Well, it has been exactly three weeks since I received my 64GB Wi-FI + 3G model.
BLUF: The iPad is an amazing piece of hardware that I would highly recommend. While your initial thoughts may be “why do I need this in my life and how will it benefit me”, once you start using it, everything just flows naturally.
Note: For the non-military folk, BLUF is Bottom Line Up Front
As a general note, I’m not going to harp on flash (I rarely use it except for Hulu, see below), and multitasking (which is slated to be released in Fall 2010).
1) Screen – I know a common retort is “The iPad is just a big iPhone”, but that statement misses the point entirely. The extra screen real estate compared to the iPhone is game changing, and though it is hard to explain in words, everything you view on it looks sharp. It changes the way apps (and eventually web sites) will be able to display content to the user.
2) Applications – Apple isn’t stupid, and knew going in that most of what was not going to be pre-installed on the iPad could always be filled by the App Store. Netflix, ABC Player, AirVideo, GoodReader, NY Times (just to name a few) all provide added benefits to the iPad. The best part: the longer the iPad is out, the likelihood that even better apps will be released.
3) Portability – I travel a lot b/c of my career (approximately 25% of the time), and the iPad is a much more portable system than a laptop. Longer battery, faster startup, and a more convenient size (plus you don’t have to take it out of your carry bag for security) make it a more versatile piece of equipment. Also, it alleviates a common problem I have when travelling – I save my iPhone battery and don’t have to worry about running out while taking connecting flights that total a 9hr+ travel day.
As far as typing goes, it does take some getting used to, but in landscape mode, I can type at roughly 80% of my normal typing speed. However, I don’t plan on writing a 20pg test report on it ever. The keyboard is perfect for what you will be doing on the iPad 95% of the time.
And of course, what it does best is watching Netflix while lying on the bed/couch. 🙂
1) 3G – I purchased the $30 for unlimited data for 1 month to try it out, and I find it to be slightly faster than the 3G on the iPhone. However, on principle it bothers me that we have to pay an additional fee to use 3G when both devices are under the same company (AT&T). They should implement a system that allows you switch the 3G access between the two devices (maybe by exchanging SIM cards?) or through some alternative method. There are rumors of tethering being allowed with the iPhone OS 4.0, so maybe someone will come up with a clever solution for this?
2) Hulu – Probably the only thing I’d want flash for. If more television companies released apps like the ABC Player (which frankly is Hulu for ABC), then this really wouldn’t be a concern. There are lots of rumors that the Hulu app will be coming (and will include a subscription that will allow much more access). The open question is how much and what exactly will it provide me. If it could provide multiple seasons of shows, Netflix + Hulu would be an incredible combo.
Note: I wrote this whole post on the iPad 🙂