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Quick and Dirty iPad Review

April 5th, 2010

I wasn’t the first in line to get an iPad, but I did drive to Staten Island to avoid lines, and got one as soon as it was released. It is a pleasure to have it. I have demoed it to fellow former Apple coworkers over the weekend and they were unilaterally amazed and they all want one. There is no such thing as a perfect product, but the iPad surely comes very near.

Here’s a little breakdown of my first findings of the iPad:

  • Speed: It is super-fast. I mean unbelievably responsive. I open up Mail and instantly it loads my 13 unread items that weren’t there a nanosecond ago. I click on an email, it loads instantly, then I click on link in it and takes me to Safari in nanoseconds. Every app is responsive and it’s not something I expected after owning an iPhone and iPod Touch for awhile. The iPad is much-much faster.
  • Weight: it seems light at first lift up, but it really is 1.5 pounds, so reading on your back is not very comfortable. Holding it in your lap, though is.
  • Form factor: It is large. It’s mean to be large, so you can read your magazines with glasses in bed, but it fits in my Tumi handbag, which is quite small. It is beautiful in every way. The screen is incredible, the back is aluminum (hasn’t gotten hot yet, but I heard it might), the speaker is mono, but the sound comes out deep and rich.
  • Keyboard: Fairly comfortable to write on it in both portrait and landscape modes. The only problem I’ve been having so far is tapping to the beginning or a middle of any word; it will just simply not happen. I can however tap to the end of a word. Selecting full words happens sometimes. I have not been able to have the CAPS lock on; maybe it cannot do it (yet).*
  • Browser: Safari can display PDFs beautifully, on top of bringing your websites to you. Have experienced some issues while trying to view some Hungarian websites, which partially loaded in a frame but most of the screen remained empty. Viewing a website and clicking on an article or zooming in on something is all done in nanoseconds. I’m not joking, sites load faster than in my Mac Pro with it’s 10,000 RPM HD.
  • Apps: there are a lot of good apps out there already such as WordPress that I’m using at the moment to type up this review. I have downloaded and can recommend most of the following apps:
    1. TweetDeck: Comfortable Twitter client with columns. I use it on my Desktop, so it was an obvious choice for the iPad.cannot display Facebook feeds, nor can you open a link that’s in the tweet. I’m assuming updates will fix it.
    2. GoodReader: A full-featured PDF editor. You can send PDFs over WIFi or download them from a link within the app. You can view the PDFs in their original form or view them as text. If you choose to view them as text you can choose the background and text colors, both in day and night modes.
    3. NYT Editor’s Choice: Not a full paper or a full web site, but certainly enough articles to read. It does crash fairly frequently, though, but that’s nothing new after using their app on the iPhone.
    4. WeatherBug Elite: A very nice weather app. Haven’t figured out how to change to Celsius, but I’m assuming most of you won’t consider this an issue. **
    5. gogoDocs: Google Docs reader, exactly as it sounds. Supposedly, there will be an update, where it’ll introduce editing capabilities.
    6. Netflix: Need I say more? It works. Not as intuitive as the web interface, but still very nice.
    7. ABC Player: Plays ABC TV shows just like the web site.
    8. Wikipanion:Fast, logical and you can even create bookmarks.
    9. 1Password: A beautiful application to keep track of your passwords, web site log-ins and other secrets. If you don’t have it for your Mac, I’d highly recommend getting it, since you can sync your data wirelessly to your iPod/iPhone/iPad.
    10. Things: A very simple yet pretty task management app I started using on my Mac, then iPhone, now iPad. Awaiting automatic syncing through a server, but I know the developer are working hard to bring that to us.
    11. Scrabble: Have not used it, but I’m assuming it’s similar to the iPhone version, which I loved.
    12. WordPress: I started writing this blog on it, but since I cannot tap into words properly, plus this app is buggy, I switched to my Mac. I closed the app without saving and it saved and recevered my post. Next time I saved the draft, closed the app, restarted and half of my post was gone. So use this one with caution.

So, all-in all: I love it and it’s only day 3. I cannot wait for my 3G version so I can use it anywhere. This one already has a new mommy.

* Go to Settings/General/Keyboard and enable Caps Lock

** Go to Settings/WeatherBug to change units

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