Technology

A week with the iPad (part 1) – my iPads and accessories

My iPad and my catLast week I took the plunge finally and bought and iPad. Actually I bought two, one for me and one for my fiancee, but nontheless, I took the plunge. Unlike my iPod Touch purchase, this was a bit more of a gamble, purely because it is a lot more money for something that is “just a larger iPod”. Minutes after ordering it from the Apple online store I wondered: “will I enjoy the purchase? Will I make the most of it? and What if not?”

Well, last week the iPad arrived, together with a number of accessories (which I will discuss in more detail below), and I spent the last week looking at apps, reading up reviews and testing them to make the most of my day-to-day activities as a web designer, project leader and information architect.

So, read on for my thoughts on the iPad and accessory reviews…

The iPad

The first thing I always enjoy with Apple purchases – the packaging. The products are always very cleanly presented, the packaging itself feels expensive and strong. Inside the content is a bit spartanic: The iPad itself, a warranty card, the SIM tool to place the SIM into the iPad and a charger.

Starting the iPad at the first time has this great feeling of a shiny new expensive toy, and carefully I switch it on and connect it to iTunes. Like any iPod, the iPad is configured within minutes, and I start synching some of the iPod Touch apps.

The interface is as advertised in the commercials: near perfect. Compared to my 2G iTouch animations are extremely smooth, even when opening or turning the iPad around. It just feels good to play around with. On its own the iPad doesn’t come with many apps, so the ones on the home screen are the ones you get on the iTouch – easy to use, functional, but on their own quite limited. Safari however is a lot nicer to use than on the iTouch, the on-screen keyboard is really helping.

The only downside of it all is that it doesn’t support Flash, and that at the time of writing there still isn’t a final iOS4 out for the iPad, but time will tell how that goes.

So far, I am really enjoying the iPad, it is functional, very portable, sturdy, and it integrates nicely with my work and freelance life. So, for that I give it a 8/10.

I do not have to tell you that the iPad will upscale the iPod / iPhone apps to full-screen if you so desire, but it just feels “wrong”. So off I go to get myself some proper iPad apps….after I unpacked the accessories.

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My iPad accessories

My iPads and its accessories - and my cat
My iPads and its accessories - and my cat (taken from my flickr account)

As you can see, I went a bit on a shopping spree (from the top left to bottom right)

The Apple Wireless keyboard: I’m loving typing on this device, easy to connect via Bluetooth (took seconds to set up), range is pretty amazing, too. But: Not very happy about the width of the keyboard, it is shorter than an average keyboard, making it easy to transport, but it does hurt my wrists after some extensive writing. And it is quite pricey: 6/10

The iPad 10W USB Power Adapter: the iPad already comes with one adapter, so it is always worth buying a second one for travel or for work. Very easy to use, small, easy to transport: 8/10

The iPad to VGA converter: a must-have for presentations, seminars and anything that requires you to connect to a bigger screen (for example to show videos from the iPad on your TV screen). Unimpressive packaging, pricey, but extremely useful: 7/10

The iPad dock: great holder, easy to use, strong rubber foot, connection to USB and earphone jack in the back. But doesn’t work if you use the iPad case, so it is now my fiancee’s dock: 9/10

The iPad case: extremely nice looking, sleek case, you can fold it over nicely to use it as a stand (lying down at an angle or standing up). Comes with a piece of soft cloth for cleaning the iPad’s screen: 9/10

The SIM card: I went with O2 in the end as I made the best experiences with that company. I still haven’t opened that or installed it. ?/10

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Next up: my iPad apps!

Stay tuned for my next post 😉

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