First impressions of the iPad

The purchasing experience was top-notch.  I reserved mine a few weeks ago online.  The store opened at 9am and reserved units were held until 3pm.  When we arrived, an Apple Store employee took our name, signed us in using his iPhone and within seconds someone else came up, introduced himself and took us into the store.  We were done in less than ten minutes.

The machine itself is very slick.  It does feel good in your hand – that hard to define sense of quality.  It’s nice to open a consumer device that is already charged.  Nothing kills the moment like that note in the manual that say, “Charge completely before using.”  We took ours to Starbucks and were online within a few moments.  Web browsing is pretty easy, the screen is excellent, great colors, pages load reasonably quickly, but slower than on my laptop.

The keyboard is as so-so as I’ve read in most if not all of the reviews.  I accessed my email through OWA and responded to one mail quickly.  But I would never write a long document or email using the onscreen keyboard.

I downloaded one video to check out movies.  I was impressed.  Great color, no flickering, lots of resolution.  Onboard sound seems good, will check out headphones later.  (No headphones in the box.)

The charging and sync cable is specific to the iPad.  They told us that iPod cords won’t work.  That’s a bummer – and the cable is unmarked, so the potential for mix up is there.  I will have to label this one.

Early conclusions:

  • This won’t replace my laptop.  I code too much and type too much to make due with an iPad only while traveling around town or out of town.
  • It won’t replace the laptop I keep open on the kitchen counter for checking email periodically.
  • It will sit by the TV, it’s perfect for looking stuff up while watching shows or a movie.  Instant-on is sweet.
  • It will replace my iPod touch when I want to watch downloaded TV shows while working out.
  • I will take it on an airplane at least once for the same reason.  We’ll see if carrying this and a laptop is at all practical. 

Pundits are debating how revolutionary or evolutionary the iPad really is.  My going-in assumption was evolutionary for techies and revolutionary for non-techies.  I think there is still a lot of tech know-how needed to set up and use an iPad.  I’m going to enjoy mine, even if just for casual web browsing and watching TV shows while working out.  Thinking about my relatives who don’t use computers or use them lightly, I’m not sure the iPad, out-of-the-box anyway, will increase their usage.  I’m looking forward to showing them the iPad and seeing their reactions.

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