Mesmerizing iPad

Today iTouched the iPad.  I mean I spent a few minutes holding it, touching its screen with my dirty fingers, rotating it, shaking it, browsing to a few sites that people said won’t work, checking out my own blog on it, and doing a few more trivial and usual things.  What can I say?  It’s mesmerizing. Hypnotic.

I am not a big fan of Apple products.  I never had one and I am not planning to have one.  I appreciate the slickness and everything, but it’s just not my cup of tea.  Especially at those prices.  And I wasn’t ever much interested in their products either.

But the iPad seemed different.  Nobody could quite figure out what it was, and even reviews from those people who had the device seemed confusing.  It’s seemed like a cool toy that nobody knew how to play with.  Which usually means you either have something revolutionary or something really stupid.   And Apple and Steve Jobs aren’t stupid, so circumstances were suggesting revolutionary.

After seeing it with my own eyes and touching it with my own fingers, I have to agree.  It is revolutionary.  Not necessarily in a way that everybody should run to the shop and buy one, but in a sense that Apple and Steve Jobs are experimenting with something that more people should be experimenting with.

Now, enough with all that non-sense.  How was it, really?  I liked it.  A lot.  It was pretty intuitive and easy to use.  It was pretty much the size and weight that I was expecting after seeing a billion reviews.  And it works well.  My own blog looked nice in it.  Even embedded YouTube videos were working fine (using the HTML5, not Flash, but I had nothing to do with it on either publishing or consuming end).  YouTube itself worked fine.  Flickr was fine, except for the slideshows which require Flash.  I tried a few applications that were installed on the iPad – Kindle, LinkedIn, solitaire and more.  Checked Google Maps.  Everything was working nice.

I particularly enjoyed the YouTube experience.  An embedded video from a blog post, expanded full screen and rotated horizontally was something.  Somehow it just felt natural to do so.  And I never felt I should do this in the browser.  Plus I was pretty impressed by the sound quality coming out of the device.   It wasn’t like your average mobile phone.  It was way better.

After using the device for just a few minutes I started thinking of buying one.  I was discussing with other people in the room if should batch order together and if we should wait for the 3G version or get the WiFi one, etc.  It was only when I came home and spoke to my wife I got the hypnotic effect dissolved.  That often happens when I speak to someone smart.  And it had nothing to do with her being my wife.  Her arguments were solid.  After all, I recently bought a laptop for roughly the same price.  And the laptop does way more things than the iPad, and most of them it does better than the iPad too.  I have the full-blown QWERTY keyboard, not a touch screen.  I have bigger screen.  I have a hard disk with a whole lot of files.  I have a better choice of software – anything from games to personal finance tools, not simple apps to access websites. And so on and so forth.

Resume?  It’s a slick device, it’s pleasant to use, and it will get quite popular.  There are certain people and certain scenarios which would benefit from using iPad instead of a mobile phone or a laptop.  But I am not one of those people and I none of those scenarios happen in my life often enough to throw away that much money.

How about you? Have you touched one already?  Do you want one?  Do you see yourself using one?  What for and how?

5 thoughts on “Mesmerizing iPad”

  1. I am using one to respond to your blog :-). Until you feel the liberation of a significantly better than 10 hour battery and a fast no fuss device that weighs under 2 lbs and is wafer thin, you have not fully experienced the iPad.

    I took it on a flight from Dulles (DC area) to LA. About a 6 hour flight. Virgin American and wifi the whole trip and I did not miss my laptop a bit. Developed a PowerPoint, reviewed two documents pulled seemlessly from cloud storage to my iPad. Wrote countless emails, and had 70% of my battery left when we landed. Completely amazing.

    And while at first I did not think the rubber suit from Apple was worth the $39, the experience of using it has completely changed my mind.

    A laptop nor a tablet pc with a strap on pen interface is simply no comparison. I have had my iPad from day one. Best $499 I have spent on technology, ever.

    1. OK, 10 hour battery life is something I can appreciate.

      As for the travel – I don't travel that often, and even when I do – I am in Europe, in that part of Europe where there is no WiFi in the air. No connectivity at all. Which leaves only a few options: movies / music, reading ebooks / PDFs/ and saved web pages, and editing text (offline blogging, programming, etc).

      From what I saw, iPad is nice for movies, especially given the long battery life. You'd probably need headphones on the plane, so that nobody complains about the sound though. I don't know if iPad has the headphones jack – not something I checked today. :)

      Reading – yes, absolutely. I had a brief look at Kindle app and flipped a few pages of a PDF file. Really nice.

      Editing though is not something I'd want to do on this device. While virtual on-screen keyboard is better than nothing, it falls behind a real keyboard – you know, the one with buttons. Plus pretty much any editing process requires some form of multitasking – switching between several editor windows, documentation, shell or build environment, etc. I don't think iPad handles it too well. Maybe there will be workarounds later.

  2. You may not be the proper target for an iPad, especially if you think at $500 it is expensive, and if you bought a “laptop” for that price. The purpose of iPad is simplicity — elegant design, light weight, incredibly long battery life, transparent interface, smooth function. There is no file system, no viruses or malware, no drivers, no configuration files, no anything complicated or technical or confusing. I’m a techie and know all that stuff, but that’s my job. There are times I just want stuff to work, and I don’t want a lot of bulk. iPad’s hardware is nearly invisible. You get absorbed into the content (a book, a film, a game) and you forget the hardware. That may not be something everyone wants, and the simplicity comes with sacrifices than some won’t want to make, and that’s fine. iPad isn’t for everyone (at least right now: when iPad nano is out for $99 three years from now, that could change).

    1. Marc,

      I understand what you are saying. Being a techie myself though I don't see iPad replacing my laptop. As an additional device to carry around the house – maybe. But not as a travel companion or primary device for work. When looked at from this perspective, I consider $500 to be too much to spend on it. As in it won't probably solve any major problem for me.

      There are people out there for who it will. That I agree with.

  3. After the first presentation of the iPad I was thinking that it is useless, but now with all the apps it´s offer so many things and I will buy it soon. The other products which I have seen aren´t so good like the iPad.

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