After reading most comments on our latest Weekend Open Forum I canít help but feel that many are taking the wrong approach comparing the iPad directly to a netbook or laptop. Apple is trying to squeeze a new category into the market and has yet to prove why we need it. What I do know is that I donít *need* a full-fledged computer in this form factor ó thatís what my laptop is for.

Iím as disappointed as many of you by its hardware shortcomings ó thereís no point in listing them again here ó but its locked down nature didnít surprise me at all. Apple likes to have control over what youíre allowed to run on its devices, supposedly to ensure a relatively bug-free experience, and while the more tech-savvy may despise this strategy, to some extent it has been responsible for the success of the iPhone.


Where I really fear the iPad might falter is in having a clear purpose. Weíre told it is the best way to experience the web, e-mail, photos, videos and e-books. But Iím not convinced. Laptop and desktop computers, even netbooks are still better for many of those things, while on others the iPad will have to prove itself. Take browsing, for example. Itís ridiculous to call this device the best way to experience the Web when Flash, one of the most ubiquitous and essential web technologies, is not supported.

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