So I have had my iPad for about a month or so now, and I have to say I love it. After the devastation of my MacBook not working without having the charger plugged in, the iPad has been my saviour, not to mention the Pages app, which I am happy to admit I am using to write this review. (Could do with a word count though - hence the 800+ words).
So why is the 'giant iPod' so great? Because it isn't that at all, and to compare it with the mp3 market is just misinformed. It's not just an e-reader either, although great at being one of those too. I like to think that everyone who owns one has a different agenda toward how they will use their iPad. Personally I see it as a replacement mobile word processor and PDA device with plenty of added extras, it syncs with not only my computer, but it seems my life too.
First impressions of the iPad are totally true to any apple purchase. A nice clean white box with the product inside. No silly 'how to' books and other literature you will never read, no unnecessary packaging, just the iPad displayed in all it's glory and a charger to get you going. Design is beautiful as always and the unit itself was surprisingly more weighted than I expected, making the high price tag feel more worth it.
Next comes the registration and setup process. Simply connect it to your computer and iTunes account, and then you're done! If you don't have an iTunes account you can use your friend's, simply christen your new purchase with a name and you can use it as a sole unit. (Although I'd recommend setting an account up at a later date maybe, as updates and purchases from the app store do require one.)
Once your set up, you can begin to enjoy all the great apps and benefits of your iPad. For me it was adding all contacts and syncing my calendar. I did this through iTunes also, however I have an online contact list that I used to add other contacts on. This was great as all I needed to do was tap the information, be it a number or email, and iPad would ask if I wanted to add to an existing contact or create a new contact to host the information in the contacts app. Already, my new tablet was becoming personalised.
Other great features on the device are iTunes itself, so you can listen to your favourite songs while your out and about, the picture frame mode, for when your not using it but want to display your latest pictures (I tend to do this while it's charging) and the ability to change your background image when locked or while your using it. An update that only arrived when iPhone 4 was released.
Regardless of all this though, apps are probably going to be the defining feature of your iPad's individuality. I am retentive when it comes to sorting, so I have divided three screens between professional apps used for work, news and information and finally gaming, as I am of course a sucker for zynga poker and the clipper wheel of tea (it solves a lot of arguments in the office). Speaking of which is an iPhone app, so to be able to download it on the iPad is another bonus - this means although the app store for dedicated iPad apps is still growing, you can have fun playing around with over 200,000 apps that iPhone benefits from. That said, they could have included the multi-tasking tool.
Accessories was my next task and it quickly became apparent that there are a few key items you'll probably want to consider buying. First it's a case or a protective cover of sorts, this can then stop scratches on that beautiful matte chrome finish, and will stop you worrying about it bashing about in your bag. Next item will be a protective screen cover, there's a lot of speculation as to weather they work or whether you need one, but as I mentioned before, I'm retentive and surely something covering the screen is going to stop it being scratched is it not? Lastly, a stand. It's all well and good sat on your lap tapping away, and at times I find it more comfortable, however for pure display purpose, if not used on a desktop to type on, it's worth looking into.
All in all I love my iPad and would recommend one to anyone. I'm not so Apple obsessed to pay monthly for internet access anywhere I am, as I have the benefit of using work stations and hotel WIFI for my web needs, but I understand the need. Tablet computers are starting to evolve now, and I can only imagine that Apple have something up their sleeve for iPad generation 2 already. I'd like to think that iPad is the modern equivalent to the old Palm PDA solution back in the 90's, it definitely has made my life a bit more organised.
Images Courtesy of Apple