Tag Archives: review

iPad: First Impressions

iPad at Fat Cat

As if chess at a bar wasn't geeky enough. I think we raised the bar at West Village's Fat Cat.

So I plunked $580 for the 16GB wireless iPad (that includes tax and the Apple case), plus about $60-$80 more on apps. I already have a laptop, a blackberry, and a netbook…but I justified this luxury purchase because I do think that tablet computing (whether or not the iPad leads it) will be the next boom in computer usage, and I’d like to at least be aware of it.

And I like doodling and watching movies in bed.

That said, I didn’t have a strong response for everyone who asked “How is this different than a bigger iPhone?” There’s not much difference, actually, but I think we have yet to see what touch-computing can offer, and it’s a decidedly different experience than a traditional laptop. I’ve owned a MSI Wind for a year now and barely use it, unless I need to pack a laptop when I’m carrying camera equipment around. I’ve already played more games and watched more movies in the past two days on the iPad than I have on my netbook, it just seems better suited for it. I think the lack of a attached keyboard makes for a fundamentally-different experience as least as significant as the iPod Touch (and to some extent, the iPhone) over every other mp3 player before it.

Brushes pic

One of my first attempts on Brushes

I’m not much of an artist, but I’ve always wanted to just sketch for fun without the hassle of buying and maintaining art supplies. A mouse and Illustrator just doesn’t do it for me, nor would a tablet connected to a laptop. Brushes has been one of my favorite apps so far.

I’ve mostly stopped playing video games. I downloaded a few of the marquee titles, including Real Racing, and barely touched them after a few minutes. But the more social, multiplayer games, like Flight Control and the various board games, were really entertaining when the bar we were at, Fat Cat, didn’t have the games we wanted.

As far as productivity…I haven’t used it at all for anything meaningful. When I was sitting around in my living room with both the laptop and iPad, I still, out of habit, switched to my laptop to do even just regular browsing. Typing is a wrist-killer…and touch-navigating the web is still cumbersome.

Didn’t do much reading, but I like that one of the free apps allows you to download classics like Alice in Wonderland for free, with pretty decent, readable text. I still do most of my New York Times reading on my Blackberry as I’m waiting in line or at the subway.

I think I’ll keep the iPad for now…Selling it while people still think it’s cool is still a possibility…but I see a lot of potential in it so far. But I wholeheartedly agree with Kotaku’s Mike Fahey: I feel like an asshole for owning an iPad and don’t feel comfortable using it in public, yet. That kind of reduces the device’s utility…For now, I’m keeping the plastic wrap on it that it came with.

Some other notes:


  • I synced up my iPad just now for the first time with my laptop. I took awhile to figure out how to transfer photos from my laptop to the iPad (using the not-so-visible Photos tab in iTunes, and then having to create a special folder on my computer with duplicate copies of photos). And while it was doing that, it decided to delete all the apps from the iPad. The file management on the iPad, as it has been with the iPod, is fucking stupid, and possibly the worst part of any iProduct. I stopped using Sony products because of their proprietary – and generally inferior – formats (a $200 voice recorder I bought years ago is useless because Sony no longer produces/updates the software to access its files). I hope Apple doesn’t go the same path.
  • Apps were generally buggy. Netflix crashed many times.
  • Still haven’t figured out how to comfortably type.
  • Takes awhile to charge up the battery.
  • It’s hard to find a good Chess or Cards game…either they have hotseat-multiplayer or computer AI, rarely both.
  • Yeah, it is a bit heavy to not be resting on your lap.


  • Touch-interface is as solid as it is on the iPod Touch.
  • Being able to lockdown the screen rotation is great.
  • Lots of decent free apps. My favorite so far are craigsphone (craigslist on the pad), the NYT editor’s choice, Netflix, and Free Books
  • The launch games have been pretty good, including Flight Control, Minigore, Real Racing
  • Netflix streaming on my nightstand is great. Finally, I’ll finish 30 Rock.