I’m a tablet lover. Heck, I list this bit of information in my Twitter bio, so you know it’s true. I believe that tablets are transformative: they are changing the way we interact with technology. The original iPad arguably started it all: it was somewhat of an experimental “third” device that fit between smartphone and PC. It offered a solution to what Microsoft had been trying to do for years with their Tablet PC software: design the ideal interface for a slate computer.
Tablets so far have been pretty bad. The iPad and iPad 2 were reasonably good, but the displays were low-resolution, so much so that using an iPad for an extended session could cause eye strain.
In 2011, after the release of Android Honeycomb, we saw a bevy of Android tablets, most of which also had low-resolution screens and laggy performance. In fact, Honeycomb might go down in history as a worse operating system than Windows ME! The slowness would cause tablets running this OS to become near unusable. Thank goodness that Ice Cream Sandwich has arrived, and with it, the promise of higher resolution, fast, and quad-core tablets, which won’t ship until later this year.
But the new iPad, once again, leaps over even the best prospects for amazing Android tablets in 2012, especially when it comes to display resolution, which so far looks to cap out at 1920×1200. The display resolution alone on the new iPad, at 2048×1536, is paradigm-shifting. My most-often use of the iPad is as a content viewer, particularly in consuming books and newspapers and looking at photos. With a pixel density greater than what can be had with printed material, the new iPad will become the ultimate reading device that will provide hours of viewing pleasure without eye strain. It’ll make text and images look painted-on, with not even so much as a hint of the underlying pixels that make up the image. It will grant us access to information in the most gorgeous presentation possible on any piece of technology.
Then, there’s the other stuff I care less about: it’s faster (duh), it has LTE networking (duh), it has dictation (or in other words, it brings forth just one component of Siri), and it has improved cameras (though I doubt my disinclination in using my tablet as a camera or camcorder is going to change).
The new iPad is the tablet I’ve always been waiting for. It’s still shackled by the confines of iOS, which, once again, is feeling dated, but compared to what else is out there, the new iPad cannot be beat.