A Week With The iPad

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I had a few people ask me how I was liking the iPad so I thought I would jot down a few things. This isn’t meant to be an end-to-end review but just my experience so far in no particular order.

  • It was heavier than I thought it would be when I picked it up for the first time. Its not a brick. Its solid. But it definitely does not feel flimsy.
  • I bought the Apple case for it. That helps me keep it nice and pur-tty. Doesn’t add much bulk to it but makes me feel like the screen is more protected.
  • I got the 64 GB model but I probably won’t use all the space. I could put my music on it today and fill that up so that is why I got that one. When space is fixed, I tend to maximize so I don’t have regrets and don’t have to choose what I want to take with me.
  • I got the wifi only model of course, since 3G isn’t even out yet. I don’t think I will regret that. I am really opposed to paying for yet another mobile data connection after forking out for Kim’s and mine every month. I work from home so I don’t have a lot of mobile use. When I am mobile, I am probably driving or doing something quick so my iPhone is always with me and does the job just fine. If you were a mobile worker or traveled a ton, I could see it.
  • This thing is fast. I have a iPhone 3G (not 3GS) and it lags on me. Seems like more and more. I get faster and it stays the same. However, the iPad is just plain snappy. No perceived delays on anything. No hiccups. Very smooth.
  • Battery life is incredible. I flew from Hawaii to Denver and really never turned it off. Read books, the kids watched a little movie, and I goofed off. Barely got below 70% battery use. Been keeping it on my nightstand and I really never worry about charging it.
  • So the main purpose I got it was books. As I mentioned, the first book I wanted to read was not on the Apple Bookstore. So I bought it at the Kindle store and used the Kindle application to read it. I have other Kindle books I own that I read on my iPhone so those just downloaded and were already synced to the last page I read there. How nice! I can also read Kindle books on my Mac — like if I wanted to check a reference or quote. Therefore, I totally feel like Kindle is the book buying store/platform of choice at this time. Apple might make strides towards reclaiming that but I am not going to lose sleep over buying on Amazon for now.
  • The reading experience itself is really differentiated over the Kindle by the active display vs. eInk. This has not been a factor for me. I have grown up staring at screens so my eyes are used to it. I also tend to read a few pages or a chapter and then break for seconds to minutes. Sometimes I mentally go back over the chapter in my head to summarize. That quick break might make the difference. Not sure. In any case, I have read for hours on end with no eye strain issues. The auto-brightness seems to help as well.
  • Any iPhone apps you try to run on the iPad are a joke. So small and centered on screen. You can double the size but then it looks blocky. I tried this with the Facebook app and it sucked. I now just use the normal Facebook web site and its great!
  • I downloaded the ABC Network and Netflix apps. So I have TV shows and movies at my fingertips — when I have wi-fi.

I keep my laptop next to my bed. While Kim is feeding the baby and getting her ready for bed, I catch up on blogs, do work, fire off some emails, etc. So far since having the iPad, I haven’t cracked open the MacBook at all in the evenings. I have been performing all these tasks right on the iPad. For one, its a nice change. After sitting in a chair at a keyboard all day, its nice to just sit it on my lap while I navigate with my finger. I don’t tend to type a lot at night but what little I have done has been OK. If I had to really write something interesting, I would probably open up the MacBook.

I have a few more books purchased and getting ready to take the iPad to Boston. The MacBook gets to come too though. I need it to download pictures to iPhoto, edit movies in iMovie, and sync up my GPS to Garmin Connect.

Let me know if there are other specific points you wanted me to cover.