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April 24, 2010

iPad Thoughts

Our iPad arrived last week, and after a week of using it off and on, I have to say that it's a pretty impressive beast. I really like it, at least enough to enjoy the one we have. I certainly don't need one of my own, but it's a nice gadget to use once in a while.

Since I haven't used it THAT much, I can't really give a review of it, but I do have some thoughts about it that I would like to share.

1) Battery Life

Comparing the battery life of the iPad to the iPhone is like comparing a steak from The Keg to a steak you found while dumpster-diving (I will wait for all of you to get that image out of your head before continuing).

My iPhone is lucky to get 24 hours of moderate use out of it before it desperately needs a recharge. The iPad, on the other hand, made it through a night of game-playing and live-tweeting without missing a beat. Yes, it could use a recharge, but it didn't *need* it. That's the most important difference.

2) Keypad

The iPad is big enough that key-tapping is a breeze, especially so if you turn it and put it in landscape mode. You can almost touch-type on it in that mode, though that can be pretty uncomfortable when you're sitting on a couch or something. Still, typing is so easy on it that you're more likely to do things that require it than you would be on your iPhone.

A couple of days ago, I posted about live-tweeting events and TV shows (like a hockey game). I used to do it on my phone, but didn't do it *that* much because typing on it for long stretches can be a pain. Not on the iPad. I was tweeting away during Game 4 of the Kings-Canucks playoff series because it was just so easy. Much to some of my followers' chagrin.

3) Thin, light, and yet big screen

The iPad is very thin, very much like a tablet (which I guess is why they call it a "tablet" don't often get something by me!). The screen is large enough, however, that almost everything looks quite good on it, whether it's a movie, video, or just a game. Games and other apps look good too, though it does depend on whether the app/game has been optimized for the iPad.

Tweetie 2, for example, hasn't been (at least not to my knowledge). It defaults to a small view, pretty much the size of an iPhone. You can double the size which brings it to full screen, but it looks really fuzzy. Still usable, and I use it that way. But fuzzy.

On the other hand, Marvel Comics (they have their own app) look awesome on it. Unlike the iPhone app, which has one comic frame at a time and often shifts the viewpoint from one side of the panel to another, you get the full page on the iPad. And it is marvelous. Too bad you can't get your new comics in that format, but maybe someday.

4) Web browsing

You can browse the web using Safari on the iPhone, but it's small and you have to move the screen around a lot. It's doable and it's fine, but it's not "fun." On the iPad, it all looks great. And with the keyboard the way it is, typing URLs and stuff is really good too.

There are a couple things wrong, though it's an Apple thing (in other words, it's the same problem as the iPhone).

1) No Flash!

For some strange reason, the people at Apple just *hate* Flash and Adobe. They refuse to allow Flash on their products (I assume it's ok on a Mac, but their other devices don't allow it). So much of the video on the web is in Flash, which means you can't access it on your iThingamajig! It's really frustrating.

2) No camera

Unlike the iPhone, there is no camera on the iPad. That's too bad, because it would be really cool to video chat with somebody on MSN or Skype or whatever. I guess it would look weird to have people holding their iPads in front of them to take a picture (it's weird enough how people do it with their phones!), but it's still something that's missing.

Overall, the iPad is definitely a cool gadget to have, though it's certainly not *mandatory*. Is it a Kindle-Killer? I don't know. We have one book installed and it looks really cool, but I haven't tried to read it yet, so I don't know how easy it is to read on it. And I have no experience with the Kindle, either, so I can't provide you with that answer.


  1. It definitely looks cool, but I can't bring myself to spend the cash because I just don't *need* one. I can survive with heiroglyphics on cave walls (aka: my laptop and library books).

  2. Hi Sue!

    Thanks so much for stopping by.

    I can understand the reluctance. Apple did price it quite high, didn't they?

  3. I think this is the one Apple product that I'm not really dying to have..which in my case is a good thing lol.

  4. I completely agree. I wouldn't have been urging myself to get it, though I was outvoted. At least I resisted getting one of my own! :)


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