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Is the iPad Really All That?

By  Aug 9, 2010

Topics: Gadgets & Computer Hardware

The iPad? Huh. Okay, sounds sort of interesting, but how new and different is it..really.

That was my impression initially. What about you? I saw a lot of my Facebook and Twitter friends saying the same thing. “Who cares? I got an iPhone last year, what do I need an iPad for?” But then, I spent most of March, April, and May editing three different books about the device. 

My opinion now? Man that thing is cool, and I really wish my publisher would buy me one (hint, hint, Greg). Is it earth-shatteringly different from the iPhone? Well, no. It uses basically the same operating system, so of course it’s somewhat similar in function, and most of the apps work on both. But, to me, there’s such a big difference in my user experience when using an iPhone or an iPad. Viewing a web site or reading a book on the iPad versus the iPhone is not even comparable. Watching movies on an iPad? Awesome.

I have a friend who just had surgery and guess what’s accompanying her during her next six weeks of bed rest? Yep, the iPad. She can read books, update Facebook, watch movies, play games, and write a journal, all within the comfort of her bed and without a hot, heavy laptop to deal with.

One of my authors suggests using it as a photo-frame when you aren’t using it for anything else. Set it on your coffee table with a photo slide-show running.

Another friend’s wife got him one for his birthday. They have two sons and everyone in the family has laptops and smartphones, but the iPad gets more attention from everyone. Need directions somewhere? Do they go to the laptop or even the GPS? Nope, they grab the iPad off the bar in the kitchen and away they go. Quick check of the weather? They bypass the remote for the TV and grab the iPad off the coffee table.

I seriously considered buying one for my husband for Father’s Day, but in the end I chose a laptop because (a) he doesn’t have one, and (b) our 8 year old desktop computer is dying. If he had already had an up to date computer, however, the iPad would have been my purchase.

If you have interesting uses for your iPad, or things you hate about it, feel free to share with me. In the meantime, check out the books that changed my mind: My iPad and Sams Teach Yourself iPad in 10 Minutes.