Admittedly, I’m an Apple enthusiast. Fact is, I take deep cultural issue with the word “boy” in “Apple Fanboy”, so Apple enthusiast it is. In April of 2008, as a career PC/Windows corporate user, I found myself at wits end with my Sony VAIO running Vista at a snails pace on a machine maxed out with 4GB of RAM. With productivity halted to a stand still, I purchased a 15” Apple MacBook Pro and mark it as one of the best decisions I made for my business.
I was fortunate to receive a 64GB iPad (wi-fi) to review for a media consultation project. Writing reviews about technology and electronics necessitates being an early adopter (or maybe I just tell myself that). During iPad release excitement, almost in silent slumbering protest, my MacBook Pro lost a logic board and was forced into a 4 day Genius Bar vacation. Being with out my laptop is like being without an appendage but way worse I’d imagine.
Losing my laptop to repair for a week allowed me to test the iPad as a back up device and see how “magical” it would be for me in a bind. Early summary; the iPad is not a laptop replacement. However if you are looking to monitor emails, open attachments, browse the web (no flash supported sites, hulu-no go) and use an array of apps on a premium multi-media device the iPad delivers supremely.
5 Reasons Why the iPad not just a Big iPod:
1. The iPad is a premium multimedia consumption device.
Imagine taking all of the fun and distracting things you do on your computer and put them in one device and that’s one way to look at how efficient media consumption is on the iPad. Over the past month of using and testing the iPad I’ve found my computing behaviors shift. I go to my laptop for heavy lifting, content creation or critical review of graphics or images (or sites that require Flash). Alternatively, I went to the iPad regularly for Twitter, News, Weather, Facebook, email (MS Exchange is snappy on iPad), catching up on ABC episodes of V and gaming. The LED 9.7” screen is brilliant, touch responsive and the most brilliant collector of finger oils on the planet. Keep the screen clean and your good.
2. Application (app) development for the iPad is changing the way we interact with devices, data, video and print publications.
Hearing the “iPad could save the print industry” inspired me to test the machine for review purposes. As a writer, I’m a stakeholder in the future of print. Wired, Time and Popular Science magazine iPad issues seem like the evolution of where print media should go. The iPad issues of the magazines, allow the reader to remove text from images in the story and explore the images freely. Multimedia ads incorporate video into ad pages. Using the touch interface is intuitive and ultra responsive. It’s an awesome book reader and has been coined as the “Kindle Killer”. In a genius stroke of “if you can’t beat them join them” Amazon has a free Kindle app for the Apple iPad connecting to their extensive digital reader library.
3. The iPad increases connectivity for users of all ages.
My iPad is the first thing requested daily when my 8 year old son hits the door after school (after a prerequisite hand washing). Not just for gaming but to view Star Walk an application that uses the iPad’s compass to show the constellation in true orientation when held towards the night sky.
The iPad would be a great gift for senior readers interested in adjusting screen brightness and font size with a 9.7 inch display. The bright screen and growing book selection makes this a great option for senior reading enthusiasts that would like to modify type size, bookmark pages and take a digital library of books with them in a small device.
4. The iPad is a delightful device to use.
The iPad is snappy and intuitive. Apple has trained scores of users on the iPad interface through the millions of iPhone and iPod Touch devices previously sold. Discovering the new functions of applications designed for the iPad keeps it ever changing. I visit the app store often to see what is trending in popularity for iPad applications. Existing iPhone users can share current applications on their iPads but iPhone apps will run in a magnified, yet pixely 2X alternative form. Applications designed for the iPad have continued to impress me. Perhaps most delightful is the marathon 10 hour battery life of the iPad.
5. iPad Changes the Form Factor of Computing
The iPad is an innovative device because of Apple’s relentless commitment to design and functionality. The device’s small footprint, interactive screen, 10 hour battery life and wi-fi capabilities make it an instant terminal for internet and email access. These functions allow us to create computing stations almost anywhere with minimal hardware. Check out the following use of an iPad for a kitchen.
If I never owned an Apple device and purchased an iPad, I would still be impressed with it’s functionality. Although not a laptop replacement it is a dynamic addition to any hardware collector. It’s way more than an iPod or iPhone and will continue to evolve as applications get better (and html5 is adopted or Steve Jobs and Adobe make nice).