Tag: ipad obsolete

An iPad Killer Finally Arrives – It’s the MacBook Air

MacBook Air versus the iPad

The MacBook Air is about to Obsolete the iPad

OVERVIEW: My prediction of how the next generation of the MacBook Air will completely replace the iPad.

macbook air versus ipad

My Trip to the Mall

I went to the Apple Store this weekend while I as at the mall. (Clothes shopping with the wife.) I checked out one of the new 11 inch MacBook Air ($999) display models. I was amazed at how close in size it was to the iPad ($550 – $800). The other thing that surprised me was how much “better” it was than the old ones. This things is smaller than a Netbook and as powerful as a decent MacBook.

What the MacBook Air Could/Should Become

?As I fondled it, I couldn’t help picturing a future version with the iPad’s touchscreen and one of those swiveling hinges that convertible tablet have. Not a clumsy, clunky one; a sleek, beautiful one that Apple would make. I would not be surprised if Apple somehow merged the two products together into some MacBook/iPad hybrid that would be the only gadget you need. Why would Apple ever want to do that you ask?

Why is the MacBook Air Better?

It’s a REAL COMPUTER – The iPad is amazing at what it does. However, it is NOT A COMPUTER! It’s just not. You’re not going to type an important Word document or crunch up a bunch of Excel data with it. You’re not going to Photoshop something for a client or edit and render a video on the thing either. A Mac can easily run the little apps from an iPad or iPhone while running any Productivity or Creative apps.

Physical Keyboard – Sure the touchscreen keyboard is clever and intuitive, but try to type anything more than a few sentences. Did I forget to mention a real live mouse with a scroll-wheel? Yeah, exactly.

Camera – Still the biggest knock you can make on an iPad is the puzzling lack of a camera. Imagine video chatting, snapping photos, filming events. Then, imagine editing that stuff using real, full-blown Photoshop and iMovie. That sounds like a killer device to me.

Real Applications – Photoshop, iMovie, Word, Excel, Skype, etc. Enough said. (Oops, I forgot about Flash websites.)

Ports – Hook up a mouse, printer, scanner, drawing tablet, camera, giant monitor without buying any ridiculous adapter contraptions.

No Acessories Needed – Wanna protect your touchscreen – close the lid. Wanna type – you already have a keyboard. Wanna load pics from your camera – you already have a card reader. Wanna super hard, protective case for your iPad – the Air is freakin metal. If you want to watch movies on it, you don’t need to buy some stupid stand to carry around. Just open it – voila.

Storage – What if you have a bunch of Songs, Photos, Movies, and Documents? Don’t try to put them on an iPad. Now, you would have that awesome device that could leverage ALL of your favorite files.

Why is the iPad Better?

Battery Life – This is the biggest advantage by far. You can use the iPad for a full day. Don’t try that on any full computer.

Size and Weigth – The iPad is definitely smaller and lighter. I guess that matters if you can’t handle the extra weight of about three or four postage stamps.

Price – $500 on the low end is a lot better than a grand. Getting both devices in one offsets that a little.

Specialization – The iPad does what it does in such an elegant, effective manner that it’s hard to imagine a multi-use device being better.

Hardware

There are really two major things that need to happen for the Air to replace the iPad. The first, obvious thing is the screen. They need to put a touch screen on it. This should not be too difficult, they already have the best touchscreens in the world. The second thing is a swiveling hinge that allows the screen to fold back on itself. Then, it’s a tablet that is just as portable as an iPad.

Software

In order to fully realize the benefits of the iPad, they need to be able to run the full iOS interface when the device is in tablet mode. This can be achieved in a few ways – both have pros and cons.

Dual Boot

The first way is to Dual Boot the device (using Bootcamp) from OSX to iOS as needed. The benefit of this approach would be Battery Life (iOS will not push the hardware as much, therefore last longer.). The big drawback is obvious – boot in and out of OS’s is a slow pain in the neck. If they took this path, they would probably want to make an app in OSX and iOS that does a one-click reboot from one OS to the other.

Visualization

The second way is by running iOS as a Virtual Machine that launches as an application from OSX. This would be the fastest approach, because you could keep both systems running all the time. Just switch to the iPad Virtual Machine application and you are instantly running your iPad. They could put some hot-key combination into OSX or even a physical button on the keyboard to make the switch instant. I would probably configure it to automatically switch in and out of the iPad app when you swivel the screen between laptop and tablet modes.

The major drawback to this would be battery life. If you keep the full Mac Operating System running all the time, you are going to put a heavy strain on the battery. I would guess that some type of hardware slowdown could be initiated when iPad mode is running to mitigate this some.

One More Thing

Oh yeah, what if iOS is not your thing? I’m sure that Android, WebOS, BlackBerry Playbook, Windows 7 Phone, or Symbian would gladly allow you to run their operating systems and buy their apps too. Now, the next time one of your friends says that their {your OS here} device is better than yours, you can shut them right up.

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