Two Weeks with an iPad
I mostly bought an iPad just to see what the hype was all about. I never expected to actually use it, for two reasons:
- The iPad is a tweener, like a 6'5"" guy who wants to play power forward in the NBA. It's just the wrong size. There isn't enough space between my phone and my laptop for this thing.
- The iPad is just another character in the story Apple started telling back in 1985, "the computer for the rest of THEM". I think it's kind of cute that people who don't know how to deal with non-blocking socket I/O can still use the Web.
So, even though this thing was not designed for me, after two weeks with my iPad, I am surprised to admit that I really like it.
Surprised and a little embarrassed. This challenges my geekhood. I mean really, what's wrong with me? The next thing you know I'll be giving up my RPN calculator. Or using Finder instead of bash. How far is this spiral toward normalcy going to go?
But I can't help it. The iPad is just really pleasant to use:
- The email UI is nearly perfect.
- Using the web is far nicer than my Nexus One or my iPod Touch. The larger screen makes all the difference.
- It's really fast. Everything on my netbook feels like it moves at 1997 speeds.
- Instant-on is a critical feature. I hate waiting for my netbook to boot or unhibernate.
- Physically the iPad is a lot more convenient to grab than my laptop or even my netbook. It never feels unwieldy.
- The battery life is surprisingly good.
Not that the iPad is perfect:
- I really need an openvpn client.
- Getting the mail client to talk with my IMAP server was harder than it should have been.
- I still haven't figured out how to make the calendar app sync with Google Apps for my domain.
- I want Flash.
- Nobody has the Apple iPad Case in stock, and I really want one. This isn't really a criticism of the device itself, but it's really exasperating and I want to vent.
Bottom line, for me the iPad is one of those anomalies of theory and practice. In theory, I should hate this thing. In practice, it competes with four other excellent devices for my attention, and it wins a lot.