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Apple iPad: pros and cons

As I reported (along with the rest of the techy and general media), Apple Inc. introduced the highly anticipated iPad tablet computer yesterday.

In general, I think, it was about what people had come to expect after months of speculation. As always, I expect Apple to add more bells and whistles to the thing -- and drop prices -- in six to 12 months. I might be a relatively early adopter, but I'm not bleeding edge, preferring to mull over a tech purchase and consider closely my own use patterns and needs.

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That said, I sketched out some preliminary pros and cons of the iPad, as I perceive them. What am I missing? Of course, there's a little irony that I used a cheap Office Max yellow-lined pad in my analysis of a $500 pad-like machine. (Here are Apple's official tech specs for the iPad.)

The way I see it, if Apple managed to eliminate just two of my cons -- I'd say any two -- I'd feel more excited about the iPad. Til then, it's entered "wait, see and touch" land in my thinking -- which means many more future visits to the local Apple Store. (Aside to wife: Sorry, honey.)

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That said, I think natural customers of this device will be iPhone and iTouch users, as well as those looking for netbooks to use primarily as a Web browsing device. I think that if most iPhone and Touch users are honest with themselves, they use these gadgets to do a LOT of Web surfing and content consumption -- and they may unconsciously be pining for more screen real estate to do these tasks on.

The iPad may not be an instant success, but I think the new category that Apple is taking a gamble on is here to stay.

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