New Year’s Resolution: no long-winded opining on devices until I’ve used them with my own two hands.
After lusting after an iPad for most of 2010 (and blowing various brain-farts about this or that aspect of it), I’ve had one in the house for about a week (borrowed from a client) and … dang. I just don’t want one of these things anymore.
The awesome things about it are still awesome. It’s sexy as all git-out. I want to use it all day, every day. But I don’t… because the thing is
- too damn heavy. Just seriously, too damn heavy.
That’s the one attribute that kind of outshines all the others, unfortunately. My right thumb got some scary pre-carpal-tunnel feeling from scrolling while holding it with two hands in what I thought was a comfortable position. If the iPad’s weight was not fully supported by something other than my two hands, I just couldn’t use it for more than a few minutes. Casual surfing/tweeting/anything-ing (even reading long articles) on my tiny phone was much more comfortable.
Unless the next version is significantly lighter, I can’t see myself buying one.
One other thing I was wrong about: turns out that replacing the tiny Home Button with a “big” multitouch gesture makes a lot of sense on a device this size. On a small phone, though, I maintain that dropping this basic piece of haptic/tactile functionality seems dumb (because it turns a simple, one-digit/one-hand, no-look action into a multi-finger/multi-hand, requires-looking-right-at-the-screen action).
Key word there being “seems” — but I feel pretty secure in that judgment based on my experience using an iPod Touch, which already frustrated me greatly by forcing me to use two-hand/look-right-at-it gestures to do simple things like skip forward or backward in my music library, which I could not do without stopping everything else I was doing at the time (like walking down the street) and focusing on the device. No such problems with the olde-tyme physical click-wheel, which was as near to a perfect user-interface-to-use-case match I’m likely to see in my lifetime.
Touch may be the future, but it’s got its limits.
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