Wednesday, June 09, 2010

iPad first impressions

Two weeks ago I joined a short queue at the Westfield Apple store and purchased a 64GB 3G iPad. The unboxing and setting-up went smoothly, and within an hour I was synchronised with my MobileMe account and a £10-a-month O2 3G data contract.

What follows are some thoughts after living with it for nearly a fortnight:

Postitive stuff:

- It is a thing of beauty, silent and cool to the touch.

- Excellent battery life.

- It is the perfect 'sofa companion', providing instant access to web-searches, movie trailers, email and facebook updates.

- Web pages are quick to load and a joy to browse.

- Screen quality is excellent, natural, with a wide viewing angle and daylight-useable.

- The larger screen makes web and photo browsing far more enjoyable.

- The speaker quality is much better than the iPhone.

- The on-screen keyboards are (due to their increased size) much easier to use than those on the iPhone.

Not-so-positive stuff:

- No phone/SMS ability. If it had these functions, I'd be tempted to ditch my iPhone and get a decent Bluetooth headset. Yes I know, that's almost certainly why it has no phone/SMS abilities.

- No Clock App! If you want to use the iPad as an alarm clock you have to buy an App, and leave the iPad on all night! Ludicrous.

- The iCal birthdays subscription doesn't sync with iPad's iCal. Daft.

- Transferring iWork documents from iPad to computer is a pain.

- It is 'Yet Another Thing To Cart Around, Recharge and Synchronise' (YATTCARAS™). Convergence is reversing! The iPad doesn't replace my iPhone. Or my iPod. And it is dependent on my MacBook Pro for synchronising.

- Only one home button. The iPad can be used in any of four orientations, but it only has one 'home' button, which for all its minimalist aesthetic appeal can be annoying from a user-interface perspective. Four home buttons would be useful, and could even be 'programmable' as macro buttons, based on the iPad's orientation.


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