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31 May

Two Weeks With the iPad

Two Weeks With the iPad

I’ve had an iPad for about two weeks so far and I think ive put it through enough paces and experiences that I can give it a proper review and verdict. I’ve given my reccommendation on the device many times to other curious individuals, but nothing this in -depth. I bought a 3G model with 64gb of space. My belief is that if you’re looking to get the full experience of the device, you need to have the 3G version. Let’s start shall we… Backwards.

Overall Verdict

the ipad is without a doubt the most important piece of technology I have ever owned. I don’t give this recommendation lightly either. I’m known to be a skeptic, and ive played around with enough early technology to feel confident in saying this. Having the iPad is akin to the time that I purchased the first MP3 player in North America, the Diamond Rio PMP300 with 32mb of ram in 1997/1998, or an AOL communicator by a barely known company from Canada called Research in Motion in 2000 that let me use a physical keyboard+check my ims/email from anywhere in the country wirelessly. It was early and there was more to be done, but I knew it was the shape of things to come. The iPad gives me that same feeling – my world will never ever be the same.

What is iPad?

The iPad is whatever you want it to be. It is not a consumption only device and it is not a netbook by any means. The same way that many saw the computer as an overgrown typewriter are just as foolish as those who say the iPad is only a “big ass iPod touch” or a “bedside toy”. The iPad is whatever you the user and thousands of application developers make out of it. It is truly a new way to consume, create, and aware content. It is the true tabula rasa of technology, a blank slate waiting to be molded.

The Battery Life

I have never seen the battery go down to zero… Ever. I barely use my laptop (a subject I will get to in a bit), and the iPad lasts all day+night long. This is a major benefit for me, as I mostly work remotely and hate to be tethered to a charging outlet. Example? I’ve been writing this article so far for a good 30 minutes and I have not used a single percentage of battery.

Portability/3G

it’s light, sturdy, and a delight to bring with you everywhere. I have a case from incase, which makes my overall travel needs smaller than a single book. It does requiring syncing with a computer, but inhale only had to do that twice. You do notnhave to worry about bringing your laptop with you.

As far as 3G and AT&T go? I cant believe this is the same AT&T that provides service for my iPhone. I often use wifi due to being at the office or home, but I’d say 30% of the time I am on the 3G connection. It is blazing fast and very very reliable. Couple this with the battery life of the iPad and I now feel that I can take over the world. I now have ubiquitous Internet and seemingly unlimited battery life.

Overall Performance

it is absolutely fast. I can grab it and start working or consuming things way faster than any other computer I own. The a4 chip is an amazing piece of hardware. I will say that the RAM is fairly disappointing as it is only 256mb. This requires fairly annoying issues such as safari having to reload page after navigating away. My guess is that the RAM will be doubled in the next version.

Storage

64mb is more than enough as most of my data is in the cloud. Music takes up most of the storage space on the iPad. This will probably change with either spotify or whatever apple does with its lala acquisition in the future.

Content Consumption

it’s a delight for reading books or browsing the Internet. I’ve also found a way to stream non h264 video via air video. I’ll watch video content casually in bed, but my HTPC is still the best bet for video due to it’s 52 inch screen. I tried the composite video out kit which was nice, but I don’t get why there isn’t an hdmi out. I don’t want to watch 480p video. The usatoday app is the best example of print media on the iPad. I stillmwouldmlikemto see an HTML 5 version in the future. iBooks is pathetic with its prices and selections, but the Kindle app totally makes up for it. Seriously, Amazon is more than okay.

Areas i haven’t explored too much are gaming and education. The graphics on some games I’ve tried are on par with other portable systems. The possibilities for learning seem endless. I actually want to learn with the iPad. I also think it might be insanely useful for kids.

Content Creation

This is where i think the world completely and utterly underestimates the iPad. Typing is different and the touch interface is certainly way different, but its only about learning something new. I can’t type as fast as I do on my MacBook, but I can certainly type a good 40 wpm still. I assume it will only get better over time. This entire article was composed on my iPad btw.

Office document and presentation creation is absolutely awesome with Keynote and office2hd. Ive already created and given two presentations solely via my iPad. It took a little bit longer but it was tons of fun. Keynote has a little bit of work to do in terms of making customization easier. Office2hd is the killer app for me right now. At 8 bucks it’s way cheaper than pages and numbers. Most importantly it connects with google docs andndropbox. It means my document creation is still all cloud based. I don’t need to sync my iPad with my computer to make sure docs are synced and saved.

Email is great. I mostly use the native mail app, but google has done a great job with gmail on the iPad. This thing is an Email machine.

More technical tasks such as code editing, not code creation are possible. I can spawn and reboot servers as well. I also use terminal to administer our infrastructure anywhere. Ftptogo also gives me FTP access. The only missing technical tools would be a powerful photo editor and a db admin tool for mysql.

Most importantly, I’m way more focused when working from my iPad. I’m not switching back and forth between five hundred different windows. The iPad is the anti-ADD computer. I like the fact thtat my entire centernof attention is on one and only one thing when using my iPad.

Downfalls

The ipad is not meant to be used in nice weather it seems. Its summer and I want to be able to get work sone while laying by the pool on the weekend. The screen is hard to read and the devicenoften has tonshut down due to overheating. I feel this was a big miss by the folks at 1 infinite loop.

Multitasking is missing. I know it’s coming with oS4, but it can’t come soon enough. I’m glad Apple is doingmit right. My jail broken iPhones battery is absolute garbage with multitasking.

Cross app file access is severly needed. I want to upload a pdf I download in mail to drop box and vice versatile. This is just a software fix.

Front facing camera. NOW. I wamtnto use this with Skype video chat.

Syncing is absolutely horrendous.  This isn’t just an iPad issue, but an itunes and Apple issue.  It is by far the least elegant solution Apple has ever created.  It’s complex, confusing, takes too long, and is just a hassle.  It honestly makes me feel like I’m using Windows.

Final Thoughts.

My MacBook has gotten a total of 2 hours of usage in the past two weeks. The rest of my work and play has been done on my iPad. There are some downfalls, but they’re mainly software or app related. That can be fixed with some red bull and an ambitious hacker. The iPod had a click wheel, was mac only, cost $500, and only had 5gb of storage in 2001. We all know where it is now. I’m just as excited to see what the ipad evolves into over a next decade as well.

  • http://twitter.com/cgranier Carlos Granier

    Great rundown Jason. The comparison with the early iPod is amazing and very telling… I really should be getting one regardless of the current shortcomings.

    You can actually tell this was written on the iPad by the telltale “missingmspaces” – On the iPhone keyboard it's usually a “b” when I type a fast. Annoying as hell.

    One more thing… what are you using as your Terminal app?

  • http://www.jasonlbaptiste.com Jason L. Baptiste

    Ha, I left the mistypings there to show it's not perfect :)

    I'm using pterm which is an upscaled iPhone app. It's green text and a
    black bg, so it's okay :D

    Get it fast since AT&T is killing unlimited 3G!

    Sent from my iPad Nano

  • http://www.subcorpus.net //Sub/Corpus

    got the ipad … have had it for a month …
    still cant decide on a case … :)
    too much choice online …

    http://www.subcorpus.net/2010/10/month-with-apple-ipad.html