iPad – First Impression

On April 3, 2010

Well, after many months of waiting, speculation, hype, and both positive and negative feedback, we finally got our hands on our iPads!

After some issues with UPS (who swore we weren’t getting it until Monday, then thankfully showed up at our doors) we were able to get a few hours in before writing this review.

It came in the typical high quality Apple packaging (the one you carefully open as to be able to put back in the same way, at least we try to do that).  Inside, Apple includes a sync cable, and a power plug for the wall outlet.  A small booklet accompanies the iPad, but thats about it.

The device itself requires that you sync with the latest version of iTunes before being able to do much of anything else.  Our sync process was smooth and painless.  Everything worked as expected and we were off and running within 10 minutes.

Initially, I thought i would simply play with it for a little while and then write up this review.  I found that it was VERY difficult for me to put it down after I started messing around with it.  First I downloaded a few apps, including ABC’s video app, Netflix, The Wall St. Journal, USA Today, a few games including a new one that Portable Arts just released called BloxAttack (shameless plug I know).

I spent lots of time surfing the web with safari and reading the USA Today, even couldn’t help myself to a few minutes of video time on Netflix and ABC.  It was simply hard for me to stop playing with it.

The surfing experience is extremely intuitive, its so simple to just click and move around the web, that you soon forget that you ever did it any other way.  In fact, its much more painful to move the mouse / trackpad around rather than just clicking the screen.

Many of the apps have sound, including some of the games I tried, and the quality on the iPad was surprising, the back of the iPad felt like it was one big speaker and the sound just resonated from it.

The size is also surprising, its only 1.5 pounds, and very thin.  Thd 9.7 inch display is very sharp.  The colors just pour right off, and the quality reminds me of Apples high end video displays and it is much brighter and clearer than any of the current iPhone/Touch screens.

The other thing that caught me off guard was the speed at which things load up on the iPad.  I was able to very quickly install 20 apps on the iPad from the AppStore and didn’t spend any time waiting for them to install.  In fact, most of them installed within a few seconds and I was busy playing around with them immediately.

The keyboard is what you would expect, a larger version of that one already found on the iPhone, although the larger keys are obviously much easier to type on and when the iPad is in landscape mode, its almost as large as the bluetooth Apple keyboard.

I will say there are a few shortcomings with iPad 1.0.

The first obvious one is the lack of Flash support.  I would have loved to load up HULU on the iPad or play any number of Flash based games, but its not to be had.  Not yet at least.  Probably not ever.

The second thing that bugged me is that you cant Multitask between apps.  This is obviously something that Apple has been holding out on since day 1, and I don’t imagine that will ever change either.

But my most surprising complaint is the lack of some form of portable storage (SD card, etc).  I can see how this thing is going to fill up pretty quickly and I would have loved the ability to store files and docs on a removable storage card.

I know, people want a camera, USB, etc. etc.  but the truth is, this is an incredible first step.  Absolutely worth the $499 intro price tag, and after you’ve had a chance to play with one,  surf the web on one, flip through an iBook, newspaper, or play any game on this high quality large screen you’ll see what I mean.

So now the only thing left to do is start reviewing those apps!