The iPad: Two weeks later
EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm not a fan of most Apple computer products, but a lot of people are. Here is a review of the new Apple iPad by an East Liverpool native and ORL reader known online as "The Arkansas Photographer." Has anyone else bought an iPad? If so, chime in with your experience.
by The Arkansas Photographer
Now that I've had the Apple iPad for almost two weeks, I thought I should share some of the things I've found and learned about it. If you’re still on the fence about a purchase, maybe this will help.
Even after a week, I still believe the iPad is a remarkable and useful device, one that has found a place in my daily routine.
Connectivity: Absolutely no problems with connecting to my D-Link wireless router at home. But at work we have a problem of a dropping connection. This is an issue with the iPad and not with the wireless network. Everything else works on the wireless network but the iPad. Apple has acknowledged this issue and should be fixed with an update.
The battery: The battery longevity was a big selling point for me, and it lives up to the hype. The faster the connection, the less power used.
Applications: Even though Apple advertises a large selection, there aren't that many applications made exclusively for the iPad yet. Most are iPhone adaptations which show up on the screen the same size you would see on the iPhone. The applications that are available are hit and miss. The apps that show the weather radar are great visually, as are newspapers such as USA today, NY Times, WSJ. Games range from fantastic to asinine. As with the iPhone, I've downloaded and deleted more apps than I've kept.
Productivity software adapted from other Apple applications seems to be the most popular. If you aren’t an Apple user, these take some getting used to.
Email and Internet: Both function the same as they do on a desktop or laptop. There is no right mouse button click in the Safari browser--at least I've not been able to find it. Maybe it's a combination of moves with the fingers; I don't know.
Books: Great visuals on the books. All of the latest books are downloadable directly to the iPad and have a fee. Unlike the Kindle there is full HD color available on the ipad. All of the older classics are free.
Onboard keyboard: I prefer using a bluetooth connected wireless Apple keyboard than the onboard onscreen one. There's nothing wrong with the onscreen keyboard. I'd just rather use a real one.
Audio/video: ITunes is the same as desktop application; however, playing songs and podcasts are accomplished on a separate iPod app. You can download movies from ITunes and view either in letterbox or regular. Using Netflix you can stream movies in to watch rather inexpensively. People I know who have an iPad say this may be the best feature of all. Included is an application for YouTube that works great if you have a fast wireless connection.
Pictures: You can upload pictures from a desktop PC and show them in a slideshow or individually. SmugMug has an excellent application downloadable for free that presents my smugmug account very well.
Add-ons: Beyond the mechanical keyboard, I purchased a iPad stand or what Apple calls a "dock" that can be connection to an outlet or a PC to recharge the battery. It also has a plug for speakers at extra charge, and you supply the speakers. The iPad docks only in the vertical position. I also got a case. If you drop the iPad with or without the case it’s over. The case may only protect you from shards of glass that may go flying if the iPad is dropped, but I don’t think it’s designed to do much more than keep dust off of it.
Weight: The iPad is a bit heavy if you are holding it watching a movie for any length of time. It’s best leaned on a lap or against something else. Screen orientation is which ever way you are viewing, vertical or horizontally. I'm sure there will be numerous third-party devices to help in this area.
Wallet factor. This iPad isn’t cheap by any means. It comes in a 16, 32 and 64 gig models. Currently only wireless models are available. Every accessory for this iPad is expensive. Apple and other vendors milk this cash cow all the way to the bank. So research the accessories you want carefully to get what is best for you.
General conclusion: Overall I have no regrets about the purchase of my iPad. Like anything else, it has good and bad points. In this case the good outweigh the bad. With more and more applications coming available and some adjustments in the operating system, this little device will really be something to look forward to using for a long time to come.