Quick impressions after a month with the iPad

Some quick overall impressions. I’ll cover apps and details in future posts.

The display is very, very good. I’ve watched some trailers from the iTunes store, and they are very high quality, with good pixel refresh and a smooth, bright, color accurate picture. This is going to be a big improvement over our portable DVD player for trips, and perhaps most importantly, does not have the off axis viewing problems of the DVD player – two people in airplane seats can both have a good picture!

It has been very disruptive when brought to business meetings. Not always a bad thing, as it was a nice icebreaker with a new client – something to talk about before a meeting that opened up the bigger conversation. It’s been too disruptive in other meetings, where it co-opts the conversation making it difficult to track back into the business portion of the meeting.

I have managed to take some effective notes using the touch keyboard. It was actually easier to adapt to than I thought it would be, though its clear already that being half as fast as working with a full sized traditional keyboard is probably going to be the max for speed. That said, 30-40 words per minute seems achievable, which is fast enough to take fairly effective notes. The ability to add sketches and diagrams, then email is a real feature.

Overall, it functions well and for anyone with an iPhone or iTouch, will be very easy to operate.

It also attracts and shows fingerprints like nothing I’ve ever experienced – when the display is off, it isn’t pretty, so keep a cleaning cloth in every room.

The form factor is good, although at 1.5 lbs or so, the thin hard edge makes holding it without a case awkward – it just doesn’t have a natural position in my hands. The folio case looks to be the way to go.

Did I mention how good the display is?

The folio finally arrives!

My case finally arrived today – if you want the story of finding a decent iPad folio just read the previous post and replace “iPad” with “iPad folio”.  Didn’t want the Apple case with the enormous Apple loge, as the plan is to try to incorporate the tablet into work if sensible.  Googled some reviews and kept seeing the Tuff Luv (really, that’s what its called) leather folio on almost every “best of” list.  The bad news, they estimated delivery on 6/16 – the good news, it did arrive on 6/16 and it is really well made.  The leather is good quality and soft, with a design similar to the Apple brand case in that it can be used as a stand.  The Tuff Luv stand is more robust, and has 6 angles via a series of snaps. Overall, its a higher quality product than the few other folio style iPad cases I’ve seen in person.

Feels a bit awkward to hold at first, but nowhere near as uncomfortable as the naked iPad, with it’s weight and thin, hard corners.  In time, I think its going to be comfortable to work with, and when closed, looks more like an executive notepad than an electronics sleeve.  For a closer look:

Also picked up a stylus to see if it would make the notepad and sketchpad apps I’d downloaded in the hopes of being able to create network diagram overviews in client meetings. More on that in another post. Quick impression, the Dr. Bott Ten One Design Pogo Stylus (again with the product names…) is a keeper, and definitely is more legible than using a finger to write and draw with. Better buy some more, as it’s really small (the name above may be longer than the stylus) and there isn’t a good place to store it in the folio. Might have to look into making these at home, as it doesn’t appear to be much more than a conductive aluminum tube with a bit conductive foam at the tip.

Also bought the Apple dock, primarily to connect the iPad to the home theater, but haven’t test driven it yet.

So I now own an iPad – does it really integrate into my methods and routines? – Acquisition

Though generally skeptical of a tablet, having seen numerous ones touted over the years and never gaining any traction then quickly faded away, I now own an iPad.  There are a number of reasons why it happened (curiosity, the need for a short term replacement while waiting for a new laptop hard drive…), the biggest being the desire to acquire a new toy that could prove useful for work and home.  At the very least, it would be entertaining on flights.

Like all good bouts of instant gratificationitis, a ridiculous quest was launched to acquire a 64GB wifi only iPad.  Over to the Apple store – nice, convenient, and out of stock for at least a week.  Somehow, I didn’t get the sense that they were all that concerned about adding to the cache of the device via a real or perceived product shortage.  Had the local Apple store “genius” (I’ll save that word usage for another post) call several other stores and surprise, every store had the exact same wait time.  “They all come from the same warehouse” is what the “genius” said.  That’s a pretty good story, and they were definitely sticking with it….

Did manage to pick up a MacBook power supply for a coworker though, so the trip wasn’t a total waste, though the Apple logo taunted me the entire ride home.  All 6 minutes of it.

Fortunately, there is no motivation like instant gratification and frustration with Apple.  I’ll teach them a lesson then, and locate somewhere else – like the Apple online store. 3 week back order.  OK Amazon has had Apple product in the past – I’ll get it from there – I can wait for the free 2 day shipping.  A quick search, there it is, and     4 weeks back ordered.

Last chance now, a visit to the Best Buy web site – looks good, showing in stock, but I’d rather go to one of the dozens of stores near here today!  Should be easy, their site isn’t bad, and can fairly reliably check local stock.  No luck, but expand the search and Delran shows it available, but strangely, it can’t be ordered for pickup!?!

Call the store – YES, THEY REALLY HAVE ONE.  As in only 1 left.  Won’t put it aside either, even if I promise to be there in an hour.  More pleading and I guess I sounded desperate enough that the pleasant person on the other end of the line agreed to hold it for an hour.  Not a problem, as I needed to head to New Jersey for a meeting anyway.  Over to the store, catching the beginnings of rush hour traffic, and they did have it waiting.  Bought it and ran to the meeting.

Now that I’ve had it for almost a month, it’s time to start putting out an attempt at a fair assessment of the iPad

Just back from Barbados – a nice start for any Blog!

Had a great time with family and had a chance to downshift and spend quality time reading on a very nice beach.  Accra Beach is a 15 minute walk from where I was staying, with a good coffee stand on the way and some lunch options just off the beach.

All in all, a very relaxing and enjoyable week.