[NTLK] OT: Mossberg gives thumbs up to iPad

James Fraser wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 3 16:34:11 EDT 2010


--- On Sat, 4/3/10, Lord Groundhog <lordgroundhog at gmail.com> wrote:
> But where *is* the "top of the iPad?  That will depend
> upon the user:  does he or she prefer to work in landscape or in 
> portrait?  Does he or she even do things the same way all the time?  
> Suppose I want to video conference with someone on the left of the screen > while browsing my documents/the web for some needed source material on 
> the right this time, but tomorrow I just want to conference in portrait?  > Will Apple design the iPad-with-camera so only one orientation is 
> optimal?  Will I get to choose?  

I don't know: *will* you get to choose?  LG, this is an -Apple- product we're talking about here; to ask that question is to answer it. 

Seriously, when in the last decade has Apple shown the least reluctance to make up their customers' minds for them?  That's not the Apple *I* know and love. :)

>Will I have to make do with the camera being off to one side or the
>other?  This isn't as straightforward as it might seem.

I agree: it isn't.  Which is why I would like to see the Microsoft Courier, first, before I make up my mind whether or not a camera is or is not a good idea in a tablet computer.  

>From what I can gather, Apple and Microsoft seem to have two opposing viewpoints as far as how people want to interface with a tablet (keyboard/gestures vs. stylus/HWR).  For myself, I'm not comfortable saying either is the One True Vision until I've had a chance to fondle both.

> And that still doesn't address the "sea-sickness factor" of
> a camera that is constantly producing all the random wobble of a 
> hand-held camera in one of those fly-on-the-wall documentaries.

A tablet-mounted camera isn't going to be as rock-steady as a camera on a desktop device, true.  Honestly, though, I just don't view the "sea-sickness factor" as being all that big of a deal on a tablet-type device, myself.  

At any rate, it looks like we'll have to wait until Microsoft brings the Courier to market to find out one way or the other. [shrugs]

> Although at first I had my doubts about leaving off the
> camera, the more I think about it, the better that decision looks to me.

Fair enough.  Me being me, I have to wonder if Apple will incorporate a camera into a later version of the iPad and then (surprise!) charge end users for a "New and Improved" version of the product that incorporates a feature they could just as easily have included in the first version (à la the iPhone).

> Going back to my idea of tethering a camera or camera phone, in some >circumstances that could also be the answer for video conferencing.  

That could well be the best way of meeting that need.  At the same time, given Apple's strong inclination towards closed systems, I have to wonder if they'll ever elect to make such a capability available.  

In any case, it will be fun to watch and see if Apple runs true to form, or if the iPad represents a turning point where Apple will follow their own exhortation to "Think Different." :)


James Fraser

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