iPad versus HP Slate

April 22nd, 2010 by Casey

Have you seen this slick video from HP?  Over 1.3 million hits in less than 3 weeks!

This video generated a number of articles and discussions online including this article from PC World discussing and comparing the features between the devices.  The same goes for comparison of software.  Librarians when evaluating different journal reference management software often rely on comparison charts.  For example Martin Fenner’s beautifully done chart comparing Zotero, Endnote, Mendeley, Refworks, CiteUlike, Refworks, JabRef, Papers, Citavi gives a very quick and concise comparison of features of these applications.  I wrote to Fenner not because he did not include WizFolio but to point out to him that perhaps he would like in the future to include a column where he would give his subjective score on how he liked the overall implementation of the listed features.

This brings me to the point that in comparing hardware or software, it is not just the features alone that matters but more importantly how the features are implemented.  I have been following mobile computing devices for 15 years dating all the way before the Apple “Newton” era.  I have not come across a mobile device that I feel as comfortable as the iPad.  Ultimately it will be the “user’s experience” that will win the day and not the features alone.  The lack of a camera, USB port or support for Flash player pales in comparison with the great ease of use and the beautiful and crisp display in HD.

Now that there are sufficient people that have used the iPad to read the Wall Street Journals, New York Times, National Geographic and USA Today, it is no longer a discussion if the iPad (or similar tablet devices) will change the publishing industry but a matter of when.  I have used the iPad rather intensely for the last two weeks and is quite convinced that there will be a sea change in the way we scientists and researchers will manage our research papers.  The potential for WizFolio on iPad is far beyond our initial expectation.  We are fortunate that we made the decision two years ago to built WizFolio on the best Web 2.0 technology we know how.  We will keep you posted on the development soonest.

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