Apple tablet: No, wait, it's the iDon'tCare

Apple tablet: No, wait, it's the iDon'tCare

Summary: ZDNet's Joel Evans "can't wait" to see what Apple has in store on January 27th. Neither can the countless Apple-lovers who hang out in Apple stores and read MacRumors.

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ZDNet's Joel Evans "can't wait" to see what Apple has in store on January 27th. Neither can the countless Apple-lovers who hang out in Apple stores and read MacRumors. I don't share their enthusiasm.

You want to know what gets me excited? Content management systems that enable students, parents, and teachers to interact quickly and easily. Social learning environments that flatten the earth in ways that even Thomas Friedman didn't expect. Software that can tell me exactly where my 7-year old is struggling with literacy skills. The fact that he reads at 173 words per minute with outstanding comprehension and recall and therefore, is not struggling at all. The fact that my daughter will hit kindergarten in 5 years and have access to tools that we haven't even conceived of yet. Or that she is, most likely, the cutest little girl on the planet.

HarperCollins in talks with Apple over content? Not so much. Guess what HarperCollins publishes? Who cares? It's not textbooks! The 10- or 11-inch AMOLED screen that will invariably grace this pretty new device (I'm assuming it will be pretty)? Woopty-do! Will that be affordable enough for me to use it as a 1:1 device? Probably not, but if CES taught us anything it's that a bevy of affordable tablets is just around the corner.

If students get themselves an iCouldn'tCareLess for their birthdays, I'll be happy to help them hunt for relevant content and make sure that they can access the wireless networks at school so they can browse the web. I'll do the same for the kids with netbooks, laptops, and iPods. Whatever.

I'm still a big geek at heart. I love cool hardware as much as the next guy. I'm drooling over a new laptop that I'm saving for and I can't wait to trade in my BlackBerry for a Droid that I will promptly root. Gadget lust is strong in my heart. But the hype over this bloody Apple tablet has to end. Give it a rest. CES made it abundantly clear that Apple will simply be a big fish in a bigger pond of MIDs and tablet devices that my students, kids, and I can actually afford.

Topics: Tablets, Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

Christopher Dawson

About Christopher Dawson

Chris Dawson is a freelance writer, consultant, and policy advocate with 20 years of experience in education, technology, and the intersection of the two.

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72 comments
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  • I guess...

    I guess anyone really interested in education would agree with you.
    Anyone interested in beautiful, innovative, awesome new computer
    products would be more interested in what Apple's doing. Guess which
    the majority care about!
    OJB
    • PC's

      The majority cares about and buys PC's.

      It's far more likely that your average student
      will end up using an HP or Acer laptop than they
      will be using ANY tablet. At least for the
      foreseeable future.
      Theli
      • At least for the foreseeable future....

        And isn't Apple about to change that future?
        Sean1964
        • No.

          That's the point.

          Ths is the iYawn. Another Macbook Air - nice for those who can afford it otherwise pointless.
          Sleeper Service
          • Not so fast

            The MacBook Air doesn't sell as well because it doesn't have an optical
            drive and people think they need that.

            I'm on my second MacBook Air, I got the solid-state drive this time and
            sold my old one 20 months after buying it for 65% of the original price.

            At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. When I see the cheap
            Acer and Toshibas that kids buy to use at school, they are complaining
            about them being slow within a year. I've never had that issue with my
            Macs. I never saw a speed deterioration unless I upgraded the OS.
            mlindl
          • Netbooks don't usually have optical drives either

            yet they show the largest growth in the entire computer market.

            The Macbook Air doesn't sell well because it's a pointless device. "Road warriors" are looking for a laptop that'll fit on an airline tray, being thin with the same footprint is a solution to a problem no one had.
            rtk
      • True

        Its true that most people (including students) will use PCs in the near
        future but who cares about the near future or what "most people" do? No
        real progress was ever made and nothing ever got better with an attitude
        that highlighted mediocrity. You can either use something that's "good
        enough" (Windows PC) or something that's better. I prefer better.
        OJB
        • So... which is it?

          Should we care what most people (the majority) are interested in or not?

          [i]I guess anyone really interested in education would agree with you.
          Anyone interested in beautiful, innovative, awesome new computer
          products would be more interested in what Apple's doing. [b]Guess which
          the majority care about![/b][/i]

          vs.

          [i]Its true that most people (including students) will use PCs in the near
          future [b]but who cares about the near future or what "most people" do?[/b] No
          real progress was ever made and nothing ever got better with an attitude
          that highlighted mediocrity. You can either use something that's "good
          enough" (Windows PC) or something that's better. I prefer better.[i]
          brble
          • Good point

            Yes, you do have a point there. What I would say in my defence is that
            the motivation is different in each case. The majority who care about
            Apple do so because they are interested in cutting edge technology. The
            majority who use Windows PCs do so because its good enough and that's
            just what "everyone else" does. See the difference?
            OJB
    • I am not in education and....

      I don't care either. For me, function trumps form any day of the week when it comes to electronics. Who cares what it looks like if it doesn't do anything others costing much less can do? The iPods and iPhones have done well not because they look cool, but because they are cool to use. Just look at MacBook Air, itself a beautiful piece of work, however, it has definitely not flown off the shelves like so many Apple fanatics had predicted. So if the iWhatever does only a few more tricks than the iPhone, it will be a total dude; with electronics, just having good looks can't get you anywhere.
      nothingness
      • You can do the same thing with a typewriter...

        ...that you can with a word processor, so that is a cheaper equivalent, but
        I guess you don't use a typewriter. Anyone who thinks that using Apple
        products is about paying more for the exact same thing hasn't used a
        Mac extensively. I use a Mac because the whole experience is far
        superior. Yeah, maybe I could complete that report on a PC, but I could
        also do it on a typewriter. That doesn't mean I want the experience of
        using a typewriter (or a PC). But if it makes you feel better about your
        sub-standard hardware and virus prone software keep on believing that
        it is all about looks.
        jgpeters
      • Now let me guess..

        You are a nerd with a propeller hat. You say you don't care how something looks or how it operates, you only care about functionality. I guess you drive a beat up Buick, you live with your parents, have a hard time finding a girlfriend... You should really visit an Apple store check out what they've got and spend 20 minutes playing with a MacBook or an iMac. Then you will see that looks and user experience do matter a lot.
        prof123
    • The majority care about education...

      ...and don't give a crap about technology. That's reality, chief.

      My, the rage of the Apple extreme crew is strong in this topic!
      Sleeper Service
      • Really?

        The majority care about education and about not cool technology? Really?
        Judging by the amount of discussion and the number of news items on
        those two topics I think I would suggest you could be wrong. I'm not
        saying education isn't important (I work at a university and my wife is a
        teacher) but I am saying new products which make IT processes like
        education better are important.
        OJB
        • How does that apply to Apple?

          "products which make IT processes like
          education better"
          T1Oracle
          • The iPod and iPhone for one

            Entire curriculae have been downloaded to iPods for students to use
            and carry with them at schools whose IT departments have a blade in
            them sharper than a butter knife (which would be the case in very few
            schools around the world).

            School IT departments mostly don't have a clue as to how to use
            technology to improve education. They use them as file savers and
            administrative purposes.

            The apps possibilities for schools on the iPhone are limitless yet I've
            yet to see a school actually understand and grasp it. Hell, the students
            could write the apps in the computer science classes but do they do
            that?

            No.

            Why?

            Because the people running schools don't have a clue.
            mlindl
          • How it applies to Apple

            Apple products help in education in numerous ways. A simple example is
            iMacs and Mac OS X which provide an easy to use and reliable system for
            use in schools which isn't attacked by 100,000 different viruses! I make
            these comments from experience: I work at a university which uses about
            50% Macs and my wife works at a school which uses them.
            OJB
      • What planet do you live on?

        Or have you not noticed that the FIRST budget area to be slashed and burned in a downturn is education, and to add insult to injury education is the LAST budget area to be "caught up" when things get better.

        That and considering how American K12 rates against pretty much any other country it is more than hard to believe that America as a government or its people gives two hoots about education. Well, plenty of lip service, but now real valuing of it.
        zkiwi
  • RE: Apple tablet: No, wait, it's the iDon'tCare

    Uh...no one reading you anymore?
    mayadanteamihan
  • RE: Apple tablet: No, wait, it's the iDon'tCare

    This is journalism? No, wait, it's a juvenile, pointless, nonsensical rant.

    Seriously, are you getting paid to write this tripe?

    Stick to your Myspace blog.

    What was the point of reading this piece? You preemptively hate some
    unannounced, unseen product, so you pimp out your kids.

    Okay...thanks for the unenlightenment.
    fluk3