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Is The iPad Really Revolutionary?

The LA Times is reporting that tablet sales will outpace laptop sales as early as next year. But are these devices the revolutionary products their manufacturers claim to be, or just over-hyped computers that aren’t that powerful?

Commercials for the iPad make it sound like the device can do anything. As someone who uses my computers professionally, I require a lot of computing power. When I first heard that the iPad was coming out, I considered it as a replacement for my aging laptop. I thought the iPad was going to run full Mac OSX, and be able to run my apps such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe After Effects.

The ability to edit video in the field on a slim device such as the iPad would be huge. Pretty soon, I learned that this would not be the case. The iPad is nothing more than an oversized iPhone. The iPad 2 is an oversize iPhone with a camera. I can’t do professional work with iPhone apps, and thus the device proved useless to me. I bought a Netbook for half the price and can at least do some basic work on it.

What’s worse is the iPad being touted by news organizations as the “savior of the news industry.” The terribly misguided belief seems to be that content people were unwilling to pay for on their PC’s, they would now be happy to pay for on their iPads. The NY Times is learning this all too well as their site traffic has dropped significantly since putting up a paywall.

The iPad is merely a delivery device, nothing more. As it gets more powerful, it’ll come close to the abilities of a traditional PC. But the same problem for content providers still remains: how do we profit off of online distribution?

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