I checked out the iPad at the Apple store for 15 minutes and was not impressed. Was it really more than a giant iPhone?
Then my birthday came along and my business partner bought me one. I’ve been using it or a good month now and have found it indispensable. The iPad is a multiple use device that kills a bunch of birds with one stone.
Who cares about a tablet PC when the iPad can control all of your desktops?
Over the past several years I have gone through a handful of mobile computing devices. There was the Fujitsu U810 which looked so unique I had to get one (screen and keyboard too small to use more than 15 minutes.) Later on I got the Macbook Air with an SSD which was thoroughly usable but went in the closet when I downsized from a 15 pound Alienware to a more modest Asus laptop.
What I think most people are missing about the iPad is its ability to remotely connect to just about any internet connected PC or Mac. Leave your laptop or desktop running 24/7 and remote to it in an instant to pull up a file or check something else out.
You can use LogMeIn Ignition ($30 one time app fee) or any of the numerous apps that use your desktop OS’s native remote connection feature. Try iTap RDP remotely connected to a Windows machine running at 1024×768 resolution (the iPad’s native res) and it will look like you have a PC in your hands.
My 3G iPad’s remoting capabilities have boosted my mobility even more than the almost instant-on Macbook Air SSD. Now I really have an always on internet device (other than on flights I never turn it off.)
The iPad’s ebook capabilities seem adequate to me. I’m about 500 pages in to a 1000 page book. Because Amazon has a Kindle app for the iPad I didn’t have to repurchase any books.
My expectation is that by gen 3 the iPad is going to be a must have device. Competition should start to show up from Google Chrome/Android making things real interesting.
Don’t bother waiting for a Windows tablet unless you are waiting to be disappointed.
So is the iPad most than a giant iPhone? Not really. What it does have is a bigger screen that won’t make you go blind. If you don’t have a iPhone or iPod, especially if you’ve never had one, the iPad is a must. Just make sure you can budget a few hundred more $ for the apps in order to fully push its potential.
As for web business owners, never before have you been so close to being able to lay out on a beach and do business (Apple just needs to make a bright sun friendly screen.)