its been out for a couple days now. in that short amount of time, apple has managed to sell well over 300,000 iPads and who knows how many over priced accessories. its an amazing device that a lot of people see as a game changer. that being said, i’m not going to pretend to offer an in depth review. even if i had acquired one the second they hit the retail shelves, i still wouldn’t be able to share more than several hours worth of experience with the device.
but i didn’t buy one, and i may not buy one anytime soon. i did, however, get to hold and use one long enough to poke around in it for a few minutes and create some lasting first impressions. these impressions are the ones that typically fade away to make room for more educated impressions that are the result of continued use. since i won’t have that opportunity, my impressions may be of the shallow variety.
its glass and aluminum, and its big. sure we’ve seen pictures. we’ve seen size comparisons. but when i held it in my hand, the first thing i thought wasn’t “this is just a big ipod touch.” my first thought was just “this is bigger than i thought.”
its also heavy. i don’t mean its concrete block heavy or dear god what’s in those batteries heavy, its just heavier than you expect when you grab it. its just heavy enough to make you think you might drop it as soon as you actually do get a grip on it. the grip, of course, is a completely separate issue.
because of its size, shape, and weight, you have just a few options as far as holding it. like a schoolgirl with your arm around the back and your fingers curling around the edge, like a giant sideways phone with your fingers around the back and your thumbs ready to type, or like a paperback book with the cover folded back. the latter choice is likely to leave your wrist feeling odd after a while because the combination of smooth surfaces and weight will cause you to grip tighter than you think you are, leading to muscle fatigue. forget about laying it on a desk or table and typing on the screen.
what about the apps? the map app looks amazing, as does the new email app and the contacts and calendar app. youtube looks great, and everything else is as expected. the model i had didn’t have any third party apps on it, but i can see where they could really shine on this device. in fact, i could totally eat this thing up.
but not for what they want for it. this is a whole new device carving a whole new niche in the industry. with that comes a whole new price point. sure its less expensive than other tablet computing platforms and even has 3g connectivity, but so does my phone which fits in my pocket. if i was going to get the new iPad, i would need it to be a 3g model with at least 32 gigs on it. That’s going to put it over the $700 price point, which could get me a “decent” laptop these days. i know i shouldn’t compare apples and oranges, but when you start getting up over the $500 mark, things just aren’t had to be had. at least not for me. i need a reason to shell out that kind of money and this doesn’t do anything i can’t already do with something else i have right now.
however, as i said before this is just my initial impression based on 5 to 10 minutes of use. things could change. they could announce something so amazing with it that i run out and buy one the same day, but i doubt it. i’m honestly more excited about the new iPhone hardware revision we’re all expecting this summer.