1 week with the iPad 2

It’s been exactly one week since both of us here at TOOZE got our iPad 2’s. Just thought that I would share some of my own thoughts regarding this device.

The top 3 questions I have been asked by my colleagues in the office are the following:

  • What so you use it for?
  • Should I get the 3G version?
  • How much space should I get?

Firstly, the iPad really makes a great internet surfing device, and acts as a perfect complement to our digital lifestyle, both at home and on the move. Notice that I said complement, and not substitute here.I’ve had comments like, it has no USB ports, it can’t do proper work, etc. Well, in my own opinion, the iPad was meant to be a media consumption device primarily, and a creation device second. The convenience of the tablet, with the instant on/off function allows for much greater convenience. Say I have the need to check out some information, I could boot up my own pc and wait for it to boot, or I could just unlock my iPad, and then get it done right away. I have access to my quad core gaming rig at home coupled with a proper keyboard and mouse at home and also a desktop and laptop at the office for when I need to do proper “serious” work.The iPad is also a much more social device compared to say a laptop or desktop. Say I’ve come across a very interesting photo or article. Now, I personally come across lots of such things when trolling surfing the net. A quick save to Read It Later or my own photo roll allows me to just fire them up when I’m in the midst of conversation, now try doing that by taking out and booting up a laptop! The variety of casual apps such as classic games like chess, reversi, also allows for fun, and convenience in not requiring us to carry around a whole chess set, or the entire board game, during outings with friends.

When it comes to general reading of articles and media, a tablet feels much more natural and relaxing to use compared to a desktop or even a laptop. I can use it to read saved articles with one hand while squeezing on the trains, something which will feel awkward with even the smallest of netbooks. With the iPad, I can also now lean back in bed, in the chair, on the sofa, and catch up on news, my friends via the various social networks, and also chat via IM. This is something that absolutely cannot be accomplished by a desktop which would require that I sit there for hours. And I don’t know, but having sat in the office for around 9-10 hours, I have not much intention to sit at my own computer again just for such casual Internet use. Unless of course I’m gaming, which is another matter altogether.

Even then, having my iPad propped up via the smart cover, allows me to keep my messenger and Facebook chat running thanks to IM+ (free, an all in one IM app which supports the likes of msn, Facebook, aol, yahoo, etc..) when I’m in the midst of raiding in WOW. This instant pop up is way superior to running a browser and chat window in the background. I’m sure fellow gamers understand that we often tend to neglect people we are chatting to when we are in the midst of slaying virtual dragons and other pixels. In a way, it acts like a virtual info dashboard while we focus on our central task, like how a GPS system works when we drive a car. Imagine if we had to alt tab out when driving just when someone talks to us!

Lastly, to address the question of whether we need the 3G version, I’ve personally gotten the wifi only version simply because I already have an iPhone, which allows me to turn on personal hotspot and tether my connection to the iPad, which thus saves me the cost of the 3G iPad and and also the additional cost of a 3G data SIM card. The older iPhones can tether vis bluetooth, while the iPhone 4 can share via wifi. So the answer to this is, it depends. If you have an iPhone, the wifi version is obvious, if you use other phones, then it depends on whether you can tether it. Of course, I’m ignoring the fact that the iPad 3G has a built in GPS chip, which is required for location based services, in that case, go ahead for the 3G ver.

With regard to capacity, that depends on one’s personal usage pattern. I personally have loads of songs which can never fit even on the 64gb. And I prefer my music on my iPhone which is more suited to music due to it’s size anyway. That leaves videos. A decent quality movie would run in the region of 1gb these days, and apps, especially games can run up to a few hundred. In most cases, 16gb will suffice, though I got the 32gb one as I tend to be lazy in clearing out old stuff, and intend to use it as backup storage of photos when I travel, via the camera connection kit.

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