iPad 2 – First Impressions

Three weeks ago I purchased my first tablet computer, an Apple 16GB Black Wi-Fi 3G iPad 2.

Truth is, I have desired an iPad since the day Apple first announced their revolutionary product…. I can even remember posting “iWant iPad” as my Facebook status! However, I resisted the urge for one reason: the cost. The device is not cheap. So I decided to wait, as they say “time will tell”.

Over the almost two years from January 27, 2010 when Steve Jobs first announced the iPad I have kept my eyes on the reviews, testimonies of friends who use the iPad, and the competition. What became clear from the reviews and word of mouth, is that the iPad is in fact a fantastic device. And, while the competition is drastically less expensive the competition’s product doesn’t measure up. So, for the first time since 1983 (when I purchased an Apple IIe) I bought an Apple computer.

After working with the device for three weeks I can honesty say the iPad is worth every penny I paid for it — no buyer’s remorse here!

What I like:

  • Portability. I do a considerable amount of traveling, by road and by air, so having a lightweight easily portable computer is important for me. Lugging around my old Windows based Dell laptop had become a real pain. The laptop, plus the power pack and cords, is too heavy and bulky to travel with. With the iPad I can do just about everything I could with a laptop. No, I’m not going to type a ten page paper on the iPad, but I rarely have the need to do that much typing while I’m on the go.
  • Ease Of Use. Like most Apple products the iPad is dead simple to use right out of the box.
  • Great Reader. When I’m traveling I am doing a lot of reading, and regardless of what I’m reading (the Bible, RSS feeds, PDFs, ebooks, etc.) the iPad has proven to be a great tool. One great feature offered by many apps is the ability to “swipe” through a document instead of “scrolling”. Swiping is very much like turning the page of a “real” book, it is intuitive and feels natural. I find it much superior to scrolling up and down through a document.
  • Syncs Seamlessly With The Cloud. iOS 5 (the software that runs the iPad) works seamlessly with “the cloud” (think storage and even processing of data on the internet). The iPad easily connects with numerous cloud computing services such as Apple’s own iCloud, Google Docs, Dropbox, and many more. Through the magic of cloud computing you have access to endless and inexpensive (often free) online data storage. That is why I purchased the 16GB version. No reason to spend more on the 32GB or 64GB models.
  • Preaching. I have found the iPad to be a fantastic tool to preach with. I will save most of my thoughts on this point for a full post at another time. However, using an iPad is considerably less cumbersome than a traditional print Bible with folded notes (hopefully) tucked inside.
  • Presentations. I almost didn’t purchase an iPad because I thought it wasn’t possible to give a PowerPoint presentation from one. I was wrong. I’ll will write a full post about this soon, but all you need is Apple’s iPad VGA Adapter cable, and an app such as Quickoffice Pro HD.

A Few Gripes:

  • The Cost. As mentioned above the iPad is expensive. Because Apple consistently produces excellent products they are able to charge a premium for their products… I guess the old saying is true, “you get what you pay for”.
  • Minimal Customization. I’ve been using an Android powered phone for nearly two years, so I have grown accustom to the almost unlimited ways Android allows users to customize the look, feel, and functionality of the phone. Endless apps, widgets, “skins”, and live wallpapers allow me to create an entirely unique phone custom designed for me and the way I function. The ability to customize iOS is severely limited.
  • Juvenile Interruptions. “Hey dad, can I use your iPad”, “Hey dad, can I watch Dora on your iPad”, “Hey dad, can I play a game on your iPad”, “Hey dad…..” ok, ok ’nuff said.

The bottom line: The iPad 2 is a winner.

What do you think of the iPad? Lets us know in the comments… (click “Read More” and go to the bottom of the post).

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