Electronics Production | January 28, 2010

Apple’s iPad: super gadget? Or maybe not!

Apple launched its much anticipated Tablet PC yesterday and had the audience divided. Is it the super gadget that the world expected to see or is it rather lacking too many features that one might expect from a Tablet PC.
First of all, the new Apple gadget is called iPad and not iSlate. Even though it has a lot of interesting features, the rather more interesting question is – what is not there.

• Camera – There is no camera. Cameras would have been handy in videoconferencing at the office or the like and many probably expected to see one in the iPad.
• Flash Support – There is still no flash support, because Apple apparently continues to ignore Adobe’s Flashplayer.
• Multi-tasking – There is absolutely no multi-tasking. This particular (artifical) lack has annoyed people already with the iPhone.
• USB ports – There are also no USB ports, so transferring your photographs for instance will involve a lot more hassle.
• SD card slot – Nothing on that front either. Despite the fact that an SD card slot is included in most netbooks (also in recent Mac laptops), the iPad is lacking in that direction too.

How about some good news?
However, others – such as the market researcher iSuppli - believe that the iPad has met its lofty expectations and will likely be a sales success for Apple. “The iPad will be a game changer if it becomes the Trojan horse that changes the slowly dying print information business to an electronic information market,” said Egil Juliussen, principal analyst and fellow at iSuppli.

Although Apple is not yet selling the iPad, speculations about possible suppliers have been high. The device uses a microprocessor described as a “1GHz, Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip”, which iSuppli believes is supplied by PA Semi (acquired by Apple in 2008).

The iPad’s 9.7-inch LCD display – probably supplied by LG Display of Innolux – uses the same capacitive touch screen technology as the iPhone and iPod touch. The display employs In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology which supports a wider viewing angle and better picture quality than conventional LCDs, the market researcher states.


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