Two Weeks with the iPad – Thoughts

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iPad Swiss Army Knife

I’ve had my iPad for just over two weeks now, having been one of the first ten into my local Apple store to purchase one on the morning of April 3rd.  I’ve given it tons of use every day, for work and play.

For me, it is living up to the ‘magical, revolutionary’ tag it was given when Steve Jobs first announced it back in January. 

Here are my quick thoughts on the iPad after spending two weeks and a great number of hours with it …

The Actual Device

It feels quite light generally, for what it is.  But … I use it a lot and it does get a bit heavy when you use it for lengthy stretches.  It’s worth it though.

The screen is as impressive as expected – a wow factor not just when showing it off to friends, but nearly each time I fire up a game or video or interactive eBook on it.

It’s fast.  Super fast.

The battery life is as stellar as early A-list reviewers said it is. More often than not, I’m going three days between charges – with heavy gaming, video, surfing and across-the-board usage.

The one very annoying thing about it so far: it’s a terrible fingerprint magnet – and picks up dust and my dog’s hair pretty easily as well.  I really, really wish Apple had not banned screen protectors, and am searching for a good one that I can get installed for me somewhere local.

It’s Just a …

One of the big supposed digs about the device has been that it is ‘just’ a big iPhone.  I agree with Phil Schiller’s take on that.  I’m paraphrasing very badly by memory from a Q&A at the announcement event, but I believe he said something along the lines of: that statement can be taken as a negative or a big positive. 

I think the big positive is that yes, it’s a bigger, more powerful mobile device that runs an incredibly simple operating system, that actually makes ‘computing’ ridiculously easy and a pleasure.  An OS that 85 million people already know and love, and that is so easy that 2 year olds and cats can dive right into it.

I’ve heard various other ‘it’s just a …’ sort of arguments against the iPad, so the other night when I was showing it to my father-in-law I found myself running down a little short list of what it ‘just’ is …

It’s just an excellent eBook reader.
Just a superb games machine.
Just a great device to surf the web on.
Just a great place to watch movies or TV shows.
Just a place where you can run nearly any of over 180,000 iPhone apps.
Just a workhorse with very capable and affordable word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and plenty of other good productivity apps.  With gorgeous built-in apps to manage contacts and calendar as well.
Just possibly the best and most interesting medium on which to read magazines and newspapers.
Just a lovely digital picture frame when its not in use.

A Bring You Together Device

The big, beautiful screen combined with the form factor make this naturally a device that is easy to gather around.

Games can be tapped away at and played with by two people very easily and comfortably.

It is great for reading bedtime – or anytime – stories on.  And there are already some excellent interactive titles out there that provide maximum entertainment value when doing this.

BCFF – Best Couch Friend Forever

It is a great ‘intimate’ sort of device – one that makes you want to have it with you on the couch all the time.  To keep up with email / Twitter / whatever else on; to play games on, to read on. To find more interesting than the TV.

It Can Also Get Me Through a Work Day

My one day without my laptop recently showed me very clearly that the iPad is eminently capable of being my workhorse device.  The only thing missing – for my very particular kind of work – is a really good blogging app.  The ones that are around are piss-poor unfortunately.

I Can’t Look My iPhone in the Eye

I am more than a little shocked at how much I find myself using the iPad instead of the iPhone.  Basically, the iPad is King of the Night.  It has definitely taken more of my time with the iPhone than time with my laptop.

After 7:00pm I am rarely using the iPhone for anything other than its phone function.  There are very few apps – day or night – that I would not rather use on the iPad when it is nearby.

The iPhone’s biggest remaining trump card is that it’s always with me. It’s still a superb device, but given the choice now, I’ll use the majority of apps on the iPad when it’s nearby.

And for You?

How have your first couple weeks, or days, or hours with the iPad gone? What do you think of it so far?  What does it ‘just’ do for you?

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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14 thoughts on “Two Weeks with the iPad – Thoughts”

  1. I’ve had my 64gb iPad for 10 days. So far I’m very impressed! Bought it mainly for one app that I will use at the office, and keep finding more things I love doing with it. Just learned how to rip my DVDs and get them onto the iPad, so I can use it for some entertainment during an upcoming lengthy travel session. Email is a snap, web browsing is good, tho I have found several things won’t run (Flash!), and that is frustrating! The list of things that require either my laptop or desktop is getting shorter.

  2. I need two things:

    1. A quick on/off case that I can use a stand for the iPad while resting on my lap. The does a nice job when she's around, but usually she doesn't hang out long.

    2. I case similar to the Incase Slider. Easy on an off for normal use.

    Better yet, combine to two – an Incase Slider with a lap stand built in.

      1. I get my iPad 3g next week & I have also started to look for a case. I want some thing that opens like a note book and holds closed with rub band around the corner. I see allot of people on the subway with kindels like this and it looks like it works great. has a pic of almost ever iPad case so far. Not sure which one I will pick up

  3. I've had a 32GB iPad for two weeks. It is, as you said, my couch BFF. I really wanted something that I could use to browse the internet while away from my computer desk. For that, it has been almost perfect. I used to use my iPhone to browse the web despite its small screen. Plus the iPad battery is terrific.

    The first thing I worried about when I got my iPad was that none of the apps I use on my iPhone to make browsing easier (site-specific apps, RSS readers, and the like) were not updated for the iPad touch. Of course it didn't take me long to realize those were unnecessary because a) the screen is much bigger, and b) I'm on WiFi which is faster.

    The only complaint I have is with Mobile Safari. While Mobile Safari on the iPad is a good browser, I've been looking at other options. Currently I really like Atomic Web Browser despite the bugs it still has. I like desktop-style tabs far more than the way Mobile Safari handles them. Plus, going from page to page on Mobile Safari is rather painful since it doesn't seem to hold much of the background pages in memory. AWB seems to handle things smoother and has more bells and whistles.

    With Air Video (stream any video from my computer to the iPad regardless of format), Wormhole Remote (control programs on my Mac) and Good Reader (beautiful PDF reader with iTunes file sharing) I can do just about anything from the iPad. It even works well with the Apple Bluetooth keyboard that came with my iMac which I replaced shortly after I got it.

    I was going to get a cheap netbook to fill all these roles, and with a few minor exceptions, the iPad is everything I could have hoped for in what, for me, is used as a mobile web device.

    Like the author, I also find I can't look at my iPhone in quite the same way. I believe the iPhone is more impressive, from a technology standpoint, but it just seems so tiny now. The iPad has spoiled me. I have yet to take the iPad out of my house so the iPhone still gets plenty of love.

    1. I've been meaning to try GoodReader – will get to that soon. I know a lot of people feel unsatisfied with Mobile Safari, but I'm honestly very content using it – I love tabs on my desktop browser but really don't miss them much on the iPad or iPhone.

  4. Patrick,

    I got 3 iPads on opening day. One for each of the kids to replace their old eMac for shoolwork, one for the wife (just to keep the peace in the family!).

    – The kids: They love it, although getting it the weekend before Spring break made them view it basically as a gaming platform. I don't think they went outside for more than 2 hours.

    – My 13 year old immediately figured out how to play N.O.V.A. in multiplayer over the net. Then he figured out how to play locally with me on my iPhone, He totally pwns me in that game.

    – Same 13 year old told me last week, "Dad, you're right the iPad is great for homework". Me: "How so". "I got a free calculator app and my math homework was done in 5 minutes". OK, note to self, check with teacher about this.

    – My wife. Loves it. Especially Epicurious and BigOven apps. She's been baking like crazy for a school fundraiser, and using the iPad as her recipe book.

    – Currently I'm going through an assessment of what I use my notebook for at home, to see if I can replace it with a combo of iPad with base computer (like a mac mini). Would be glad to share that with you if you want.

  5. Excellent blog I am actually writing in one after quite some time, need some serious advise. This is my major usage, browser, movies, music, email, social networking, blogging and word processor and excel at times. The milllion dollar question is can I sell my MacBook put in the extra money and get the ipad. I already have an old windows laptop, pc’s and of course an iPhone. Serious advise needed.

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