Impressions of the iPad 2

I’ve had my iPad now for a couple of days I’m starting to get the hang of the thing. Seeing as how I made the leap from an iPod Touch (1st Gen) to this, I figured I’d share of my impressions so far.

Speed: This thing is fast. It’s noticeably faster than the first iteration. Safari snaps up pages and every app so far has loaded really quick.

Cameras: Much talked about, the cameras were probably the biggest addition and for the most part, they live up to the job. Not being a photo nut, I really can’t tell the difference between mega-pixels but these work for me. FaceTime with my brother on his iPod Touch worked great.

Apps: Plenty.  First thing I did was purchase the fun game Carcassonne so Steph and I can play it while on our trip.  I also plan on getting Pages in a short time so I can use it for writing.  The official WordPress app consistently failed and I ended up purchasing BlogPress .  TweetDeck, which I love and swear by on my PC and Mac crashes all the time on the iPad.  I moved over to Echofon and it works.  And for the life of me, I can’t figure out why/where Apple put the default Weather and Clock apps that existed on my iPod Touch that I loved so much.  Not sure why I’m having to download a third party app for that.

Writing:I bought the iPad with intentions of being able to do some writing without having to be cooped up in my office.  The built-in virtual keyboard does that pretty well but I think it’ll be limited to short bits of text.  Editing, notes, etc are great.  This blog entry, for example, is pushing the limits.  In fact, I started it on the iPad and finished it on my main PC.  Just easier that way.  I’ll probably be investing in a Bluetooth keyboard in the future.

Reading: I’m not a big fan of e-readers.  They have their place (travel, for example) but give me a paperback any day.  That said, the iPad kicks ass when it comes to research.  I loaded up a bunch of PDFs and was able to search through them in a heartbeat, highlight, zoom, etc.  I’m going to be converting my manuscript into an iBook format so that I can make notes whenever I want.

Smart Cover:If there’s a weakness, it’s the Smart Cover.  It props up the iPad, lets you use it, and that’s about it.  The magnetic hinge clips on just as advertised but it’s not too strong.  When I went to clean a smudge off while the unit was propped up, I promptly popped the hinge off.  The cover also protects either the back or the front but not at the same time, so I’m bound to scratch the thing at some point in time.  And that microfiber interior?  It doesn’t do much to keep the screen clean of anything beside dust.  I suspect it won’t be too long before I buy a different cover.

I did discover was that those magnets Apple is so proud of have a nasty habit of ruining hotel room keys.  I went through two in the same night.  Luckily it didn’t seem to have any effect on my credit or debit cards.  But I’m still going to err on the side of caution.

Overall?  The iPad doesn’t fit everyone but I’m lucky that I do fit into the right category of people that have a use for it.  When Steph and I go to the UK in a few days, it’ll be coming with and I know I won’t grow tired of carrying it or using it on the plane or bus or whatnot.  Worth the wait, worth the purchase.  I’m quite pleased.

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