Apr 5, 2010


My wife, enamored with the iPad, had reserved one at the Apple store this week.  Conveniently being out of town, she made me pick it up.  Thankfully the lines weren't too bad.  I got to poke around with it a bit and I have a few thoughts if you are thinking of buying one.
  1. It's a lot heavier than I expected.  Maybe my expectations were warped by the Kindle.  But it doesn't seem as cozy a gadget to read in bed with.
  2. The build quality and screen is nice.  Really nice.  As you'd expect.
  3. Apple's choice to use the same app screen approach as the iPhone (an array of icons from which to launch the applications) seems not quite right.  The screen is so big and the icons are so small.  It's wasted real estate.
  4. iPhone apps in 2X iPad mode look pretty bad but are usable.  The tremendously large font makes it feel you are using a toy.
  5. Apps are more expensive.  Maybe these prices will come down over time but for now the $1-2 app price for the iPhone (which enabled impulse purchases) is about $4-5 for the iPad.  It's a bit of a buzz kill.
  6. The Netflix app and streaming rocks.
  7. The Kindle app is awesome too.
  8. Movies look great.
  9. Games that are a little bit fiddly on the iPhone's small screen are easy to use on the iPad.
My biggest comment is one echoed by others 'the day after'.  This is a media consumption device.  I didn't internalize that thought until I started using the iPad.  My use case scenarios for the iPad are to stop the kids fighting over what movie to watch on TV and for me to read and watch stuff.  It is not to create anything. 

And to me that's what makes a computer magical.  You can edit movies and pictures, you can write blogs and papers, you can create spreadsheets to figure stuff out, you can interact with people. It's an "i/o" device.  You get information coming in, you process it, and then create and push something out. 

With the iPad you are only going to be consuming stuff.  It's an "o" device.  The iPhone is too but that product is amazing because we can now consume stuff anywhere as opposed to sitting at our desks.  The iPad doesn't add much.  Perhaps the app store will remedy this at some point.  But it leaves you with a bit of a hollow feeling.  I kind of gave up using it after about an hour.  And I found myself in bed last night doing stuff on my iPhone even though the iPad was sitting unused on my wife's desk.

It's a nice addition.  But it's not worth the price and it's not going to get used that much by me.

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