IPAD : One Woman’s Review

Posted on May 10, 2010


Finally a review of the iPAD from a woman’s perspective. This review was done by Irene Macabante on 7 May. Irene is the  Co-founder and Creative Director of Chix Creative. I supposed Apple will not be too happy with her comments. Only few days back , Apple was “furious” with Ellen Degeneres mocking the iPAD in her TV show ( http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20004186-37.html ).


Some extracts ( about 20 % of it )  from Irene’s review. Read the whole review at above link – it is a funny and entertaining read. I am waiting to see Steve Jobs response to this

That Name
First I had to get past the name, which wasn’t hard, but it still made me cringe. Come on, dudes (and surely you must be all dudes in Apple’s marketing department) – none of your market research could help you predict that the name “iPad” that would make Apple look oblivious and a bit sexist to the people making 85% of all consumer purchases?

The Size
When I got past the name, the first thing I noticed was the size. Hate to tell you this gents, but for women, bigger is not always better. ……..but could I read or use it for hours in my hands? I use my hands to make my living, so I have a lot of repetitive stress in my hands, wrists, and forearms already. I think that after holding up a 1.5-lb device for 5 minutes my wrists and forearms would be on fire…..Awkward as hell. 

The Feel and The Display
Ok, so it’s smooth all over …… But the smoothness also makes it slippery…..it does not feel ergonomic in any way.
I tried typing while the device was flat. It was weird and awkward…. Somehow, your fingers cannot hit the correct keys using this virtual keyboard…. It took us 3 times as long to write one sentence because we had to keep erasing mistakes.
I just could not type efficiently at all on the iPad. So if I actually wanted to type efficiently, guess what – I’d have to BUY a keyboard from Apple for $69. There was a constant glare from overhead lights on the glossy screen. And since I couldn’t do anything about the lighting, I had to keep repositioning the iPad to reduce or eliminate the distracting, noticeable glare….There goes any hope of being outside and reading your iPad!

Using the iPad: OS, UI, and Apps
Next to the ergonomics issue, actually using the iPad’s system and applications was my biggest source of aggravation.
Number one: it does not multitask or do multiple things simultaneously…. This is a ridiculous limitation and a major handicap for a “revolutionary and magical” device that Apple expects us to spend so much time on.

How about photos and video: can I take pictures with it, or use it to Skype? Nope. No camera, no web cam. I keep seeing ads about how great it is to manage your photo albums and run slideshows…but how do I get my photos onto the iPad from my camera? The iPad has no USB ports or card readers. Oh wait, Apple has come up with a solution for that too – I have to buy their Camera Connection Kit for $29! 

What if I want to create business presentations, write proposals or work on spreadsheets? Apple claims that the iWork Suite covers it for me……and could not create my own look & feel
I opened up Pages (their word-processing software) and Numbers (spreadsheet software), in an attempt to create a document. So I typed (just a little, because it was painful) and then tried to save the document…… I discovered that the iPad does not really have a saving scheme, Numbers doesn’t export to Excel (whaaat???) and if I want to print anything, I have to export it and print from a computer.
Where are the files, folders or windows? No such things in this device. Instead you have a cover-flow style list of items that you’ve somehow “saved” to scroll through. What if you have 200 documents and you need to get to one that starts with “U”? Tough crap, you’ll have swipe your way through ALL of them to get to the one you want. This just seems like a stupid solution to workflow, but I guess you’re not supposed to really work on an iPad because DUH, it’s not a computer. 

I’m just going to surf the web using Safari. Steve Jobs says it will be the best browsing experience I’ve ever had. Hold on a sec, there seem to be a bunch of web sites (just about oh, 70% of the world’s web sites) that have now become totally useless to me because Apple does not support Flash and has pretty much decided it won’t support Flash EVER. 

Now that I can’t really surf the web well on the iPad, how about watching movies, reading books or using the maps?
First I have to find some screen cleaner to wipe off all those fingerprints and swipe marks.
Watching movies was fine (but not thrilling), after I cleaned the screen, located a spot to watch that didn’t create glare, and found something to prop up the device. I would not have any patience for this much set-up while travelling….. Reading books on the iPad is not a selling point for me.

Using Google Maps on the iPad ……I need the maps to direct me to places and figure out a walking or driving route. I don’t think this would work well practically on the iPad in every day scenarios. The current version of the iPad is wi-fi only and mapping while driving with it would be impossible, and using it while walking around would be not only a pain in the ass

A woman + an iPad: an unlikely couple
Women look for tools that will improve their lives by increasing their productivity or save them time. The iPad is not a need item – it is a want item.
I really doubt women will need the iPad. I personally have not figured out how it would save me any time or increase my productivity. There just aren’t enough features in an iPad to make it worth replacing my TV (a 52″ plasma), my iPhone, my new smartphone (a Droid Incredible), my laptop (a 17″ Dell Studio with a high-res glossy display), my computer with a 30″ monitor, or even my local movie theater, which has an IMAX screen and 3D capabilities. It wouldn’t even replace a Kindle, if I owned one. The iPad is not the best available screen, and it’s not a workhorse either. A $500-plus gadget had better be more than just a fancy way to read my email or watch YouTube videos on the couch.

I don’t think women will even want the iPad. It’s not a want item for us.

Women are obviously not the demographic for the iPad, but it will be interesting to see how or if Apple tries to find some niche use for us….. (Sorry Apple Marketing dudes, I just had to.)