Okay since this is an iPad review, i'll be attempting to update this entry entirely on the iPad and see how the typing performance of the touch screen is. Wish me luck. So far so so good.
Okay, I'm not an iphone fan. That much we have already established. In fact when the iPad came out, I was a bit skeptical on how Steve jobs would change tablet computing as we know it. Coz tablets are nothing new. U have seen a few iterations of the tablet making it's round but nothing really catched the eye as much as the iPad. Maybe that's simply and apple thing. They do know cool, but there's always been this silent understanding that u just have to accept whatever apple tells ya when it comes to how u wanna use an apple device. But that clearly is not important in an iPad review.
I decided to get the 3G model. If u have an android phone or even a nokia, u can install programs that can turn ur phone into a mobile hotspot and u can tether ur iPad via wifi. I'm not sure if u can do that with an iPhone. U probably could, u would think, but I won't be surprised if u couldn't. The 3G model, at least gives u the option of using a data simcard and connect through the cellular network. Just don't expect to plug in ur normal sim card tho coz it only accepts micro sims. Fret not, a quick google will present u with a solution. U can cut ur existing sim and use an adapter to fit it inside the 3G iPad or u probably can ask either maxis or digi if they can give u one since they're the front runners to bring the similarly micro simmed iPhone 4 to these Malaysian shores.
I haven't done so myself. Quite satisfied to use wifi at the moment. Well at least until I can ask if Celcom can provide me a separate data sim for my existing unlimited data plan.
So what do u get outta the box? The iPad packaging, like all things apple are quite minimal. U get ur 10 watt power unit. A USB cable and a metal thingy for u to eject the sim tray. Well that's if u got the 3G one like I did. And that's it. Yep. A one piece instruction card telling u to download the latest iTunes and plug ur iPad into the computer. Follow on screen instructions and walla ur done. I already had an apple id when I made some purchase on the apple store, so I just used that same id. It prompted me to confirm some details, mainly for the app store purchasing purpose and that was that.
The first thing I did was to set up my office email using exchange active sync. I've always maintained that the best mobile email experience was on the iPhone. I'm sure u can dig up quotes of me saying that. Email is just beautiful on the iPhone. And now it's just even brilliant on the iPad. The bigger screen is definitely a plus. Its as good as ur desktop email experience. I think the iPad supports viewing different types of attachment but to edit any of them u probably need to invest on a good office like app. The bigger screen also allows for a bigger keyboard, especially if u work the iPad horizontally. But I imagine if u were to invest in a good Bluetooth keyboard, it would probably improve the typing experience.
My intention is to use the iPad as a substitute for my trusty net book. Which basically means, the following core functions, browsing the web, blogging, twittering, social networking and maybe some work. That's a big maybe la since it's definitely hard to do work at home. The señorita can vouch for that. Anyways for the functions highlighted above there are some areas where the iPad excels at but at the same time u expect things to be better. I don't have to elaborate about the 'no flash' argument. The iPad won't support flash. Well not unless u jailbreak it and make it do things that Steve Jobs won't let it do la kan. But nevertheless web browsing using the safari browser is generally fine. Unless u go to flash heavy websites la kot. But if u don't then it shouldn't be a problem.
My second core function is blogging. When it comes to blogging on the go, I've set it up so that I can email my blog entries. Using the iPad to open blogger.com is kinda a mixed bag. For starters I can't use the compose function to let me attach pictures and what not. So ur only left with the basic HTML edit option. I guess u can always edit the entries properly on ur desktop. But that sucks a bit. Maybe that can be sorted out with an update? But so far, typing on the screen, whilst it may not be the kist natural typing position, I find myself not making much errors as compared to typing on my htc hero. Keyword here is 9.7 inch screen. Hehe.
For Twitter, there's a few clients that u can use. I'm using tweetdeck for the iPad. Unfortunately, Twitter have not gotten to update their official app for the iPhone to the iPad. And if u run an iPhone app on the iPad u get screen wastage which just gets a tad annoying. But I'm sure these will soon be fixed with a proper update. More and more apps are getting iPad compatible so that's always a good thing. The 3G makes geotagging ur tweets a cinch. I'm not sure how that would be handled on the wifi only version. Maybe someone can share? Which brings me to the next thing, as of today there's no iPad version of the official Facebook client. U get the iPhone version scaled up. Not pretty. I'm sticking to safari at the moment.
As for work, there's a few worthy apps that one can download to assist in one's work. I need to keep up to date with news so having Reuters and Bloomberg helps. For editing documents I decided to go with quickoffice. I have it running on my e72 and I thought it's quite good. I have documents to go running on my android. It's not bad but it has a desktop app to assist in true synchronisation of files. I'm trying as much as possible to limit the desktop interaction that I need to do with the iPad. That's where the dropbox client comes in handy. I have drop box running on my hero, e72, my net book (both the ubuntu and xp boots), the desktop at the office and now the iPad. So at any given time if I were to update any file on any machine I can be sure that I have access to the latest version. Just don't edit it all at once on different machines la kot. Conflict plak nanti.
So far so good. Lucky they didn't invent the iPad in such a way that there's only one way to type on it. Hehe it's kinda hard to do a death grip on this baby. I'll probably update this review later if and when I manage to try out the 3G capabilities.
This would definitely not be my only review on the iPad.
Pics courtesy of the señorita.