I spent some time over the weekend using my neighbor’s iPad. He had bought and loaded it up with some cool apps. I had a chance to check it out with all of the main apps.
First off, the iPad is amazingly fast and responsive. The recent teardowns show that the iPad’s memory is directly on the processor. I tried to induce some scrolling lag in Safari, but couldn’t. The iPad was able to keep up with some significant load.
The iPad’s touch accuracy is nice. I generally have a problem with the on screen keyboards choosing the wrong key. I didn’t have this problem with the iPad. This could have been due to iPad’s larger keyboard.
It does have its downsides. If you go to Amazon’s front page, they are gradually updating it with “the Kindle can do this” kind of jabs. As of yesterday, it said something like “can be used in direct sunlight and only weighs 12 ounces”. In my opinion, the direct sunlight and weight are two big strikes against the iPad. The third strike is the lack of multi-tasking.
If you are used to using a Kindle or E-Ink based hardware, you will notice the iPad feels significantly heavier. I have read some books on the Kindle and it doesn’t feel heavier after a while. The iPad definitely does. I am not sure if I could read an entire book with the iPad. In spite of the weight, the color screen definitely helps. I looked through the Marvel comic books app. The comics looked clear and crisp with good color. This is a definite edge over E-Ink based hardware.
Apple is supposedly going to announce a multi-tasking iPhone OS. I haven’t read if this update if for the iPad too. If you are really going to use the iPad, you need several applications running. At a minimum, I need a chat program and one application. If single-tasking we acceptable, we would all be running single-tasking operating systems like MS-DOS 5.0.
Is the iPad the next big thing? Not yet. It is a good start, but I am going to wait for the 2nd generation for Apple to improve things. I think it will be similar to the leap between the iPhone’s 1st generation and 2nd generation. They had the time to go back and fix what was missing in the 1st generation.