Thursday January 28th 2010
Unless you’ve been living in a cave (or you don’t have Twitter), you’ll be aware by now that Apple have announced their forthcoming tablet device, craply named the iPad. What you might not know is that the iPad also poses a threat to every movie-watching person on the Planet Earth.
About 3 minutes and 20 seconds in to Apple’s iPad explanation video, viewers are introduced to the iPad’s movie-viewing capabilities. The presenter informs us that ‘this is an unbelievable device for watching video’. At no point does he clarify in what way the iPad’s video function would defy belief, but he certainly sets the bar quite high.
He goes on to say that…
Now I don’t know about you, but when I’m watching a movie, I couldn’t give a fuck whether or not the interface is ‘fun’. All I’m interested in is the clarity and quality of the movie itself. But come on, this is ‘an unbelievable device for watching video’ so surely, the quality has got to be impressive.
Sure enough, we’re told that ‘the quality of this video… is amazing‘ (by now, the presenter’s bizarre intonation and frequent pauses are starting to get… annoying).
But is the quality amazing? Or is it just a 9.7 inch LED-backlit screen with a 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch? If the latter is accurate, I reckon you’d be better watching Star Trek on your laptop, or even (heaven forbid) a television.
And let’s not forget that while you’re enjoying all 127 minutes of Spocktacular sci-fi fun, you’re presumably either:
a) Staring down at your lap.
b) Physically holding the screen in front of you.
… so it might not be exactly what JJ had in mind when he made the movie.
Now we see Pixar’s soon-to-be-Oscar-winning Up. After a few seconds, the presenter moves his hand across the screen and taps on it. He says the strangely incomplete sentence ‘Can double tap… fill the whole screen’ and then, I’M NOT FUCKING KIDDING YOU, this happens:
The movie becomes cropped to 4:3.
How is it possible that in The Year 2010 a company that is supposedly at the forefront of all things technological are releasing a device that presents a movie less accurately than a VHS from the early eighties?
Incidentally, I’m sure I’ve seen that presenter somewhere before…