Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My iPad Experience

I finally got my hands on an iPad.  I've been playing with it for a little over a week.  Overall, I think it's a great little device and I think if I didn't have an iPhone and an iPod Touch, my jaw would've dropped when I first held it.  However, owning an iPhone and an iPad Touch lessened that experience drastically.  Here's the bottom line:

  • The iPad is currently no more than an iPod Touch with a larger screen.  I was hard pressed to find that it does anything that the iPod Touch or iPhone didn't do.
  • Reading the NY Times, Financial Times and books on the iPad is fantastic as you don't have to scroll as much as you would using the iPod Touch/iPhone.  Other than that, pretty much everything else is the same, but less mobile.
  • Owning an iPad does not eliminate the need for a laptop as I don't see using it for writing long e-mails or papers.  It's also not ideal as a business device because of many limitations to storage, applications, etc...  Plus, you can't even print from theh iPad.
  • Obviously, it doesn't eliminate the need for a Phone either since it does not have voice capability and it's not portable enough to carry in your pocket.
Additionally, Apple made a few mistakes with the device, which I'm certain, will be corrected in future hardware releases:

  • The iPad does not have a front-facing camera, which means you can't use it for video-conferencing through Apple's new FaceTime application.  The iPad would've been ideal for that function with an iPhone on the other end.  I could see my wife and kids being on the iPad at home and me on the iPhone on a trip and interfacing with them.  This would be much more difficult with an iPhone-to-iPhone transactions due to screen size limitations that are not ideal for "group" viewing.  This ia a major design flow and Apple will be certain to correct in future iPads.  Hopefully, they would somehow release a tiny camera for existing users...
  • Printing... Wow, I can't believe you can't print from the iPad.  Hopefully, this is something that can easily be remidied with a software release in the future.
  • Expandability... You can't plug a USB key or any other type of storage device to the iPad.  So, good luck trying to transfer a file from the iPad to another device or vice versa.
  • HDMI output... OK, this is kind of a nice-to-have, but why doesn't the iPad have an HDMI hookup so you can plug-it into a TV or external monitor?  Viewing pictures and videos would've been great.
P.S. I just pre-ordered my iPhone 4 and can't wait to get it on Jun 24.  I'll post my initial impressions as soon as I get my hands on it.

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