First impressions of my iPad
I’ve spent a day playing around with my iPad now, and I still think I’ve only barely scratched the surface of what it can do.
I’d like to write a quick blog post here on all of the things that went through my head as I was opening the box and cranking it up; all of my first initial impressions of using my iPad for the first time.
When I pulled it out of the box, I immediately thought it felt heavier than the other iPads I’d held before. Granted all of the other iPads were WiFi only models, and the Apple site does say that the 3G version is 0.05kg heavier, but I didn’t think I’d actually notice (Or maybe I’m just crazy ). Upon picking it up and holding it in my hand, it felt really nice. The brushed metal back and the sapphire glass front are really smooth and they both felt really nice to the touch.
But on that note, I was thinking the smooth/heavy combo of the iPad doesn’t work out all too well. I found out that if I wanted to hold it with one hand, to stop it from sliding out of my fingers I’d have to put extra effort into gripping the iPad, and this resulted in my wrist tiring after about 5 minutes of holding it. However, holding it with 2 hands was fine, so I’m sure it’s just a matter of finding out which ways of holding the iPad work out best for you.
In the later generations of the iPad, I would expect the device’s weight will be decreased, and maybe even extra grip being added to it as its main innovations. In any case, this isn’t really a showbuster for me.
The screen itself is great. From what I’ve read, since the iPhone 3GS, all Apple touch screens have come with an oleophobic coating, a polymer that helps resist human skin oil from sticking to the surface, helping to prevent fingerprints. This is really evident since I can usually push down and slide my finger around on the screen and still have very little fingerprints after it. Any finger prints that do appear can easily be wiped off with a cloth. I’m told that this coating does eventually wear off after general wear and tear, so I might be changing my tune here later on.
After a bit of thinking, I’ve decided I won’t be putting a screen protector on the iPad. I’ve read that the unofficial reason for Apple banning screen protectors on their own site is that the adhesive on most protectors damage this oleophobic coating on the screen (as well as ultimately just increases the ease of fingerprints), and that’s something I don’t reeeally want to do.
In addition, I’ve had a bad experience with the screen protector on my iPhone (sticky residue everywhere as it starts to age, and it even distorts the color of certain pixels), as well as the silicon case on the back (grit got in there and scratched it something fierce… then the silicon started to degrade, so it felt like it was ‘sweating’…? ) so I also plan to just let my iPad back go naked here as well. This doesn’t mean I’m not going to be totally paranoid about keeping it totally pristine though. I’ve got two iPad carry cases (Griffin Elan Passport and Griffin Jumper) both with different uses arriving in the mail, and with them I plan to keep my iPad protected at all times.
When actually using the iPad, it feels great! Compared to my iPhone 3G, it feels REALLY fast and responsive. If this is the same A4 chip that will be going into the iPhone 4G, that thing is going to pwn.
The extra screen real-estate is definitely no joking matter, as it easily does open up much more potential for what one can do here. All of the apps I’ve seen so far make excellent use of the screen space and I’ve actually found it very rare where I’ve had any need to pinch and zoom in.
The main reason I bought this device was so I could read my eBooks, and this doesn’t disappoint. The iPad is easily capable of rendering an A4 sheet of text perfectly legibly, without having to zoom in at all. I have a lot of PDF files of RPG and site dev eBooks I’ve bought, and these look absolutely great on the iPad. In addition to my eBooks, being able to access publications digitally, like newspapers and magazines (The Wired app comes to mind) more quickly and cheaply than paper on my iPad, is also a tremendously cool new thing, and I can definitely see me using this a lot.
Aside from that though, the general consensus of the internet is true… it works and feels like a giant iPhone.
Overall though, I really like my iPad and can definitely see some uses for it that neither my laptop nor my desktop PC can equally fulfill.
I think as a result of this, tablet PCs that occupy the space between fullblown PCs and smartphones definitely have a little niche here they can easily exploit and I definitely think they’ll be growing in the future.
At the moment, given the weight and price of these devices, only mainly the hardcore tech geeks will probably be using them the most, but given time, I can easily see this sort of thing becoming a part of everyone’s daily life.