There are tons of reviews on the device – some from people who have had longer time with than I have so far. But here’s my impressions after taking my company’s iPad home last night.
First the negatives.
It’s smaller than I had envisioned (not necessarily a bad thing) and it’s a bit heavy for one hand to hold for long periods of time. The finger print smudges on the screen bugged the living “H” out of me. I’m known in the office as the “don’t touch his screen” guy. If I wanted to spend my day looking at fingerprints, I would have become a CSI. If it was my device, I’d have it quickly embalmed in Zagg’s InvisibleShield.
The device is slick. Really, it’s slippery. I tried to lay on the couch and prop my feet up and lay it on my lap, but it kept sliding into my stomach. Typing comes at a stand still when the device is half lodged in the belly button and cranking one’s neck to watching a video in that position can only be recommended by a chiropractor with several children in college. It needs some of those no-slip tub grips on the back. If your quick, maybe you can corner the market on cute little sticky grips for the back in the shape of your comic characters. I won’t require royalties for that idea, but a sizable donation on my annual fund-raiser would be appreciated :).
Typing was a mixed bag. In portrait mode, typing thumb was “peckingly” slow. In landscape mode, I could type quickly, but I kept resting non typing fingers on the screen (I know, my 7th grade typing teacher is muttering, “tsk, tsk, tsk”) creating lots of typos. The keyboard layout is different. The QWERTY keys are all in the right place, but other keys are in different places as a normal QWERTY keyboard – which you’d expect with the device size limitations. When typing like I was using a normal keyboard, not having keys where I expect them was frustrating. You can use external keyboards (via Bluetooth), which if I get serious about such the iPad, I’ll end up doing.
Now the positives.
It’s sleek. I can’t begin to tell you how natural it feels to touch and manipulate things on the screen with your fingers. Sure I’ve been doing that for two years with my iPhone, but with the enlarged screen, it finally feels “right.” Turning pages, selecting items, moving things around – it was so smooth and graceful. First there was the prompt command, then the mouse. I’ll parrot the mantra that the future is touch. It feels too “right” to be a fad.
It’s fast. I HATE the non-multitasking abilities of the iPhone OS. Yes I know it can play music and let you surf the web, but in terms of real multitasking, iPhone OS doesn’t. That said, I didn’t notice the lack of multi-tasking. It was so snappy in launching apps that it didn’t feel like I was shutting down apps and opening up another. It was more like a slightly prolonged app switching. I was surprised that I wasn’t frustrated.
With iPhone Safari, if I am filing out a form, but need to switch to my address book and then back to Safari, more times than not, the browser will reload the page and I’ll lose any data I entered. I didn’t run into any of that. All my form values persisted which would be very important if I were to use this device as my blogging device. I did posted three stories to the blog last night and while it took me longer, much of that can be chalked up to unfamiliarity with the device. I still need some text manipulation features (which can be had in 3rd party apps) that might make this worth pursuing for me.
I did take a moment to load up Marvel Comic’s app. I loved the crisp color and reading a comic in a true comic book layout was wonderful. The story flow was so much closer to the print experience. The only comics I keep and use on my iPhone are traditional single panels. Strips or graphic novels chop up the layout making the experience a net negative. If you’re into comic books, the iPad is for you. Just get over the fun of zip and seal your mags after you’ve read them for eternal preservation.
Overall, I’m slightly positive for the device. I’d be WAAYY more ecstatic if it had serious media production abilities instead of just media consumption. I usually don’t have enough time to sit around and consume media. When I do, I’m usually near better devices for what I want to consume (big screen for movies, TV; “analog” books for reading, a laptop for blogs and web surfing). I really like the device, I just haven’t found that I need that middle size device in my life yet.