• Initial Thoughts on the iPad

    The 3G iPad came out yesterday. I went up to the Altamonte Apple store thinking that nobody would be lining up for one there, and was surprised to see a line of about 300 people. And so, I reluctantly became one of those douchebags who waits in line for an Apple product release; and yes, I’m sorry to say that I participated in the wave the Apple employees made the line do back and forth to amuse us while we hung out. They ran out of 16 GB models before I got to the front of the line, but I was there for a 64 GB since I have more disposable income than common sense.

    After I got home, I unpacked it, set it up, changed its name to iPadonkadonk, and then stared at it for a bit wondering if I had really needed to buy this thing – kind of a weird buyer’s remorse. That feeling didn’t last very long. Having loaded it up with apps and used it for a few hours though, I’m very happy with my purchase.

    The form factor really is just perfect for tooling around the Internet while hangilng out on your couch or in bed. I watched the 1984 version of Dune on it over Netflix streaming last night, downloaded War of the Worlds as a free book on iBooks, and read the news on the NYT app. I also looked at some photos and did some of the other typical stuff I do on my iPhone like Facebooking.

    A few things I didn’t expect.

    1. With an iPhone, you’re always looking for an app to give you a more targeted experience for the form factor. I’ve found that this is less of a problem on the iPad. Facebook, for example, runs much better as an in-browser app on the iPad than it does in the stupid iPhone app that has all sorts of issues.

    2. The iPad doesn’t seem to recognize the “shake” gesture. I noticed this when trying to refresh the Facebook app before I gave up and deleted it in all its uselessness.

    3. Video quality is awesome, as is readability for digital books and the Internet.

    4. It’s heavier than I think is ideal, but this isn’t really an issue. The combination of gravity and a free hand allows you to prop it up comfortably for hours of movie watching or reading. You can turn pages with the iBook app with the slightest gesture, so I find I can rest the iPad on my chest, prop it up with one hand, and hover my thumb over the very edge for an occasional flick when I’m ready to turn the page.

    5. The keyboard is remarkably easy to type on with Apple’s case in typing mode. I’m blogging on it right now.

    6. Surprisingly, you can’t dock it with the case on. I’ll be taking back the iPad dock I bought yesterday as an accessory.

    I have not signed up for 3G service on it yet. To be honest, I doubt I will use that apart from occasional month-to-month stints when traveling, although we’ll see what happens once I’ve had the device for a bit. Overall, I’m really happy with it so far and I can see why so many people have been raving about it.

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