Thursday, 15 April 2010

I wanna be slated

The iPad is out (in the US anyway), and will be here in the UK next month. No word on pricing yet, which is a tad worrying. My guesstimate is over £400 for the base model.

I still have gear lust for it. It looks lovely and, taken as a "giant iPod Touch", it seems to run very slick indeed. I have to say few of the apps have really astounded me yet. Perhaps the most impressive native app in my mind is Korg's iElectribe. Most of my fave synths have yet to be updated, but I'm sure they would be much more usable with larger on-screen "keys".

But apart from the unknown price, and the delays, some cracks are starting to appear. Weak wifi is a concern for me (my access is borderline at best) and I recently heard over at PalmSounds that the dock connector doesn't support audio-in, which buggers up my beloved stereo recording Macally iVoice Pro 3.

This has made me sit up and consider my usage requirements. In all honesty, my music making is better served by my PC, with its multiple soundcards (one internal, one USB) and professional level audio software (Cubase VST and VirtualDJ). The reason I do more with my iPhone is simple: it is there, on my desk or in my pocket, and is "instant on". My PC is a hulking beast that takes about a week to finish booting up.

Going full circle this points me back towards portable Windows based devices. I lusted after the Viliv S5 before getting my iPhone, and then kept a watchful eye over the myriad tablet/slate devices that were rushed to announcement a short while before everyone knew Apple was likely to announce a slate/tablet. Most of these run either Android or a Linux variant, but the HP slate has really caught my eye. It's a PC. It runs PC software. It's compatible with PC peripherals. It's portable and multi-touch. It's expandable. It runs Flash on websites (Hobnox?). It's allegedly going to be competitively priced with the iPad. I work with Windows all day and like it. I could run the Windows-only work apps I need on the HP slate. The only kick in the plums is the screen resolution - 1024x600 is also what puts me of most netbooks. It does have HDMI output though.

Hmm, am I breaking up with the iPad before we even go on our first date?


  1. Just remember that the Slate is running Win7, plus a touch-enabled overlay GUI, as soon as you boot it. Now, try running a pro audio DAW, on top of the OS, w/ 1gb of hardwired RAM, and see just how much of a pig it will become after you layer a few tracks on.

  2. It's entirely possible that it would be unusable but I can't wait to see! Windows 7 runs beautifully on my friend's year old Netbook. Maybe the touch-enabled GUI you mention will have an impact though. 1gb of RAM is indeed a limitation.


    Sadly the Slate and the Courier got killed. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the form factor both products intrigued me a lot more than Apple's closed platform. The Courier especially.

    Sadly one of the few times Microsoft innovates design instead of just copying apple- the idea never sees production.

  4. Yes, odd to see it killed off so readily. Does seem it wasn't up to the job of running a laptop class OS sufficiently well. Some interesting covertibles coming out though, with multitouch and more hefty CPUs. Acer Aspire 1825PT and 1825PTZ look excellent and have the killer combination of more powerful CPU, plenty of RAM and a decent screen resolution. Costly though.