Ok, the name is lame. iSlate or iTablet would have been better. There are already too many feminine hygiene jokes out there. But all things considered, I think it was a good announcement.
The device is almost everything that I wanted. Its missing a camera which would have been nice for iChat on the go. I’m not sure how it will sync with an iPhone, camera, etc but I’m sure that will become clear as it gets closer to the release date.
I think this device is a natural extension of the iPhone. It makes sense to have a larger screen for casual use. The iPhone is great for traveling, but when you want to view larger content, it can be a bit annoying. Being able to view a movie or photos on a larger screen is also awesome. When traveling this would be great. When dealing with the kids when we are out, this would be almost as good as the iPhone, just larger.
The addition of the ereader is great. I love my epaper device, but there are problems when you are dealing with images, charts, graphs, maps, etc. The format and technology with epaper is great for text, but it blows for most of the other content. The devices have gotten better, but they fill a specific niche. I think that is where this device has a leg up. I can use it to read, surf, watch movies, and BTW its an iPod. It is also extendable to be able to use virtually any application and can replace a DS or PSP. One device to fit a multitude of needs.
I think this is where Amazon needs to take a cue. When they got into digital music distribution, they didn’t create their own mp3 player, they supported them all and setup a great distribution channel. With ebooks it made sense to create a device using the existing technology. They created a nice device. But they have been surpassed. The cost of their device is expensive when you look at the capabilities, inherent limitations and small amount of memory, especially when you compare it to the iPad. It is a much more general purpose device. If Amazon focuses on distribution of content, they can be a great alternative choice for content and skip the hardware creation and distribution. This is not their sweet spot and I question their ability to compete against the UI/Human factors factory that is Apple.
I am really looking forward to getting my hands on the device. I think it would be a really great business tool as well as a casual device. Being able to put PDFs of important documents, take notes in meetings and use it for small intimate presentations with executives would be awesome, plus you can pass the time while waiting your turn outside your boss’s office 😉