Now that I have had the chance to play with the Apple iPad, I thought I’d put down some observations and opinions about the device. I know that I’m late to the party but hey, they don’t sell these devices here in India.
First of all, I love that I do not have to sit before a desk to use this. There is a real need in the world for a device like this and even though many have tried in the past, hats off to Apple for pulling this off. No company other than Apple, without its army of fan boys, would have been able to make this kind of a product successful. But now that Apple has, we can all expect that the new shiny competing devices will be able to do at least as much as what the iPad does. So, thank you Apple!
The model that I have tried is the 32GB iPad. The device is slim, the touch experience is intuitive and the display is sharp. It is great as a browsing device. I guess it would have been easier to use if it were a little more lighter - which is not too much to expect from later versions. The dimensions at 9.56 x 7.47 inches feels a little too big at times. A 7-8 inches display may be more handy.
Typing on the touch keyboard takes a little getting used to but practice makes perfect. Still, without my favorite set of browser plugins, I find it hard to share stuff on twitter/buzz. I guess the iPad is designed for people who are mostly consumers of data rather than creators. The device does not have a USB port which is a bummer. A Linux user like me cannot transfer songs or movies from my laptop to the device because one must use iTunes. I had to borrow a friend’s laptop to use Windows(!) so that I can transfer some media into the device. But to do that, you need to convert your divx media to the format iPad can play. The App Store is not open to anyone outside the US so I couldn’t use it.
As a geek, one gets bored with the device very soon. There’s just too many things that I want to do with it but am not able to because Apple won’t let me. I am looking forward to the Samsung Android based tablet which is supposed to be coming out in Q3. No one can beat Apple in the wow factor category but I am hoping that the Android devices may allow me to do much more.
[Update] - I used the excellent Handbrake application to convert between media formats and I’d highly recommend it.
[Update 2] - An interesting discussion on Google Buzz on this topic.