From the moment i updated my FaceBook status on how i got iPad as a surprise gift from Ashu while we were on vacation at UK, I have been getting requests from friends to write about how i feel about this latest gadget on the board.
To be frank, i love gadgets but i am not good at reviewing them with all the technical details and pros & cons. It's just what i like it and what i would have liked more without any technicalities.
When iPad was announced, We didn't understand what all the hype was about ! Initially when heard about it , wanted one. Then when saw it for the first time, weren't sure anymore. It just felt like bigger iPhone, weren't sure if we wanted to spend that much on this new kiddo. But the more we kept seeing it in stores it made us fell for it and then we wanted one. With all the waiting list and the fact that you still need to book/ reserve and wait to get it in Netherlands, it was nice to buy it at UK.
iPad is something totally different, something kind of hybrid, somewhere in-between iPhone and Mac notebook. The user interface might feel familiar to the most, but it's not a PC in any way. It's Interface additions help to do more and go further than what is possible on an iPhone, but it's not like any computer you've ever used.
When you take it in your hands, first thing you will notice is it's gorgeous screen with very nice 1024X768 resolution and it's excellent build quality. The aluminum back feels great under the finger.
Everyone around me who saw it, the first reaction came as how beautiful the screen is ! Everything looks sharp and colourful. The contrast and colors are Amazing. In direct sunlight, you will get a good amount of reflections, but overall, the iPad display is good, especially if you are looking at an image with bright colors.
And speed, it's fast.
It offers iBooks. I like it's user interface. It is simple and readable, it has a search feature too. I used to fear that reading from an LCD display would cause eyestrain or even headache. I haven't experienced any eyestrain but that is may be as I'm looking at a computer LCD most of the time anyway...
I also like the Split screens feature in iPad. It divides the content into segments of the same screen. In the mail app, that means you can look at the list of your emails while keeping a message in view, or keep your multi-page work in Keynote available to you even when editing. You can download an application from app. store for free which will split your browser while surfing, handy at times.
The in-built speaker(s) are good, sound quality is very nice, you tube experience is really good. We spent quite a lot time watching videos on you tube other day and it was fun.
Also the battery life is simply unbelievable. First week as it was working week, we used it only in the evenings and we had to charge it only after 4 days. It provides almost 10-11 hours constant running time. Also Sleep mode, most gadgets continue to drain power when they are in sleep mode. In the case of the iPad, I noticed that it lost only about 1% per night (7-8 hrs), which is quite low. This might be a positive effect of not having too much stuff running in the background.
Emails are easy to read and it's also easy to switch from one account to the next. But typing something long for continuously more than 10 min is not a very good experience. Your fingers are hanging in air so it's tiring and it can get frustrating with some alphabets with touch screen. I guess for real typing you need extended real keyboard.
What i don't like about it is, No USB port. It doesn't have camera too, but it's ok but i would like to have a USB port atleast. Also Outside of iTunes, there's little to no way to manage files. So there is restrictions to File Management. You can read a doc, pdf, xls file opening from e-mail but cannot save it. I would like it better if i can create a "user" folder that I can organise the way i want. Also there's no flash, and many flash-heavy sites won't work properly.
Although it is mentioned that the iPad can be charged from a computer USB ports, but this is true mainly for Mac computer USB ports. As we are stuck with that iPhone port for everything
No background execution (multitasking) for third party applications.
So Do you want an iPad? Probably. Do you need an iPad? Probably not. The iPhone is sufficient for many things you might want to do with iPad. In my experience, the iPad doesn’t offer a big enough improvement to warrant the additional investment.
So bottom line, it is very good, i like it but it might not be for everyone. You will get work done with it, play with it, surf with it, consume content with it, but it is not that you will never miss your computer. For long e-mails / reports, For file management, for some real work you are going to miss it. Like now to blog this post what i wanted was my laptop !