I received my Apple iPad (Unboxing Photoset on Flickr) from a friendly UPS deliveryman just after noon today. Excited to open it up, I took a step back and pulled out my camera so I could record the unboxing. That video and some app demonstrations are below.
I immediately noticed the weight of the device after opening. I appreciate the quality and build of the device as I feel it could handle a day in a backpack without breaking. However, I do wonder if it will be too heavy at times when I am curled up in bed.
After the weight, the next thing I noticed was the screen. Let me say this, it compares to the best screens I have ever used. The color is vibrant and the content just pops of the page. Hmm, page…I should say screen. See, I am already treating the Apple iPad like a book.
And that is where worry set in. I purchased the 32 GB version of the iPad, wi-fi only. I’ve told myself and others that I doubt I would need 3G. And I had a little buyer’s remorse as I thought about the times I won’t be able to access my information in the cloud. But wi-fi can be found almost anywhere, and I hope that it doesn’t become a roadblock when using the device.
I immediately hopped online and grabbed a few applications and books. Starting with the iBookstore, the device automatically downloads Winnie the Pooh as a free book. It has very nice illustrations and I loved that I could bookmark my progress anywhere. The controls are very easy to adjust font and size. However I think I’d like to see them within reach of my thumb or at the bottom of the application. But that was strictly my first impressions.
There are also more than 20 free eBooks in the iBookstore. I recommend snatching them up immediately.
After I tested the eReader functionality I went back to download some other apps. The USA Today application was a pleasant surprise. The iPad version mimics the newspaper layout, but it was very simple and best of all – free. I took InstaPaper Pro on a test drive as well. This may become my go to app for collecting newsworthy items throughout the day and reading later at my leisure.
I like the app a lot, but I hope I made a clever choice and the company does not disappear overnight. It would be quite sad to lose all of my content and bookmarks.
The MLB 2010 application is stunning. It feature a fullscreen view of the game, live audio, and some live video as well. There is so many hidden features and data here that it’s almost overwhelming. But all very easy to access and hide as needed. I would love a scorecard included in the application so I could take it out to the ballgame with me.
Netflix was the very next application I tried. Can you believe Netflix is in your hands? Any available movie that you have in your instant queue can be played on the device. Just amazing. Hulu, where are you? You better develop an app before the HTML5 spec picks up and you no longer have a business model.
And speaking of having Netflix in my hand, how about the power of the Web in your hands. Steve Jobs said it during his keynote, but until you hold the iPad in your hand you don’t get it. All of a sudden you are completely disconnected from you laptop or desktop and can access anything. Yes, you have that with the iPhone or smartphones of the world, but this is different. With one screen, and such a vibrant experience you feel pulled into the content you are accessing. It was quite a feeling for me, and has me excited about the possibilities of the iPad and what comes next.
Of course, there are a few things that stick out and bother me. I am still not a fan of the iPhone OS app management. I do not want 20 screens of apps to scroll through.
I also wish the device had a USB port or at least an SD Card reader for my photos. The Camera Connection Kit is coming, but it seems like a waste of money.
The screen has the same coating / finish that the iPhone has. While I appreciate that my fingerprints will not stay long it does make long swipes across the screen a bit weird.
I do like the onscreen keyboard. I can type very quickly with one hand and it works quite well. Trying to hold the device and type with two hands is a bit awkward. Although I imagine I will figure that out in time. But the one thing that worried me was lag. Inside Safari, the keyboard lagged a word or more behind. It could have been the Web site. Everywhere else it was just fine.
Overall, the device meets my expectations and I can see this becoming a game changer for media. But that is a separate blog post. I highly recommend thinking about the iPad as an eReader and do-it-all device while on the go. It’ll never be a full featured laptop, but that isn’t it’s job.
Another fine device by Apple, and it sets a new standard for eReaders and Netbooks.