There is obviously no shortage of iPad reviews on the web, but why not dogpile on? I received the iPad 3G on Friday and have spent the weekend playing with it and letting my kids use it as well. Here are the pros and cons of the device after two days usage, but the short summary would be “impressive with flaws”.
- Typing on it is challenging. In fact, I almost feel that I can type faster on the iPhone. In the wider landscape mode, my hands are a tad too big to really be comfortable on the home row, and since it’s a touch keyboard you really can’t rest your fingers on the keys like you can on a real keyboard. In portrait mode I have to type one handed or with both thumbs, but it’s obviously wider than the iPhone which makes it harder to type in this way. Due to this I tend to agree with many reviewers who think it is more of a content consumption device than a content creation device.
- It can be awkward to hold or position. The Apple case does fold into a good angle to type on or use in landscape mode, but otherwise you have to lay it flat on a surface which isn’t ideal, or rest it on your legs, or just hold it up with your hands.
- It’s expensive. While the device itself isn’t all that pad, when you add in some accessories, the 3G data plan, and applications it can end up costing quite a bit. Unfortunately it feels like at this point there are far more quality paid apps than free apps, and that app developers are charging more for their iPad apps compared to iPhone versions. Hopefully this will improve over time as more free apps are developed, or app developers lower their prices.
- It’s a great gaming device. This normally isn’t a bad thing, but I don’t play a ton of games and my kids don’t want to give it up so that they can play.
- It feels like the future. Touching and using a device like this just feels like I’m in the future. It’s so responsive to the touch, the UI is great, and it’s so slim that it just feels like a big step.
- There are some great applications. I haven’t had enough time to really explore the app marketplace too deeply, but so far I’m really enjoying the apps from NetFlix, Yahoo! Entertainment, TweetDeck and Twitteriffic (can’t decide which I like more), iMockups, Control4, Bloomberg, NBA Courtside, and Epicurious. My kids love Super Monkey Ball 2, PegLight, Sketches 2, and Tinkerbell Fairies Fly.
-The web browsing and email are slick. Two of the core features for the device are very strong and a nice user experience.
- It will make me read more. iBooks and some of the newspaper apps make me feel like I’m going to use it as a reading device and consequently end up reading longer content more than I have been.
- It’s going to be great for travel. It will be much easier to handle on a tight plane than a laptop, or to pull out in the airport for some quick browsing and email.
- Big potential. You can feel that the apps are just getting started and there’s going to be some really interesting and innovative uses of the iPad in the near future. Both as Apple improves the device, but also as the imaginations of app developers begin to really take advantage of it.