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Earlier today I wrote about anticipating today’s big announcement. Several years ago they announced the iPhone and it made significant changes. Before the iPhone, most people only had data enabled phones for work. I (along with most of the world) would have been shocked if Apple didn’t announce a tablet. And they did. They’re calling it the iPad.

Here’s what I was most curious about though.

  1. How bad am I going to want it?
  2. Is it going to be a game changer?

I’ll get to those two questions in a second though. Following the twitter feed, the general public seemed to have the same impression that I was having. Is this it? It’s just a bigger iPhone. Sure, it’s cool and I’d certainly rather kick back on the couch with this as opposed to my iPhone or laptop. Everyone was looking at this devise with a price in their head. There’s no way I’m paying $1000 for something that’s too much like my iPhone. Then they dropped the bomb. $499. No one expected that. No one. Suddenly the iPad got a lot more appealing.

So, back to my two questions. How bad do I want it? Not bad bad enough yet. It’s kind of like when the iPhone came out. As cool as it was, it wasn’t cool enough to drop $600 (or later $400) to have one for myself. But, once the 3G came out and the price point was unbelievable – I was in. For me, the iPad isn’t there yet. No camera. If it is the ultimate way to browse the web, it needs to have a camera for video chat. I knew that at some point I’ll want an ebook reader, but I’m not convinced I’m there yet. I also have a 2 year old in my house. Having an iPad and a 2 year old makes me REALLY nervous.

Is it going to be a game changer? I’m leaning toward saying yet. Again, I don’t think they’re done yet. There is some tweaking and additions to do to the iPad, but I think it’s going to shift computing for the next several years. It’s a kindle killer. Why spend $300 or so on a kindle when you can get SO MUCH MORE with this? Although I think staring at the iPad is going to be harder on the eyes than staring at the e-ink of the kindle… but they’re apples and oranges. Just as the iPhone and iPod touch jumped into the game market, the iPad is going to be a killer gaming device. Last of all, the size allows the iPad to be more of a productivity device. I can get online and do some work. The interface works so well, I don’t have the need for a mouse anymore and using my hands is the device is so much more natural. So, I think we’ll see a lot of these things, especially in the second version when Apple gets a little mileage out of it. Best of all, they’re going to push competition to innovate and rethink the way computing is done.

In case you missed the big event, click here to read about it (with pictures).

Even better, watch Apple’s cool video to get the best experience.