First Impressions

UPS was kind enough to work on Saturday this week and delivered my 64gb iPad earlier this morning. Box itself was very minimal; the iPad itself was wrapped in the plastic wrap Apple usually uses to protect laptop and iPhone screens. Other than that, there is a small instruction card, 10 watt USB power adapter, and USB to dock cable. Pre-ordered accessories seemed to have shipped separately.

The iPad has been reviewed elsewhere, so I won't write a rundown of everything it can do, just a few first impressions:

The screen is really nice. Very bright, very sharp and very vivid. Response to any touch, scroll, or flick is instantaneous; the custom A4 chip clearly does its job well. I also was pleasantly surprised by the on screen keyboard, especially in landscape mode, it is very usable. Not quite as fast as a physical keyboard (which you can use via bluetooth, BTW) but significantly faster than the iPhone. Another note: the iPad can be used in any orientation. The base OS and most apps work just as well in landscape as in portrait, and you can never really hold it upside down - the screen auto rotates.

iPhone apps will of course work, but compared to the native iPad apps, they look almost comical. They sit in the center of the screen and appear pretty small. The "2x" button will blow the display to nearly full screen, at the cost of large, blocky text and graphics. Most websites look great; the only disappointment I've seen so far is Google Reader defaults to the iPhone interface. Hopefully, Google will have a nice iPad-specific interface soon for Reader just as they do for GMail.

The native Apple and 3rd party apps, though, look and work great. The iPad version of Evernote is fast and really easy to use. I have only played with iBooks a bit, but the Amazon Kindle app works very well. I am reading REWORK. The app picked right up where I had left off reading earlier this morning on my 1st generation Kindle. Somehow, I don't think I may be using that much any more.

I also downloaded the Netflix and ABC player app. In both, videos look great and audio was a lot better than I anticipated. Certainly better than the iPhone/iPad sound - its on par with the sound from my Macbook.

I'm sure I'll have more to write soon - more apps and new versions of iPhone apps will be released, making it an even more useful device.