Yesterday morning, at around 11:15 a.m., the doorbell rang. It was a friendly UPS delivery man, handing me a package from Apple. Inside, was my new iPad.
I was in the middle of a Skype conversation with some friends from Germany, so I took the opportunity to give them an exclusive look at me unboxing my new pride and joy. They were quite impressed, especially with how thin and sleek it looked. I promised to give them a better look when I’m in Germany this summer to attend a friend’s wedding.
I’ve had just over a day now with the iPad. I’ve already downloaded a couple of dozen apps, including a bunch of free ones and a few that I purchased. One of the apps that I’ve downloaded is the WordPress application, which is what I’m using now to create this post. (I’m also using a bluetooth keyboard, which I find a bit easier to use than the onscreen keyboard for longer typing sessions.)
So far, I must say that I’m very happy with my purchase. The iPad is really a remarkable device. I had written earlier about how much I wanted one, and why. But now that I actually have one, I can honestly say it’s even better than I had imagined. Really. It’s that good.
What makes it so good? Let me mention my top three reasons why the iPad is my new favorite device. First, the iPad is super fast. Tap an icon, and BAM, you’re online. Tap another, and you’re looking at your email in one of the best email interfaces I’ve ever used. Tap another, and you’re reading a book, or watching a video, or listening to a tune, or playing a game. This thing is already making my laptop seem slow (and it’s a pretty fast laptop).
Second, the iPad is gorgeous. It’s aesthetically very pleasing. Elegant lines, with tastefully understated controls. Beautifully intuitive interface. Brilliant bright screen that’s easy on the eyes. It’s the kind of cool look you just want to show off to others. And yet for all its good looks, the iPad doesn’t get in the way of the content it displays, whether it’s a web page, a movie or an email. It just makes all of that content look great.
And third, the iPad is versatile. It does so many different things right out of the box. But when you start adding apps, and experiencing what developers have been able to do with the iPhone operating system on a bigger screen, you begin to realize this is so much more than a big iPod Touch. I like the iPod Touch, and I’ve owned a couple of them. But the iPad is so much more. And with more apps being added every day, this thing really does fill the niche between a laptop and an iPhone. And it does so very well.
Some people have compared the iPad to netbooks and Amazon’s Kindle, but really, there is NO comparison. I’ve used netbooks, and they are mostly underpowered mini-laptops. I’ve used the Kindle, and while it’s a fine ebook reader, it’s a one-trick pony. And with the iBooks app, that pony is looking like an old mare.
It won’t take long for the iPad imitators to appear. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and there is plenty to flatter about the iPad. There already is something called a “JooJoo”, which is probably the closest to an imitation iPad out there right now. We’ll probably see Google push out the Chrome OS to a slate. I could see Motorola releasing a king-sized Droid. And of course, Microsoft will undoubtedly copy Apple; they always have. But by then, we’ll be talking about iPad 2.0.
Once again, Apple has a hit on its hands. Once again, Apple has led the way toward a new paradigm in computing. And once again, I’m very glad I bought an Apple product.