Everybody’s talking iPad, and it’s easy to get carried away wanting one. We look at the features that really matter so you can decide if you really can’t live without one.
Consider why you want an iPad and how you would use it. Think about your current technology: home PC, laptop, mobile phone, and how much you use each device. If you do most of your computing at home and can check emails on your mobile when you’re out and about, you probably won’t need an iPad. But if you regularly use your laptop remotely, commute to work and travel, then the iPad could become your new best friend.
Starting at $629 (for 16GB) and going all the way up to $1049 (for 64GB plus 3G), the price range sits slightly cheaper in the notebook category. In Australia we’re lucky that our data plans are quite a bit cheaper than the rest of the world, include the US.
Battery life is amazing. You can go a couple of days of normal usage without charging – perfect for someone like me who always forgets to plug in.
The iPad is heavier than you might expect, at around 700g. I’m hoping for a lighter model in the next version (whenever that happens).
Display and Interface
The display colour and sharpness is excellent. The touch screen interface will be familiar to anyone that’s used an iPhone. The virtual keyboard is much easier to use than we expected, although typing won’t be as fast as on a laptop.
What Will You Use It For?
Books: Whether you commute to work, travel, or read in bed, the iPad is fantastic for this. Kindle also have an iPad app so you can read books you’ve purchased on Amazon on your iPad – very handy.
Newspaper and Magazines: Keep in mind that many newspaper and magazine apps are paid for, and the quality varies. We love the NY Times and The Times apps for their content and beautiful interfaces.
Movies and YouTube: If you can sit the iPad in an upright position, it’s delightful for watching movies and YouTube clips. Great for travelling, especially with kids.
Everyday computing: If you’re a Microsoft user, don’t be alarmed that there’s no version of Office available for the iPad. Apple has its own equivalent and file sharing between your PC and iPad is quick and easy through iTunes.
This is where Apple let me down. You’ll need a case to protect the iPad, and neither of the two cases available to buy at Apple ticked the boxes for me. One lets you sit the iPad in an upright position (good for watching movies), but is flimsy. The other is a synthetic leather case that is quite bulky. I’ll be searching online for other alternatives.
Apple does sell a keyboard (which doubles as a charging dock) which you’ll need if you do a lot of typing.
The iPad doesn’t have a camera, and isn’t a phone, so this isn’t a magic device that will replace the clutter in your handbag (please don’t get chewing gum or lipstick on it!). But it is a lovely product that might just become indispensible for anyone that is on the move and loves technology.