When I met my new boss (blogpost pending) for the second interview in early April, he had a big grin across his face and laid an iPad in front of me. It must have been one of the first devices in Germany, and it was interesting to put my hands on it. Now that prices and availability has been announced I am free to talk a bit more about it.
When I picked it up for the first time I was surprised how light it actually is. Knowing how much technology is inside, knowing the frame is out of solid aluminium, knowing about the huge multitouch glass plate I expected more weight. Since this first experience I handle it several times a day and have to adjust my statement. Holding it in one hand is actually a tiresome experience sine the weight is not negligible. Placing it on my lap however or putting it on the desk is a nice way to work with it.
The pad itself is fast. It is pretty fast. Launching apps is almost instantaneous, and interacting with them have no detectable latency. It is ho working with a computerized device should be: fast, responsive, intuitive. Intuitive is the key here. An application like Google Earth is incredibly intuitive to operate. The large multitouch surface leads to a natural and almost haptic way to deal with software Only in very few cases I have to rely on the online help of apps.
Is it for me? Not really. I prefer the versatility of a laptop – an iPad culd at best be an auxiliary device for me. But for browsing the web or answering emails, for my personal taste the cost is not justifiable. However I can see many, many applications for the iPad. It would be the ideal tool for my father, who does not want to deal with “normal” computers at his time of life, but would probably welcome an intuitive device like this. I can also see many aplications where the ad gets used as mobile data display and data entry device, starting with opinion research and ending at warehouse logistics.
The iPad definitely is a game changer which will redefine what we know about (mobile) computing. While there have been tablet PC’s for quite some years, the iPad the first of its kind to really get to the bottom of an idea and strip all dead wood away.
The photo is for my dear friend Lorna, who lusts after an iPad but is not as fortunate as me to have one available in her job. Sorry, Lorna, I could not resist to tease you 🙂