Hardware 1, Software 0
Editing pictures was actually a limitation imposed by software too. I downloaded Adobe's PhotoShop Express, and while it would allow me to do most of the picture editing work I do when preparing snaps for publication, it wouldn't let me scale them to size.
Perhaps other apps will do this, but deadlines were pressing so I didn't seek one out. Using PhotoShop Express for other tasks worked surprisingly well with fingers rather than mouse.
Make up for missing ports
I took Apple's iPad Dock along as a stand, but a better choice would have been something like the Compass Stand. It folds up small for easy transportation and, more to the point, doesn't prevent you from mounting the iPad in landscape mode.
The upcoming release of iOS 4.2 would have sped up moving between apps, but the big problem here for me was not being able to see two apps' screen simultaneously. Moving out of one context into another and back again is sub-optimal, no matter how quickly you can do it. It's so much better to have the two - or more - contexts side by side. That's not so easy on a small netbook screen, but it's certainly nothing to trouble any notebook user.
Speaking of notebook users, they often questioned the performance the iPad's 1GHz A4 CPU provides, but I found it more than enough to keep the machine and its fancy UI running smoothly.
Battery life was well ahead of the laptop curve. In the past, I've always had to resort to dimming a notebook's screen right down, or even disabling Wi-Fi, to eke out the battery while on assignment. That wasn't ever the case with the iPad.
And had it been, the charger's do darn small, it's way more convenient to carry than any notebook power brick.
Next page: What it can't do
Surpised and impressed..
At the quality of the write-up, rather than the gadget. Genuinely fair and balanced- where there were problems, they were explained coolly, with sufficient context. It actually answers some niggling questions that I had, which I assumed I could only solve by buying one to see. The photo editing is particularly interesting to me, for various reasons- nice to see that you've not only had that problem, but hit the real world "no time to arse around with that" response.
So hats off, Tony. This is dangerously close to journalism. had Cade Metz or Andrew Orlowski delivered this article, it would have just been a partial, whiny exercise in breast beating. Cheers!
Lack of cursor keys
Spot on with that observation; it's amazing how useful cursor keys are and how annoying it is to use the point and magnify facility for typing. Doubly so if you're using a RDP emulator to connect to a server/whatever.
The lack of an an 'apostrophe' where God intended it to be by the return key is also annoying.
But, it has to be said that it's (yet another hit of the return key where the apostrophe should be) a great device for when you are travelling really light. I took mine on holiday just to do lightweight emailing & browsing; terrific for that.
I actually find typing - with the exception of the aforesaid apostrophe - really quite a good experience.
I reckon we need a keyboard application so we can customise the layouts or have special keyboards with four rows for editing.
Will be so much better with the forthcoming OS upgrade.
From where I'm standing, I am happy to give the tablet form a try, but:
1. Lack of proper and full usb host support, including for pen drives, 3g dongles, gps receivers, and any other adapters is an absolute deal breaker. I know some of this is already integrated - but I also need sometimes to test devices - I absolutely need this.
2. I didn't spot anything about printing support. Does the iPad support USB printing? If it doesn't - again, although I do less printing nowadays, I can't imagine working on a device/machine without straight forward access to printing.
3. Battery life - some netbooks (from Acer, Samsung and HP, or even MSI with 9 cell battery) already claim battery life in the region of 10-13 hours - so it seems close enough to me to not make much of a difference.
4. Operating system - at least for what I do - I need something that runs Linux. OpenVPN, Asterisk, ssh, ffmpeg, Navit, Thunderbird, OpenOffice. All the tools I know, love and use daily run on Linux. Some of them would run on OSX as well - but I believe far fewer will ever run on the iPad. I am not making a statement regarding the quality of OSX (or whatever the iPad is running) - merely stating the fact that Linux is a necessary environment for my work.
Yeah, so a Linux tablet, with full usb support, long battery life and decently low weight might just be an interesting option.
Do you even have an iPad?
1. In the last two weeks of using an iPad I've not noticed any heat from it.
2. "Apple not practical for day to day?" What are you on? We all want some! Magsafe on the MacBook power connectors, decent battery life on their laptops, Apple keyboards have been a joy to use since the 80s (remember the Extended ADB anyone?), and doesn't Apple hold the patent for touchpads on laptops?
Seriously, get real.
3. "cut and paste"??? Apple were doing cut and paste whilst PC users were staring at black DOS screens ffs.
What about price?
An interesting review - One thing I didn't see was the mention of price.
What's the cost of the iPad + accessories compared to the cost of your netbook/notebook?