[NTLK] OT: Mossberg gives thumbs up to iPad

James Fraser wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 2 20:50:36 EDT 2010


--- On Fri, 4/2/10, Riccardo Mori <rick at newted.org> wrote:

> While it may make sense to put a user-facing iSight in a
> future iteration of the iPad, a camera like the one on the
> iPhone seems just wrong to me. Not only for the form factor,
> but also from a usability standpoint. How are you supposed
> to take pictures? Holding the iPad in the air with two hands
> like a protester holds a sign? Or, worse, with just one
> hand? The iPad is not exactly a lightweight device when you
> try using it like that. 

Perhaps a camera unit could be incorporated into a small swivel turret-type housing at the top of the iPad?  Such a housing could allow the user to swivel the camera away from them to shoot pictures and toward them for self-portraits (or videoconferencing).

Something like the projection unit at the top of this clock:


If you had such a camera mounted on the top of the unit, wouldn't that allow you to hold the iPad as a tablet and shoot pictures without having to hold it in the air?

>And how should the viewfinder be? Fullscreen? If it is fullscreen you must >hold the iPad away from you, with an outstretched arm, to be able to frame >the subject properly. These are only the first ideas coming to mind when >considering the matter. Of course I could be wrong, but a camera on the >iPad feels impractical to me.

Can I be honest here?  It could well *be* entirely impractical.  As Ryan correctly pointed out earlier, the more features, the greater the unit cost and the more the manufacturer (and the consumer) has to fret over such considerations as battery life.

The thing is, from my own perpective, good product engineers work on ways to incorporate such features into their products and overcome any technical obstacles that might stand in the way.  Indifferent product engineers, OTOH, simply shrug their shoulders and give up, a course of action that doesn't require much in the way of effort or ingenuity.

In short, Microsoft's vision seems closer to what I want my tablet to be.  Of course, as Ryan points out, the Courier hasn't hit the market yet.  Me being me, however, I'm perfectly willing to wait so that, when I do hand a company my money, it's a choice I can feel good about.  That is, I want to feel I am giving my money to someone who has put enough thought into their product to make me eager to pay them for it.  Try as I might, I just don't feel that way about the iPad.  

I will be the first to admit that with all the hype surrounding it on the playground, life would probably be much easier if I simply joined in with all the other kids in proclaiming it be Totally Cool.  You know, rather than being the NewtonTalk equivalent of the Weird Kid, standing around with his yellow shoes and rusty zipper. ¬_¬ 


James Fraser

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