After months of heightened anticipation and rampant speculation, Apple’s seemingly mythic iPad has finally made its debut. Hardly a media outlet has been able to escape the ensuing debate over whether Steve Job’s latest creation lives up to the hype. Now that the iBraryGuy team has managed to get their hands on one and taken for a serious test-drive, we are ready to weigh in. The iBraryGuy verdict? Apple’s iPad is powerful, sleek, and worth the price. Yes Virginia, it IS a game changer!
They say that a thing if beauty is a joy forever. The iPad may not last forever, but it is truly a gorgeous little piece of machinery. In the capable hands of Apple’s design and tech wizards, this beauty is also a thing of power, form, and function. The iPad is light and easy to hold with one hand while manipulating the touchscreen with the other. The screen is highly sensitive and quickly moves from portrait to landscape modes. The screen is crystal clear and easy on the eyes. All in all, the design is solid. Does it look like an oversized iPhone? You bet. Then again, why not build on one of the most successful and revolutionary devices of our time?
We really enjoyed the speed of the iPad in navigating applications and switching between them. Sure, you cannot multitask right now. But let’s be real. Is it really necessary to always be doing many things at once? That’s what a full-fledged computer or laptop is for. These new tablets are not meant to be replacements for their bigger, more powerful cousins. The iPad and the wave of competitors that are sure to follow ushers in a new level of convenience computing technology. To approach them with the same standards to which we hold actual desktops and laptops is to do these tablets and ourselves a huge disservice.
Some of the apps we have tested have been awe inspiring, to say the least. From the tactile page turning and full-color display of iBooks to the sweet video-streaming of Netflix and ABC to the interactive, pushpin format of the Associated Press, app developers have pulled out all the stops to create some really amazing offerings. We have also been impressed with the usability and functionality of Apple’s own iWork suite of productivity tools. If someone had told us we’d be walking around the house using a word processor and typing with only three fingers, we would have never believed it. Yet that was exactly how we typed this blog entry. It was a true “Jetsons” moment!
Yes, there are some drawbacks to the iPad. A camera for videoconferencing would be nice. A USB port would also come in handy. But the lack of these was no deal breaker given the convenience the iPad offers. The onscreen keyboard will take some getting used to for some folks as well. Our biggest complaint so far is that when the unit is turned off, tou can see all the fingerprints. At least they show just how much we are already using it. We also have not experienced either the WiFi connectivity issue or the overheating that some folks have reported. We’ve even found a workaround for the fact we did not buy a 3G model. But we will save that for a future posting.
The iBraryGuy team is happy with its new iPad and we expect to get a lot of “on the go” use out of it. That is what these new tablet computers are about after all. The iPad lightens our load while providing all of the computing power we need to be productive and have some fun. And yes, we certainly did have some fun with it. Pac-Man anyone? The iPad was worth the wait and the price. Apple has thrown down the gauntlet and changed the game.