As I write this, Apple has announced that they are taking orders for the iPad. It’s a wonderful device that allows people to surf the net, listen to music, read books and a variety of other things with maximum portability. The iPad is smaller than a laptop — even smaller than a net book — and yet is a powerful and flexible device. It will likely sell in the millions.
The iPad has a lot of potential for writers because it is small enough to carry a purse or a big coat pocket, so they can do research, read books, and even use the device as a word processor in almost any setting. There are several models that come with built-in Internet connections, so it is a truly flexible device. Writers will love that kind of versatility the iPad offers — not only as they create books and articles, but as they see a wider market consuming them.
The iPad is set to make a product like Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader obsolete. The iPad has a bigger screen, and color, so the merits of the relatively high priced Kindle will fade rather rapidly.
But there are those who say that the iPad itself will be obsolete even before it is released. Sadly, it’s true. People may rush to buy the iPad, but they will be buying a machine that is severely crippled in several important ways. Writers will want to think twice before they buy one.