Sunday, May 2, 2010

First Impressions

Is it really "magical and revolutionary" as Apple's marketing machine would like you to believe? After two days of playing around with the 3G version of the iPad, I would have to say categorically and unequivocally, I think it might actually be.

Some observations:

The set-up is pure Apple. Simple and fast. You won't need to read through an instruction manual. There's not one in the box if you decided that you wanted to. The actions required to get you hooked up to a computer so you can register and start downloading numerous apps (including the many useful free ones, e.g., Evernote) are painless. The process to sign up for 3G service, piece 'o cake, the interface, nothing to it.

The form factor is liberating. I told a friend on Friday that the size and feel is unique and that once you use it, it's hard to go backwards. Imagine that for centuries we all became accustomed to reading books that were attached to the wall. We were used to it and we didn't know any better. Then one day, someone introduces you to a book you can hold in your hands. The book you can bring wherever you go. The book you lift and raise and manipulate to fit your position and mood. You would never go back to a wall mounted book ever again. Similarly, the iPad makes it difficult to return to a desktop (and yes even notebook) computer again.

Keyboards? Years ago, Apple introduced the iMac computer sans floppy drive. At that time, floppies were the de facto means of transporting data. Not so said the company from Cupertino. That's what the Internet and new devices such as USB thumb drives were for. Apple was right and floppies were dead. I've been using the onscreen keyboard for two days now and find it simple and accurate. I'm typing this post on it now and find the error rate and speed to be quite close to the real deal. I would not invest in a physical keyboard company any time soon.

Many iPad apps are not bigger versions of iPhone/iPod Touch apps. Evernote, Things, Ewallet and others have added some amazing improvements capitalizing on the bigger screen and faster processors. To those who said this is just a big iPod, I would say: not so.

The battery life is amazing. I've been on this device quite a bit all weekend and still show 54% battery life left. Again, liberating.

In closing, the first impression is very good. Tomorrow, I begin to put this through the paces as a full-on commuter replacement in the office. More updates to follow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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