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The Tablet Creation Myth

August 22, 2010

Arguments over Apple’s iPad as a device for consumption, not creation, are definitely not in short supply.

Chang Ma, vice president of marketing for LG’s mobile device unit, has hyped up LG’s upcoming Android tablet as a productivity tool. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ma likes the iPad, but doesn’t use it for work, saying that’s where the LG tablet will stand apart.

Some feel Ma is right that the iPad lacks with creativity in some areas, but others feel the iPad’s limitations are often inherent to its form.

A host of arguments have surfaced over “iPad consumption vs. creation.”

Anthony Ha from VentureBeat said its hard to situate the iPad in the right relationship to his body for typing. At the desk it feels a little too high, and sitting on the couch it sits awkwardly in his lap, causing him to hunch over it uncomfortably.

Mike Melanson at ReadWriteWeb said the netbook has a few of his favorite, most used features: A mouse, nearly full-sized keyboard, web cam and multitasking. He says that when he is on the Internet, he is usually doing five things at once, and wonders where the iPad fits into that equation. His only answer is “nowhere.”

Erik Rostad at the Entrepreneur School says that an often used program for him is Adobe Fireworks. Most other tablets use Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver. These are not available on the iPad.

Bruce Nussbaum at Businessweek paraphrased some of his students at Parsons: No phone? So we need to carry both an iPhone and an iPad? We need to talk on an iPhone to discuss what we’re seeing on the iPad?

Jeff Jarvis, creator of Entertainment Weekly, said the lack of USB and SD slots on the iPad is a major drawback, and the $29 Camera Connection Kit is a slap in the face. But is USB really the key to laptop parity? He said on his laptop, he uses USB almost exclusively to attach a mouse and keyboard, which on a tablet would defeat the whole purpose.

Overall, it is tough to argue that the iPad’s creation abilities cannot be improved upon, but its also hard to be convinced that tablets will ever be able to rival laptops in productivity. If they could, laptop-like tablets would’ve been industry game-changers long before the iPad came around.

Image Courtesy of Apple

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