I’m an early adopter of all things tech. I love to play with, modify, and mess with new technology. I’ve been in the technology business for over twenty years and am still passionate. In many ways- I’m lucky, and have the benefit of getting most of my tech free via my employers.
I picked up the ipad the first week it came out here in Germany and have had an honest opportunity to put it through its paces. I travel a lot and am able to give any mobile technology a solid usability test in the field. For the iPad- the results were very good.
At first I thought the ipad might just turn out to be a well-designed info-consumable, and not really a good tool. To my surprise, I have been able to write, present, take notes, transfer files and basically everything I do with my notebook- but in a light and extremely transportable device. Everything– is a bit of an exaggeration; I am still unable to print with ease, though I can use most Wi-Fi/Bluetooth printers. Sadly, there are not many floating around the offices of my firm. So I tend to create or modify the document on the ipad. And using dropbox or email, send it to a device connected to a printer- then print it. I must say that there are solid office based applications for the ipad, and the ones from Apple are currently the slickest of them all. Apple just released a good update which made usability between MS Office and Apple iWorks a pleasure. “Pages,” is simply dreamy and so easy to use and create. “Numbers,” is functional (as it should be). And “Keynote,” is wonderful. All in all, I am productive on the ipad. A quick note; the keyboard takes a couple of hours to get used to, but it is very versitile and I can type at about %80 of my usual speed. That being said, it’s great!
Where the ipad shines is keeping you busy while in the train or on the plane. Like I said, I travel a lot. My current employer has me underway in a train (mind you, a super-fast luxury train) a couple days a week. I often have to travel to Berlin, Hamburg or Fulda. All these trips can be between 3-5 hours depending on the point of embarkation. Usually I try and get some quick work done and spend the initial hour or two very productively. After the productive time I then have some time to waste, and this is where the ipad rules. Its beautiful 9.7 inch HD screen was truly designed for movies and games.
Games are a point where the ipad really shines. There are thousands of ’em- and literally hundreds are great quality and good fun. The ipad is a truly awesome game platform, and you can spend hours of fun due to the ipads double lithium approach, yes I said double. Apple, in its wisdom, realized that the one thing holding mobile devices back were their battery life. With this in mind they added a second huge battery to the innards of the ipad offering an unchallenged 10-12 hours of usage. Yes, and it is true, you get 10-12 hours of usage. My experience during the last two months is basic usage I get 10 hours easy. Movie and game time depending on the game is between 7 and 9 hours. A heavy 3d game need more processor power and eats more bat. But generally you can play for hours and watch movies for 10 hours on a single charge.
What else do I love to do on the road: reading. As a writer I need a solid device to read docs, periodicals and books. The ipad does this so well. Magazines just shine and include smart interactive material. Books are also a solid reading experience with little eye fatigue. Generally, the ipad is a wonderful device, and I am getting more and more attached to it. I find it replacing many other tools and even other forms of media. I usually purchase magazines and like to hold them and turn the pages. My rucksack often has a National Geographic, Wired and other news based magazines in it. Currently, I have the ipad. Yep, that’s it. The thing has most of my mags in a great format and what I don’t have in magazines, I can get through news readers like Pulse (which I love)..
All in all, the last couple of months have been wonder weeks of having everything I need in one small-slick package. And my little ipad is changing and growing every day. It becomes more personalized as my usage changes and as new applications come out that resolve other issues, needs and tools.
If you have been debating getting an ipad, then wait no longer, this thing Rocks!