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Hardware Innovations

The Pros and Cons of the Apple iPad

iPad with on display keyboard

Image via Wikipedia

Apple has enjoyed brisk iPad sales and impressive media coverage since the tablet PC was released in April 2010. The iPad’s slick industrial design and responsive multi-touch screen greatly increase the coolness factor; however, the iPad has some limitations that may bother many computer users.


  • The iPad has a 9 – 10 hour battery life. Even in the realm of tablet PCs and other subnotebook computers, the iPad’s battery life is very good.

  • At less than 8 x 10 inches with a 9.7-inch display, the iPad is still extremely portable without causing eyestrain while you are browsing the web or watching videos.

  • Apps are easy to download via iTunes. There are hundreds of thousands apps available.

  • The 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch is ideal for watching movies and the backlit glossy widescreen enhances the picture quality.

  • Amazon’s Kindle has some serious competition thanks to iBooks. iBooks allows iPad users to read full color books with a stylish visual interface that no other eBook reader on the market has.

  • Like most Apple products, the iPad is easy to use and very fast. The multi-touch screen is incredibly responsive and a breeze to navigate.

  • Netflix movies stream flawlessly to the iPad. The iPad’s picture quality is as good as most flat screen televisions. With a Netflix subscription and an iPad, you will have access to thousands of movies from anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.

  • USA Today endorsed the iPad as a great device for gamers stating, “It gives portable game machines from Nintendo and Sony a run for their money.”


  • Even before it was released, many industry reviewers were quick to point out that the lack of a built-in webcam is a serious limitation. Without a built-in webcam, the iPad is useless for video conferencing.

  • The iPad has no USB ports so you can’t hook up a USB flash drive for extra storage space or to transfer files. Other USB devices, such as digital cameras, require additional hardware available from Apple.

  • Apps are restricted according to what Apple develops or what they choose to license.

  • The iPad does not support Adobe Flash. You cannot watch videos on websites like Hulu, ABC, CBS and many other sites that use Flash videos. You’ll also be unable to browse websites created with Flash.

  • Productivity software is limited to Apple’s software. The iPad doesn’t run Microsoft Office or Open Office. You can edit Microsoft Office documents, but not natively.

Overall, the iPad is a great entertainment computer, but it lacks many of the features that professionals need to make it a good device for productivity. Games, movies and casual web surfing work great on the iPad, but if you are looking for a fully functional PC then a netbook would be a better choice.

About the Author: Tony is a full-time writer, blogger, and graphic designer with a passion for technology. He also enjoys writing about health and wellness and is currently contributing to a career guide for those considering work as a registered ultrasound technician.