A month with an iPad

So maybe it’s over a month, I’ve not kept count. What do I think of it? How have I ended up using it? Pros? Cons? Read on!

My mate Robbo was heading to Las Vegas about a month before the UK launch date of the iPad, and he was toying with the idea of picking one up. “Grab us one, kidda, I’ll sort you out when you’re back.” I says, and he did.

Pretty much everyone’s first question was “What on earth are you gonna use it for?” (except the wife, her’s was more along the lines of cost and current computer count in the house–5), to which I didn’t have a good answer. I have an iPhone and MacBook Pro, but being a nerd, an iPad was a prequisite.

Out of the box, it was a thing of beauty. Typical Apple packaging means you’re in love with the inanimate object before it’s dropped it’s negligé. Weighty, solid, beautiful screen, bezel of a good size for holding and intuitive controls meant it felt like you’d already known about this new thing for a while.

The screen is fantastic, the battery life astounding and the multitude of ways I’ve been using it––equally impressive.

At first I was almost reticent to try and use it whenever, and the fact that the iPhone is always in my pocket meant it was the first gadget I’d reach for. However, over the weeks, I’ve got more used to typing on the flat glass untactile keyboard, and actually quiet like it. The screen makes reading for any extended period a breeze, and I caught myself thinking it was more akin to reading a newspaper whilst on the throne.

The boy loves it. He’s familiar with the iPhone, so when he picked it up and had a go first time I didn’t have to show him *anything*. He ended up in Safari on Vimeo, watching a bunch of my videos, which was amazing as he’d never actually used a web page before that moment. As you can see in the video, it was just purely intuitive. You can hear my amazement!

The amount of games I have for him (and me) on the iPhone means we hit the ground running with loads of content on the iPad. When games are 59p, you don’t mind taking a punt on them, and we’ve got some crackers for him. Clicky Sticky is a current fav, creating his own scenes with aeroplanes and stuff. In fact, quiet often I’m relegated to the iPhone as he runs off with the iPad!

The other week I went down to London for the D&AD Awards ceremony, which was an honour, and I decided to not take a laptop, just the iPad. First time without the trusty laptop interface to the online world. Would I cope? The train ride down was great. Logged on to wifi, emailing, surfing, chatting, listening to music, watched an episode of Lost. A couple of Oriental ladies were very interested so chatted to them for a bit and let them play with it while I went to the toilet. Loads of glances, and some crap joking from the Scottish rail staff about robbing it. Err yeah, another beer please!

#protip: a banana makes an excellent iPad stand. Non-slip, tilts the iPad a great typing angle, biodegradable and provides a tasty treat when you’ve finished work!

Taking the iPad to the gym has made me a few more friends too. Since I’d had it there before the UK launch, there were a few points and stares, but one guy came over and started chatting. He turned out to be a security analysts and consultant, who loves Apple hardware. Great geeky conversation ensued!

Around the house, these last weeks the iPad has been indispensable for watching the World Cup while moving around the house! Streaming via TVCatchUp has been great. Not perfect, but to wander from room to room and have the footy in hand, supoib!

In summation, I’ve found the iPad to excel when it comes to consuming media. I sit at a desk all day, and most nights, creating stuff. The iPad is a chance to kick back and look at all the wonderful things on the internet, providing they’re not in Flash…

In the living room, when the wife is watching tele, the iPad presents less of a barrier for conversation than a laptop. If we’re sat in there and I reach for the iPad to wiki or IMDB something, it doesn’t put up the same fence as a laptop, which kinda says “I’m busy, don’t interrupt.” I feel the iPad is a lot more informal, and less intrusive.

It’s a fantastic bit of kit, and while it will have it’s detractors, I’m loving every minute with it. And so is Eloy!