Cruising through the mass of stuff to read on the internet this morning, I hit this headline on Slate.com: "I Hate My iPad." The article, by John Swansburg, said that he felt he didn't improve his life with his $600 investment. In fact, he said that spending his money on a salad spinner would have been more productive. Pow! Zing!
Digging a little deeper, the author admits the iPad is nice for browsing the web, but he likes the Kindle more for reading books because of the sharp e-ink screen. He hates typing on the iPad and generally doesn't think it is a big enough improvement over his laptop to justify the additional expense.
Fair enough. Reading the piece forced me to think about my own iPad purchase. However, I came to opposite conclusions. At home, the iPad has pretty much replaced my laptop for email and web surfing, and I do some heavy-duty control via VNC of some other computers in the house, even when I'm not home.
Using apps like Pulse, reading RSS feeds is a pleasurable experience, and while Pulse runs on the iPhone, the extra screen real estate makes the iPad a completely different experience. Sure, the iPad's software keyboard is not a great solution for extensive word processing or long emails, but you can pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard.
I'd say the iPad has substantially changed my interaction with the web and computing in general for the better. It is easier to move and carry than my laptop, and it has dramatically longer battery life. Netflix rocks on the iPad, where it can quickly kill a laptop or iPhone battery.
I don't think the iPad is a laptop or computer replacement; I use it more as an accessory computer. It's best when your iPhone is too small and your laptop or desktop is too large. It's not for everybody (and certainly not for John Swansburg), but the sale of millions of these devices means that great numbers of people are using them and suggesting them to friends and family. To our readers: Has the iPad disappointed, met your needs or blown you away? What were your expectations vs. how you are actually using it?
|1 - Deeply underwhelmed, don't use it much anymore.||220 (5.6%)|
|2 - it's OK, but not everything I hoped it would be.||309 (7.8%)|
|3 - Just about what I expected. Good for some things, not for others.||809 (20.5%)|
|4 - Surprised and pleased how often I use it and/or how many things it's good for.||1483 (37.6%)|
|5 - Blown away, the iPad has changed my tech life in ways I never imagined it would||1120 (28.4%)|