When the iPad was announced by Steve Jobs at the end of January, I was amongst the first to voice my disappointment. I criticized that the lack of a built-in SD card reader slot, a USB port and a camera as well as the less than 720p capable display. But after spending a day with a borrowed device from a friend, I’m sold on the iPad. So what was it that made me change my mind about the device? Well, for one, it is purely a content consumption device and not necessarily a content creation device which was how I was previously looking at it. That could change as I see plenty of potential for the iPad to head that way,but for now, its probably the finest consumption device I have ever used.
Let me say what has been already been said in most articles about the iPad- its not a giant iPod touch. And I only believed that once I played around with it. Yes, its based on the same OS as the iPhone and iPod Touch and yes you can run all the apps for these mobile devices on the iPad but the beauty of the iPad shows in the applications specifically designed for it. The gorgeous, gorgeous screen makes for a wonderful viewing experience and the form factor is just about perfect. Its a tad bit smaller than I thought it would be but that is a good thing. I had read that it was a bit heavier than one would imagine but I did not feel that at all- probably because my mind already perceived it to be a bit heavy when I first held it. The button configuration is exactly like the iPod Touch and iPhone with the silencer switch on the mobile devices replaced by an orientation lock which is something the device definitely needs.
Ive put together a short video that’ll show you how the device works and some of the applications I tried on it. Notice how incredibly fast the user-interface is and how smooth scrolling etc. is on the iPad. The entire experience makes you fall in love with the device.
At the start of the video, I mentioned that I’ll try to show the smudges on the device at the end but that kinda slipped my mind and the device is back with my friend. Even though Apple uses the same oleophobic coating as the iPhone 3GS, you will see plenty of smudges and will need to clean the iPad’s screen frequently. Also, the iPad is a strictly indoor device- especially in the Dubai sun. Do not even plan on using it outside during day time as you will probably not see anything.
There is a lot to the iPad than what I’ve shown you, or even experienced myself. Once proper apps start releasing for it, this device could become a reasonable content creation tool. Expect a more comprehensive review once I get mine and play around with it for a few weeks. If you’re interested in buying the iPad in the UAE, you might want to look at this story we published yesterday.