The iPad 2–What I’ve Been Missing
As implied by my review of the Hammerhead case for iPad 2, I am now the proud owner of an iPad. Yes, I successfully resisted the siren call of Steve Jobs long enough. However, a funny thing happened: I spent a few days on the road with Kellman and saw how he used his. That pretty much sold me on the utility of the iPad.
Kellman did a number of really cool things:
- Had ubiquitous connectivity thanks to the built-in 3G modem. This isn’t so much of a concern for me when I travel in the US, but when I travel outside the US, it’s very much an issue. The iPad 2 is unlocked so I can easily swap in a SIM card from a different operator. I can also easily sign up for a prepaid data package right from my iPad (though I haven’t tried this yet).
- Did a presentation from his iPad. You can get a cable for your iPad that allows you hook up to a VGA projector, use Keynote to give the presentation, and control the presentation with an iPhone! No laptop required!
- Accessed a number of computers remotely using LogMeIn Ignition. While this is a rather pricey app at $29.99, it gives you the ability to control any number of PCs or Macs from your iPad using the well-known LogMeIn service without any additional charges. I recently tried this out with my computers and it works well.
- Flipboard. I had heard about it, but until I actually saw how it worked with my own eyes, I didn’t really get it. Now I do. It integrates Twitter, Facebook, and a number of news/information sources from the web and presents it in a magazine-based format that is very compelling.
Given the above, the fact I already had a significant investment in the Apple universe (having purchased an iPhone 3GS two years ago and an iPod Touch for the family last year), and the fact that none of the Android tablets I looked at were nearly as compelling, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is was the closest, I pulled the trigger and bought one. It wasn’t cheap, that’s for sure, especially since I opted for the 64gb version with 3G.
Once I got it home, and given my recent experiences with the Nokia E6 and Nokia E7, I began to understand why people really love the iPad. The software is one aspect, of course. Then again, as an iPhone/iPod Touch owner, I already knew this. What made it more compelling was, quite honestly, the larger screen.
It’s not just to see the content better, though I certainly found that to be one reason to like the iPad. The screen size also enables one to utilize a touch interface either. This point was driven home to me when I was evaluating the Nokia E6 with its small but touch-enabled screen. Having the real estate to actually perform the various touch actions is very important. The iPad has that. In spades.
The other obvious benefit to having a large screen is you can have an even larger battery. 10 hours is quite a lot of battery life. While I haven’t been able to get anywhere near running the battery down, it certainly will last a normal day. Considering I frequently fly to Israel, which takes me almost 24 hours, having a gadget that can last the entire journey without having access to a power plug is certainly desirable. I’m putting this to the test as I type this.
The iPad 2 has both a front-facing and rear-facing camera. The camera quality is nothing to write home about, of course, though I can find uses for this. I have smartphones to capture higher-quality pictures, anyway.
In any case, I am very happy with my iPad purchase. I wish more of the apps I had previously purchased previously were iPad enabled. I had to spend some money to buy iPad-enabled versions of many of the apps I was actively using, which is far preferable to using iPhone apps in the emulation mode.