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3G iPad Report

Bought the 3G iPad on Friday! I haven’t used it that much yet, but here are my initial reactions:

It’s beautiful. The interface is gorgeous. Everything about it is slick and delicious. I downloaded a ton of classics and even started reading The Count of Monte Cristo, which was great. A lot of books I’m interested in, like the Chicago Manual of Style, aren’t in e-book format yet. The nice thing is that if you can’t find a book in the iBooks store you can check the Kindle store through the Kindle for iPad app. The differences between the way they’re viewed: Kindle doesn’t have the “look” of a book with the pages on the sides, and the pages don’t “turn” like a real book, they just slide over, but Kindle has sepia tone, which is kind of cool, and more options for font size. Overall, they look pretty similar. One thing that’s annoying is that when you download a free Kindle book, it treats it like a real book purchase and sends you a receipt by e-mail. It’s a longer, more involved process than downloading books from the iBooks store, which takes about 2 seconds.

There aren’t a lot of iPad apps out there yet. You can use all the iPhone apps, but I don’t wan an app that is pixelated when I double the size to fit the iPad. I want apps designed FOR the iPad. So choices are limited at this point (I tried to download a stopwatch and a French dictionary and couldn’t find ones I liked.)

The app I’ve been using most so far: New York Times. It’s so slick. You get just eight stories per category (news, tech, biz, lifestyle, opinion), so some people may hate that, but for someone like me who doesn’t have time to read the paper anyway, it’s perfect. I check it in bed before I go to sleep and in the morning when I wake up, and while I’m feeding the baby.

My 2-year-old son has also gotten a lot of use out of the iPad. Toddler games are way better on the iPad than on the iPhone, as I imagine all games are.

I use Google Calendar instead of iCalendar, and I haven’t found a Google calendar app I’m happy with, but all in good time. I’m sure within the next three months there will be a gazillion more iPad-optimized apps in the store.

Maps works great, and is much easier to use in the larger format.

I haven’t downloaded Pages (word processing) yet, but will do that today.

I think the biggest question about the iPad is where does it fit into my life? It’s not small enough to carry in my pocket or purse like an iPhone (it’s definitely not an iPhone replacement for that reason), and I can’t picture myself writing my book on it, although I did get the keyboard and once the case that props the iPad up is available, there’s no reason why I couldn’t write on it (except that I use Scrivener, and I’m sure it will be ages before Scrivener has an iPad app since they don’t even have a PC app yet). I guess the best way to view it is as a super-e-reader. You take it anywhere you’d take a book-and then you have your e-mail, calendar, and a gazillion other apps, too. But when I’m hopping in the car with no intentions to read a book, I’m not sure whether to bring it with me. For an airplane ride, or a hospital stay, it would be perfect. But do I need it every day?

What do you think? Do you have an iPad? Do you plan to get one? What do you/would you use it for?

8 comments to 3G iPad Report

  • i would love to buy one if you will send me the money to buy it with.

  • You are in tune with that cruel betrayer, Nathan Bransford. He did an iPad review today, too.

    I'm so jealous. I want one but cannot justify the expense.

  • I would prefer an iPhone if Verizon would just get on that already. But I would take an iPad, and I think I would EXPLODE with happiness from reading my first book on it. Andy and I played with iPads at both Best Buy and the Apple Store, and they're just dreamy. (Like most things Apple makes.) I would just want an iPhone because of its portability (and its camera) — I think I would use it more.

    I don't think an iPad would ever replace a real laptop for me, though. I had a 12" screen once, and that was small enough.

  • Travener – the check's in the mail.

    KLM – I haven't read Nathan's post yet. My ONLY justification for getting one was that I turned 40 this year – nothing like an expensive toy to ease the transition into middle age.

    Kristan – I want an iPhone, too, someday! I don't think it's a replacement for a phone or a laptop, although I need to hook up the keyboard and test it out.

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