Monday, April 05, 2010

Musings on the iPad

So you may have heard that Apple's shiny new toy debuted this weekend. You may also have heard that I have one. I needed it so I could test Mü on it. (Yeah. That's it.)

So now that I've become an expert on all things iPad (one weekend with the device will do that, you know) I thought I'd take a little time to post my feelings on it.

Pros:

* It really is a phenomenal way to browse the web. It's very zippy and multi-touch gestures let you pan and zoom the image to your heart's content. Ever browse to a site with a layout that doesn't quite fit properly on your screen? That problem simply goes away on this device. Put it in landscape mode or portrait mode just by turning the device. It's instant. It's very organic. It's just a joy to browse on this thing.

* Video is buttery smooth and looks awesome.

* There are TONS of great apps for it with more coming every day. Think of all the cool apps on your smart phone (if you have one) and now think "bigger, better, prettier, more powerful" and you have the idea. Most of the best iPhone apps have been re-worked and improved (not just embiggened) to run on the iPad. And although they're on average a little more pricey than their iPod/iPhone counterparts, they're still really cheap compared to software on a PC.

* It's an excellent ebook reader. The Kindle app is nearly perfect and Apple's iBook app is pretty sweet too. It's got enough heft and a large enough screen to have a kind of bookish feel to it and the screen is absolutely wonderful on the eyes. Way better than the laptop screen I'm typing this blog entry on.

* The battery life really is as good as they say. They advertise ten hours of video playback and I totally believe it. I used mine almost all day yesterday for games and browsing the web, all on a single charge.

* It makes a great electronic picture frame too.

Cons:

* 71 ¼ square inches of glass is kind of heavy (compared to the iPod) and fragile. I definitely worry about dropping this thing. This is not something that you can just stuff in your pocket like the iPhone. If you're looking for something to carry with you everywhere, this probably isn't it. On the other hand, it's far more portable than a laptop and does about 90% of what I want a laptop to do. And what it does, it does REALLY well.

* The keyboard, while functional, is not good enough for touch typing. Again, 90% of what I want a portable computing device to do, doesn't require massive typing, so not a big deal for me.

* No USB port. You can buy a dongle for it with a USB port but even that is only really good for downloading pictures from a camera. You're not going to be able to plug in printers or scanners or other heavy-duty peripherals. For me, not a big deal, but for some it might be.

* No camera. I kind of wish there were a front-facing camera so you could use this for video conferencing. I don't know if I would ever use it for that but it would be nice to have the option.

* No Flash. OK. This one kind of hurts. This means that any web site that uses Flash won't work. There aren't many flash sites that I go to on a regular basis but there are some (my wife's http://www.sunshinememories.com for one). I understand why Apple doesn't want to go down that rat hole but I wish they would.

The verdict?

I'm sold. For me, the pros far outweigh the cons, and most of the cons can be rectified over time. Is it for everybody? Of course not. And it's certainly not a laptop replacement. But it's sure going to see a lot of use on my daily commute.

And Mü looks really cool on it too. :)

2 Comments:

At 2:58 PM, April 05, 2010, Blogger Daniel Corban said...

I decided to browse your wife's site, and came across zero instances of Flash. Admit it. You just put the link there to increase her traffic, didn't you!

 
At 3:29 PM, April 05, 2010, Blogger Steve said...

Hey Dan! How are ya? Been a while!

Actually, the front page of her site has no flash but the product editor, which is used to build up the digital scrapbooks her clients make, is done entirely in Flash.

But yeah, I was also driving traffic to her site. Of course I was! She's got some great products! :)

 

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