Review of iBed.. i mean, iPad

I got my iPad on Saturday, April 2 at around 11 AM 🙂  Few of my friends asked me to post a detailed review.  In this post, I will start listing my thoughts as I get more knowledgeable about the device.  This blog article will be work in progress for few weeks.

What do I like about iPad?

iPad is like iBed for me.

Since I bought it, I have been lying in my bed (nursing a cold) and I have a) read Hank Paulson’s book samples b) caught up on my email and d) watched few videos on You tube.    I bought the iPad  Case and when I slide my iPad in that case, it seems I am holding a hard-cover book.   And I handle it, the way I will handle a hard-cover book.  Without the iPad case, it seem odd and couldn’t really get a good comfortable feeling.

The book reading experience was just wonderful.  It was almost like reading a normal book.  No eye-strain, no hand’s paining or any other side effects.  It’s like reading a hard-cover book.  Just plain brillant. And with iBooks alone, I got my ROI. I have briefly used iKindle and reading with iKindle was reading newspaper (black-and-white and dull).  The books on iBooks just come to life with color and the presentation.

iPad may not be technologically revolutionary (just a better iPod Touch), but it will revolutionize the productivity for a knowledge worker. iPad just provide a step-change in consumption and analysis of information.  The screen is large enough to allow extended period of reading (unlike iPhone or Blackberry), the weight is just right and best part is the touch-based interaction paradigm (unlike keyboard/mouse).   The on-screen keyboard is surprisingly good and I could type quite fast.    And you are not far away from a browser, if you want to follow-up on an idea or concept.  And you are not far from email or word processor (keynote), if you want to take notes, share or frame your thinking.  While waiting in line to pick up my iPad, I became friends with Rex from Google and he has blogged about his keyboard expertise here.

NPR is the first app I downloaded.  It’ an iPad native site.  I set myself in the living room, listening to KQED and browsing the content on NPR iPad site.  It was just beautiful experience.  NPR iPad site in simple words is just awesome.  If this  is a sample of things to come, I look forward to magazines/newspapers like NYT, WSJ, National Geographic and whole shebang to rock on iPad.

Keynote:  iPad ships with a quick guide on how to create presentations using Keynote. After 5-10 minutes, I was able to figure out most of the features and create a demo presentation.  The touch interaction paradigm is really enjoyable.  It just feels natural.  You want to resize something, just pinch and expand.  If you want to rotate something, just tap and rotate with your fingers.  You want to move something, just tap it and drag it across.  Remember, Tom Cruise in the movie “Minority Report” working with the computer. That’s the experience.

At the same time, I feel it will take more practice to be fully competent with the Keynote, to be able to whip out PPT’s under pressure quickly (the way most of us can do today with our laptops).

Netflix and Intimacy: I have watched two movies using NetFlix on iPad.  Now I understand what Jobs means when he says iPad is intimate.

Last night, after a long day of  labor, me and my wife, jumped in to the bed, snuggled together and started watching “Kurbaan” on  the iPad using the Netflix streaming/instant watching technology.  The first half of the movie is romantic like most bollywood movies.

First of all, watching the movie on the glossy wide-screen with 1024 x 768 resolution with less than 12 inches from your eyes is better experience compared to watching it from far on larger TV (LCD or otherwise).  I have 100-inch projector screen for movie watching, however, I enjoyed the movie watching experience on my little iPad much better. I was able to make out several details that I would have missed on the larger screen.  Plus, it felt more personal and “intimate”.

Very similar to the experience of listening to music on your iPod/iShuffle/walkman using headphones versus listening to music using regular music system.  In the former case, the music is streamed singularly to you and in the latter case, to anybody in the vicinity.  And of course, most of us prefer our headphones most of the times. It’s an more intimate and enjoyable experience.

Another level of intimacy comes from the setting.  Well until my 3-year old finished watching his “Dora the explorer”on regular TV and decided to jump between us and make a cheese sandwich with he being the cheese and ma and paa being the bread slices 🙂

What do I don’t like about iPad/wish list for iPad?

Lack of Flash.  I wanted to do a bandwidth speed test, but most speed test applications require Flash.   I think either HTML5 needs to get adopted really quickly or we need Flash support on iPad.

Recently, I emailed myself a 16 MB PPT (80 slides) and then tried to import the ppt into Keynote. Keynote failed due out of memory errors.  That’s not good. And I’m not sure if I can put more RAM on this thing.



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10 responses to “Review of iBed.. i mean, iPad

  1. Nice meeting you in line!

  2. Naren, thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I hope you feel better soon.

    There’s an impressive list of sites that have already adopted HTML5: http://www.apple.com/ipad/ready-for-ipad/

    I like the feel of Apple’s iPad case too, and I like the way the flap can be tucked in to give it a wedge shape. But I’m pondering one of those silicone huggy things instead so that it will be easier to prop up on the screen of the exercise bike at the gym.

    Netflix streaming is beautiful.

    I can see how it would be a productivity aid for some but I am not there yet. At this point for me it is still a luxury item. I suspect it will take time for it to work its way into my life the way the iPhone did.

  3. how about lack of front-facing webcam

  4. and also u facing any issue with WiFi & battery, there are plenty of people complaining about that

  5. Really? I have been extremely impressed by the battery life on the iPad.

    My experience with iPhone was pretty bad to start with so my expectations may have been low initially. When I started using the iPad more extensively — and my boys did too: I downloaded tons of games for them — the iPad continued to perform amazingly well. I feel like I am always on this thing because I do not need to boot, everything is at my fingertips with great apps like flipboard, and I only charge it every few days… And it charges fast too.

    I have always been more of a PC / laptop kind of person and I must admit that the iPad changed that. Absolutely outstanding little device.

    • Carole-Ann:

      I love flipboard too. I think flibboard makes Twitter useful. Agree with you on battery life as well.

      Well, it’s almost time for a refresh. I am hoping they will put front-facing camera in the next-gen and that in my mind will bring a step-change in affordable video communication (skpe/facetime on ipad).

  6. Great review – almost makes me go and buy one. I really wish it had Flash support. Netflix is fine but most of the “Indian Netflix” sites use either Flash or Silverlight.

  7. By “Indian Netflix” (with quotes :)) I mean the Indian video sites such as BigFlix (by Reliance) and Rajshri (the movie house) along with Saavn – which together have thousands of free movies, tv serials, award shows etc. Netflix has a very small Indian movie collection compared to these and of course no Indian tv shows – check it out: bigflix.com and rajshri.com

    Above is the main reason I am still waiting on the sidelines for GoogleTV or BoxeeBox since none of the standard media players support these kind of sites except for a full fledged HTPC.

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