I was fortunate to be 1 of the 6 and today received my most anticipated tech toy of the year (so far).
I think the iPad is a game changer. This article from Kleiner Perkins provides a good summary of why.
In the 10 hours of my love affair I have some thoughts.
- No one needs an iPad. It doesn’t do anything that other devices, or a collection of other devices, can do. But for a geek like myself I love it.
- I won’t read for pleasure on it, but I may pull down some reference books to skim through. An eBook is not the same as a paperback.
- I don’t need my iPod touch anymore, other than I can plug it in the car. On a plane I’d use the iPad.
- I still use a BlackBerry (my last one), but it would be confusing having an iPhone and an iPad. Everything would be doubled up.
- The iPad is a magical device. It is the best way to read the web and consume information. I’ll probably get a 3G one when they come out.
- I’m in two minds as to installed apps versus web apps. Both are great but Googles web based GMail and Reader show the power of HTML5 web apps with no install. For the iPod features (music, photos etc) the iPad rocks but I also think the upcoming Chrome based NetBooks that run only web apps may be able to give a fantastic experience. I couldn’t find a good iPad sized RSS reader and instead found Google reader (HTML5) worked great – perhaps even faster and better than an installed app. (I’m sure they’ll give it a makeover like GMail with iPad widgets soon and it will be even better) These new devices demonstrate clearly the power of SaaS. It is magical to have the web in your hand.
- Exchange support is excellent. I’ve been doing work on my iPad all afternoon.
- The keyboard is great. I can type pretty quick on it.
If you are a geek. Get one.
While I think the iPad is a hugely important device in the history of computing I don’t think the iPad is the final answer. The technologies and approach have lifted the game for everyone. I hope a future MacBook Air will be a convertible that blends the best of a laptop with the best of the iPad. The iPad currently is part iPod, phone and NetBook. But it’s not a viable one device as it is too large for a phone. Maybe the iPhone and a separate NetBook that tethers to the iPhone is the answer.
I will probably get a 3G one, but individuals are going to get hit with multiple data accounts. It would be a great if the iPad could tether through your 3G phone. Another alternative is a Mifi (not yet here for XT) or CradlePoint which does allow an XT data stick to be plugged in and creates a shared wifi connection.
As a demonstration of the power of NetBooks I’m completely sold. The iPad is the first instant on, web computer I’ve used. The future of web applications looks very bright as these stunning connected devices take off.