My 3G 32gb iPad arrived last week, and I’ve been playing with it since then. As one of the finest technology reviewers on the internet (?), it’s obviously my duty to let everyone know how I feel about it. Heed my thoughts!
Let’s start with the bad things. First – it’s heavy. OK, not that heavy, it’s only a pound and a half – but honestly, that’s not comfortable for me to hold in one hand. Maybe I just have the brittle wrists of weakness, but I always have to try to rest it somewhere when I’m reading it, instead of holding it up like I would a book. Sad face.
I don’t think there’s anything that Apple can really do about this – from what I hear, the iPad is built from one small CPU and two giant batteries, which give it a 10+ hour battery life. Unfortunately battery technology isn’t improving very fast, so this isn’t one of these “Wait a year and it’ll be fixed” technology things.
I suppose they could replace the CPU with one that only uses half as much power (should be possible in a year or two), then cut the battery size in half. That’s not impossible, but not exactly likely – they might just keep the same battery size, and get a 20 hour battery life instead of what they have now, which would also be good.
Next, it’s kinda small. I honestly don’t know if it’s practical to build a bigger one, but the screen is only as large as half a sheet of paper. I’d love it if it was a bit bigger (say 50% larger in either dimension), but then maybe that’d be too big to carry around, or prohibitively heavy, or too expensive. Maybe we’ll see that version in a few years time?
Lastly, I haven’t really found any *amazing* apps for it yet. I have a neat RSS feed reader, twitter client, PDF reader, and more – they’re all useful, but I could have done those just as well with a cheapo netbook for (literally) 1/3 of the price. It wouldn’t have been as cool, I suppose, and we all know that I am all about cool.
(Peeve: Why doesn’t Hulu.com have an app available? I know all your video is based on flash, but seriously, don’t you think that the millions of iphones and 1+ million ipads out there are worth being on? Get it in gear, please.)
Enough whining. What’s good about it?
Firstly, and most importantly, using the iPad is just generally pleasant. Being able to sit with my feet up, ipad propped on my chest, and read twitter / rss feeds / other poncy web 2.0 things is awesome – for some reason, it’s just much more relaxing to read like that than on my computer.
Also, downloading and installing software is a joy. Want something? Grab it from the app store, it appears, you mess about with it, you delete it, it goes away. Attention OS writers: That is how all software should work. I shouldn’t have to worry about where
Text entry is surprisingly good. The on screen keyboard is good enough for almost everything; I wouldn’t want to write this blog post on it, but anything shorter works well. I used it to take notes for a few hours on Saturday, and had no problems at all.
Finally, battery life! 10+ hour battery life is totally sweet, if you do not agree with me, your opinions are wrong.
That’s about all, really. There’s nothing amazing about it; it’s just pleasant to use. My feeling is that in 6 months time, when app development has really ramped up and there are some awesome games & other apps coming out for it, it’ll really be something cool; but by that time, you should just wait for Apple to release the iPad 2.0 next year (as I’m sure they will).
How disappointing; I love gadgets, and the coolest one for a long time makes me think “skip the early adoption phase and just wait a year”. Is that irony? I can never remember.