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  1. urkel's Avatar
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       #1  
    I just want to preface this with a quick background on my perspective. Buying an iPad at launch is definitely a huge leap for most people which is why so many early impressions may be slanted towards positive. People tend to justify their purchases by hiding negativity. But for me, I'm going to be a bit more open minded since this isn't mine so feel free to ask any questions. I bought this for my mom (Mothers Day) so I'm getting a long time to mess with it and determine if it's for me.

    What I like:

    Interface -
    OSX, Win7, Android, iPhone OS, WebOS. As much as people argue about which OS is better, I've always said that todays modern OS's are nothing but App launchers. We spend most of our time IN an App, not in the OS so all these slick effects are just a flavor for your kool-aid.

    That said, the iPad interface is tasty. Usually, interface swooshing is something geeks see as smoke and mirrors. Fading menus, bouncing icons; it's just showmanship for the "masses". But with touchscreens then gestures are a big deal and they are very useful and pretty fun here.

    Apps -
    Apps are the heart of this thing and the reason competing tablets will live or die. all the best iphone apps work fine still but iPad specific apps look awesome.

    Speed -
    As an iPhone 3G/Pre user then I've always been jealous of the 3GS speed. Well, this thing is even faster than that. Singletasking is stupid, BUT a fast OS does make it more tolerable.

    Comfort -
    One thing that took a few days to warm up to was "when" to use it. Mid day when I'm busiest then this device slows me down because a real computer does exactly what I need. BUT, in the morning and at night then this is perfect. Waking up and checking twitter/email/news is very comfortable. And so is using it for IMDB/Reviews when watching TV/Movies when unwinding on the couch.

    Keyboard -
    In landscape i was surprised that i could actually touch type on this. It was very responsive and autocorrect kicked in it the right times.

    Orientation Switch -
    A switch to lock the orientation so you can lie in bed normally. Every touch screen device needs this.

    Weight -
    I do lots of photo work so I need a decent computer at home. But if I travel then a lightweight email/web/entertainment device is all I want to carry and this is it.

    Screen -
    The screen is beautiful. I'm one of those who hate glossy notebooks screens, but on phones and tablets it really makes colors pop. Picture viewing is amazing here.

    Moms -
    It's so demeaning to say something is a "Mom" device because it infers they're stupid. But what can I do. My mom is a brilliant woman who absolutely cannot copy and paste or use multiple browser tabs. So maybe there's some truth to the "mom" devices because this is great for her because all she does on a computer is email, youtube, photos and web browsing. The only thing missing is flash but that's something she'll probably never notice.

    Geeks -
    As much as this is a "mom" device, it's also for geeks. I use VNC to control my notebook in the other room. AirVideo to watch movies over the network (ANY format!), Good Reader where I put dozens of PDF tech manuals and educational books, there's note apps, drawing etc. Its closed minded to think simplicity means limitations because this is a powerful device.


    What I Dislike:

    Typing -
    Since I'm deciding if I should get an iPad for us I've been trying to get my wife to use it but many times I see her read an email on the iPad and then pop open her laptop to respond. Thats because this thing is better for media consumption but not for creation.

    Web Browser -
    I hate all the priase for the browser. Putting heavy limitations on a browser makes it snappy, but it is NOT the way to make it great. I don't care about the lack of flash, but this is missing tabs, dropdown bookmarks and background loading so viewing multiple sites is a major pain.

    Weight -
    I don't care how light 1.5lbs is, in your hands at this position then it gets heavy quick. So book reading, movie watching, internet etc aren't a handheld recreation like it is with a smartphone because after a few minutes this becomes a 2handed device. So think if it like this:

    iPad = 2 Hands after 10minutes of holding it up
    Smartphone = 1 Hand
    Notebook = No Hands

    Battery -
    This really does get tons of battery... if you're not playing games. The superfans won't tell you this but games drain the heck out of this.

    Camera -
    Yet another one of Apple's "save this for next gen" features. This is plain stupid because there are so many practical uses for a camera and you know it will come out next gen.

    Comfort -
    Anyone see the ads and all the "lounging" iPad users do? Well, I call BS on this. Call this a conspiracy theory, but if MS is to be ridiculed for it's fake commercials then why shouldn't Apple? Look at the ad. I don't think those are real arms and legs.



    In the ad then I think the iPad was filmed being used on a table (judging by hand positions) and those legs are greenscreened into a fake background (notice little or no movement). If I tried doing all those things then my slippery-as-a-fish iPad would be on the floor.

    Awkward in your Lap -
    Lying in bed with a tablet on our knees is better in our imagination than inreality. Without hands (or the iPad velcro'd to your kneecaps to keep it eye-level) then the tablet falls right down to your crotch so now you're looking downward and double-chinning it. So in order to view it properly then you need a pillow to prop it up. It's ridiculous because as a "laptop-in-bed" user then the adjustable screen and "built in" stand on my notebooks make a plain old laptop a more comfortable choice for late-hour video and internet use.

    Lack of File System -
    I know this isn't supposed to be a computer, but still. Accessing files are important and there's no good reason that we couldn't get a single unified file folder to dump files to and this is a major limitation for those of us wanting to "replace" a notebook.

    Multiple Users -
    Leo Laporte said on TWiT that "It doesn't need user switching because this is the most personal device you own". I strongly disagree. Your phone is the most personal device you own, a tablet that will spend most of it's time on the coffee table can easily be seen as a "FAMILY DEVICE". The wife can switch to her account to check email, the teen can switch to hers that has her Facebook, the kids can switch to theirs to use coloring apps and I can switch to mine where I have my banking apps, VNC control and my bookmarks. This is a $500-900 device so very few people are buying one for each family member.

    Too Many Functions -
    I know this sounds stupid but the iPad does "too much". I've always wanted a Kindle but waited because the iPad does Books + More. But with the iPad then every time I've sat down to "Read a Book" I've ended up stopping to check email, twitter, play a game etc. As nice as the book reading experience is here, there's so many distractions that it's oddly difficult.

    App Pricing -
    99cents is next to nothing so iPhone users would slowly be bled of money and didn't feel a thing. But the iPad introduced so much greed here that it's sickening. Not only are many apps priced $5, 10, 20 or more for essentially the same app. They also are double dipping because we are being charged for many apps we already paid for in the past. MLB being the best example because I paid $15 for the iPhone version (which I tether to my Pre since WebOS doesn't have a good MLB app) is already $5 more than last year. And now for the iPad I have to pay $15 again? So many games, utilities and everything do this and it's obnoxious.

    Nothing New or Better -
    The biggest issue with the ipad is It CAN do everything you want, but it doesn't do anything NEW or BETTER. It's the same stuff we've been doing on a computer but in a new (and sometimes more inconvenient) packaging. I enjoy the iPad but find myself going to the real computer for when I need to accomplish something important.



    Conclusion:
    So overall this is what I think of the iPad. Everyone should want one but not everyone should buy one. Judging this purely by what it is (rather than who makes it) then this is a good product despite the negatives.

    It's still 1st gen so I'm not recommending it to anyone immediately, but if you buy it I'm sure you'd find numerous ways to integrate it into your life and be happy with it. (But lets hope v2.0 comes with a kickstand because my solution is ridiculous)




    [BONUS RANT]
    What I Loathe:

    The Fans -
    This is my biggest annoyance with the iPad. These mindless people who spout out the absolute stupidest things about the things they can do now that they have an iPad.
    "With the iPad I can now watch TV while lounging on the couch".
    "I can show off my photos to clients while on the field"
    "I can type a letter on the beach"

    EVERYTHING these superfans brag about has been done with a laptop or smartphone for years so whats with the gloating?

    The Media -
    Anyone notice the select few that got the iPad early? It's the same "journalists" who go to press events and cheer like we would if we ever saw SpiderMan swing across our office window. 100% of them are the people that have said nice things in the past and will mask any faults in fear that they'll be taken off of Apple's "approved journalists" list. That's a brilliant move by Apple, but a disgusting act by "journalists".

    Maybe a Mac blogger should be selling the Kool-Aid, but NYT, Sun-Times, CNet, WSJ? They should be embarrassed at how Apple slanted their publications are. Apple makes great products but they also have flaws that shouldn't be burried or excused so easily.
    Last edited by Urkel; 04/21/2010 at 07:56 PM.
  2. #2  
    This is an incredibly helpful and insightful review. Good job
  3. #3  
    This is the type of helpful, hands-on and practical review that I've been interested to see. Thanks!
  4. #4  
    Very straight forward and unbiased, thank you!

    The major thing that stands out to me is the App Store issue. If you've purchased an app before, for the iPhone, and there's an updated version for the iPad, you should at least be given a discount for the iPad version. Wouldn't be very hard either, since it all goes through your iTunes account (as far as I know, non-Apple owner here). I would imagine this complaint will come up more and more as time goes on.

    Oh, and I like the "Nothing New or Better" section :P It would be nice if most people could realize that just because it has the Apple logo on it, doesn't mean it hasn't been done before.
  5. #5  
    An honest review. Great job and thanks.
    Achill3s' Palm Pre: Modded and patched to death!!
  6. #6  
    I pretty much agree. It's why i returned it for now. I basically pick up the iphone for some quick browsing. Anything more serious or productive is done on the computer. The iPad never found its way into my way of doing things.

    On the comfort front, i think you nailed it. It's really not that comfortable to use more than a few minutes.

    I'll probably keep an eye on acer 1825PTZ as well. Many apps on the iPad can be done on a regular browser for all the attention Netflix or an ABC app gets. But with a convertible tablet, i can rotate the screen and have something productive. Another rotation and its an ok enough "pad" with stylus.
  7. #7  
    Great job! I was waiting for a real honest review on this thing. Thanks.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by dscott23 View Post
    The major thing that stands out to me is the App Store issue. If you've purchased an app before, for the iPhone, and there's an updated version for the iPad, you should at least be given a discount for the iPad version. Wouldn't be very hard either, since it all goes through your iTunes account (as far as I know, non-Apple owner here). I would imagine this complaint will come up more and more as time goes on.
    Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. If someone releases a binary that _only_ runs on the iPad (which many developers seem to be doing), it enters the App Store as a separate product.

    On the other hand, it's entire possible to recompile your application as a universal binary (one package that contains both the iPhone and iPad versions) which will then hit the App Store as a free update.

    It's not surprising that most developers have opted for the first option thus far.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by nappy View Post
    Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. If someone releases a binary that _only_ runs on the iPad (which many developers seem to be doing), it enters the App Store as a separate product.

    On the other hand, it's entire possible to recompile your application as a universal binary (one package that contains both the iPhone and iPad versions) which will then hit the App Store as a free update.

    It's not surprising that most developers have opted for the first option thus far.
    Good point. Although the 2 devices are similar, it sort of reminds me now of buying Half Life 2 through Steam for my PC, and then buying the Orange Box when I got my xbox 360. Not *quite* the same, I know, but I remember being a bit annoyed at spending the money twice.
  10. #10  
    I have to admit this review is very very well written. I myself love Web OS as well as Apples OS (so similar), but would love to see a Palm Web OS tablet in the future. I myself am buying a ipad for my girl she needs something lightweight to use for mainly email, pictures, and quick web browsing which is what I believe the ipad is good for. Imagen though if you will a web os enable tablet, able to navigate through multilple web pages (like a desktop should) movies, pictures, and email all open at once able to send documents, browse the web, copy and paste it email it, then open up a word document finish your work, taking breaks inbetween playing unreal tournmaent all on a 10 inch screen thats portable. Sounds like a match made in heaven.
  11. #11  
    Good review. One of my biggest issues is the app store as well. Steve Jobs tricked the consumer at the iPad Press release. Sure you can run iPhone apps on the iPad but it won't be pretty. This should be addressed somehow. Have the iPad somehow triple the pixels automatically for apps or whatever.

    I just can't see myself paying 9.99 for a 0.99 cent app. Hopefully sales are so low that developers will get back to reality and figure its better to sale 100 apps for .99 cents than only 10 for 9.99.
  12. #12  
    As I have said before, I love my iPad. It has completely replaced my netbook and Kindle. I am a little confused about part of your review. Under "likes" you list keyboard, but under "dislikes" you list typing.

    The weight is a complete non issue for me. At first I thought it was a little heavy, but after a couple weeks of use I don't even think about it anymore. I am amazed everyday at some of the apps that are available. The interactive books that my children read off the iPad at bed time is worth the price alone.

    I can honestly say there is not one thing I think my netbook does better than my iPad. I am going to give my netbook to a coworker who is about to go on a long business trip. I might keep my Kindle for reading at the beach, but it is tough for me to even look at the Kindle screen now after reading a couple of books off the iPad.

    One more thing, I don't mind paying a few dollars for well written apps, even if I already bought an iPhone version.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardfan View Post
    I pretty much agree. It's why i returned it for now. I basically pick up the iphone for some quick browsing. Anything more serious or productive is done on the computer. The iPad never found its way into my way of doing things.

    On the comfort front, i think you nailed it. It's really not that comfortable to use more than a few minutes.

    I'll probably keep an eye on acer 1825PTZ as well. Many apps on the iPad can be done on a regular browser for all the attention Netflix or an ABC app gets. But with a convertible tablet, i can rotate the screen and have something productive. Another rotation and its an ok enough "pad" with stylus.
    Unfortunately the acer's main problem is that its going to be running a desktop OS and desktop apps that were written for use with a mouse on a touch screen. This thing will fail just like the HP Slate did.

    Also, the following spec is really scary....1.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 processor.
  14. urkel's Avatar
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       #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by mobileman View Post
    I am a little confused about part of your review. Under "likes" you list keyboard, but under "dislikes" you list typing.
    Thats because there's different perspectives on things like this. I started the review on my iPad thinking it would be a short note, but once I realized it would be a fairly hefty list of opinions I switched to the Macbook Pro. That's because "being able to type" isn't the same as "typing comfortably".

    I feel Apple did an amazing job with the keyboard, but the limitation is from the ergonomics of the device and the basic issues with touchscreens.
    The iPad keyboard simply isn't good enough for anything but short notes, and (IMO) if I'm going to use an external bluetooth keyboard then I might as well go to my 15" notebook or my 24" monitor.

    Quote Originally Posted by mobileman View Post
    I can honestly say there is not one thing I think my netbook does better than my iPad. I am going to give my netbook to a coworker who is about to go on a long business trip.
    Well, file management is a major difference. But thats more due to the users actual intentions so to me I consider netbooks vs iPad to be an inaccurate comparison since they're aimed at different users.

    Quote Originally Posted by mobileman View Post
    One more thing, I don't mind paying a few dollars for well written apps, even if I already bought an iPhone version.
    In general, I don't either and I'll judge each purchase based on actual value. But my problem is the price difference. If an app is 99c on iPhone then it shouldn't be $10 on iPad. It sets a bad precedent on the future of app pricing because many times the iPad app offers little or nothing different than the iPhone app other than size.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Urkel View Post


    In general, I don't either and I'll judge each purchase based on actual value. But my problem is the price difference. If an app is 99c on iPhone then it shouldn't be $10 on iPad. It sets a bad precedent on the future of app pricing because many times the iPad app offers little or nothing different than the iPhone app other than size.
    Unless the app has been enhanced for the iPad. Most of the ones I have downloaded have been.
  16. #16  
    From what I've read on other sites, there is some price gouging going on. And suddenly, some things are a subscription(or an increase in subscription price) on the iPad.

    Seems the iPad would likely be a luxury purchase in my case. I'm going to have to consider if the $700 would be better spent on another phone.
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  17. urkel's Avatar
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       #17  
    Well, its been a few weeks so I thought I should give an update on this. At first this was just a gift for my mom that I was "trying out" but the more I use it the more I like it. But it's still not for everyone because there still are a lot of important things that need to be addressed.


    What's Going Good:

    Games
    I think Nintendo is right to wage war against Apple because the Wii turned out to be a financially successful device that nobody actually plays after the first month, but the iPhone/Touch/iPad is an incredible gaming machine who's primary purpose isn't even games.

    If it werent for the pricetag I'd recommend it to everyone simply as a game machine.

    App Catalog
    iPhone has 200k apps. Android has 48k. Pre has 2k. iPad already has 12k. iPad is establishing itself as a solid platform (unfortunately this quick rise to market leader will hurt WebOS as a tablet because clearly developers are picking sides)


    What Needs to be Improved:

    Multiple User Profiles
    The iPad is too expensive and not useful enough for everyone to have their own so multiple user profiles is a necessity because this device is meant to be shared. A single profile used by the kids, the spouse and every acquaintance to wants to see how your pictures look or how the email client works is NOT safe.

    Multitasking
    iPhone 4.0 will give us what we want on the iPhone, but they say the iPad update wont be until later this year? Thats rough because the iPad desperately needs the ability to listen to baseball AND run an app. (Supposedly the jailbreak is easy though)

    Novelty Factor
    This product should be more than "A different way to do the same things", but right now it's a novelty because its still more productive to do most tasks on a computer. They have to figure out how to keep users from putting down the iPad and going to the laptop when a task becomes more than just a casual search, respond to an email, grab a file or write a post (like im doing on my laptop).

    Eliminate Need for Syncing
    Managing the device through iTunes is easy, but it's also a severe limitation.
    ---Podcasts - I subscribe to 30 podcasts that iTunes gets automatically. The only way to get the new ones on the iPad is to search iTunes and check if a new one is out. 30x. The iPad should know what im subscribed to and present a list of whats new rather than forcing me to sync.
    ---Computerless Sync - Apple is far behind when it comes to the cloud. I am able to keep my calendars, bookmarks and contacts in sync with my Pre, iPhone and iPad but it requires going to the computer to do it. This should be done automatically within the device.
    ---Drive Space - Here's my ridiculous workflow for managing iTunes
    iPad - 32GB.
    Laptop - 500GB (Music + Newest TV/Movies)
    External iTunes Backup - 900GB (TV/Movie Archives)

    Changing music playlists on the iPad sync is easy since it's all local. But if I want to dig up an archived TV Show I have to go to my external iTunes drive, import the file to my local iTunes, sync, then delete to save space.

    Apple needs to give an option to designate how files are automatically managed because this is the opposite of convenient. Store music locally and video external.

    App Prices
    Despite the media trying to actually defend app prices, the "apps that matter" are still too expensive. Especially apps I already own and just want an optimized iPad version.

    Lack of iPad Versions of Apps
    At launch I understood why so many apps didn't have an iPad version. But a month later I really wish we saw more.

    Storage Space
    The 16GB iPad only gives you 13GB of storage space, and even that is littered with junk. 50 apps (1.8GB) takes up 3GB of space and my "Other" category has blown up to 1.1GB. I know, it's all overhead and technical math but for such a consumer aimed device it's frustrating because I've been forced to juggle files to get what I need to fit. But now I've "solved" the issue by throwing money at it. Paid $100 and switched to a 32GB (which gives 29gb of space. Argh.)



    CONCLUSION
    With the death of the Courrier (which is devastating) then there is no competition. Even a superior WebOS device will be impressive in function but way way behind in availability of apps. So while I haven't necessarily drunk the kool-aid, I am sold on the device.

    I'm keeping the 32GB and in a weird turn of events I'm now considering getting mother a Netbook instead. The novelty of the iPad will draw her in at first but the device just doesnt seem functional enough for her so maybe next year.
  18. #18  
    @Urkel
    You should definitely check out the Jailbreak community. You might want to do some extensive reading before hand, you don't want to mess something up. I'm waiting for a couple of jailbreak apps to get optimized for the iPad like Proswitcher, Backgrounder and Activator (Backgrounder, the multitasking core, works, its just not the iPad version yet, others I hear are not functional). So if you did install Backgrounder, you could theoretically stream and use another app, as long as that other app didn't play music I think. On an iPod Touch these jailbroken apps give you multitasking similar to WebOS with cards and gestures but with more choices. Pandora while using the internet is nice.

    Regarding the low memory, if you tend to use your device in the house or in the vicinity of your laptop, you could use AirVideo to stream movies over wifi or adhoc with a laptop. I think its like 3 bucks and that's for the iPad/iPhone version. I use that for all my movies, no conversions are necessary and it streams on the fly.

    And your right on about the Wii, mine is stashed somewhere in a closet. I even homebrewed it to get more use out of it and it still got old.
  19. #19  
    Great review and following comments. I got the 16GB version and it will serve me well as I mostly use the iPad for browsing. Lack of Flash is an issue for me. Looking forward to the HP Hurricane with Web OS.
  20. #20  
    please do a similar revew of Pre+ and webos. You have a gift, and you can show us where we are being unconsciously annoying.
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