Here’s an iPad review in response to the questions I’m most asked, either from the Twitterverse or IRL (yes, it is still there).
Is it any good? Yes. It’s awesome.
Do you miss flash? Yes. A lot more than I thought I would. On the iPhone you may not miss flash but the iPad (despite being a large iPhone) encourages a lot more surfing of the web than the actual phone. It isn’t a deal-breaker but… it’s there…
Any good? Yes, and the battery life is awesome. Imagine if you didn’t have to charge your laptop or iPhone for several days. That’s awesome.
Could it be your only computer? Well… yes… If you were eighty plus and it was your first computer I guess it is technically possible. Especially if you’ve avoided collecting digital media (like photos and music) in the past. But I wouldn’t give it a go. There is literally no way to get your existing CD collection onto the iPad without another computer.
Do you like it? Yes, despite the lack of flash, surfing the web is awesome. Everything looks great. Seriously, the only ugly thing on the iPad Safari browser is Miranda Devine’s thoughts put into words.
Is it a laptop replacement? If you’re a blogger, it absolutely could be a replacement laptop while you are travelling away from your home computer. But I’d still get a bluetooth keyboard for serious writing. But as it stands, there is no way I could do my current job with the iPad. Not now and not in the near future. Sure, eventually apps may make it possible to query SQL databases or remote desktop (and maybe they already do) but – if you need a portable work horse – a laptop should still be your first choice. Think about writing SQL queries on the auto-correct happy virtual keyboard, then think about shooting yourself in the face. I’d know what I’d pick.
Video any good? Yes, YouTube is brilliantly done and even streaming video is pretty awesome. Don’t expect HD quality on 3G though (and I’m with Telstra).
What do you do with it? I do 95% of my non-work computing on it. Surf, email, Twitter, news, games. Also, comic reading is back in a big way, and magazines are awesome. I even listen to music on it when I’m cooking. The speaker isn’t audiophile quality by any means, but it is good enough.
What’s the other 5%? Writing anything longer than a few hundred words. And checking websites with flash.
Is it a netbook replacement? Absolutely. If you have a small netbook to do all the all the things I’ve described above, the iPad does it faster, better and smarter. For articles longer than a few hundred words – get a bluetooth keyboard.
What’s the best app? For showing off? WIRED magazine. Best use of the larger screen? Pocket Weather. For reading to kids? Alice in Wonderland. For actual use? Safari. I suspect once Twitter for iPad comes out that will replace safari. Best game? Flight Control HD.
Is it a third category between phones and laptops? I honestly can’t tell. I have a funny feeling slate computers will eventually replace laptops but in the meantime it is a conversation to have over beers.
What’s the most disappointing app? Early Edition. Supposed to put RSS feeds into a newspaper format, it gets good reviews in the app store but it just doesn’t do it for me.
Most surprising thing? The screen. It is better than you think.
How do the iPhone apps go on the iPad? Shit. They will all be replaced by iPad apps as soon as they are available.
The most unsurprising thing? How much my kids loves it.
What apps are missing? Twitter for iPad. Remote. Facebook. ReadItLater. A WordPress app that ACTUALLY WORKS. The ABC iView app (coming soon, apparently). I’m also interested to see what SMH does with an app.
Is it any good to read books on? No. Too heavy. I’ve tried lying down in bed with it – the weight makes easy balancing a pain. Plus waking to find you’ve falling asleep reading probably isn’t a pleasant experience with the iPad (but probably faster if you were holding it above your head or near the bed’s edge). Don’t expect slate computers to replace books anytime in the near future. Newspaper and magazines are a different kettle of fish. You don’t have to dedicate a lot of time to comics or newspapers – the articles are short – so the weight isn’t an problem.
Speaking of the weight?.. Not really an issue. In the car, on the couch, at a table it is perfectly acceptable. Two hand games like driving or Minigore HD are no problem.
But it is a walled garden! So’s the Xbox and PS3. If it’s a problem for you, don’t get it and quit your fucking whining. Seriously, what’s with the hate? You don’t have to buy Apple products.
The OS is crippled! Depends on your needs. If you want a fast, pleasant to use touch-based OS, this is the bee’s knees. If you want Windows, you’ve had years to buy one – go on!
But it is an unnecessary toy!.. It is not technically necessary, true. What is? I likes.
What’s the worst thing about the iPad? Document management. The way Apple has set up getting documents onto and off the iPad is hideous. I mean, really, really, really, really, really, fucking terrible. It sucks cock that tastes like arse.
Do you wank while you use it? Well, there isn’t any porn so, no. But I’d swear I’ve had a semi once or twice.
Any good? Yes.