Early users of the new Apple iPad report that it is a bit like a large version of the iPhone – without a phone or camera. It is four times larger than an iPhone, has beautiful graphics, and is fast. It is great for games, movies, web surfing, music downloads, and for reading e-books, if you are into that. It is also excellent for reading newspapers due to the full-size, high-contrast display. You can even subscribe to the New York Times or Wall Street Journal if you don’t mind paying $15-20 per month.
The iPad does not take the place of desktop computers due to larger displays and lower costs for a PC. But the light weight – a mere 1.5 pounds — makes it highly portable if you need a computer outside the office. Typing on an iPad, a big consideration for columnists, seems to leave much to be desired. It has an on-screen keyboard, smaller than a standard keyboard, but too large to hold and text with the thumbs like a cell phone.
If you are a touch typist, you will miss the interaction with a keyboard (coming soon) and will hate trying to type on glass. Its word processing feature has spell-check, but no way to store documents or connect to a printer, an issue that you can work around by emailing the document to a real computer. It also cannot multi-task, so you can’t check email while in the middle of writing your article. Of course, a fix for this problem is also “coming soon.”
If you are an early innovator and must have the newest expensive gadget on the market for tweeting, texting and emailing, you will probably love it. If you want a it for serious writing, well… maybe you should consider how many $500+ devices you need to do the almost the same thing. Was it only a few years ago that people were standing in long lines at the Apple store in the mall to get the iPhone?
by Sheila Moss/WebEditor