Thursday, May 27, 2010

iPad envy

When I was little I went through a phase where the only books I wanted were Pop-Up books. Didn't matter what they were about. I just loved the thrill of turning the page and WHOA there was the Empire State Building, or a woolly mammoth, or a dolphin leaping from the ocean.

That's the feeling I got today, trying out an iPad.

I was at Best Buy to pick up a couple of little things -- didn't even know they had iPads for sale. They had four of them on a little table. I played a little of a Simpsons video game and read a few pages of an Elizabeth Gilbert book and checked out the Observer website and goofed around with the maps. It made me think of this video somebody posted the other day:

iPad + Velcro from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.



I'm an Apple guy, but I've been holding off on the iPad because we really don't need one -- our laptops and cell phones do the same sorts of things just fine. Still, as Jimmy Carter once said, I'm starting to feel lust in my heart.

So I'm wondering -- if you've bought an iPad, what do you think? Are you using it more or less than you expected? And if you're using it a lot, what are you NOT doing instead?
If you don't like it, feel free to talk me out of it. It'd be a lot cheaper if I just went and bought a stack of Pop-Up books instead.

33 comments:

Falstaff said...

Have one, love it. Want to buy one for me because I can't pry the first one away from my wife! It will likely be an entertainment-consumption device for me, but has managed to quickly become her primary computer and game device.

Bri said...

Just got one last week and I love it, makes my poor iphone look small in the palm of my hand compared to the amazing screen on the ipad. I use mine mostly for reading and entertainment.

Development is still behind on applications and using as a primary device to interact with Office documents, but I think they will catch up quickly!

Timothy Whitson said...

I've played with one. I think it comes down to whether you're merely consuming information (for which it is great), or actually need to manipulate documents (which is easier on a keyboard). If your data/text entry is relatively simple (passwords, posts to FB) then I think you'd spend a lot less time on the laptop.

Anonymous said...

going to wait for the kinks to be worked out or by the HP slate, which will probably have some cool palm features

Anonymous said...

What's an iPad?

Tom said...

Bought one the first week; been exceptionally impressed. For a 1.0 product it is remarkably polished, and I expect it to only get better over the next few months as the iPhoneOS4 software trickles out.

As a book reader it is outstanding; the Kindle app is better than Apple's iBooks but both are great, so you can buy from either based on availability and price.

It is a content consumption device - not so much a vehicle for creation of content (although when paired with a bluetooth keyboard it is quite serviceable for writing/editing. But it certainly shines as a means to surf, watch, listen, browse, etc.

I doubt Android or HP will have anything to match the iPad for a long time to come.

clayj said...

I love my iPad. It's great to be able to sit on the couch or in bed and check my mail, do some web surfing, read (using the Kindle app), and play games (pinball is fun) with a device that instantly turns on and, as the ad says, runs all day. The only real problem with it is that it won't fit in your pocket.

As Bri mentioned, the iPad has changed my relationship with my iPhone. The iPhone seems rather puny at this point.

sdburns said...

I have an iPad AND a stack of popup books. Overall, I prefer the iPad.

Anonymous said...

I love my iPhone. Since we have a kid going to college, I was considering buying an iPad instead of another laptop. Some friends have one, so I spent sometime on it, and I've concluded it doesn't yet replace a laptop - even though I want it to.
1) It's physically awkward. Unless you spend additional money on stands and cases, it doesn't work well sitting in your - well - lap! You have to prop it up somehow.

2) You can't print to a network printer. There are supposed hacks to make this work, but not easily. And certainly not to most printers.

3) You can't open Microsoft office documents. If you've never used it, it's no bug deal.. but how about other office suites?

4) The popup keyboard is not acceptable to me. I can't type nearly as fast as I am now on my laptop.

5) I was afraid of dropping or, more likely, bumping into something with it.

6) Can't play a DVD, CD or insert stick memory. The CD and DVD I could probably live without - the stick memory, no way.

So, I bought my Pad of choice - the Thinkpad. Still prefer it.

Anonymous said...

Ordered a 3G version on the first day you could place an order. It was delivered on the day they hit stores. So far, it has been perfect. In fact, I sold my MacBook Pro and only use the Ipad.

I think it is a better reader than the Kindle (have a Kindle also). WiFi and 3G work fine. I took the Amtrak to Raleigh yesterday and had 3G connection the entire way.

I think that "slate" technology will change the way folks view computers--and access to information.

Anonymous said...

Greatest toy I've gotten since I had a Batman dashboard in 1966.

I use it daily....read books on both I Books and Kindle, play checkers/chess, play Scrabble, watch videos, watch movies on Netflix, search for apps.

The size is ridculously comfortable....it's the size of Time magazine...

You will not be disappointed!

Entree said...

If it can't be run on windows nt 3.1,

it is useless to mankind.

and is a precursor to skynet, a lead in to total digital domination.

discourser said...

I bought five of them to ship to some people in Italy who can't stand to not be the first on the block (in the country?) with the latest gizmo.

My take on it - it's a great toy. Anonymous @ 4:46 lists pretty much all the reasons why it is useless to me personally. Its lack of productivity software and a real keyboard will have me sticking to my laptop-mini on trips where size matters.

I'll also never be one for a "reader". I not only want to turn pages, but I am someone who prefers hardbacks. Yeah - I know... but I also collect old books as a hobby.

If you are in love with your iPhone and want a bigger screen, you'll love it.

Tom said...

@discourser:

I too used to love having physical books. And then I moved. And helped someone else move. After loading and unloading boxes with hundreds if not thousands of pounds of books, I lost all attachment to their physical form.

Bring on the digital library that I can tote with me without breaking a sweat! All the hardbacks and paperbacks are gone.

Lee said...

Less on the pc. Love the iPad wish I could put it in my pocket even use the I phone less
Lee

discourser said...

@ Tom

I used to be a book hoarder myself. I now restrict myself to what will fit on my current shelves and have made massive donations to Good Will. Another rule is that, to be bought, it must be a book that I will read within the next six months.

However, I have quite a nice collection of first editions and very old editions that I will always keep. There's nothing like opening a book that is 100, 150, 200 years old and reading the enjoyable tale contained within and pondering on the many hands and eyes that appreciated its existence before me. My most frequently read book is my 140 year old edition of Ivanhoe.

Anonymous said...

Writing this on my iPad! Wanted to note that anonymous @4:46 was not correct about office docs. With Goodreader or other app, you can review almost any type of file, MS word, excel, ppt, PDF, etc. The issue is editing them--which you can still do with effort. I love the iPad but 3 things to bear in mind:
1. absolutely must buy a case or you will never use it the way it should be used
2. It's not really for long document editing
3. Whatever you pay for the iPad and case is just the beginning--full functionality comes with the apps, many of which add .99 to $10 a pop and buying apps can become addictive!

Alf said...

I wouldn't want to spend the extra dosh on a data plan for it and I can't see any reason other than profit maximization for it not being able to tether with a cable or bluetooth to an iPhone.

Anonymous said...

Can't put it down, part of my daily routine. I read the news in bed at night. When I get the morning paper I find myself saying.... yeap, read that, read that too, saw that picture, that picture too... Money well spent.

Matthew said...

I don't see the point. It's an oversized iPhone/iPod Touch with a few extra applications. There isn't even flash support.

The only thing the iPad adds to the mix that hasn't been done before with the tablet form factor is simplifying it for the broader audience. Much like it did with the iPhone before it.

Anonymous said...

Just go ahead and buy an iPad. you will love it! I am a senior citizen and I use mine everyday. it is so convenient and easy to use. I can read, play games,a listen to music, read/write email, and of course browse the internet.

Anonymous said...

Apple could have easily included far more features on the ipad then they did. The ipad as it stands right now is a feeler by apple to see how marketable it is to consumers. Once they see the ipad sales slope downward and milked it as much as they can will they finally introduce ipad "gen 2" with hopefully some more functionality.

I also find it quite comical that apple's commercial for the ipad really doesn't show anything at all except transition animation and "cool" (yet completely useless) visual effects like flipping a page. You can easily do that with Javascript and CSS.

Nice try Apple, put this one in the same overpriced "crap" category as that tv product everyone forgot about and let's get on with the real ipad.

Anonymous said...

Just received my 3G 64GB iPad today, and I LOVE IT! I also purchased the wireless bluetooth keyboard, and the Apple case, which works as a stand too. The keyboard gives you more flexibility in document writing, and there are abilities to print from it as well. The online books are great. I am so glad I got rid of my desktop. By the way, the data plans are month-to-month, so you pay as you need, and there is no contract. Buy it... you will not regret it!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if all those people at the Observer who got laid off ,because subscribers were sick of the liberal slant, were able to buy an iPad on their unemployment.

Ernie Shankles, RRT said...

have it, barely use it. just another "gotta have it" piece of junk. i fall for it every time. either an idiot or an optimist. want to buy my PSL; how about my PRIUS; still have some OBAMA literature laying around somewhere.....

Curmudgeon said...

I love gadgets, and it looks beautiful, but I still can't figure out why I'd spend money on it (and its price puts it out of the impulse category.)
If you love to read, get a Kindle. The iPad is useless in bright sun (goodbye sitting on the beach with a good read). I have a 24" iMac and a 65" hdtv within 20 feet of each other, so why would I want to watch movies or play games with this thing. And there no wi-fi at work....so gotta pass on this bad boy.
Just too little too late and too expensive.

Anonymous said...

Buy and jailbreak it with Spirit. If you have an iPhone you can jailbreak that too and download MyWi which turns the phone into a wireless hotspot.

Anonymous said...

I have an iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Pro. I use the iPad the most. Love this thing!

Carolyn said...

I'm a PC lady, but recently fell for the Ipad hoopla. Love it. Doesn't replace my PC or my netbook, but it is certainly good for surfing the net and playing my tunes.

Anonymous said...

Bought one yesterday and love it already. Like you, I held out for a while, because I didn't really think I needed it. It's perfect for me because I'm a student and carrying a full-sized computer with textbooks in my backpack hurts my back. I've already been using it to read PDFs for class rather than printing them, or sitting at a desk to read them. The free apps are actually pretty amazing. It's so hard to really evaluate whether or not you'll like it until you have one of your own that you can customize, but I have yet to hear of anyone that has been disappointed.

Anonymous said...

better than penis envy? I guess

eye_dee_ten_tea said...

Why do I have visions of people lounging on their sofas, iPads in their laps, while wrapped up in their WTF blankets?

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h05ZQ7WHw8Y)

I'm just now starting to hear the word "iPad" and not immediately think "feminine hygiene product."

LNBruno said...

You should hold out for the "Magical iPad!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI99t9k4aEE&NR=1