Apple iPad

Update: Well, the reviews seem a bit mixed from the tech crowd even as the TV news stories are about the best thing Apple could have hoped for – breathless anchors telling us how much they want an iPad.

Wall Street Journal has a good summary of the early buzz. My take so far is that these are the key features in play:

“low price” “giant iPhone” “many applications” “high quality” “no still or video camera” “potential typing challenges”

This morning Apple launched what is almost certain to become the new tablet computing standard, the Apple iPad. Reviews will be coming in at a lightning pace today and we’ll try to summarize them later, but in the meantime here’s a great “Everything you need to know about the iPad” piece from the Gizmodo people.

Apple iPAD launches

10″ Laptop Reviews from Laptop Magazine

Laptop Magazine looked at several of the new 10″ Netbook computers and has a nice write up of models from ASUS, Aspire, HP, Lenovo, MSI, and Samsung.

The ASUS and Aspire appear to be their favorites when all factors are considered but if you are in the market for a netbook you’ll want to read these and other reviews.

Happily for consumers if not for the industry at large, price in this category does not appear to correlate all that well with features and quality.

India Dept of Education to debut $20 Laptop on February 3rd NOT

UPDATE:  Reports, pictures, and details are still murky but this appears to be a case of overhyped nonsense where the device is simply a flash drive system without monitor or keyboard:  http://education.zdnet.com/?p=2131

The Times of India and others are now reporting that a team of students and the Government of India have developed a low cost laptop that is expected to be put into widespread use throughout India very soon. The initial cost is reported to be $20 with a mass production cost expected to be $10.

Yes, you heard that right – ten bucks for a computer.

Although the specs on these machines will obviously be marginal, it is not longer important for most users to have a robust machine – rather cloud storage and applications and internet-as-network computing has become dominant even for many high end computer users.

As admirable as the One Laptop Per Child project has been to this process it appears the India machines may wreck the One Laptop train. Although it’s not clear yet if the India systems will be self powered and have mesh networking capabilities as the One Laptops do, I think the key brilliancy of Negroponte was to create machines that were accessible to a dramatically greater number of people than have had access in the past to advanced technologies. The India project combined with the dramatic innovations in smartphones and cellular connectivity combined with Intel’s falling out with One Laptop last year may obsolete the One Laptop project in its current form, though Negroponte can certainly be proud to have ushered in an era of “extremely low cost” computing.