The first iPad?

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Do you think your brand new iPad is revolutionary because of its size and weight? Think again.

One of the pictures I have hanging on a wall is of a Windows CE slate made around 2003 mocked up with a screenshot of my brother’s circuit drawing program built in 2001 (on Windows 2000). This shows the state of the hardware back in 2002 / 2003.

Windows CE Device, slate design, 2003
Apple iPad, 2010

Study these two photos. Notice the size of the hands compared to the devices. They’re basically the same size. It looks like the Windows CE device from 2003 is lighter than the iPad because there isn’t as much torque on the hand. Of course, the battery may have been smaller & lasted only a few hours. But it shows what has been possible from device size & screen size for this last decade.

Also, there is a big difference between a capacitive touch from a resistive touch. For drawing, which one is better? It’s not trivial to draw on a capacitive only touchscreen. Much like you can say it wasn’t easy to navigate with a stylus and resistive screen. There are tradeoffs. The good news is that the industry looks like it’s moving toward merging the two directions to provide the best user experience.

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