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iPad Review…The new toy, per se

iPad Review…The new toy, per se

 Yep…I got one.  We’ll see if it lasts 14 days, or goes back.  Your comments are appreciated. 

Update: 11/05/2010
Well, after almost 1 week with the iPAD – I have these initial thoughts: 

First and foremost – I went into this R&D project with very low expectations. Why? Well, I’m a PC guy for one, and two I have iPODS, iPOD Touch’s, etc. So knowing I was looking at the big screen version of my iTouch, I didn’t want to get ahead of myself with grand expectations. So here goes: 

I have to admit that I knew this wasn’t a laptop and wouldn’t give me laptop features. The device is designed for quick access to email, internet, music, movies and games. I knew this…but I’m a very needy guy when it comes to technology. 

I have spent much of this first week trying to make this thing a laptop. It isn’ isn’t…it isn’t…I keep telling myself this, but I still keep on trying. I have however, figured out how to make it a VERY light laptop with pretty decent functionality – though with it’s drawbacks. 

The best way I have figured out to make this work ‘FOR ME’, is by purely adopting a cloud-based applications and data access architecture. I have several methods currently configured: 

1 – Google Apps with DropBox and Google Apps storage options 

2 – Citrix access to my genuine MS Office Apps and related data 

3 – Remote desktop to a standby computer that has everything installed on it – actually, this is a running virtual image of my actual laptop that I use every day. 

4 – MS Live Office and the 365 Beta 

Here’s what I have found – and a very general overview of the experiences: 

1 – This is just a large screen version of my Touch, with just about the same capabilities as my Android phone, though with a larger screen and no actual phone features. 

2 – Realizing that the Citrix and Remote Desktop connections work the best overall, the performance is far less than desired or experienced with typical internet connectivity or even tethered from my phone. 

3 – Google Apps works great, but other than using DropBox, syncing my data to my system is just not very doable. Also, large files take forever to load up on iPAD. The biggest drawback – the data sync – which would basically force me to entirely convert my daily workflow to the Google Apps foundation – not the ultimate desire or need for me. If I don’t have internet access – I’m dead in the water. 

4 – For email access – my phone is faster and better. Why would I get an email on my phone and then grab the iPAD, turn it on, attach to the internet in some form, run and sync the email app, just to reply to the email, etc. I can reply to the email and do that with my phone before I even get a chance to get the iPAD out of the case to turn it on. 

So – do I need a Touch with a bigger screen that also does email and internet browsing? Not really. Does the unit enhance my workflow? Yes, and only in ONE facet – taking notes in freehand on the screen during a meeting is awesome. No need to make sure I have notepaper or a pen with ink handy – just a general battery charge. 

So I keep asking myself, is a digital pad of paper worth $1,000? Yes, $1,000 – when you buy the 64GB WiFi version, dock, wireless keyboard, VGA adapter and 2 year warranty. Then again, if this is really just going to be a notepad, I could settle for the $499 model and save $200. But is it still worth $800 for a digital pad? 

So far – after 1 week, my answer really is doesn’t make sense, for me. For a digital pad, I can spend less than $300 and get the best products specificlaly designed just for this purpose. I don’t need the pad to be on the internet or get my email. Why would I? I have a perfectly capable laptop that can do everything the iPAD can and many many more functions, faster, while having all of my data and preferred applications immediately available – internet connection or not. 

The drawback of the laptop – no touch screen or tablet feature. But this can be resolved with a new touch screen laptop or tablet, with technically better touch screen capabilities and features with Windows 7 – not to mention I get to use all of my preferred apps with the additional functionality. 

I know this first review seems a bit tainted – but – I haven’t given up yet – I haven’t returned the iPAD yet. 

We’ll see how week two goes. 

Update:  11/16/2010
Well, the iPAD has been returned. Unfortunately, if you need some power, data or application access, and the ability to not have to take your laptop everywhere you go, then the iPAD is not for you. 

If you are tired of carrying an iPOD, book reader, and need occasional access to websites or webmail/email, then this can be a good for you and limit the number of gadgets you have to keep track of. 

It has its place, just not with me, at least in this iteration. 

Time to check out Samsung and Dell’s new tablets….off I go.

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