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iPad? Any good?

Today I got an iPad. The first thing I want to say is that I am not an apple fanboy. Based on experience I think the iPhone has been overtaken by Devices based on Google’s Android such as the HTC Desire and Dell’s Streak and, while I admire the simplicity of MacOS and it’s ability to make computing straight forward and accessible it lacks, in my mind, that ability to do absolutely anything which a Linux or Windows PC offers.

What do I want from a mobile device bigger than my phone? I want a device which isn’t a hassle to transport. I have a welt on my shoulder from lugging my laptop around in my rucksack! My laptop is an ace device. A top spec Sony Viao it has punch and looks but it’s not that light.  I sometimes wish i could have a smaller device to access corporate email (Microsoft Exchange), presenting and writing content for web sites, surfing the web and doing all the productive things I do which don’t need my hi-spec laptop but would be easier on a larger device than a phone.

That middle space between phone and laptop was held by web books up to now. The mini/micro laptops which you see clutched in the arms of students, mums and odd-bods on the train. I’d always been wary of them, more from the point of “not another computer device” rather than some aversion to them. I like my devices to be unique, to do something that the others can’t and the thought of carrying around a scaled down version of my laptop, which is a scaled down version of my desktop didn’t really cut it with me. For all the hassle, I’ll take my laptop. But that brings me to the iPad.

I have had this iPad in my possession for a total of 6 hours. I’ve yet to connect it to the web, download apps or put my music and video on it. In fact, it hasn’t even been connected to a wi-fi network yet but it’s innately useable! I’m typing this blog post using the on screen keyboard and it’s autocorrection is almost perfect and, trust me, i have need of such great correction! I’m using the built in notepad app and am surprised at how quickly I can type text.

If this very basic user experience is so good how much better will it be when i connect it to the web and start downloading apps and content. I’m almost salivating with exciting at the prospect as I sit in the train returning from a busy day in Dundee and a presentation to Computing teachers about Games Design.

Other tablet devices are coming. Blackberry will have one which links to the web via your Blackberry phone, Google are bring one out using their Android software and Hewlett Packard just purchased Palm to get their hands on the wonderful WebOS system for their tablet/iPad device.

As the first off the mark, the iPad is impressive, for how long I don’t know, but I’m loving it.

  1. John

    I am a bit of an apple fanboy but I didn’t expect to like the iPad as I do. Surprised how quick, simple and engaging it is, I imagine it would be a powerful tool in the classroom for shared playing, reading & viewing. It may be useful for 2 or 3 pupils working together in ways that smaller and larger (fixed ) devices are not.

  2. Mike

    Like you, have wanted something smaller than a laptop, something I can easily take abroad. One must for me is the ability to use such a device for blogging and making Skype calls. The reason I’m still using my netbook over an iPad is the fact that some of the hotel websites I use to book through still require Flash, and, most importantly, Skype is nothing to me without the use of a webcam, which my netbook has built in. Some elementary photo editing of snaps stored on my camera’s SD card before uploading to Flickr is also desirable. Until iPad catch up with what travellers like me want, I’ll avoid it. Looking forward to Google’s effort and something from HP. I like WebOS, but worried it may be too little too late.

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