Disappointment and a little elation are proliferating after the release of Apple's iPad. Hype and conjecture were clouds of flocculence preceding the release date, only to congeal into a giant iPhone. Looking forward to the coming reception by regular consumers, who will be the ones who will actually define this new device as a success or failure, begs the question: What do consumers really want from their technology? The Philips Center for Health and Well-being released a study this month which asked US men and women what activities are made better by technology, as well as what features are of importance in the same.

Most responses remained constant between respondents' genders in the first section, as top activities improved by tech were communication, information and medical treatments. Those that differed most between genders were education (men 73 percent vs women 80 percent) and staying organized men 71 percent vs. women 67 percent).

According to eMarketer's data on the study, 64 percent of respondents said that the Internet made life better, though only 26 percent said the same of social networking services.

The most important tech feature for all respondents is that it be built to last (94 percent), followed evenly by quality, price, and ease of operation (92 percent). Again, gender responses remained within a few percentage poits of each other, but some showed divergence.The response "makes my life easier" was important to 86 percent of men, but to 92 percent of women, and the response "able to personalize with colors or features received 56 percent response from men 56 percent but a much more significant 70 percent from women.

Applying these findings to the new Apple object of desire/indifference, the iPad seems poised on an ideal set of priorities - quality, price and intuitive design are its strengths, if one believes a smitten Stephen Fry.