zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
It's been just about a week now since I got the iPad. I've had enough time to mess around with it, use it for various things, and come to some conclusions on the device.

Summary: amazing. Wish I had one earlier.

If you want the rest of the story... keep reading! (Like I expect you to go away. What, I know it, I'm a riveting entertainer and you're practically on the edge of your chair and ready to fall off... or is that literally... hmm.)

I admit that when I decided that I wanted one of the little devices I wasn't really sure how I was going to use it. Sure, I had some vague ideas that I was going to use it to entertain myself on the BART or airplanes (music, video, games, web) -- but all of that I could already do on my iPhone 3G. The only real difference was the size of the screen. I was also worried that carrying the iPad around would be annoying -- after all, it's got a screen as big (or bigger) than most netbooks! And without a keyboard, I'd not be able to use it for really communicating, answering email, writing entries, whatever...

My mind could not have been more changed.

I picked up an iPad 3G (64GB) from the Apple store the day it came out (last Friday). [personal profile] damned_colonial and I stood in line for two hours and were among the first 100 or so people to make it into the store and get ours -- yay! I like doing that, although I think two hours in line was plenty for me...

The in-store purchase and setup was easy. The Apple staff were very friendly, happy, and helpful. By the time I was wandering out of the store I had a fully setup and ready to go iPad complete with an AT&T data plan ($29.99/month for "unlimited" data). Of course, given the two iPhones in the house, this is now three data plans we're paying for... but I digress.

I didn't really get much use out of it that night or even that weekend, because I was busy with Dreamwidth, life, and other things. It was busy. But Monday... that's when the fun started!

I took the BART in to the city and the entire way I was checking my email, reading Engadget/Gizmodo/CNN, and generally doing a lot of things I would have otherwise done during the day or from an actual computer. The screen gloriously accommodated the pages, Safari rendered them effortlessly, and interfacing with the device was damn fast. If you've used the iPhone you're probably used to clicking things and waiting a while for it to load -- not so with the iPad. It's seriously awesome.

When I bought it I also picked up the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, a $69.99 accessory that is small, durable, and connects effortlessly to the iPad. This little device takes the iPad from "awesome" to "blows my mind in serious ways".

Most of this week I've been at the Moscone West convention center for the Web 2.0 Expo conference. Every talk I went to, I hung the iPad on the back of the chair in front of me, put the bluetooth keyboard in my lap, and was able to interact with it just like a laptop. I could use the web normally, reply to emails with no frustration of using the on-screen keyboard, and Tweeted like someone with nothing better to do. I wasn't slowed down at all, and when the talks were done, I was up and out of my seat in seconds.

Nothing to put to sleep, nothing to close up, nothing to unplug and move. Turn off the keyboard, grab the iPad, close the cover, and away I went. It was magical and it only took seconds. I felt like the king of some mighty hill with the feeling of freedom that the iPad provided me. And when the wireless in the convention center went down? Again? The 3G network picked up the slack and I kept getting data. (Admittedly, the AT&T 3G network is pretty damn slow in San Francisco, but it was better than the "absolutely nothing" I would have gotten with the laptop!)

It was at the end of Tuesday, after sitting through six or seven hours of talks, keynotes, BART rides, and other things, that I realized the battery on the iPad was still at about 60%. Yes -- that means it gets approximately 12-14 hours on a charge with that usage profile. I don't think I can tell you what it feels like to not have to worry about your battery usage. To not have to think "hmm, if I use my laptop during this presentation, I can't use it until I go charge it". To be free of that cable.

It's wonderful.

The screen is gorgeous. The device feels absolutely solid. It's responsive as hell. The bluetooth keyboard makes for a killer combination, but without it you can still use it quite well. The battery life is damned near amazing. Wireless+3G makes me feel like I'll never go hungry again.

In short: the iPad 3G is why Steve Jobs and Apple will remain the king of the hill for the foreseeable future. They've done it again.
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zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
Mark Smith

April 2017

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