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?