This is slightly off topic, but I figured I’d write a post about it since it’s been consuming most of my time recently.
I ended up purchasing a 32GB Wifi-only iPad this week, and I know a lot of people have criticized it as a “over-priced over-hyped e-Reader”, and the first thing I can say is it definately is way more then that. The web capabilities of it are of course awesome. It really does feel neat to be able to experience an entire webpage in your hands, and not just a mobile verison (or only part at a time because an iPhone/etc screen is so small). There’s already some pretty great apps out there, the iPad version of TweetDeck is pretty awesome, as well as the Netflix and ABC players, which allow you to watch any Insta-queue Netflix movie or ABC tv show. One thing Apple DID get right this time is the battery. I just finished watching a 2 hour movie and spent less then 10% of the battery life on it.
One thing, however, is that it is more then an iPhone, and really is a tablet. This being said, it does not charge on any non-Mac USB port. The reason for this is the power requirements, and the only computers so far to provide the “super-USB” voltage/wattage is the Macs, and even then it’s incredbily slow. It’s designed to be charged from the wall outlet, but it doesn’t take an incredible amount of time, and as I said, you can go all day without needing to charge it, so charging it over night isn’t a big deal.
I’ve already purchased a few books and read them through the iBooks app. I’ve heard some people complain about the back light being an issue, but i’ven ever had a problem. It auto-adjusts based on the ambient light in the room, and I’ve never had headaches from it. I’ve also watched a few movies on it’s screen, and I like it. The iPad fits great on the machines I use at the gym, so I end up watching a TV show or a movie when I work out.
The best thing that I’ve found so far is the combination with my Motorola Droid. This can be done with a lot of other phones as well. With a rooted Motorola Droid, I can activate it as a “Wifi Tether”. This basically turns it into a Wifi hotspot, and utilizes it’s 3G data connection. This allows me to use my iPad anywhere the Droid gets data service (and mind you the Verizon 3G data network is much more expansive then AT&T’s), without paying the $30/mo that AT&T wants to charge you to get 3G data directly on the iPad. This also saved me the $130 cost it’d require to purchase a Wifi/3G iPad, and since I’m using Wifi, the battery life is better. The only draw back is the Wifi-only iPad lacks GPS, but it’s WPS (Wifi Positioning System) is disturbingly accurate. For any turn by turn directions I use the free Navigation on the Droid anyways.
All in all, I’m really happy with it. I think my Mac Book is slightly jealous, as it decided to bite the dust a few days after I purchased the iPad. I think the video card melted the motherboard, as most Mac Book Pro’s tend to do. Thank god for the Apple Protection Plan.