So a week ago today I received my Apple iPad. After a week of using it, here are my impressions.
The iPad isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread. It's better than sliced bread because I can always slice bread myself, but this gadget is awesome. If you have been skeptical about the hype, believe it - this thing is the real deal.
The iPad is, basically, simply a large iPod Touch. However, that simple fact erases the biggest weakness of the iPod Touch, which is its tiny screen. The iPod Touch (and iPhone) are too small to be anything more than pocket mobile devices. The iPad, however, is large enough to pass as an actual computer.
I suspect that laptops are dead. The iPad can do everything a laptop can do except play DVDs, and with internet streaming that's no longer a big deal.
When I first started using the iPad, I was surprised at how big it was. Also, how heavy it is. It is much heavier than a Kindle. And it has twice the battery life you would expect. The reason for both of these is that there are actually two batteries in the iPad, which gives it long battery life but makes it heavy.
I also purchased the standard case from Apple. This case has gotten a lot of bad press, but I like it. It nicely protects the iPad (without the case, it feels slippery and is a bit hard to hold). It also allows you to prop it up so you don't have to hold it. And it is lightweight so it doesn't add much to the iPad's weight.
Perhaps the biggest problem with the iPad is how the screen gets dirty. It is easily cleaned off with a cloth, but why Apple didn't include a cleaning cloth with it I don't understand. I am using the cloth that came with my iMac. Also, the screen is a cat hair magnet.
The most surprising thing about the iPad is how great an experience it makes surfing the internet. Web pages are surprisingly readable using it, and if the text is too small it is very easy to expand it. Instead of sitting at a desk, you can lounge in a chair. Of course you could do this with a laptop, but that can be a bulky weight. Web pages come up very clear and very fast. Scrolling down is easy by just swiping your finger, although this makes it easy to accidentally click on a link (more than once I've been scrolling down a page in Facebook and hit the "like" link by mistake). But overall the experience of the web browser is a great one.
I've spent a lot of time using both the Kindle app and the iBooks app. Both are excellent, but I am beginning to appreciate iBooks method of dividing a book into two pages (columns) when in landscape mode. The iPad is easier to hold for long periods in the landscape position and the shorter lines of text are easier to read in iBooks than the longer lines in the Kindle app.
But the biggest thing about the iPad (as far as I am concerned), is that this device is clearly the best gadget ever invented for playing solitaire. About that I will be posting more about in the coming weeks.