After months of iPad obsession, here are my real-life impressions

Discussion in 'iPad' started by nightfly13, May 29, 2010.

  1. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2008
    Ranchi, India
    I love multitouch. Love it on laptops, my iPhones, love my magic mouse, and now I'm pretty fond of my iPad. I've been thinking for years that multitouch is the future of computer UI. I closely followed the myriad of predictions and anticipatory banter before the iPad's announcement, watched the keynote, obsessed in these very forums since January, pre-ordered and waited impatiently for a friend to bring my iPad over to my most-of-the-year home in India.

    I've read hundreds of reviews/user impressions. I walked my parents through setting theirs up in a Skype video chat, amused by their 'typical' reactions ('wow it's heavy... no.. solid' then first time the screen went black 'holy smokes it's so dirty... why didn't they send a cleaning cloth?'). I had 35 iPad/Universal apps ready to install when I finally got my iPad (w/ 2 cases and a screen protector) in my hands 7 hours ago.

    It almost had to be a disappointment, I'd built it up so much in my mind. It's astonishingly well built, and yes, 1.5lbs is heavier than I thought.... and I read big Bibles and 600 page reference hard back books, so I thought everyone else was being wimpy and it'd be a non-issue for me. I was wrong. It's not a huge issue or a deal-breaker, but the 'my arms get tired' line resonates, as where reading it in these forums before I always rolled my eyes.

    It's also smaller than I expected. When the neoprene case was handed to me, it really took me by surprise, even though I've stretched out a measuring tape 9.7" probably 5-6 times in my months of obsession. So in terms of physical appearance, it's beautiful, small, and weighty.

    The screen is the best I've ever used, and I've got $3,000+ of displays hooked up to my desktop right now. Viewing angle, contrast, brightness (only paused to play with the brightness mid-way through this sentence) is impressive, seems it's been on 50% most of the day/evening. The size and aspect ratio don't disappoint, although I haven't tried a movie on it (I watch a 96" HD projected screen most times for movies, so that's not high on the list of why I got the iPad).

    Battery life is tremendously impressive... assuming it continues to dissipate at the same rate. It's gone from 76% to 48% in 7 hours of off-on usage. Surprisingly, doesn't charge on the Mac Pro 1,1 front USB port, so I'll have to use the wall charger... at least I won't have to use it very often.

    So far my two show-off apps are 'Photos' and 'Maps'. I'm surprised I haven't read more praise for the photo capabilities of the iPad, because to me, it's one of it's strongest features. I happen to have super-cute kids, so that doesn't hurt, and since my family is inter-racial (I'm white, my wife's Indian) naturally Indians are very eager to see what my family is like, so that's been terrific. Pinching to peek at Album stacks is just awesome. GPSs aren't common here, so Maps is also impressive to people (myself included).

    I don't have my 3G fully functional yet (got a 3G SIM which I'm struggling to get activated, should resolve it by Monday), but I've had no wifi issues, although the two places I've used it both had Airport Extreme-powered wifi so it's not surprisingly that 'it just works'.

    I'm writing this review on my desktop, and I think that, unlike a vast majority, my 'Mac time' won't diminish to near-nothing, because, while very strong, the browsing experience isn't so-magical as to be preferable to my portrait 1080p monitor (dedicated for Safari, plus others). It's in no way deficient, I'm just spoiled. For me, Mac usage is likely to decline slightly, but iPhone usage will plummet.

    Of the 4 'HD' variants of games I already played a great deal on iPhone, 1 was almost unplayable difficult on iPad (Rope 'n' Fly 2 HD) and the other three (Angry Birds HD, Fieldrunners HD, and Plants Vs Zombies HD) look marginally better, but the gameplay is unchanged. Having played each of these games dozens of hours each, it's a bit of a let down. Fieldrunners is supposed to have some iPad-specific levels (portrait mode, seems like) so this should improve somewhat. Gaming is good.

    eBook reading (tested Kindle app) is fine. The dedicated apps are fairly wonderful (Alice for iPad and Toy Story) and normal eBooks are good-enough. My Kindle 2 is preferable for raw text consumption - but it's subjective and I'll use the iPad for eBooks here and there.

    A small side note, as though I haven't rambled enough, I hadn't realized the 3G's black plastic bit extends from the back to the top and is visible from the front. Quite a minor point but it's stands out more than I expected.

    I thought we'd have to hurry and get a 2nd iPad soon, to satisfy my family's need, but now I think this one will be very well-used and I'll try to hold out until the next model comes, as video conferencing is something I use every single day and we'll be glad to have it (here's hoping for a camera!).

    I can't quite bring myself to exclaim my 'love' for the iPad yet, but it is a really fantastic gadget, really excels in giving you 20 ways to kill time, and is an amazingly mature product giving it's a brand new product category and still on the original firmware.

    All in all, Apple's innovation and boldness is astounding. Geeks and Grandparents love it alike. It'll sell like crazy, and the 'me too' late coming android tablets really have their work cut out for them. I theorize the lack of announcements (not counting 4.5" Dell) is because no one can come close to engineering a similar product experience. It did take 2 years to produce a user experience similar to the iPhone (it can be argued that Froyo on Android out-classes the present iPhone/iPhone OS, but only for another couple months), the iPad is going to bring Apple into more households than ever before. It's safe, friendly and beautiful inside this wall garden. Do I feel confined by a lack of choice? No, I feel inundated by app choices, too many ways to enjoy the iPad.
  2. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2008
    Ranchi, India
    A quick follow up. Re-read my crazy long post on the iPad (sorry!) and forgot to mention that typing is better than I thought, like much better. I'm like 80wpm on a real keyboard and probably 35-40 with the odd error on iPad, with very little practice. This is the longest thing I've typed so far.

    Right now i think I'll probably wait on the BT keyboard I'd planned on and go on trips with just iPad instead of MBP. I also find error correction easier here than on my iPhone, huge improvement in tapping on the typo and fixing it first time unlike iPhone.
  3. awmazz macrumors 65816

    Jul 4, 2007
    I purposely lowered my own expectations in my anticipation of finally receiving mine on Friday (ie it's just a big iPod Touch or Apple's version of the HP Slate running Windows Mobile ;) ), so I didn't expect it to be bigger or lighter and such things. Like yourself, I also couldn't help reading everything I could about it etc etc but knew that just like everyone raving about a great movie it would just build up unrealistic expectations so had to consciously try and lower my expectations.

    Boy was I surprised that it was so much better than I expected! :D

    Most of the apps though are still in need of a lot of work I reckon. And a lot more aren't even available yet. But that's just a matter of time. As I mentioned in another post, it reminds me of the early days of OSX 10.0 where the apps are still in their infancy or yet to be written, so my expectations there weren't high either. But I can clearly see the massive potential. This thing truly is a revolution in my opinion.
  4. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
    I hope this thread doesn't get swarmed with the blind faithful who read your critiques and yell "You knew what it would be like before you bought it so **** and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."

    You bring up some excellent points that I hope somehow find their way onto Apple's product roadmap for future use. We bought our first iPad at launch day and my wife gave it back to me as it didn't meet her expectations at all. I sold that one, but recently bought another (used) and use it for a dedicated purpose.

    For now the iPad stays on a charger in the family room where it becomes my way to browse the web while still sitting in front of the TV with the remainder of the family. I'm not a big TV watcher but I do like to be with them when they watch a movie or whatever. The iPad works well that way.
  5. ChocolateApple macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2010
    New York
    Lost me at saying that Indians are interested in seeing your interracial family. Huh?! Okay. I'm sure you have a beautiful family :)
  6. ChocolateApple macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2010
    New York
    Good point about the apps. Few are ready for primetime. I've spent a pretty penny on many, and have regretted most. But the few that are ready really enhance the iPad experience.
  7. FlashHead macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2010
    Nice post and you raise some interesting and valid points.

    I agree that when you first pick up the iPad it surprisingly weighty. I don't think though think of it as heavy, just more than you would expect from such a sleek device. But for me, also after months of obsession and a month now of usage, I find it is incredibly light compared compared to the weight of my MBP that I used to have to lug around to far too many places. Even for casual use on the couch or in bed, it is far more comfortable than having that big clunky computer weighing on and heating up my lap.

    I also have to say that for me the 3G strip completely as I get engrossed in the content. I had expected to be annoyed that it wraps over the top, but the truth is I NEVER notice it.

    I rather enjoy typing on the iPad. I can't fully explain why, since I'm not quite as fast or accurate as I am on a keyboard, but there is something intangible about typing on a flat glass surface that, even after a month, is oddly more fun. This was perhaps the biggest surprise in my usage of the iPad because it is in no way logical or really even explainable.
    Comical side note: yesterday I food myself trying to swipe up on my MBP comma key for an apostrophe.

    The form factor and the quality of the screen have been wonderfully advantageous in my line of work for sharing info in face to face meetings and to even sketch something out on it as a way of brainstorming. Also a simple inexpensive app like TakeNotes has allowed me to mark up PDFs in an easy, convenient way that allows me to carry as many as I would like around for reference, go back in and edit, erase or highlight or make a text note about something new, and then e-mail the whole thing off at a moments notice if the need the strikes. Even though I've had it only a month, these are already game changers for me and answers the question of what can I do with the iPad that I couldn't, or maybe more appropriately, would never do on my Computer.

    I am one of those people that have almost completely abandoned my MBP (my only other computer). Of course, I still go to it for syncing and the random
    task, like video editing or DVD burning, but I use my iPad for everything it is capable of, which is a large percentage of my normal everyday usage.
  8. gwynne macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2010
    I was an early complainer about the weight issues. It's because I was trying to hold it in one hand like an iPhone. If you've only had it a day, you'll most likely find you evolve into more comfortable usage positioning, especially if you have some sort of kickstand case, and you'll then forget the weight was ever an issue.

    Thanks for your impressions. Please ignore the comments about your family. Sigh.
  9. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Great review, thanks for posting it nightfly13.
  10. antiprotest macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2010
    You knew what it would be like before you bought it so **** and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
  11. PhoneI macrumors 68000

    Mar 7, 2008
    I too thought when I first got my iPad that it was to heavy. 1 month later, I don't even notice it anymore. I guess I got used to it and found the comfortable position to hold it at.
  12. Hammie macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2009
    Wash, DC Metro
    It's a lot lighter than the six or seven Cisco Press books I have on it. ;)

    Great post. Thanks for sharing your impressions with us.
  13. Blorzoga macrumors 68030


    May 21, 2010
    I have never heard of this shortcut. Do you know any others? How did you find this one, it's effing brilliant.
  14. aaarrrgggh macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2007
    How do you find navigating? Are they ebooks, PDFs, or apps?

    I brought some PDFs over to CloudReader, but was quickly disappointed with trying to navigate. Load/render times were also unacceptable.

    As for weight, it isn't the mass, it is not being able to use it in some positions, such as lying on your back...
  15. DeeGee48 macrumors regular


    Jun 28, 2007
    Havertown, Pa

    AND probably, when this comes out in July, typing on---and just holding---the iPad will become SO MUCH better!

    PropUp™ is an innovative product designed to ergonomically position your iPad so you can enjoy using it wherever you might be.

    Whether your watching a movie, reading a book or surfing your favorite news site, the PropUp™ rests in your lap allowing you to comfortably view your iPad - hands free. When you do need to hold your iPad, the PropUp™ makes it comfortable and easy, with just one hand.No hooks. No clips. Nothing to deface your pristine new machine. PropUp™ uses slight tension once inserted to keep your iPad in place and prop up for for ease of use.

    PropUp™ is also conveniently designed to accept your iPad even when wrapped in many low profile protective covers so you do not have to worry about removing your skin to prop up.
  16. Hammie macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2009
    Wash, DC Metro

    I have a couple from the Kindle Store, but more are PDF's.

    Honestly, the Kindle ones are a little easier to read. However, using the search feature in Goodreader has helped me find some things quickly.

    Overall, I would say they are both decent formats and they both have their pluses and minuses right now.
  17. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2008
    Ranchi, India
    Thanks for the relatively kind responses, guys. One comment on weight, I have a super heavy duty rubber case (Incipio 1337) and it's obv better naked, but with a 4, 3 and 1 year old it needs great protection. Might get a thin skin for use by grownups ("adult use" didn't sound right!) and put this heavy honker on for my kids...

    As for the part about my family, guess what I meant is it's hard to say whether the great response was due to the photo app or the photos themselves which always get a very positive response.

    Btw the thread you want for keyboard shortcuts etc. is 'iPad tips and tricks'.
  18. Eric8199 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2009
    I find myself double tapping the spacebar on my computer hoping for a period to appear! Haha

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