Anything that can get this slovenly sun deprived soul out into the sun, without a forklift and some chains is probably a good thing. The iPad arrived Friday morning, right as promised by the web based web marketeers. A small rather gloss less white apple box with shiny sealed plastic wrap. Opening revealed a very recognizable pull tab and documentation packet. De-boxing was the standard no frills fair, with another layer of plastic seals and then treasure.
Now considering all the rants about the new iPad being a large screen iPhone, the premise is basically correct. However this type of description is rather misguided as that is exactly what was expected and sought after. Squinting at a small phone s reenact is only acceptable when there is no other practical alternative, of which a netbook barely complies. The iPad is exactly as advertised. a wonderfully compact mobile reader. The screen and resolution are suited well for web content, and it shines with beautiful vibrant color. Outdoor viewing isn’t stellar, but usable under the sun. Turns out that the biggest issue with outdoor viewing is if one uses polarized sunglasses, as the screen is completely obscured. Beautiful and shiny has definite drawbacks as the screen is highly prone to fingerprint smudges and dust magnetism. There also seems to be an absence of a supplied screen cleaning cloth, like that provided with the iPhone.
Wireless access setup was as expected with some hesitation due to all the reports of dropping connections. Happily not a single wireless issue was encountered and all wifi was enabled without incident. The AT&T 3G setup was a bit more wizard impeded. But yet again the setup was pretty painless and active in no time. Happy synchronization with iTunes ensued, and all was good. One grip about the sync was that it ported over all iPhone apps regardless if it was an iPad app or not. although the apps for iPhone do work on the iPad, it is a bit humorous to pop open ones iPad, activate an app and get a hi-res virtual iPhone screen displayed.
Input is mostly intuitive, as the touch based screen is basically an iPhone. The virtual shift keys seem to be more resistant to being set for some odd (and somehow purposeful) reason. Typing is easy but sometimes lag prone. The buttons being bigger lend themselves to proper brain training and one handed typing eventually becomes very handy (pun not intended).
Battery life is amazing. After web surfing, blogging, game playing and various amounts of doodling on 3G for the past hour, I’m still at 90%. I’m guessing with video watching and streaming wifi entertainment the battery might not be so vivid. Also of note is the lack of apple laptop 190 degree lap burning sensation.
Book content as far as the iBook library goes is OK. The simple addition of the kindle iPad app changes everything. Even less conventional authors such as Piers Anthony are present. Various comic and magazine vendors are available via app add-on, but not yet in all encompassing coverage. The selection will continue to grow with time and adoption of the e-media by the consumer base.
Happily I continue to become more accustom to this new cyber tether. Currently it is promoting freedom of mobility, and emergence from the dark dungeons of computing at home. The iPad seems a versatile scribble pad of ingenuity, bound only by the current release of ideas. With other vendors taking heed of the market, it’s only a matter of time before the next big idea changes the way people thing about electronic media. But for now I will be content with kicking back in the shade of the poolside umbrella, protected from the evil ball of fire, enjoying the valley breeze …