iPad Review

So i finally got my iPad 3G from the USA, incurring multiple sales taxes and horrendous shipping fees. Here's my review after 24 hours.

Yes it is very cool. It is just like a great big iphone. Using the iPad is something like out of a sci-fi movie, quite unlike using a phone or a computer. Really it brings the same first time enjoyment as when PC's first had a GUI/windows operating system. For the last 15 years, it has felt like computers were only a basic upgrade on an earlier model. The iPad really is the start of something new, bringing together reading, entertainment, multimedia, social media and communications into one box, and letting you go mobile.


Why would you want a great big iPhone?

Well because the iphone is too small for common tasks. The iPad delivers productivity gains from using a larger screen, which enables more navigation options. Unfortunately most of the apps have been written for the iPhone, and we will have to wait for new apps specifically suited to the iPads screen. BBC have a great news reader. But Facebook has yet to deliver an iPad app.


Where would you use an iPad?

On the couch in front of the TV. The TV is background noise, maybe something will catch your ear, but the iPad is a multi faceted communication device, interactive, with on demand video.

Perhaps in bed in place of a book, but it is a bit heavy.

Many NZ'ers don't commute on a train, but I am sure that those who do, would enjoy having an iPad with them rather than a book or newspaper.

Cafes for sure. Goodbye to the newspaper.

In trade shows. This was definitely my reason. When standing around talking to people about websites, it definitely helps to have a device where you can view and discuss their website quickly, without needing to sit down at a desk. 

And in seminars, take notes while you listen, without annoying key clicks (note to self, disable key click noises first). And if the seminar gets boring go check your face book feed


But it lacks the functionality of a full PC?

Yeah true for geeks, but for everyone else, it starts up in seconds, and that instant on feature really is the point of difference. You can also add apps to the iPad that do almost anything you could want, including "telnet" (well that's one for the geeks). So the question might be to ask, why do we need a full PC ever, even on our desk? I really don't understand why after more than 15 years of windows operating systems that we still have to wait about 2 minutes for a PC to boot up? Instant on devices are definitely the future.


What I dislike about the iPad?

It is a little heavier that i thought, a little too heavy to comfortable reading a digital book in bed, but it's fine on the couch.

The calendar layout is easy to view, but when you want to add an event, you need to click a very small + button, then locate the time/date etc on a scroll wheel. But since i had the full day visible in both day/week view, then why couldn't i just click on the time directly on the page like i would in outlook or google calendar? I'm sure they will sort that out within a few months.

The mail interface was not immediately to my liking, but it's growing on me.

We have to wait for all the cool ipod apps to be upgraded to ipad apps. Arguably, at least we can still use them, and obviously, the UI needs to change when you have a larger format screen.


Should i get an iPhone or an iPad?

Best to have both, but if you have to choose, then really the iPhone is better for anyone who does not carry a handbag regularly. Those who always have a handbag might like to stick with their old phone for text/phone, and get an iPad for everything else.

Currently you need wireless access for the iPad, but within a few months Vodafone will be selling the new format smaller SIM cards, and a 3G iPad will give you full internet access on the go. Perhaps get a 100MB per month prepay SIM for $10 per month.


Can I really cut down my NZ SIM card to fit?

I've heard that you can, it's just plastic around the edges. However, when I went to do it, I discovered that the little metal parts on my SIM didn't match the ones on the included AT&T SIM, nor the hole it needs to fit it. So i might just wait until July or August for a new prepay SIM.


In summary

Only buy a notebook/net book if you do a lot of typing on the go. If its only for surfing/communications when you're on the go, then the iPad is for you. It's worth the spend. On the topic of net books, really consider if you can handle the small screens. I definitely think the choice should be between full keyboard notebooks or iPads.


Posted: Tuesday 25 May 2010


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