I Got an iPad

I love my iPhone and I’ve wanted a tablet for some time. The iPad was an obvious choice but I was put off by the high price tag.

I looked into a couple of lower-cost alternatives to the iPad. I tried the Amazon Kindle Fire last year but wound up returning it. I really liked the form factor and great price, but it was clunky compared to my iPhone and you’re stuck with Amazon’s anemic App Store if you want to add new apps.

I also looked at Sony’s Tablet S, which I was very impressed with. It has a unique “folded magazine” shape and was very pleasant to hold; even though it’s about the same weight as the iPad 2 it felt lighter. It also has a higher resolution screen than the iPad 2 and lets you add external storage in the form of an SD card which no Apple iOS product does.

While I was pondering my non-Apple tablet choices, Apple announced their new iPad. The big selling point is a remarkable 2048-by-1536 pixel screen—double that of the previous iPad and unmatched by any other tablet on the market today. One of the things I wanted to use a tablet for was reading, and thoughts of looking at text on an astronomically high pixel-per-inch-count display was too much to resist. Yes the Sony tablet was less expensive, but I reasoned that the cost would be offset by the fact that I had already invested in dozens of apps on my iPhone that could be installed on my iPad for free, where as if I bought the Sony tablet I’d be starting from scratch, thereby effectively increasing the start up cost of ownership. (Yes, I’m very good at talking myself into splurgy electronics purchases when I want to be.) So I bought one. White. 64 GB. Wi-fi only.

It’s been three weeks now, and I LOVE my iPad. It’s at least 1,000 times better than my iPhone for surfing the Web, making music, gaming, watching video, and for reading any block of text that’s longer than a phone number. No you can’t slip it in your pocket like an iPhone, but the new iPad has a higher resolution screen than my 24″ desktop computer monitor and you can take it with you to the bathroom. That is awesome.

There are some disappointments that I can live with but just can’t seem to get used to. It’s heavy, the edges are just slightly sharp, and I just can’t seem to find a way to hold it comfortably for long periods of time. The speaker is terrible; it’s tiny, located on the bottom, and projects the sound backwards away from you. And there’s only one speaker; this is a premium multimedia device, couldn’t they add a second, stereo speaker? The screen, as amazing as it is, is very glossy, and you spend too much time trying to find just the right angle to view the screen without nearby light sources masking the display. There’s also no GPS; you don’t get a GPS unless you buy one of the even more costly cellular-enabled models, and I didn’t want to do that.

Problems aside, I am now as hooked on my iPad as I have been to my iPhone.

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