After our Apple iPad review and video review, not to mention our inaugural podcast, we've already covered the iPad in some detail. Having dissected its various merits and weaknesses, it seems prudent to suggest a few ways to make it better.
1. Make it smaller and lighter
As wonderful as the 9.7in display is, one of the most common complaints made of the iPad is that it's too big and too heavy. While 680 grams mightn't sound a lot, hold it up for an hour or two reading a book and you'll probably think differently. Likewise, while the soft keyboard is very responsive, it can be hard to use comfortably when holding the device in two hands. Just making the iPad an inch or so smaller and a hundred grams lighter would make all the difference.
2. Make it easier to hold
It's a problem reminiscent of the original iPhone, in that the aluminium casing – lovely as it may be – is more than a little slippery. Lord knows how you'll feel if you end up dropping it and cracking the glass of that magnificent screen, or denting the aluminium shell. One could buy a case, of course, but some kind of textured surface, or grips to make it easier to hold would be wise. Failing that…
3. Bundle it with a case
Though people buy iPhone cases, anyone who isn't a complete klutz can probably live without one - it fits in your pocket, after all. With the iPad a case is far more essential. That aluminium casing is not only hard to keep a hold of; it will also scratch fairly easily if left knocking around in a bag. Doubtless the large swathe of third party manufacturers would cry foul, but if a device really needs a case then it ought to form part of the package.
4. Make it cheaper
We're not just talking about the dollars to pound conversion here, which isn't anything like as bad (after tax) as you might think. No, our concerns go deeper than that. Apple is clearly taking a more than reasonable margin on the hardware, while also aiming to rake it in from iTunes, the iBookstore, the App Store and its soon to be implemented advertising network. We don't expect it to subsidise the device, but were the 16GB, Wi-Fi version we reviewed to cost £350 as opposed to £429 we'd look much more favourably upon it. Over £400 for a companion device is pricey, and that's just the most basic option.
5. Support Adobe Flash
Well this was inevitable, wasn't it? Without wishing to add further fuel to the Apple vs Adobe fire, just the ability to view Flash based websites would be a welcome addition. Apple could well be right in regards to Flash, particularly video, but in the meantime it's still essential for much of the internet.