The iPad: our take

Okay, so it exists. What do your favorite tech personalities, the CrunchGear team, have to say about Apple’s latest opus? Join us as we pass judgment on the device sight unseen — though of course more in-depth analysis is forthcoming.

Devin: It’s a big iPod. That much is clear — it’s not really a tablet computer. Of course, the benefits of a giant iPod are manifest: you can check email easily, movies and shows will look nice (though not full HD), and the e-books looked great. But the fact is you’re limited by Apple in every way they can limit you. It’s got all the same fetters as an iPhone and has no expandable storage or USB port. Until you hack it to run Chrome OS, you’re going to be using this thing exactly the way Apple tells you to. It’ll be nice if that’s what you want, but it’s not the universal tablet I was hoping for. Nevertheless, I see every secretary and PA carrying one of these in a month.

Matt: Sorry, Apple. I was going to buy it until I found that the iPad doesn’t have an SD card slot. You’ve failed me again.

John: It will be definitely be something I’m getting but I’m worried that it will be just “one more thing” to carry around. That I definitely DON’T need.

Doug: It looks really cool, aesthetically, but the battery life and screen can’t replace my Kindle, the lack of USB ports and expandable storage can’t replace my netbook, and I already have an iPhone 3GS. So it’d basically be $500+ for a bigger screen, a slightly faster CPU, and an external keyboard that I’d never carry around with me. I might buy one in a year or two once they’ve gone through a couple revisions.

Dave: I see the iPad as a great little device. Not as a music player, but as a portable movie player and web browser. I also use my iPod Touch to tether my DLSR when I’m taking pictures – the iPad would be ideal for this use.

Greg: I refused to let myself get hyped up about the slate, simply because we’ve seen time and time again that the rumor mill sets expectations impossibly high. Even with my expectations set rather low, however, I walked away disappointed.

I’m guessing some of the other guys will tear into Apple for not including an SD slot, so I’ll leave that topic alone; the absence of a camera, however, I can’t avoid touching on. Now, I don’t care about the camera for taking pictures, as there isn’t a single situation I can think of where I won’t have my dedicated camera or iPhone but I WILL have this big ol’ 10″ beast. The sole reason I’m disappointed: it means no augmented reality. The iPhone has proven that AR is a concept worth playing with, but it falls a bit short on that device due to screen size. The iPad could have ushered in a whole new type of gameplay, but not without a camera.

As a developer, I’m excited about it. As a consumer, not so much.

Nicholas: I mean, I already did a whole spiel on CNN (what?!) why the iPad is sorta “meh” in my eyes, but to recap: I simply don’t get it. It’s not an iPhone replacement because it’s not a phone (duh); it’s not an iPod touch replacement because it’s not portable; and I already have enough “real” computers that I don’t need a tablet. I understand I’m not Mr. Average Consumer, but the iPad seems to fill a void that I simply don’t need filled. Maybe as an e-reader, but that entirely depends upon the book selection, which isn’t clear right now. For now, though: meh.

There you have it. We’ll have hands-on video soon and of course a review once we’ve gotten our hands on one and put it through its paces. In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Apple phoning it in? True on-lap computing? Expectations too high? Sound off.