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Thoughts on the iPad

August 20, 2010

I’d been thinking of buying a netbook with cellphone connectivity to use while I visit my parents since they don’t have an internet connection.  Carl suggested buying an iPad instead, and since I’m a gadget girl, he didn’t have to say it twice.   I went as fast as I could and bought a 32GB iPad with 3G connectivity.  After using it for a little over two months, here are my thoughts.

EASE OF USE:  After a little difficulty with the initial set-up, the iPad is a breeze to use.  It operates pretty much the same way an iPhone does.  My 83 year old mother is not very tech savvy and has struggled when trying to use a computer, but she had no problems using the iPad.  The keyboard that pops up is not bad for typing a little bit, but if you want to type a lot, you’ll want to purchase the optional Bluetooth keyboard like I did.

CONNECTIVITY:  We live in a suburb of a medium sized city where 3G is available and connecting with that or wi-fi has been no problem here.  However, my parents live in a small city in a mostly rural area where there is no 3G available (and cell phone service is not terrific) and connectivity there was awful.  The iPad was very slow and painful to use at my parents with the 3G service.  I thought I could use it to go through my Reader some, but when it took over ten minutes to comment on one blog, I gave up.  So, depending on where you are, connectivity could be a problem.

LOOKS: The iPad looks very sleek and shiny, but since you use your finger to navigate, fingerprints do become a problem and it’s a good idea to keep a cloth handy to wipe the screen down.

PORTABILITY:  The iPad is small enough to fit in some purses (not any of mine) but the weight would get heavy after a while.  There are lots of optional carrying cases available, though.

iBOOKS:  I wanted to read a book from the iBook store, so I could report on that experience.  The free Winnie-the-Pooh book that is available looks gorgeous with its illustrations, so I was anxious to see how an adult novel would look.  Unfortunately, none of the books I was interested in were available in the store.  I ended up reading one with the Kindle app and found the experience to be okay.  Since you flip through the pages with your finger, it was very easy to flip forward or backward by mistake.  The shiny screen makes it difficult to read in direct light because of the glare.  Since the screen is back-lit, it is easy to read in a darkened room, though.  It is my understanding that the iPad screen is harder on your eyes than the Reader screens that use e-Ink technology – I never experienced eye strain, but I typically don’t have a problem with that.

OVERALL:  This is a fun gadget that won’t replace any gadget you currently own or fill a need you currently have.  Right now, we use it to stream movies and TV shows from Netflix more than anything else.   Do you own an iPad?  What do you use it for?  What apps would you recommend?

56 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2010 5:23 am

    Thanks for telling us about your experience. The connectivity part seems like it could be a big problem.

  2. August 20, 2010 5:51 am

    This isn’t really something I want but my husband will probably end up buying it or something like it one day.

  3. August 20, 2010 6:09 am

    I am so looking forward to buy an iPad. but since i just bought a netbook i think it’s more ideal to me as i’m typing a lot and has to use another external keyboard is not an ideal. Other than that, I dont think i want to read ebooks from an iPad. so i better bought an e-reader instead. i know i’m being so against the iPad right now, but it probably because i’m jealous. LOL. but it really nice to have such a cool gadget ;p

  4. August 20, 2010 6:17 am

    I have an HP Mini netbook right now, and my husband had suggested an iPad might be the next step for me. I wasn’t sure, and this post really helps. The keyboard concerned me, as well as the 3G (I have 3G issues with my iPhone in some places). My netbook has an AT&T satellite internet connection, and it will get a connection almost anywhere, including MY parents’ place. It is seriously expensive though, and the only reason I have it is because it belongs to my husband’s company (and I have to give it back if someone needs it!).

  5. August 20, 2010 7:14 am

    We have one because my husband “won” a sales bonus at work. It’s a fun gadget for him. I really don’t use it. I think a graphic novel might work well on it (as opposed to e-Ink). I’m an Apple girl (MacBook, iTouch, iPhone) but unless the price came waaaaaay down I wouldn’t buy an iPad. I do plan to recommend he watch a Netflix movie on it. Thanks for the review!

  6. August 20, 2010 7:58 am

    After playing with my friend’s iPad, my husband really wants one, but I don’t think it’s for me. Then again, I’m always behind when it comes to technology!

  7. August 20, 2010 8:38 am

    I don’t really think an iPad is for me. Like you’ve concluded, I just can’t really figure out what it’s useful for. Everything it does can be done better on something else. How disappointing that it doesn’t have good connectivity when that’s why you bought it. =(

  8. August 20, 2010 8:44 am

    My husband really wants one of these…he is an Apple fanboy, so it’s not unexpected! I am probably going to get him one for Christmas and try out the Kindle app on it for myself. I had forgotten that the ipad doesn’t have an e-ink display, which is probably something that will keep me from reading on it a lot, but like you mentioned, it would probably be awesome to watch movies on!!

  9. August 20, 2010 9:04 am

    Don’t own one, wish I could help you out.

  10. August 20, 2010 9:11 am

    I have a netbook for traveling and it just is very unusable. Using the reader is painful at best! Jim’s son has an IPad and it is so much better! Even with slow connectivity at least you can see the screen! I would switch in a second if I could!!!

  11. August 20, 2010 9:49 am

    My husband and I were just talking about I-Pad’s this morning. I’m not sure I see the need for one right now.

  12. August 20, 2010 10:16 am

    My boyfriend definitely wants one and for his needs it will be perfect. He looks at all sports website especially golf and nascar.

    I love my Kindle for reading so I am good.

    My friend has the iPad also but downloaded the Kindle app because the prices were better and some of the books were not available on iPad.

    Yaaay for you though, a nice looking new gadget is always fun.

  13. August 20, 2010 10:27 am

    At first I was interested in getting an iPad but not anymore. The biggest thing for me is you can’t read it in sunlight which I can do with my eReader. I do like the idea of the backlight for reading at night but my little light is good enough. Instead I bought a netbook and I love it. It’s small and light and if I travel I can just buy a stick for it since it has USB ports.

  14. BibliophilebytheSea permalink
    August 20, 2010 11:30 am

    I have the WiFi ONLY iPAd and bought it the day it was released. I LOVE it for surfing the web, checking email, playing games and as my eRead (with the Kindle App).

    What I DON’T like is I can’t check my google reader like I can with my laptop (PLEASE TELL ME if this is possible)?? I also never use it to do a post that contains a photo as I don’t think it is easy to do…am I wrong?

    I am still learning, but all and all it was a wonderful $499 purchase.

    • August 31, 2010 11:51 pm

      I’m reading my google reader on my iPad now. I just go to my blog, click on Dashboard, scroll down and click on view in Google reader.

      • September 1, 2010 5:43 pm

        Lynne…yes, thanks I did figure that out. thanks for responding.

  15. stacybuckeye permalink
    August 20, 2010 11:53 am

    Jason bought one ‘for work’ (he covers tech for his work portfolio) and in the past month has used it mainly to play games, LOL! He downloaded Emma by Austen for free and would like me to read it and tell me what I think. Still haven’t done it, but will. It’s over 500 pages so I should be able to tell about the eye strain.
    I do like how sleek and light it is.

  16. August 20, 2010 12:02 pm

    My husband got an iPad shortly before his accident, and it was a wonderful tool to have at that time. I would have been bored out of my mind at the hospital, too worried to read or sleep. Instead I played mahjong, poker and pinball all night long on each of the two separate nights I was with him in the hospital. The light of the screen was also like a nightlight in the dark room so that when he needed something I didn’t have to turn on any of the lights.

    Since my husband could barely use the fingers of his right hand those first few weeks he couldn’t type at all on a regular keyboard, but the iPad keyboard was easy for him to use (even if he did have to use the hunt and peck typing method until his fingers were more agile). So I’d say for people with arthritis or carpal tunnel it might be a boon since you only need a light touch to type.

    From my experiences checking email and blogs on it, I would say it’s easier than doing so on a droid phone (my husband’s) but more difficult than on a full-sized computer.

    My husband put our kindle books on the kindle app, but I’ve given up trying to pry the thing out of his hands in order to have some reading time. Wherever the he is that iPad is with him. 🙂

  17. August 20, 2010 1:22 pm

    If I travelled more I think the iPad would be great. I love it and want one but can’t justify the cost at this time. Great review!

  18. August 20, 2010 1:35 pm

    It does look like fun but I live in an area much like your parents so it wouldn’t be that great for me. Enjoy!

  19. August 20, 2010 1:52 pm

    I’ve played several games on the ipad and it was a lot of fun. I would personally buy one, except I cant’ stand the idea of having to pay monthly for the 3g connectivity. Maybe in a couple of years, but by then I’m sure it will be something else. lol! For now..I’m saving for a gaming laptop that will get a lot of blogging action. haha! Oh..and..if it came down to it, I bet I would go with an ipad over an e-reader, just because you can do a lot of other stuff with the ipad, so I know I would get more use out of it.

  20. August 20, 2010 2:09 pm

    My brother has an iPad and I have played around with using his a bit…but I am not totally sold. I think as a e-reader, it has some issues. I guess it comes down to what you want to use it for the majority of the time. It is a nice toy…a very expensive nice toy.

  21. August 20, 2010 2:12 pm

    I would think I would enjoy this gadget if I lived in an area where it would be usable. We live in northern Wisconsin where cell service is spotty and and I hardly get any service in my home. My eyes do bother me when looking at computer screens too long so I’m thinking I wouldn’t enjoy this for reading either.

  22. August 20, 2010 2:28 pm

    I am not quite sure i am going to get one. I have a net book and to me the ipad seems similar if not almost identical except for some really cool features. I am glad you’re enjoying it though. Thanks for sharing.

  23. August 20, 2010 2:41 pm

    I really fancied an iPad when they first came out, but I think it would just be an expensive toy for me. I recently ordered the new Amazon Kindle (which I’m currently waiting for)… and can’t wait to try it out!

    • Maxine permalink
      August 21, 2010 10:43 pm

      Hey Nikki-ann,

      I know that you don’t knowme but just reading what you said about the kindle. I am very excitied for you. I brought one in January this year for myself as a late Christmas present and I love it. In fact i don’t leave home with out it.

  24. August 20, 2010 2:44 pm

    I’m always so behind with these things and probably won’t get one in a long time… Maybe if I traveled more it would be useful.

    There’s award for you in my blog 🙂

  25. August 20, 2010 2:58 pm

    I was just looking at this the other day. It seemed like, for me at least, it’s not exactly what I want, especially with the price tag. You’ve just reinforced that.

  26. August 20, 2010 3:43 pm

    We have no interest in buying an iPad at this time. We may look into it in the future as the technology improves.

  27. August 20, 2010 3:53 pm

    I guess I want one because it would be nice to have sitting on my couch and streaming movies/tv shows. I use my laptop but it gets extremely hot and I have to shut it down after an hour or 2 but I wouldn’t get one until the price came down. It does sound like a lot of fun tho!

  28. August 20, 2010 7:36 pm

    Fascinating review of something I’ve rather longed for but haven’t purchased. I’m content with my Dell laptop, and Nook ereader, for now. 😉 Have fun with your new gadget! I admire how quickly you learned its operation.

  29. August 20, 2010 9:45 pm

    I got mine on the day of release and it is the best toy ever. I love, love, love it! I agree that it works very similar to the iPhone. I’ve only just begun using my iPad and iPhone for reading eBooks and that was one of my reasons for wanting the iPad. I can read all night long without making a noise (allows Mr. Joy to sleep). I’ve never had a laptop, so being able to carry it around has been so much fun and so very easy.

    Bibliophile By the Sea – I access Google Reader just fine on my iPad. I don’t post any pictures either but there’s no reason why we can’t. I thought there was some sort of photo feature on it. I just didn’t want to have some here and some there, so I do all photos from my desktop.

    • August 21, 2010 4:32 pm

      I need to check this out as when I go into gmail on my iPad, I don’t see the ability to click on google reader like from the laptop??? not sure why but thanks Mrs Joy:)

  30. August 21, 2010 10:20 am

    Thanks for sharing about your iPad. Strangely I never felt the urge to get an iPad but I don’t doubt that it’s a sleek looking thing. I do own an iPhone now (YAY!) and I love my Kindle. I can read it under the sun and under any lighting condition, except in the dark.

  31. August 21, 2010 12:23 pm

    When these first came out I thought I wanted one but I have a laptop, Ipod Touch, and a Kindle so not sure how this device would fill in any gap. But it sure is a beautiful and seductive device because every time I pick one up I start thinking I need one again!

  32. August 21, 2010 7:24 pm

    SO GREEN with ENVY! Ahhhhhhh will live vicariously through you…. Just touch the screen for me and say… Aisle B says hello 🙂

  33. August 21, 2010 7:35 pm

    Hmmmm…maybe my husband was right. Maybe I DON’T need an iPad. I wish they would make one that was the size of a Kindle or a Nook. That would be helpful.

  34. August 21, 2010 8:16 pm

    I don’t have an iPad, but the apps on the TV commercials look AWE-some!

    Some good apps that aren’t iPad specific are the Goodreads app, Virtuoso, and Twittelator.

  35. August 21, 2010 11:21 pm

    I appreciate the review. I have been lusting after the ipad mostly to solve my “I can’t decide on a decent e-reader” problem. Now it sounds like the ipad really isn’t the answer either. I’m actually relieved, the ipad was too expensive anyway. Sigh. I will continue my search for the best e-reader to send in my letter to Santa.

  36. August 22, 2010 1:20 am

    When I was trying to decide what e-reader to get, my husband, Bill suggested I get an Ipad because can be used for so many other things as well. He thought it would be especially good when we are traveling.

    However, upon investigating it as an option I saw that it is back lit even for reading books and there is no option to turn it off. I can’t stand reading a lot on a computer screen for the same reason.

    I ended up getting a Kobo and am very happy with it. I think when the second generation Ipad comes out we will look at it more seriously for our traveling. Thanks for the review.

  37. August 22, 2010 9:05 am

    I have three laptops (large, medium and pink, and mini) and two iPhones (one serves as an iPod) and an iPad. I find myself using my mini around the house more than anything else. I am using the iPad to read Three Musketeers and that is wonderful as the iPad has a built-in dictionary!

  38. August 22, 2010 10:08 am

    I must say, your blog looks great on the iPad! Carl encouraged you to get it?! Must have him talk to J – he’s the gadget guy in our family, usually an early adopter, so I’m surprised he doesn’t yet own an iPad.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, Kathy.

  39. bethfishreads permalink
    August 22, 2010 12:17 pm

    I really appreciate this thorough review. I’ve been curious, but I think my netbook with the ability to tether to my phone is all I need.

  40. August 22, 2010 1:37 pm

    It just doesn’t seem like something I would want. For me, I’d probably get a netbook if I wanted portability. I think my laptop and ereader meet my current needs. It is fun to have the latest gadget though, isn’t it?

    • August 22, 2010 2:11 pm

      My husband has a net book and I have the iPad and let me tell you, he is sorry he got the netbook. His battery lasts 1.5 hours MAX, and mine last MIN of 10 hours!

      Big difference when traveling etc.

      • August 22, 2010 2:21 pm

        I didn’t think to mention that, but we have found the battery life to be very lengthy!!

  41. Clara permalink
    August 22, 2010 5:47 pm

    Thanks for the review. I think you’ve confirmed that it’s not a must-have for me. I have an iTouch now, and use it very, very little. An iPad, but for the 3G aspects, strikes me as simply a version with a bigger screen.

  42. Michelle permalink
    August 22, 2010 6:14 pm

    I’m not exactly using my iPad as I intended but I still love it. Yes, streaming netflix is it’s main purpose but I also like it for reading blogs (I bought the Reeder app) although I tend to comment less.

    I’m using the iPad/reeder app to comment right now. 🙂

  43. August 23, 2010 6:16 am

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I’m a Mac girl so I’ll likely get one, but I’m definitely waiting until the second generation (possibly further) comes out.

  44. August 24, 2010 2:34 am

    Great to see you are enjoying the ipad. I have one too and I am totally addicted to it. I am working on a post about my favorite ipad apps, so watch out for that one!

  45. August 25, 2010 5:49 pm

    Before I bought my nook, I had been debating between it and the iPad. The iPad had what I wanted – books and internet in one place, but the only reason I didn’t buy it was because of the screen. Shame it didn’t have an alternate reading screen – now that’s something they should try.

  46. August 26, 2010 11:35 pm

    I’ve been going back and forth between the Nook and the iPad. I think maybe you’ve answered the questions I had. Thought this might be easier to read but evidently not during the day.

  47. August 28, 2010 12:33 am

    Thanks for sharing. I’m jealous of your new toy!! I just ordered a Kindle, since it’s a little more affordable at the moment. I might get an iPad, if I can figure out how to make it replace one of my other gadgets – let us know if it eventually does for you.

  48. August 31, 2010 11:59 pm

    I love my iPad a little too much 🙂 I’m constantly checking my emails and reading blogs. I sit on the couch for hours just clicking away!

    I read blogs on Google Reader, but I never bought or downloaded a Google Reader app, so I don’t know how I’m able to do that? Hmm…

  49. September 2, 2010 1:53 pm

    I am a gadget girl and while I really shouldn’t get one….I think I may be getting one and I am pretty excited. I think I will use it a lot. Thanks for your review. I did a search in my reader for reviews and presto… here was yours!! thanks

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