[For some reason reviews of Apple products make people quite angry. Let me state now that I don't care. I'm not trying to evangelise and I really don't mind if you’re a Fanboi or AppleHater. I've used Apple products for a while and in general I like them.]
So on Monday more or less on a whim, I bought an iPad. I'd always planned to buy one since the keynote the whim bit was the timing. Recently I realised I needed a dedicated fashion portfolio and worked out printing would cost me £200 and would need redoing every 3 months plus maybe £1 - 200 for a nice binder. For this alone the iPad seems a no brainer.
I haven't read a lot about the iPad and there isn't even a manual for me to ignore so it's possible I'm missing something obvious.Things I don't like:
1. I'm not overwhelmed by the interface - it's very very good but not (as some people call it) life changing. Mainly I've seen it. I've been using it for 18 months on the iPhone. Possibly the people who treat it with awe have been using Blackberries. Best interface I've ever used but no better than I expected.
2. While we're on the interface, the icon layout on the home page is pretty ugly. And the screen picks up fingerprints a LOT.
3. Syncing stuff is OK as long as you want to play Apple's way (seriously - opening iTUNES to sync PICTURES???). It's impossible to sync it to more than one computer so if it's synced to the MacPro and I want to get a single snap from my laptop I'm stuffed. (I'm using a 3rd party app called iCase which is OK but has some major downsides)
4. I get the impression it's better in the US than UK. On The Register's advice I installed Kindle reader (apparently better than iBooks). Not only are the books priced in $ and have UK Vat added...I can't buy most of them. Even Amazon's personal recommendations for me aren't available. US bias runs pretty deep in most things from, well, any US manufacturer...
5. The price. Yeah it's an Apple so it's expensive (and during the Keynote I was braced for £1,000 for what they promised) but really it absolutely does not cost an extra £100 to put 3G in. (I can buy a subsidised 3G dongle for my laptop for £20...) - so an extra £100 for 3G PLUS SIM (probably free) PLUS "special" data plan. No thanks. I'll suffer with WiFi and if necessary get a Mifi
6. Minor niggles. I like the 3 finger swipe on my laptop but it's not supported on the iPad. Sky TV listings don't work on the iPad because their click drag interface interferes with the iPad's drag interface. I'd love a dedicated mute button - I like to turn keyclick off sometimes.Things that make me go "meh"
1. No Flash support. Oh well.
2. No USB. I suppose I would like to plug a hard drive in but that's kind of missing the point. I expect somebody will have a hack using the camera connector within 3 months anyway. I can live without USB on the iPad.Things I like.
1. The screen. Oh. My. God. The screen. Best screen I've seen on any device ever. Seriously I would put up with a lot to show pictures that look that good.
2. It works. Really it does. After 30 mins (I needed a new copy of iTunes) it was up an running and synced with my iPhone apps, diary, email and calendar. 15 mins later I have a selection of pics and music on it. But I'm a long time Fanboi so that doesn't surprise me at all.
3. Battery life seems great. Didn't charge it when I got it and it worked all day. Recharged for an hour or two and it was good to go for another day.
4. The wow factor. I showed some pics on it to a client this morning for the first time. Their jaw pretty much dropped. That will fade but for me it makes it worth the money and the pain of early adoption - because iPad 2 will be amazing.