I have finally decided to get myself an iPad, which some people say it’s a big iPod Touch or iPhone and seem to hate it so much. I played around with my 16 GB Wifi iPad, loading some Anime Blogs from Anime Nano and the functions on the iPad. I even Jailbroken the device. So far, my experiences with it is great and its better than any Netbook out there. It won’t replace my Macbook Pro anytime soon, but it will definitely kill netbooks or make them evolve into multitouch tablets without keyboards and trackpads.
The iPad is really light and weighing only 1.5 pounds and almost just as thin as the iPod Touch. Here is a comparison between a iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 2G, Nintendo DS, the Macbook Pro and the iPad:
iPad features a 9.7 inch LED display with IPS Technology. Most netbooks come with TN LCD panels and most of these netbooks uses CCFL backlighting, which makes them thicker and use a bit more power. There are some people that say the backlit display will hurt someone’s eyes and e-ink is better for long use! From using it for hours, it did not strain my eyes considering that it uses a IPS LCD panel. It also depends on the brightness, which the screen is set at.
Although the iPad only comes with a dock connector, there is a connectivity kit that is sold separately. It provides a USB connector that allows users to hook not only digital cameras, but USB Keyboards and headsets. Jailbroken iPads can use USB storage devices with some hacking. It also comes with an SD adapter to load pictures, but cannot play back video from it.
iPad also comes with Bluetooth. If you don’t like the touchscreen keyboard, you can pair a Bluetooth keyboard to the device. I own an Apple Wireless Keyboard which I paired with the iPad. It makes input a lot easier than the touchscreen keyboard.
The iPad is pretty minimalistic. The only controls is the volume, orientation lock and power/sleep button. This doesn’t matter much since the iPad is controlled mainly by the touchscreen.
iPad runs on iPhone OS 3.2, which is also used on iPhone and iPod Touch. However, iPad can now use iPad applications that feature more functionality than the iPhone/iPod Touch apps. I loaded Twitterriffic, a Twitter Client and some weather apps. They look amazing.
Youtube is also upgraded on the iPad too because of its big screen. Not only you can view videos in full screen, you can change the view to show other information while the video is playing. You can also play embedded Youtube videos within Safari without leaving the application like on the iPhone/iPod Touch.
MobileSafari is like the one on the iPhone, but upgraded. You can now add bookmarks to the toolbar for easy access. Since MobileSafari is based on Webkit, websites will load just as they would on the Web Browsers on your desktop/laptop. When I first unboxed the iPad, I loaded up Melative and the library updating works perfectly.
Some may be disappointed that there is a lack of Adobe Flash. This is because Flash is known to be a resource hog and the primary cause of browser crashes. Instead, HTML5 is implemented for video and stuff. Some sites are already adopting the service, but not all sites have it fully implemented.
How about WordPress on iPad? WordPress loads fine on the iPad. You can make new posts with the WordPress iPad application or the web interface. However, the visual editor does not work on the iPad nor uploading new content. This can be a problem if you want to upload pictures. The good thing is that you can write up new content and then add the pictures before publishing.
The other functions on the iPad such as the iPod is just the same as seen on the iPhone/iPod Touch, but expanded. There isn’t much needed to be said about them.
The iPad comes with a full size keyboard on the touch screen, which is better than the netbook keyboard. I found that the landscape keyboard a lot easier to use, but I still need the time to get used to it. I won’t use it for prolonged use.
iPad also contains iBooks, which is a ebook reader. It allows buying of books from the device. It also allows users to import e-pub ebooks. So, if you want to import a translated light novel that wasn’t licensed yet, you can do so by converting it. I haven’t tried iBooks extensively, but it looks nice.
iPad at the moment does not have multitasking, although iPhone OS 4 will provide multitasking. Jailbreaking at the time being can give users the ability to multitask (with ProSwitcher or Backgrounder). I done this on my iPhone 3GS and I didn’t notice an impact on performance.
However, there is some things that the iPad cannot do. Viewing Fansubs is one of those things as they require a special player like mplayer to play them and iPad does not support MKV files. They need to be converted to be played on the iPad, which can be time consuming. If you want to watch Anime on Crunchyroll, it will work on the iPad, since they already have an iPad app.
Another thing the iPad won’t do is run desktop applications. Sure, iPad has an office suite and can do pretty much anything the App Store provides, but if you want to use a desktop application such as Photoshop, you still need a computer. Want to play computer games like Audiosurf, Half-Life 2, Portal or visual novels? You still need a computer for that.
Lastly, you are pretty much stuck what the AppStore provides. Unless you jailbreak your iPad, you are stuck with what you have. With a jailbreak, you can do pretty much what you want to do with it. I do this with all my devices so I can customize and add functionality that Apple won’t allow.
Battery Life so far is pretty good. For use at 50% brightness with volume set on high, the percentage didn’t drop so much… but still not sure it last 10 hours, although there are reports that it lasted more than 10 hours.
While the iPad can do most of the basic tasks such as surfing, music playing, viewing photos, email, Instant Messaging and Twitter, it still not a complete replacement for a Laptop/Desktop. iPad is the role model of what Netbooks should be. Traditionally, I found Netbooks completely stupid because they use a bloated OS like Windows and come with small keyboards and trackpads. The iPad will push competitors to change their model and start making netbooks that uses only a touchscreen, some form of Linux and using mobile processors like ARM. Several competitors are already doing this such as HP’s WebOS Slate and others.
While iPad won’t replace the computer since you can’t watch fansubs or run Photoshop on it. However, it will allow the full web experience without flash and allow you to make posts on your WordPress blog. So if you out often, you can take your iPad and make you blog post on your Anime Blog and then edit it later when you get back on the computer.
Would I recommend it? Probably, but before making fun of it irrationally and saying it is just a big iPod Touch, play around with it to see if it fits your needs.