Chris Alexander

On Engineering

iPad: 24 hours in

10th June, 2010

So, 24 hours in to the iPad experience, what do I make of it?

In short - brilliant. There’s nothing quite like the iPad for doing some activities and working in certain ways. We all know how I feel about the iPhone - worthless piece of junk that it is. For me, the iPad offers a lot more than an iPhone and a laptop or netbook in many different ways, such that I can comfortably accommodate it in my ever-growing arsenal of hardware.

Here’s why.

First off, the iPad lets me do a lot of things that i do on my laptop, but in a much friendlier form factor and more portable way. I wrote this whole post on the iPad, for example, which saved me from being scalded by my MacBook which I would normally use for the same activity chilling out at the end of an evening.

And unless you’ve used it, please don’t criticise the keyboard - in landscape mode it feels entirely natural to use, and is extremely comfortable to write with.

Web browsing is also a very enjoyable experience, however I can’t help noticing that my Nexus One’s browser is quicker downloading, rendering and executing web pages - I guess I am somewhat spoilt by Froyo.

Feeddler is a great app to have, a decent Google Reader client is a must (something Android is missing) and it makes it extremely enjoyable to catch up with my hundreds of RSS feeds. iPlayer is also really good, taking advantage of Quicktime and the large-screen format version of the interface to good effect. The nerd in me simply couldn’t resist Wolfram Alpha too.

Sadly the only thing missing so far is a decent Twitter client - I’m hoping the official app does a better job than the lame attempts out there so far.

On the hardware front, it is just what you would expect - it is solid, well build, and absolutely stunning. It is a little on the heavy side, but the bulk of the weight is well positioned so it feels really balanced whatever way you hold it (the screen rotates all four ways). The screen is sensational - great quality and the viewing angle is massive.

So, in summary - the iPad does a great job replacing my laptop for a common set of tasks, and making it comfortable and easy to do those, which is awesome. I can’t wait to keep playing with it and get some awesome apps and experiences in the future.