On the iPad

After using the iPad exclusively for 10 days (that's right, I haven't used my Macbook Pro yet) I am getting a pretty good feel for the iPad. I figured I'd jot down some notes in no particular order.

The great

The utility of the iPad exceeds a laptop in so many ways. And I believe this will only increase. I have been able to use it to read books and blogs, watch video, take notes, write (like, actually write by drawing letters), draw and paint, create mind maps, etc. The list goes on and on I assure you. The iPad is a geek's Swiss Army knife.

For all of the above tasks that I mentioned the iPad is the best possible device for many of them. Besides typing, which I'll get into in the "not so great" portion of this post below, the iPad is far better at getting the above done than any other device I've used. It is arguably better than a book, better than pen and paper.

Battery life on the iPad is nothing short of amazing. I find myself checking the battery indicator expecting to see it be drained. However, I haven't seen it below 50% after using the iPad for many hours. In my use I can't see ever draining the battery.

Watching video in the iPad is much nicer than I could have ever expected. It doesn't beat watching a Blu-Ray movie on my HDTV with surround sound - but it is much nicer than watching video on a desktop or laptop computer. Certainly much more convenient than both.

The not so great

Forcing the iPad to connect to iTunes before you can use it is just weird. I have a really nice laptop so this didn't affect me much. But I want to recommend the iPad to anyone looking to get a new laptop and I can't. Apple touted the iPad as a device that fits between the laptop and the smart phone - and it is - but for some it could be a full replacement for the laptop. And they should make that possible.

Like the iPhone typing on the iPad is an exercise in patience and practice. I'm fairly quick already (this post only took me a few minutes to tap out). However, I find the iPad itself, not the software based keyboard, is what makes typing difficult. Right now I'm sitting on my couch with the iPad on my lap. It slides around a bit, there is no palm rest, and it sits a bit too close to my gut to make this easy. Today I've ordered a case for the iPad that will hopefully help with this.

I might be alone here but I accidentally hit the Home button on the iPad when it is in landscape mode. There is more than enough room in all sides if the iPad to rest your thumbs but, for some reason, my right thumb gravitates to the Home button. I've tried holding the iPad so that the Home button is on the left but the result is the same. I only hold the iPad in landscape for a few things - most notably for watching video and using Reeder. I'm hoping my fingers can learn to stop hitting the Home button.

I never once wanted to have multitasking on my iPhone. But I find myself wishing I had it for the iPad. Being able to quickly go from the iPod to Twitterrific to Reeder (even though the iPad is incredibly fast) can sometimes be a pain. Happily many conscientious developers have made it so that switching applications is pretty painless - by having the state of the application saved so that you start where you left off - but not all of them have. I'm hoping that iOS 4 is released for the iPad in short order.

The iPad has transformed the way I get things done. I prefer to use it rather than my iPhone and my laptop for most tasks. I envision it becoming my most used device over the next few years.