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My iPad review

May 25, 2010

I got to use my dad’s iPad last night and I have to say I was rather impressed and thought I would write a review based on a woman’s experience (and soon-to-be mum) rather than a techno nerd! My dad is very much a ‘first adopter’ when it comes to anything which has a lot of hype attached to it (gullible) so I was pretty lucky to use it before its official release in Australia.

Just to give you a bit of context, I have an iPhone and a iPod shuffle, but I have to admit I have very little experience with Apple products as I’ve used PC’s for most of my life. I was very skeptical of buying an iPod as I didn’t like the concept that you couldn’t share music easily…I mean wasn’t that the point of mp3’s??? I ended up getting both the iPhone and iPod as birthday gifts so was forced to learn how to use them!

Anyway like most people, I was won over (damn marketing and peer pressure) by the useability, slick design and the fun applications. No longer was I bored on the train on the way to work as I could play a pointless game, listen to my music, flick through photos that I’ve seen a million times anyway, and go on facebook without the device dying before I got to work like the other phones/PDA’s I’ve had before.

So the iPad is very much like the iPhone. If you know how to use the iPhone, there won’t be any learning curve for you to use the iPad.  It shares the same slick design, useability, excellent display quality and fantastic battery life.

Image courtesy of Apple

So what do I like about the iPad? I’m used to carrying a 3kg Dell laptop around so this is a lot lighter and thinner. Which makes it more versatile for browsing the net than the iPhone or a laptop as the screen is big but light enough to carry around so I can imagine using it on the couch for surfing, reading the news/an e-book on the train and taking it to the kitchen to follow a recipe. I also like how it is so easy to turn on and off (one button). With my laptop it takes a  couple of minutes to load up which is annoying if I just want to use it to play music.

I can imagine using the iPad to download a whole heap of children’s books as the screen resolution is fantastic (no eye strain for me) and the touchscreen will make it very interactive for young children and even babies. Also great for keeping older kids entertained with e-books, YouTube, music, games and movies. I’m sure there will be even more children friendly applications that will be developed specifically for the iPad in the future.

I have to travel to a mine site for work occasionally and there is no in-flight entertainment of any sort so the iPad will be great for watching movies on long trips as it promises 10 hours + battery life!

I’m not sure how it will compare to other tablets as I’ve never used one before but it certainly stacks up to the laptop but only if you are using it primarily for leisure and not for work.

Image courtesy of Apple

Which brings me to the things I don’t really like about it and certainly why for me…it won’t replace my computer.

It’s quite painful to type large amounts of text via the screen or the external keyboard (quite slow ) so it’s best restricted to writing status updates on facebook/twitter or short emails. I would definitely still use a computer to do word processing etc. It’s also a shame that there isn’t a video camera as this would have been great for using with Skype. Also, I didn’t see an USB drive so it looks like you have to use iTunes (my most hated application) to get your music, photo, applications etc in and out of the iPad to another computer/device. According to other reviews, there is no support for Flash websites or multi-tasking so this will make it hard to totally omit using a computer as well.

However, if it meets your requirements of having a light device to browse the net and watch movies/listen to music I think it’s pretty good (hey my blog looks great on it!). I would recommend getting the 64GB WiFi + 3G version to maximise the full range of functionality.

Image courtesy of Apple

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