For Christmas, I was given an Apple iPad. It’s a pretty nifty device, and I must say that it has changed the way I will access information from now on. With its super easy interface, myriad specific apps, and full browser support (minus flash, but more on that later), I can accomplish 95% of my daily computing needs on it. I know the device is about a year old, but if you’re on the fence about it, sometimes hearing a review from someone you actually know can be helpful.
First and foremost, it makes web browsing a dream. I can do it from the comfort of my recliner,
and every page is plenty big, and I have found few pages that do not render correctly in Safari.
Secondly, apps like Flipboard make reading blogs super I easy. Google reader, twitter, facebook, and others are all conveniently restructured into a newspaper format, making tons of information available at a glance. But that’s just one app. CNN has a fantastic app, as do The Weather Channel, Reuters, and many others.
Third, it makes me feel like I’m finally living in the future. Capacitive touch–the same technology in the ipod and iPhone–is just incredibly responsive. It’s accurate and fast, and that makes the idevices feel so much better than the touch screens of the past. No more tapping around a button hoping to hit the sweet spot. No more tapping and waiting for it to register. I have been extremely impressed by the touch in the iPhones, and after playing with the iPad more, I’m just even more impressed. All that, and I know this is a year-old device.
Fourth, the screen is just beautiful. It’s plenty large enough for watching video, and the video if gives is clear and bright. It doesn’t have much trouble with blacks, either, which is nice. Even with the brightness set at its lowest setting, the colors aren’t muted, and they don’t succumb to the grey blurring that many screens do when the brightness is lowered.
Not to sound like too much of a fanboy, the device definite has its issues. The onscreen keyboard is pretty unwieldy. If you are doing any significant typing, it gets cumbersome very quickly. The touch keyboard that works so well on the iPhone sort of falls apart on the iPad. I’m currently writing this post on the iPad, but I have a bluetooth keyboard attached, which really makes the experience quite enjoyable, but I would never try to write this much on the iPad itself. So, here’s how I have my stuff setup for heavy typing:
Also, the lack of flash is definitely a downer, but I must say that many sites out there are starting to adopt html5 and non-flashed based video playback. So, as that trend continues to roll forward, the lack of flash will ultimately be moot, but I have found on a couple of occasions, I would like to have it so I could watch that neat video of kittens wrestling or something.
The battery life is impressive, but by no means earth-shattering. Under normal use, I can get about 8 hours from it, which is pretty standard fare for netbooks, so I shouldn’t be too surprised But a quick charge while I’m sleeping, and it’s ready to go for another couple of days. So no real complaints about that, yet.
All in all, if you are at all considering the purchase, I don’t think you will be disappointed. Bear in mind, a new one will likely be coming out in the next 4-5 months, so you may want to wait for that, but even if you buy now, it will be a device you will be able to get your money’s worth from. I know I will.