I've now owned my iPad for almost a full week. As many of you know - I'd like to think of myself as a "standard consumer" early adopter. The "regular consumer" descriptor speaks to the point that although I may work for a tech company -- I'm not really a "techie" ... I don't speak in tech jargon nor do I get excited about things like processing speed, etc. I just like cool gadgets that make my everyday life activities more convenient.
Anyway ... Onto the specific task at hand ... So I bought an iPad....
At 9 AM Saturday morning, Amy, Alexa and I went to the Apple Store 6 blocks from our apartment and waited on a line for 15 minutes or so. It wasn't bad at all, in fact, it was actually really interesting. While waiting on the line, we were accompanied by friendly Mac employees who offered us water, as well as being greeted by people from Starbucks giving away coffee and food (as well as other folks giving away fruit drinks, etc). When we got into the store - it felt like there were as many employees as customers jammed into the place. When we got set-up with our 1:1 sales person, I was on the fence as to which memory size I should buy - and when I told the sales rep what I was planning on using it for (web browsing on my couch), he told me that the less expensive model was more than fine (I wasn't hard sold on the more expensive versions - which was nice)
. Amy's coolest take-away from the experience was the check-out process. I gave my credit card to the sales person helping me, he swiped my card on a hand-held device and a receipt was emailed to me. Easy breezy. (Click here to read Amy's perspective
Anyway - onto the actual product review
. I'd be lying if I said my first impression was a good one. After charging the iPad, when I turned it on I was greeted with a prompt that instructed me to connect to iTunes. I did this and then my iMac told me that I needed to update my verison of iTunes (which I did). I was then
prompted that my Operating System (Mac OS 10.4x wasn't compatible with the iPad). This wouldn't have been the worst news in the world if I solely wasn't able to sync my iPad with my iTunes... but ... I couldn't do ANYTHING with it. I couldn't play with my new toy!! I was so annoyed. So the next day, I went to the Mac store and they connected my iPad with a computer there and I was all set (until I turned it off when it happened again). UGH! Luckily my work computer is compatible... So in terms of "easy compliance with my existing hardware" - I gotta give the iPad an F. Apple took the arrogant assumption that the only people they wanted to have a seamless first experience with was those people who had everything latest and greatest from them... It seems as if I want to avoid this I need to update my OS (which I'm in the process of doing - but need to back everything up, etc),
That's the bad news....
The good news
is that once I got the product to actually work -- it was EXACTLY what I was hoping it was
: A bigger, sleeker iTouch/iPhone that is perfect for couch web browsing at home (with my access to my wireless connection)
. That's all an iPad is: an iTouch with a screen that is about 6 times the size, which enables a far more enjoyable web browsing experience. The product is extremely light and does not over-heat like a laptop or netbook. In my first go-round, the battery life has been extremely impressive. I've used it for a few hours every night this week and have yet to have to charge it up since my first initial charge...
The book reading feature looks amazing. Perfect for reading in bed because you don't have to turn on the lights if your significant other is trying to sleep.
I'm sure the applications will only get better - and like they did for the iPhone -- the applications will be the real value of the device in the long-term - especially given the sizable real estate expansion of the device. In particular, I couldn't get over how cool the ABC viewing app was. It made it so easy to watch shows - and the video quality was fantastic!
I'm sure a solution will be figured out over time - but one downside was Flash being excluded. It is definitely a drawback as I've been unable to view Youtube vidoes on the device yet because of this.
I'm still getting used to some of the strange lay-outs (like how email inbox appears, etc), but no major lay-out complaints.....
So, all in all, if you are in the market for a laptop to be used at home primarily for web browsing -- I highly recommend the iPad. If you are somewhat experience with the iTouch/iPhone experience you will have no problem getting accustomed to the iPad. It's definitely an affordable price and I definitely see myself getting my money's worth in no time.
That's it for now. I'll try and update this post as I encounter good and bad things with the product....