A Non-Techie Reviews the iPad

Belen's preferred iPad setup

Belen's preferred iPad setup
The iPad will never replace my desktop, but it has already replaced my laptop after just two days.

I love, love, love it!

@JesseLuna said it best: “If HBO was your ‘home box office’, then the iPad is your ‘mobile box office’.”

It’s also a dream for reading, blogging, and managing social media networks on a realistically readable device. (I love my iPhone, but the small screen has its limitations.) I know I will be using my iPad for most of what I do as a non-techie user. I also know I will still need to go to my desktop for large professional projects and probably most photo editing. (More on photos later.)

My setup consists of the iPad, the Apple cover, the Apple Bluetooth keyboard, a stand, and a lap desk. (And sometimes earbuds.) This is perfect for sitting in an armchair. Of course, if I were at a desk or table, I would not need the lap desk. Also, when lounging in bed the stand is too precarious, so I just lay the iPad flat on the lap desk. The Apple cover is made of a grippy rubber material that doesn’t slide around at all, which is awesome.

Being a creature of habit, the first things I tried on my new iPad were all the things I already used on my laptop and/or iPhone: Safari, Gmail, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Netflix, Scrabble, Momento, iTunes, Wikipanion, and Notes.

Overall, these all worked as well or better than the on the laptop/iPhone. There are a few tiny glitches, where features don’t work the way I expect, but all of them are software issues, which I’m sure will be addressed by the developers.

Aha! moments:

– streaming Netflix in bed (with earbuds) while my husband sleeps

– stocking my iBooks shelves with free texts thanks to Project Gutenberg

– writing this blog post in Pages which I will later email to @JesseLuna

All of these tasks could be done with some other gadget or device, but before now I would have used a separate gadget or device for each activity.

New stuff I love on the iPad: Pages, iBooks ereader, Marvel comics viewer, Toy Story read-along, NPR, USA Today, and ABC viewer. Gorgeous picture quality, leagues better than my (10-year-old) PowerBook. Super-fast over WiFi. Screen size is perfect for personal viewing. So many options – both media and content!

Stuff I haven’t done, yet, because it isn’t supported: Hulu.

Stuff I haven’t done because I haven’t bought the right app(s): games.

A final note on photos: there is a camera connecter accessory, but I didn’t buy it. I simply took photos with my iPhone, emailed them to Flickr. On the iPad I opened the Flickr app, selected my image and saved it to my Photos, then accessed it from there. That works fine for me.