Saturday, April 3, 2010

The iPad Launch Today

Today I went to my local Best Buy store to see if they had the iPad. As I was walking toward the front doors, I noticed that there were no signs of advertising for the iPad. Seeing no signs around the front door and none inside the front of the store, I was thinking that this Best Buy store was one of the few that wasn't assigned any out of this initial launch shipment because of a lower than hoped production. Still, I continued in and went to the Apple section and low and behold there's the iPad. To the right of the display table where the iMacs and MacBook demos sit, was a tall cage-like box with several iPad boxes inside it. On the display table next to it was four iPads to try. This Best Buy store was ready for the iPad launch, with surprisingly little fanfare.
I picked up an iPad off the table and held it in my hand. The first thing I noticed was how heavy it was. The body of the iPad is made from a solid piece of machined aluminum. I was holding it like if I were going to read a book on it. I think if you were going to read a book, I would suggest holding the iPad with both hands. When I was holding it with one hand, because of the weight of it, my hand was starting to get fatigued. The display is beautiful and very good size. It had the Apple iWork suite on it. I launched the Pages word processor App and started typing on it. The on-screen keyboard rises up from the bottom of the screen and is very functional. It's very capable when your on the go.
If your in the market for a book reader and you've been waiting to see what the iPad is like before you decide, I think you get a lot more for your money with the iPad then you will with a standalone book reader. Since they are just one-trick ponies and at half the cost of an iPad at that! The iPad is definitely a bargain by comparison because the functionality of the iPad is practically limitless by its design. (If there is no retail store that carries an iPad near you, here's a link to Apple's online store.)
That being said, I think this first iPad is a good start. My overall impression; It's an incredibly built device with very basic features. The biggest feature it lacks is a camera. For me, this is a big deal breaker. I can imagine doing video conferencing using iChat on it. The iPad, I think, would be a perfect device for that. The iPad has enormous potential. It's only going to get better as the next generations follow. Personally, I'm going to pass on getting this first iPad until Apple adds a built-in camera with iChat. Until then, my iPhone 3GS is all I need right now.

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