iPad First Impressions (Part 1)

This week I am getting up close and personal with a  new addition to our fleet of computers, the famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) Apple iPad.

I have several reasons for doing this:

  1. I love my iPhone 3GS with IOS4 and I am excited to see if I will fall in love with a larger HD version of it. More is better when it comes to screen size right?
  2. Many of our clients (large and small) are either interested in, or have already decided to support iPads in their IT environment. And many of those who haven’t already decided to support them are feeling huge pressure from their users to provide some level of support.
  3. Honestly, my biggest reason for taking this on is that I am a huge geek and love to tinker with new technology to see how it might enhance my life.  If it doesn’t make my life better in some way, then it will end up collecting dust on a shelf or sold on eBay.

Even though the iPad has been out for a while, I wanted to share my unbiased, honest opinion from an IT consumer who also happens to be a technician and consultant.  It might interest you to know that I am a PC and a MAC (and Linux and iPhone and…) – I look at all of these as wonderful tools, and I keep them all in my toolkit and consider which one to reach for depending on the the job at hand.

My first experience with the iPad involved buying one and I grade this experience as a D-.  I simply do not like to purchase a computer online. I want to go see one, touch it, feel it, buy it and take it home.  I visited the Apple store a half-dozen times, and, after not being able to do that (because they were perpetually out of stock), I decided not to buy one.  But after six months or so, I gave in and decided to take Apple up on their standard offer to place my order online. I purchased a 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model and an Apple iPad Case for $629 and $39, respectively, expecting to have an iPad in my hand in a couple of days. (And I would have, if FedEx hadn’t kept trying to deliver it to my office after hours when no one was there to accept it…but that’s another story.)

The case promises to protect your iPad and be a convenient stand.  My first observation is the case looks like its worth maybe $7 and while it does offer some amount of protection it is a terrible stand.  So my first impressions are not all that great regarding the purchase and the case.

How do I feel about the device itself?  I am going to save the juicy details for my next posting but I will say that after nearly 24 hours I am highly impressed with some features and functions and highly unimpressed with some others. Please stay tuned as I share my experience – I am going to be brutally honest and would invite you to share your thoughts and tips. I may miss some things that you think are important, and would appreciate your tips and observations, both pro and con. Hopefully we can learn from each other how to make this exciting device sing!

4 replies
  1. Buy proxies
    Buy proxies says:

    I don’t understand..Why everybody is so excited about Ipad? Why ipad is better that a laptop?. The laptops are ,more cheapper and they have a lot of extra things. On the Ipad is just nice. Guys don’t buy it just because they are cool ask yourself if is useful and is the right price. But in this period is all about marketing..

  2. Scott Gorcester
    Scott Gorcester says:

    Dean, great input, I too have found that the iPad is an excellent travel companion, browsing the web, looking at maps and finding direction, reading and writing emails are all very easy. My first question for you is how you input data, do you use the on screen keyboard, do you have an external keyboard, and what about the lack of a mouse or do you have a solution for that or do you feel that using the touch screen is every bit as easy as using a mouse. My second question is if you needed to do a lot of data input such as say writing a ten page document, is the iPad a good tool for this and if the answer is yes is it the best tool in your toolkit for this task.

    Thank you Dean!


  3. Dean Flaming
    Dean Flaming says:

    I’ve loved my Mac since switching (just upgraded to Office 2011 so we’ll see how that goes) but for most of my work I’ve shifted to my 64GB/Wifie/3G iPad. That, with the camera adapter kit, was all I took on a 3 week vacation to Europe recently and, except for the AT&T International charges and sometimes the lack of a good Wifi Internet connection (which is just due to the places I stayed), it truly was a dream to travel with and use.

    As for work, as I said, I’ve switched to using this mostly…and as I type this, I’m sitting at Starbucks working remotely. For just about everything I can use my iPad – or use it to remote into other systems to get what I need. I can even listen to music while doing all of this – as well as use it as my phone (although that is somewhat stretching it and then, only in the event I have a Wifi connection and no 3G connection).

    It’ll even do presentations – and while I have the VGA adapter and have messed with it, I’ve not done this as of yet since my presentations typically need access to VMs running different versions of Windows. I could probably record this, though, and put it on my iPad as a movie to play during the presentation.

    About the only two things I’ve found I cannot use my iPad for is running a VM for testing or writing code/scripts. And for those features, I remote into other systems to do those.


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  1. […] applications. It just made me think: how in the world am I going to use all 150,000 of them? The first time I heard about the iPad, I thought it was a joke. I eventually discovered it was a re…en I realized that it is actually a very nifty idea for a product. First, iPad is undeniably […]

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