My first days with the iPad have been as Jobs would say “magical”. The main reason I use that word is I know it will cause the haters heads to spin. So let me delight in that mental image for a second.
The iPad as a computer is of course underpowered when compared to my comparably priced 17″ HP laptop. But at it’s core the iPad is NOT really a computer. My buddy called it a giant iPhone which you could make a strong case for given all the similarities. But at it’s core the iPad is NOT a phone either.
What the iPad is is something different. It’s portability and it’s wide selection of free thinking creative applications makes it a unique device – one that serves well as a tool, a source of novelty, and a communication device.
For day-to-day knowledge use, it’s hard if not impossible to beat. Even the on screen keyboard in horizontal mode is very workable.
After a couple of days with it I feel pretty confident that it is destined for the same market penetration as the iPhone and possibly ubiquity. My wife paid $500 for textbooks last semester (can you say “racket”?). With 3 semesters to go, she would have been better off buying an iPad and buying downloadable texts. Unfortunately, that’s not an option yet. Also, when instructors realize they can construct their own books and distribute without finding a publisher – look out. I suspect you will hear by fall of a major university that has adopted iPad as a requirement for all students.
Businesses should flock to them too. Why? Geolocating and bricking. A stolen laptop is a liability, a stolen iPad will tell you where it is and Apple can remotely kill it for a fee. Minimize local storage and you have a major impediment to stealing vast quantities of corporate data.
The software for the iPad is different too. It’s quirky, more fun, and more intuitive. In minutes, I was outlining, mind mapping (Popplets is must have software), crunching numbers, as well as the standard email, calendar and contact management tango. Even made a phone call or two from it.
Look for a repeat of the iPhone phenomena here. Also if you are not considering building product for this digital ecosystem you are probably making a mistake.
I guess the best way to describe this is this. I took my iPad to my buddy Rhigel who is 8 years old to try. He drew on the screen in Sketchbook Pro with his finger. “Whaddya think?”
In a low soft voice he said “It’s awwwwwesome.”
Couldn’t have put it better myself.