No, YOU’RE a Tool…

These are my thoughts on Paul Thurrott's very effective anti-iPad linkbait. Good job, guy...

These are my favorite quotes from his article:

"...very expensive for what you get..."

Throughout the piece he lauds Amazon's work with the Kindle. Anyone else see the irony in this statement? Very expensive for what you get? Enjoy your one-function device and its 16 shades of gray...Give me a break.

"...overall it's a decent device..."

Very magnanimous.

"...The power plug is the bigger, uglier old-style plug, not the new small, square one you get with iPhone..."

Did a guy who runs a blog called "SuperSite for Windows" really just call an Apple plug ugly? When I bought my PowerBook six years ago, I looked at a bunch of PC laptops as well. They all had long, thick gray chords with heavy "bricks" on them. Given the pc world's reputation for thoughtful and innovative design, I don't expect much has changed since then. Also, is it reasonable to assume that a larger device might necessitate a larger power plug? "I can't believe this computer power plug is bigger than my phone charger." LAME.

"The box it comes in is oddly thick, given Apple's penchant for thinness. Most of the box is just air, and that part is below the device. Weird."

Does anyone even come close to Apple in terms of charge chords and packaging design? I'll admit that I'm a little strange, but I still have the packaging for my nano and mighty mouse - I'm sure I'll get around to throwing them out eventually, but they were just too beautiful to trash right away. How dare he.

"But it's bigger and much heavier than I'd like for a movie player or eBook/newspaper reader..."

So he's saying that the iPad is bigger and heavier than a good movie player and eReader should be. So let's break it down:

Bigger than a good movie player - I'm gonna assume he didn't really mean that.

Heavier than a good movie player - Not true. In all my searching, I only found one that was lighter.

Bigger than a good eReader - He must mean the regular Kindle at 8" x 5.3", because the Kindle DX is actually taller than the iPad at 10.4" x 7.2" (iPad is 9.56" x 7.47" - the screen sizes are both 9.7" diagonal). Not a whole lot of difference there.

Heavier than a good eReader - This one is somewhat valid. Kindle DX (9.7") is just under 18.9 oz and Kindle (6") weighs 10.2 oz, which makes the heaviest iPad (at 25.6 oz) between 35% and 150% heavier. I think he's being too picky, though. While 150% more is a lot more, we're talking about 15 oz here - less than a pound.

"In fact, if anything it's too big."

How big is the Kindle DX again?

"I hate not having a case on this thing. It gets smudged just from the air, it seems."

Grumpy Gus.
Now here's my favorite paragraph:

"The iBooks application is laughably bad as I suspected. The Amazon Kindle app, however, is awesome. No silly "looks like a book" design or superfluous page flipping animations. The Kindle app is how eBooks should be. Bravo, Amazon."

Other Notable Quotes:

"...the screen is way too reflective..."

"...Contacts is ridiculous..."

"Anyone who believes this thing is a game changer is a tool. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is."

Why do people insist on going on the record against Apple products? Why? In the world of punditry, it would seem that your greatest asset is your credibility. Why do these people consistently rally against the next big thing? Archiving shockingly bad tech reviews and predictions has become popular enough that you would think that mac bashing tech writers would have gotten wise by now (SEE Gruber's Claim Chowder posts and the Macalope's "Fools of the Year" both via Daring Fireball).

While not all of Thurrott's thoughts are ridiculous, my gut reaction is that most folks out there positing against the iPad are just linkbait. And Thurrott meets all of my Linkbait criteria: he's dismissive, a little bit outrageous, often wrong, and supremely confident in his views. That said, we'll have to wait and see if it's a game changer or not.

FOOTNOTE: First, I googled portable dvd player. The first four hits (under shopping results) were Sony's DVP FX930 , Panasonic's DVD LS 86 , Audiovox's D1788 , and Toshiba's SD P93S . Respective weights: 2 lbs, 2.2 lbs, 3-5 lbs (amazon is unclear), and 2 lbs. Depending on configuration, iPads weigh 1.5 or 1.6 lbs, which is lighter, right?

Then I checked Amazon. I searched "dvd player portable" and checked the first six product results. Respective weights: 2 lbs, 1.6 lbs, 1.8 lbs, 3.6 lbs, 2 lbs, and 4.5 lbs. I think Mr. Thurrott's claim is now thoroughly debunked.

Paul Thurrott via Daring Fireball.