Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tech - iPad Review

I went down to the Apple store on 4/3 to get an iPad. I was not going to buy one because with a desktop and laptop, I really don't need one. But, curiousity got the better of me, and I wanted to see for myself whether this could be the Next Big Thing (John Doerr seems to think so).

Is this really "the computer for the rest of us"? No. But it is an amazing device, and will be quite useful once version 4 of the iPhone OS is released later this year.

  • Onscreen keyboard is surprisingly easy to type on. I was using a bluetooth keyboard, but decided I don't need it.
  • Small and light.
  • Great battery life.
  • The iPad-specific apps are awesome.

  • Power users will be frustrated.
  • No multitasking means a lot of switching in and out of apps--to email an article, for example.
  • Mobile Safari is still somewhat crippled.
I am going to use it for meetings and conferences where I am not going to be cranking out long docs or spreadsheets, but rather checking email, taking notes, and doing some simple web browsing. I have a Verizon MiFi card that creates a wifi hotspot off the 3G data network, so I can connect wherever I am. A MacBook Air might work better with only a small weight penalty, but the battery life is too short.

I consider myself a laptop "power user", so I am really not the target market for the iPad. Who is?
So far, my kids are all over the iPad, especially my 4.5 yr old. She loves to type on it and interact with the Cat in the Hat app. My 2 yr old likes watching videos, which he can do just fine on an iPhone.

I can see that there is a whole class of people who have a desktop computer for most of what they do, and would like a lightweight option for when they are moving around. Next test....what do my mother and mother-in-law think of it.

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