Waiting for my iPad, reflections on using Jan’s iPad

It’s been 3 weeks since Jan got her WiFi iPad. My 3G+WiFi arrives next Friday, 4/30. Can’t wait. As you know if you read this blog, I first commented on the iPad back at the end of January when it was first announced. After having seen and used Jan’s iPad for a few weeks, I’m even more convinced that I’m right about the device.

Let’s talk about several aspects of the iPad.

Performance. The A4 processor delivers snappy performance. As you rotate the iPad through a 360 degree turn, the screen morphs quickly to each new orientation. There is no up or down to the iPad. Web pages render quickly and crisply. I don’t have an iPhone, but I do have a first-gen iPod Touch. It too is an elegant device, but pages on Safari render slowly, unlike the iPad where it’s just there. Multi-touch zoom is so fast that it feels entirely natural.

Form factor. The iPad feels “right.” The screen is big enough for most web pages, but the device is comfortable the size of a thin book (Jan has the Apple case on hers, I have the case but no iPad 🙁 ). Weight is minimal, esp. when compared to a laptop. I’m looking forward to not lugging my laptop around campus.

Battery. David Pogue said that he could get 12 hours of video playback. We’ve never even gotten the battery level on Jan’s down do 50%. Other pundits have said that 10 hours is conservative, too.

Apps. Yep, you can download zillions of apps. Most are not iPad optimized (and it does make a difference), but you can you iPhone/iPad apps quite happily. They work well, just not with the video resolution of the iPad native apps.

Security. OK, so the browser on iPhone OS was cracked at Pwn20wn, but so was everything but Chrome. It’s still orders of magnitude more secure than using MSIE under Windows. The Walled Garden is a good model. With Citrix apps, support for 802.1x authentication, VPN support, etc. for the iPad, it’s a device that can play in the enterprise. It’s not as open as Android, but each app that’s available to a non-jailbreak device is vetted to some degree by Apple, and that oversight is not a bad thing as I reflect on the state of computer insecurity these days.

Functionality. So you can’t run everything on it. But with 150,000 apps, geez…you can generally find what you want.

So, what’s not to like? it’s not a laptop. Don’t try to make it one. However, it will so so much that folks use laptops for. I’ll convert my work laptop to a virtual desktop (i.e. it will stay in its dock) and I’ll carry the iPad. Typing works reasonably well, but it’s not a physical keyboard. If you really need a keyboard, get an Apple bluetooth keyboard for use with the iPad and you are set. It’s not a phone. You can’t make calls with it and you will carry your phone. However, the iPad is a “cloud portal appliance” and it excels at that (raspberries to Google for not supporting docs editing on mobile Safari browsers).

Am I happy I’ve ordered one? You bet! I enjoy the 10 minutes per day that Jan lets me play with her iPad and I can’t wait until 4/30!

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