Geek Smithology

June 7, 2010

Life with the iPad

Filed under: Grab Bag by Nathan @ 4:10 pm

So, I went ahead and got an iPad. Call me an Apple fanboy if you want, because, well, I am. Predictably, I am typing this post on the iPad (using a wireless bluetooth keyboard and the WordPress app, which has a nice iPad version.)

First impressions? Well, unlike a lot of people who aren’t all that impressed, based on the completely impossible-to-be-objective-about first couple hours, I am pretty amazed by the device (for what it’s worth I have a 64GB 3G model – go big or go home) I have never been so sad to see a commute end as I was today.

So…why iPad?

Well, for me it comes down to the fact that my computing comes in four major categories:

1) Gaming
2) Programming
3) Recording
4) Other stuff

Now, I have a big rig in the basement for #1. While I have a Wii, it’s not very good at the games I like to play (Dragon Age, Fallout 3, Mass Effect, Diablo, Civ, etc.) And because HD seems kinda lo-res compared to what my GeForce 290GTX can pump out, it’s unlikely I’ll go console any time soon. At any rate, special purpose, special computer. Now, needs 2 and 3 are a bit different – my wife’s laptop handles those admirably (my laptop was doing well, but it’s kinda dying right now).

Which leaves 4, which is mostly the web, but includes other things like writing and video (not editing, but watching.) Now, I’m not a fan of grabbing the lappy every time I want to do something (to be fair, I have a 17″ MacBook Pro which is not very fun to lug around. We recently grabbed a 13″ MBP for my wife, and it is a really outstanding machine, so something to keep in mind.)

So, because I love gadgets, I decided to get an iPad and see how much of my category 4 computing happens here as opposed to anywhere else. As far as first impressions go, it’s really fast – makes the iPhone 3G look like a slug (will let you know how it compares to iPhone 4 when I inevitably pick on up next month). The construction is what you’d expect from Apple – it’s sturdy to hold and beautiful to look at. Looking at the web or comics or Plants vs. Zombies is stunning – it’s really amazing to look at.

One of the things that struck me right away is just how perfect the screen size is – For things that annoyed the hell out of me on the iPhone (to the point that I don’t do them unless I have to) like browsing the web or looking at email now seem just right. For something like games I might want a bigger screen, and for some games I might want a smaller screen, but I think the form factor is pretty much perfect. We’ll see if that becomes frustrating over time, but as is, it’s hard to think of how you could make it better.

The web is really quick (even over 3G is pretty nice) and all of the little things like scrolling and what not have really impressive response. Anyway, that’s enough for now – maybe having an iPad will result in a huge resurgence of posting to my blog (that sentence will be really funny in November when I haven’t updated since today…

Anyways, on with the grand experiment. If nothing else, new toys are always awesome.

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