I’ve know owned an iPad for around a week, so thought it’s time I shared my thoughts on the device, as one of only a few Australians who actually own and have used it at length.
This will be a short wrap-up as I’m still travelling (currently in San Francisco), a much more detailed review will arrive once I’m back in Australia.
After using the iPad for a few days now, typing on the on-screen keyboard is becoming easier, particularly in landscape mode. Although when compared to a traditional keyboard, input is much slower.
The iPad is incredibly responsive, launching applications, flipping rough photos and menus all happen instantly. It makes for great demos and vie often found myself unknowingly turning into an Apple salesman. Responding do immediately does encourage use of the device. The only real issue is the physical one of how to hold the devices. It’s something you have to learn and something I’m sure will vary, person to person.
You’ll find many uses for the iPad, but there are going to be many times where the iPad spends it’s time on the coffee table. This means standby time Is important. The iPad has exceptional standby battery life, lasting days while not powering the 9.7″ touch screen.
Naturally your battery life while using the iPad will vary based on your use. Running 3D games or watching movies are most taxing, with average mixed use getting around 8 hours. Not bad considering Apple claim 10 hours, which can usually be halved in the real world.
The 9.7″ touch screen of the iPad is incredibly bright and responsive, but there is one big issue. It’s kind of unavoidable with a device your touching, but fingerprints are a problem. If you think Apple include a micro-fibre cloth, you’d be wrong. That said, the screen is gorgeous and increasing brightness can help, but hurts your battery life.
The iPad comes preloaded with some customized apps from Apple, but 3rd party apps can be installed via the App Store. There awesome default iPhone apps that are missing from the iPad – calculator and weather being prime examples.
On the accessories front, we are still waiting for most of them like the camera accessory to be released, but my ‘must have’ recommendation is the case. If not the Apple case, then a case with a stand. This is especially valuable when travelling on the bus or plane. This meant I could position the iPad using it’s triangle shape for easier typing or for passive viewing without hands.
Australian release date and pricing
While originally announcing the iPad would be available in Australia ‘late April’ that date has now been moved back a month to ‘late May’. There’s also no confirmation of Aus pricing.