So there's this iPad thing... I just bought one.
I've been throwing around the idea since they came out. In my head it could just be another cool toy to occasionally play with but I'm hoping I can find more value in it than that. I knew I couldn't just go buy one randomly and be like "wow, I have an iPad... now what?"
I needed to at least make an attempt to justify it to myself. The best I could come up with is to use it to replace my laptop (currently a late 2007 Macbook). I really only use the Macbook when I'm on the couch - checking email, tweeting, some occasional video editing with iMovie. And that's about it. I do take it with me when I have personal travel (I take my work laptop any other time). But it mainly just sits there on the couch, doing not much of anything. If I have any graphics or photo work to do, I still have a Windows 7 desktop that I use. And that certainly is not going anywhere.
Well with this recent surplus of overtime and other potential bits of income, I figured it was time to look into this iPad thing. I started reading around the internet and a lot of people swore up and down it would not be a laptop replacement. There's just no way.
Thing is, the iPad is to be used for what you need it for. If all I do with my Macbook is surf the internet, read some news, check email, tweet a bit... then those are things the iPad can handle quite well - and did I mention the games? Ya, it can do those too.
So the current deal with myself is to try out the iPad for a while and see if I can get along day to day without using my laptop for anything specific. The only thing I'll have to find out about is video editing - but I just have to find something that I can do on Windows for that. Not a big deal. If the iPad proves useful, I keep it and sell the Macbook (which might fetch up to about $600 on eBay - not bad for a 3 yr old laptop that was $900 new). If I can't find a place for the iPad, I'd either sell or return that. Either way, I get some of the money back and end up with one device that I know will meet my needs.
Initially I had tried to order one via Apple.com but it wouldn't even ship until 6/29 and likely not arrive until 7/2. Well, normally not a big deal, but I leave for Salt Lake City on 7/5 and a) I'd like to take the iPad with me and b) I'd like to have more than 2 days to get used to it before traveling. So I canceled the Apple.com order and called up the "local" Apple Store - which happens to be in Victor NY (near Rochester) at the Eastview Mall. There's also one in the Carousel Mall in Syracuse, but that's about a half hour longer drive. Victor is almost 1.5 hours as it is.
I should backup a second... I decided on the 32 GB version with Wifi + 3G. I decided I don't care about the data fee for the thing if I'm really going to use it everywhere. Of course I'm not going to tote it literally EVERYWHERE with me like a little fanboy, but if I feel like taking it to visit family so I can show off pictures or something, I want internet. And the 32 GB should be plenty for some movies, all of my photos, and some music... oh and apps.
Anyway... the Apple Store in Victor tells me they do have a few of the 32GB 3G models but they CANNOT hold one for me. Eh... fine, whatever. That was early in the morning. I start thinking about it and if I end up leaving after work to go get this thing and I end up making a 3 hour trip for nothing if they're sold out, I would be PISSED. So after lunch, I decide to head out early. I call them up again and confirm they still have some in stock - they do - and again I plead to hold one at least for the amount of time it takes me to drive there - nope. No can do. Fuckers.
So Jen and I make the drive to Victor and thankfully they have ONE left in stock of the particular model I wanted. Close call. I must admit, at this point, I'm half giddy, half in shock. Do you realize how much these things cost? I just paid almost $800 for a tiny little tablet that I'm not even sure yet will do what I want. Ouch.
No matter... after some other shopping (while we were there) and a partial nap on the way home, I can finally get it out and see what it can do...
That's kind of where I am with it now. I've got a bunch of apps installed (lots of free ones) and I've setup my mail, contacts, and calendar through Gmail/Exchange. So that's all good. Now it is a matter of getting to a comfortable point with it.
I also picked up some other super awesome apps that you may want to look into...
- Flight Control HD - Firemint - seriously addicting game
- Pulse News Reader - Alphonso Labs Inc. - fantastic RSS reader (for real, I've never used anything RSS before this)
- Strip Designer - Vivid Apps - fun for making little comics... like the ones below