What’s it called? That thingy. The one they’ve all been talking about. Thingymagigle.

Friday, 18 June 2010

After visiting the Apple Store in Leicester there is now no longer a hole in my beloved Macbook. And finally finally I got my hands on an iPad.

Now, I knew from the start that the iPad is no real revolution, it's not a must have for everyone and it (like all Apple products) is utterly overpriced. But that didn't stop me from pawing over the damn thing, giggling and doing a little dance when I first picked it up. Then the Apple mist cleared.
Oh. "It's a bit heavier than I expected."

And it is. I wasn't expecting it to be as light as a feather but for what's meant to be a portable device i'm sure it's heavier that my Mom's little netbook. First thing I did was to go straight to the Pages app. (In case you didn't already know, Pages is the word processor on Mac.) In my opinion highly superior to Word. Now, on the iPad it's very different. The small screen makes it a little bit of a faff to use, and I certainly wouldn't want to write a long document on it. In order to use it most comfortably one balances it on their one hand and use their other hand to type. Now this is quite comfortable if you can happily type with one hand. But as soon as your typing for a long period the weight of the device i'm sure will start to show when holding it on one hand.

Now, i'd just like to say at this point that I think the WiFi version is pointless. Without constant assess to 3G I really don't see how it's preferable to a laptop. A key time for using the iPad would be on journeys. Very few trains, no cars or buses and few places in general have WiFi. (maybe it'd be useful if you live in a great mansion and have trouble finding the location of your study if you need to Google something)

One thing I can say for it is I love the browsing. As it is I love using the internet on my iPod touch. I believe scrolling and zooming with your fingers is a great way to explore a webpage. And the much bigger screen further improves this.

What else would one want on a boring train journey? Movies? Ebooks?

Well, video is a little strange on the iPad. With everything now being in widescreen the more squareish shape reminded me of an (albeit better quality) old square CRT telly. Even YouTube's gone widescreen now, so Apple, why haven't you?!

And then there's iBook. Now I didn't look at this in huge detail. (I'm not a great fan of Ebooks. I like my books to be made of paper and ink and to smell like a musty old bookshop) However the iBook app seemed a little slow. Maybe it was just me, but the "turning" of the "pages" seemed a little bit fiddly.

Now I've seen footage of ebooks with a little more flare (see video below) and I think that's a great new medium but reading plain old black and white text on this strange little screen all seems a bit heartless
and lacklustre.

Also there's gaming on the iPad. Now that… is pretty sweet. Just like with the iTouch the motion sensitivity is a great feature. I tried a racing game. Turning the iPad to steer and using the touch screen for the controls was like nothing else, really. It's great for casual gamers like myself when you get games such as Plants vs Zombies that are ideal for touch screen and really shine on the bigger display.

But would I buy one? Well…. no. Not at that price, when I already have my Macbook and my iTouch which tend to go everywhere with me anyway. Okay, maybe I would buy one, if say, I won the lottery, or inherited a fortune. And I wouldn't say no if a rich stranger or a kind relative handed me one in shiny wrapping paper, with a big bow. But the iPad? It's just a rich man's gizmo. Or something for a tech junkie or a spoilt teen to show off to their peers.

Oh. And I wouldn't dream of getting the 1st Gen. Not in a million years.


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