The iPad 2
It’s no secret now, but in case you missed it, yes, I bought an iPad 2. After using it for a few days, and getting to know this shiny rectangular piece of modern technology, I feel qualified to share of my impressions of the device.
- Typing is actually pretty easy. In landscape orientation, anyways. Portrait is a different matter entirely, and the on-screen keyboard is just too small, but since every app rotates to accomodate how you want to view it, I don’t consider this an issue. While I haven’t measured my typing speed quantitatively, I can say I’m almost as fast on the on-screen keyboard as I am with my laptop’s keys. This makes writing my science fiction story, or an email, or even a comment on a website a reasonably pleasant experience.
- It’s heavy. I shudder to think of the wrist-mangling weight that the original iPad carried, but the first thing you think about with this model is how sore your wrists might be after anything more than 10 minutes of use. In practice, it’s not as bad as I had originally thought, since I usually find something to rest it on fairly quickly (my lap or knees being the most common places) but it still takes some time to figure out.
- The iPad isn’t just a big iPod Touch. The extra screen makes so much of a difference it’s frightening. Suddenly you can see the big picture. Look at several things at once, and not have to squint at the tiny (but Retina™ clear!) text that the iPhone would display. Apps on the iPhone feel tiny and cramped by comparison, and I find myself reaching for the iPad to do some of the things I would have done on my iPhone before.
- It’s making me paranoid. Is that guy on the bus going to jump me the moment I get off and steal it? Probably not, but as is true with any expensive new shiny gadget, I am immediately aware of the possibility for it getting stolen. I run through horror stories in my head whenever I’m in the downtown east-side (which I walk through every day on the way to work). I remember the stories of the person who got their finger torn off when a thief yanked a bag containing a new iPad out of their hands. Not fun.
- This is the #&%$*^ future. I think about this every time I pick up the iPad. Remember “Star Trek: The Next Generation” where everyone had these little handheld devices that did anything the show required of them? This is that. This is more than that. This is like the Hitchhiker’s Guide, and then some. My mind is constantly being blown at how far technology has advanced in the last few years, and the iPad 2 is the perfect example of that. I can stream movies, send e-mails, browse the web, play games… all at the flick of a finger. The new iOS software incorporates gestures that make performing simple tasks, such as closing an app, feel so natural and intuitive, I’ve often wondered why they haven’t appeared elsewhere before now.
Now, is the iPad worthy of being called “magical”? Probably not. What is is though, is a well-designed device that excels in ease-of-use. So far, it seems to fit my needs just fine, and is a lot more natural than the awkward netbook that it replaced. Overall, I’m fairly impressed with it, and I am looking forward to using it to its full potential, and even developing my own apps to make use of the unique hardware and software.
My model: Wi-Fi only, 32GB flash memory, black.