I’ve made no attempt at hiding my love for many of Apple’s products. It’s not easy admitting being an employee at Microsoft. I just refuse to not enjoy and recognize great products even when they come from companies outside the one I work for. I use an iPhone, and the reality is, there is not another phone on the planet that can match the hardware quality, and user experience it delivers. If Microsoft did (or even came close), I’d be all over it. My hope is that Windows Mobile 7 lessens the gap.
When the iPad hit, I knew it would be something I would want to get my hands on. I didn’t really “need” it, but the cool factor definitely had me wanting one. I opted for the Wifi version as 3G is skechy at best, and there are other options for mobile broadband even with the Wifi version. That being said, here’s my initial thoughts on the device.
1. Form Factor – There’s no getting around it, using the iPad is bad ass. It really is. I love the form factor. The build quality is outstanding of course. It feels like a million bucks in your hands. There’s just something really unique about busting out this device to check your email real quick, or look something up online. I definitely see myself defaulting to the iPad many times over a traditional laptop for many of the things I do.
2. Media Monster – Music, movies and pictures are a blast on this thing. It’s a true multimedia device, and an outstanding way to consume media. I definitely see myself using it a ton to browse photos, manage music and watch movies.
3. Apps – The iTunes App Marketplace goes to another level on this thing. It’s already money on the iPhone, but even more so now with larger screen real estate. I can see why the GamingBuff.com called this a bonafide gaming device, and there are already some great inexpensive game apps that look amazing on this thing.
4. Battery Life – It’s crazy on this thing. Easily lasts all day no matter what you are doing with some juice to spare. Very impressive.
1. No USB, Memory Card Reader – I really hate devices that are proprietary and don’t offer any universal plug in options. I understand Apple is trying to ensure the quality of the user experience, but devices like this really could benefit from some input flexibility. Now I have to purchase adapters to be able to plug in devices such as cameras or memory card readers. Ugh.
2. No Multi-Tasking – It’s not an end of the world thing, but c’mon. iPhone 4 is going to have it, so I’m guessing it’s just a matter of time before this feature hits, but it should have shipped with it.
3. No Camera – This isn’t a huge deal for me as I just wouldn’t see myself taking pictures with something like this, but I would DEFINITELY see myself video chatting. Seems like another addition that wouldn’t have been difficult to implement.
The bottom line is that I see the iPad as a complimentary device. Certainly not a laptop replacement, but definitely something I would see many people using quite a bit. My guess is that I will decrease my traditional laptop usage by at least 50% if not more. Browsing online, managing email, media consumption are all handled very well by the iPad and much more fun. If you’re torn on whether to bite, consider just going with the Wifi version and saving a few hundred bucks. There’s so much Wifi out there these days, I don’t see the value in spending more for the 3G and the monthly charges.