On Sun, 30 May 2010 10:45:39 -0700, John Navas
<jnspam1@navasgroup.com> wrote:

>>- Eyesight problems and older users: The average teenager has no
>>problems running a web browser on a cell phone or iPod Touch. The
>>avereage 50+ year old can't see as well and has problem. Tiny
>>keyboards and small target areas add to the problem. The iPad screen
>>is large enough for even the most eyesight challenged user to operate
>>and with an on screen keyboard (with practice) seems quite usable.

>1. The excellent 10" LED-backed screen on the Acer Aspire One I'm using
>to type this is clear and sharp (ClearType enabled and properly

There were 3 different models of the Aspire One. I've owned all three
in various screen configurations (8.9", 10.1" and 11.6"). As I
vaguely recall, the 8.9 and 10.1" models were 1024x600 pixels, while
the 11.6" model is 1366x768. The 8.9" model was difficult to see. I
was constantly scrolling vertically in order to see documents and
applications. Google Earth would complain every time I started it
that the screen was too small. It was. The 11.6" model is much
better and more visible. The 16:9 aspect ratio is worthless, except
that it fixes the shrunken keyboard problem. I could barely type on
the 8.9" model and had to resort to 2 finger typing. The 10.1" and
11.6" models are better, but still a challenge. The only one I have
left runs some strange version of Linux. It's good enough for email
and web browsing which is also how I would mostly use an iPad. When I
compared screens, this laptop was one of those I compared. I thought
it stunk when I tried to play a video.

>2. I personally need a decent keyboard for email, documents,
>presentations, annotations, etc. The iPad "keyboard" just doesn't cut

My friend has no plans to use her iPad for document preparation
(formerly called desktop publishing), Power Point, annotation(?), and
assorted productivity applications. She might view documents that
others have emailed to her, but she has no intention of replacing her
desktop machines primary function with the iPad. More crudely, the
iPad is best used in conjunction with a desktop (running iTunes).

Others have mentioned that the iPad is not really intended to be used
as a general purpose computah. I'm undecided on this and want to
actually try doing some productivity work on the iPad first. I don't
expect to run Photoshop, Final Cut, or some monster database manager,
but perhaps the lesser applications might actually be useful.

>3. I find a netbook (like this Acer Aspire One) works great in bed (and
>other odd places), probably because I don't like lying on my tummy,
>preferring to sit up with a machine on my lap, typing on a real

I don't. The display makes it top heavy where it tends to topple. I
find myself constantly adjusting the position of the display so that I
can see it. When I do that, the keyboard to display angle changes, so
I have to also play with the hinge. The original 2200ma-hr battery
lasted about 2 hours when new and about an hour after about 6 months
of use. I now have a bulging 4400ma-hr battery which started at about
3.5 hrs, and is now down to perhaps 3 hrs. Acer claims that the
2200ma-hr battery will last 3 hours, but I've never seen it.

The iPad data sheet claims 10 hrs of battery life. We haven't tested
that yet, but so far, my friend has been able to go for about 3 days
of moderate use without a charge.

>>In my never humble opinion, the best thing about the iPad is the
>>absolutely gorgeous 1024x768 LCD display. I did a side by side
>>comparison with my assortment of PDA's, netbooks, laptops, and DVD
>>players. The iPad display looks the best playing a movie in bed.

>4. I took this Acer Aspire One across the street to the Apple store, put
>it side by side with an iPad, and the screen compares pretty well,
>especially given the huge price difference.

I beg to differ. Try playing a movie or video.

>5. I much prefer Windows, because Windows runs the software I need,
>including Flash, multitasking, etc.

I prefer Unix/Linux because it's easy to do the things I get paid to
do, but that's another discussion. Again, I'm not really sure that
the iPad is usable as a productivity tool. In my never humble
opinion, it's more an entertainment device or oversized PDA and not a
general purpose desktop or laptop replacement.

Yeah, not having Flash is a mistake. Multitasked will allegedly
appear on OS 4.0:

>6. I typically use my Android mobile in the car, with the audio plugged
>into the car stereo aux input, playing Internet Radio or Pandora, with
>Google Maps running at the same time giving me audio turn by turn
>directions while automatically pausing other audio. When a call comes
>in, I can take it by Bluetooth, or by speakerphone, with audio likewise
>automatically paused while the caller comes through the car stereo. And
>it works on the T-Mobile 3G network. Works a treat. iPad would be a
>huge step backwards for me.

Impressive, but all those are audio based applications. The iPad
could (with multitasking) do all of that but adds the a display
suitable for control and output. All the stuff you describe would
need to be setup in advance on your Android as playing with the
buttons and tiny screen while driving is probably dangerous. With a
screen that's 4 times larger, you can do all the setup and controlling
without risking your life. If I had to make the choice of automotive
entertainment, navigation, and visualization (rear view camera)
device, it would probably be something built into the 2 DIN rail radio
slot. 2nd best would be an iPad. last would be a cell phone.

Incidentally, look at what users are doing with cramming a computah
and LCD display into vehicles:
Search for your vehicle and see what can be done. Also search for

Incidentally, the iPad seems to have voice control:

>7. If I should want more computing in my car, a netbook would sit nicely
>on the seat next to me with no bracket needed.

I do that when doing site surveys, coverage checks, and transmitter
hunting. It's dangerous to take your eyes off the road and look at
the screen when on the passenger seat. Even worse is trying to type.
Something embedded in the dash or on a pedestal mount (like the police
favor) is safer.

>I think it's actually almost entirely a matter of cachet, like buying
>pricey bottled water (more on that below).

Well yes. Perception is everything. If the public perceives that the
iPad has more than a utility function, then they will pay the price.
Per a previous discussion, the Apple products (except for the 13"
MacBook) came out fairly close to twice the cost of an equivalent Dell
That's a fairly large premium, but people seem to be more than willing
to pay the price. That could mean that the competition (Windoze and
PC's) are somehow inferior, or that Apple products somehow have some
perceived value (status, style, usability, snob value, bragging
rights, etc).

Old story recycled. Once upon a time, I worked for a manufacturer of
marine radios. One product had problems selling as customers seemed
to be turned off by something about it. So, we added a large block of
iron inside, to make it heavier than the competition (Motorola).
Instantly sales improved. Customers could not decide which was the
better radio based on technical specifications (they were close) and
therefore made their decision based on style, looks, and weight (more
for your money). Like I said, perception is everything.

>8. This Acer Aspire One has a built-in multi-format card reader.
>9. This Acer Aspire One has wired Fast Ethernet.
>10. This Acer Aspire One has 160 GB hard drive.
>11. This Acer Aspire One has a faster processor.
>12. This Acer Aspire One has 3 USB ports.
>13. This Acer Aspire One has printing capability.
>14. This Acer Aspire One has a webcam.
>15. This Acer Aspire One has video output.

Yep. Now how much of the basic function of the iPad is lost by not
having those? If it really were a productivity machine, I see
problems. However, if the applications are limited to entertainment
and personal data (PDA) apps, none of that is really useful. When
coupled with a desktop with iTunes, most of those features can be
remotely accessed via Wi-Fi. It would be nice for us nerds to have
all the technology plus the kitchen sink, but whether it is actually
useful is debatable.

>16. Gmail on my Android mobile is tightly integrated with everything
>else, better than any other device or email service I know of (including
>Blackberry). iPad (and iPhone) doesn't come close.

True, but it's coming closer. The new OS 4.0 is suppose to have an
improved email client. As I mentioned, the existing client is
seriously lacking. I'll reserve my opinions on email usability until
after I see the new client.

>As I wrote earlier, why would anyone rationally buy an iPad when (say)
>the Acer Aspire One can be had for only $200 (Newegg Memorial Day sale)?

See my comments on perception is everything. The usual price is about
$350 for the current model netbooks. Apple is able to sell their
products for twice that. They can do that because the general
perception of the Apple products is that they're somehow superior,
while the general perception of PC products is that they're mostly
commodity junk (which is often true).

>Or bottled water in San Francisco, when we arguably have the finest
>municipal water in the world? Probably for much the same reason. ;)

Because tap water is PERCEIVED to be inferior. You can throw all the
water quality resources board reports at the customer, and all the
Consumer Reports horror stories on bottled water at the buyers, and
still not convince them that municipal water is even safe, much less
better. Changing that is not a job for a chemist or biologist. It's
a public relations problem that SF and other cities haven't bothered
to address (because they don't consider it important). For the
curious, I use a PURE water filter dispenser and don't buy bottled

Jeff Liebermann jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558