April 04, 2010

My new iPad: Still puzzling, but it's growing on me

After what seemed like an eternity of waiting (years of rumors and two months since the initial unveiling, capped by a late-afternoon UPS delivery), I finally have an iPad in my hot little hands...but I'm still not sure what to make of it.

Yes, purely on its own, the iPad is a thing of beauty. The 9.7-inch display is gorgeous, especially when watching HD videos. Web browsing is a joy, and talk about fast. But the iPad itself feels a bit heavy, and it's awkward to hold; I keep trying different ways to grip it, but haven't quite hit upon the right combination yet. It's not a laptop replacement—after all, there's no desktop, file directory, or third-party multitasking, and typing is still much faster on a physical keyboard—but at the same time, it's not as portable as my iPhone, and I'm frustrated that many of my favorite apps (Reeder, Tweetie, Facebook) haven't gotten the iPad treatment yet. (Yes, you can still run them in windowed mode, but what's the point of that?)

So, yes...using the iPad is a bit like settling into a new house, exciting and frustrating at the same time. Despite the frustration, though, I do keep getting the occassional flashes of "My God, this is brilliant" while using it. The Web does seem more touchable, closer, almost like I'm dipping my hands in it. I can really read with this thing. Watching movies on the vivid iPad screen is a revelation. It'll make an amazing travelling companion, and it's nice having it sitting on the coffee table, asleep but ready at a moment's notice. And once app developers really get started with the iPad...well, I really can't wait to see what they have in store.

Is the iPad necessary? Don't know yet. Is it an extravagance, as many (very angry) commenters are complaining? Well, sure, but so are 42-inch HDTVs; that doesn't mean you'll go to hell for wanting one. Is the iPad for everybody? Of course not (and hey, if you think it's utterly stupid and a waste of money, please, don't buy it). But despite my skepticism when it was first announced, the iPad—puzzling though it is, in terms of finding a place for it in one's digital life—is growing on me. (And yes, I wrote this post on the iPad.)


  1. How long did it take you to type this post?

  2. Not much longer than it would have normally taken, but still...for anything longer than a medium-length blog post, I'd probably prefer a physical keyboard. The iPad is many things, but it's definitely not a laptop replacement (or at least, this version isn't).