Quick and Dirty iPad Observations

I’m getting a 3G model, so mine won’t arrive for another month, but I went to an Apple Store today and played with one. Here are a few observations…

In landscape mode the keyboard does very well, though I’d like to have a bigger shift key on the right. If you’re not an iPhone user (i.e., haven’t gotten over the “stigma” of using a software keyboard), there’ll be a learning — actually, a mindset — curve, but this keyboard will be fine for probably any emails you write, and even ~800-word articles. Beyond that, you should consider the keyboard dock or Bluetooth keyboard. Though I write quite a bit, it’s clear I can do the bulk of it using the built-in keyboard alone.

Safari looks great, and I was thankful there’s an option to display the Bookmarks bar all the time, just like the desktop version.

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The iBooks app also looks great, and I sensed using it in landscape might make more sense for me. (Funny that Klosterman’s Eating the Dinosaur was one of the pre-installed books. I just finished reading it via the Kindle app only a month ago.)

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iPhone apps in 2x mode range from looking fine to quite ugly (depends on the app), but they get the job done and all the ones I ran worked well.

Yes, the iPad’s spelling correction now recognizes “iPad” as a word. No more uPas.

You generate screenshots just like on an iPhone (i.e., press Home and Sleep simultaneously).

My 13 year old (well, next week she will be) daughter was with me, and enamored with the device. She got an iPhone 3GS only an hour earlier at the AT&T store, and it was almost like she didn’t care because the iPad is so amazing. Such is the march of progress, I guess.

It’s relatively light, and feels good any way you hold it, but is still heavy enough that you’ll want to prop it up on your leg, a pillow, armrest, stomach, etc. for long reading or video sessions. The screen is so sweet that such long sessions are inevitable.

Overall the device was fun to use, and the speed was striking. I’m so looking forward to getting mine, but I have a few weeks to go. For those who got theirs today, or are getting one soon, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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