Essential, Innovative Features Missing from the iPad

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-01-28 Print this article Print

5. It's a news release

As nice as the iPad might be, the device didn't warrant a full-fledged press conference. Regardless, sending out a news release is not how Apple does business. Jobs has made it a point to make any product his company releases look far more important than it really is. For example, a quick comparison between the iPad and several other tablets on the market reveals an interesting fact: Apple's product is not head and shoulders above the competition. The iPad simply didn't require such pomp and circumstance. If any other company besides Apple had announced the product, it would have been just another news story that far fewer people would have noticed.

6. Where's the multitasking?

Unfortunately, the iPad doesn't support multitasking. That means that if users want to listen to music and surf the Web at the same time, they can't. It also means that if users want to switch between a document and the Web to check facts, they won't be able to, since the original program will need to be shut down to open the other app. Any other device would sit on store shelves for that omission. The iPad will likely sell well in spite of it.

7. No Flash? No go

The Apple iPad doesn't support Flash. In other words, users who are browsing to several different sites across the Web will enjoy an experience that is decidedly less appealing than anything they can get on a laptop. For many, that would be a deal breaker. But since it's an Apple product, you can bet that far more people will be drawn in by the company that has built the device, not knowing that it lacks a key feature that will severely limit Web browsing. Apple can get away with no Flash support. No other company can.

8. It's a 'middle-of-the-road' device

As Jobs pointed out during his address, the iPad is a middle-of-the-road device. It's not as convenient to use as the iPhone, but it's also not as capable as a laptop. Jobs believes that will only help the iPad, since folks who want to use it in the home will have a mobile companion to perform basic tasks. But in practice, how many people would really want such a device? Since it's an Apple product, they might go for it. If another company offered it, they probably wouldn't.

9. Adapters galore

In an attempt to make the iPad as sleek as possible, Apple hasn't built any USB ports or an SD card slot into the iPad. That's a problem. If the device is supposed to be a replacement for other devices used for simple tasks, a user should be able to add pictures to it with an SD card or take files off the device with a USB key. Apple has said it will make adapters available to accommodate those users, but, as always, it will cost them. The lack of a USB port is a major omission that Steve Jobs glossed over during his speech. A lesser company's product would be relegated to the junk heap for that.

10. It's not so pretty

A hallmark of all Apple products is design. More often than not, the devices the company releases are far more beautiful than any competing product. But the iPad is different. The device's bezel is huge, making the screen look smaller than it really is. Worst of all, a quick comparison between the iPad and its competition reveals that some products, especially HP's Slate, are actually on equal footing, if not better looking than Apple's iPad. Unfortunately for HP, few people know that.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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