior, weighing at least 1.5 pounds and its 9.7 inch widescreen 132 pixel display, making it ideal for videos, photos and books. Its battery life lasts up to 10 hours, which provides extensive time for those on the go. Other features include bluetooth technology, built-in speaker and microphone, USB cable (to download digital photos) and optional external keyboard support with multiple language programs available. For those looking for an environmentally friendly device, the iPad is also equipped with arsenic-free display glass, mercury-free LCD display and recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure.

A few problems have been found with the system. As stated by bloggers and technological enthusiasts, much of the new product’s faults are underlined by the very message Apple strives to direct to its consumers: simplicity and hands-on display. The on-screen touch keyboard is not ideal for typing quick messages. Especially with its sensitivity, it can become a daunting task to write, if anything, a short e-mail. Its memory of about 16 GB limits the product and its consumer in terms of storing files and documents, including the photos and videos that the product is centered on providing. The lack of a webcam as well as high prices on the applications such as online books on Amazon (reaching up to $14.99), is leading to a debate on whether the iPad is as useful and whether in time it can replace laptops and e-notebooks. In contrast to its hype and positive remarks from its unveiling last week, the New Yorks Times noticed a final flaw in Apple’s product during the San Francisco demo. The press release issued by the company stated, “(Adobe) Flash will not work on iPad.”

A few Seton Hall students find the innovative tool to be a great gift but they also have doubts with the company’s less than perfect results.

“I think it’d be cool but way too expensive,” said Nick Ciolko.

Leonardo Cruz questioned whether there is a need for it.

“It’s nice, but is it necessary, really?” he said.

While iPad creators might have envisioned their creation as a model for future electronic devices, critics and computer experts are not impressed with Apple’s new technologic marvel. While its release in the market is a few months away, it is already sparking rumors and other speculations. However, it is only in the hands of the consumer if the iPad can truly be put to the test.

Katia Diaz can be reached at katia.diaz@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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