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Apple iPad Review And A Big Thank You

On Saturday I did something I didn’t even know I wanted to do. I bought an Apple iPad. Before I get into the review proper, I will preface by saying I’ve never been so happy after buying something. It is easily one of the nicest things I’ve ever had my hands on, and remember, I’m married to a seriously fine lady.

Sales of The Knot were, thanks to you, high enough that suddenly I was sitting on some extra money. I have an ancient laptop, I spend a lot of time online between my work here on World’s Strongest Librarian and Walk The Road Less Traveled, and, we’ve all been there…I was in the mood to buy something. I also learned, at work, that the ipad doesn’t cost nearly as much as I had thought.

So after getting off work I headed down to the Apple store and stood in line. 15 minutes later I was getting back into my truck with the greatest thing I’d ever purchased. There are many, many more things that I could add to the review below, but there is still a lot left to discover. So I’ll talk about the things I loved immediately.

Apple iPad – Pros

Ipad display

The display is absolutely gorgeous. It’s really fun to interact with, and I won’t lie–I’m more interested in the fun I can have with this thing than its practical applications.


I quickly downloaded the ibooks application. About two minutes after that I had a $5.99 copy of Dune Messiah (the second of the Dune books)and was reading it in the most comfortable format I’d ever seen.  Remember, I say this as a librarian, a book person, and as someone who never thought an electronic book could appeal to them.

I was wrong. I was so, so, sooooooooo wrong. I never thought I could be convinced. I am convinced and then some.

Videos on the ipad

Stunning. As I played round with the youtube feature, I checked out a video clip of myself pressing an upside down kettlebell. Other than seeing myself on the screen, it looks extremely sharp, my questionable camera skills notwithstanding. I spent some time watching other videos. Awesome.

I also downloaded the free Netflix application, which lets you immediately download movies into the iPad. haven’t tried it yet, but will be doing so very soon, as I’ve got a plane ride coming up.

Typing on the ipad

This is going to take some getting used to for me, but the interface is very sharp. I just have gigantic hands. I also have sent fewer than 10 text messages in my life, so this is new for me. I still have a desktop, and that will probably receive the bulk of my “work” correspondence online, although I do see that there is an iPad keyboard that I could get.

Music on the iPad

I put a bunch of songs on there from iTunes and they all work, no problems at all. I’ll be playing around with this much more.

Bad things about the iPad

Nope, other than the fact that it isn’t two iPads. I’ve never been happier with a purchase. My main concern is that I’ll spend so much time gazing into it that I’ll go blind. Or that I will drop it into the toilet on accident.

I’m not a natural product reviewer, that’s for sure. At least not for technical stuff. That’s why I usually stick to books and fitness products. But the iPad is going to have a massive impact on me and the way I interact on the web. It is also so fun to use that I can barely stand it.

Anybody else get one? Thoughts?

And if you’re looking for some real reviews by people who know this stuff, I’m a big fan of the TestFreaks website. Following that link will take you to their iPad page.


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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • We Fly Spitfires April 5, 2010, 3:16 am

    I’m becoming more curious about the iPad, especially for using to read books (I’ve always fancied a Kindle but never bought one due to the limited publications available in the UK). Does the iPad give you any eye strain or is just very comfortably and unnoticeable?

    Also, how’s the battery life on it?

    • Josh Hanagarne April 5, 2010, 11:11 am

      Gordon, so far the battery life is fine for me, but I’m never going to be the person who is actually going to use it for hours at a stretch. So far, no eye strain while reading, which is very encouraging. Unnoticeable so far. I’ve got nothing against e-books other than the fact that I hardly ever buy books anymore.

  • Greg April 5, 2010, 4:13 am

    Although I enjoy new technology, I’ll probably wait before getting an iPad, although I can certainly see the appeal. Being that I travel a fair bit for my job, it would certainly be easier than lugging around my 1000-page copy of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time novels.

    Now for the real question though –*grin* when will “The Knot” be available in iPad format? Reading my copy now and enjoying it immensely.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 5, 2010, 11:09 am

      Greg, if you can wait, it’s probably a sign that you should wait:) Glad to hear you’re enjoying the book!

  • Heather April 5, 2010, 6:53 am

    Congratulations on the new work-toy! Glad I could help monetarily with this with my measly little purchase of your way awesome book! Good luck with the texting thing. I don’t text either. . . .my thumbs just don’t work that way. . . .

  • Hilary April 5, 2010, 7:35 am

    Fantastic Josh .. it had a very good review in the Saturday Times over here .. and the battery lasted all day, I gather, permanently on the net ..

    Glad you can get to see what it’s like .. I would love one .. but another day .. thanks for the review!! Have a great week – seeing what it can do ..

  • Megan Horton April 5, 2010, 8:38 am

    wow that’s cool! Bring it to Denver next week when you come. I want to gaze upon it’s glory…

    • Josh Hanagarne April 5, 2010, 11:08 am

      You may gaze, but you dasn’t touch it with your cheetoh and bacon fingers!

  • Srinivas Rao April 5, 2010, 8:52 am

    Cool stuff. I was under the impression that it would be like a giant iphone. It’s cool that the book reading functionality of it is so good. I think reading books electronically and creating a good user experience is something that we’ve struggled with for years, so it’s cool to see that the ipad actually overcomes that challenge.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 5, 2010, 11:08 am

      Srinivas, I still think most people will say it is just like a giant iPhone. Having never had an iPhone, I couldn’t say.

  • Kim April 5, 2010, 9:30 am

    I was a fence-sitter when they announced the iPad. Much like my iPod and my iPhone, I could not convince myself that I wanted one. While we were out and about on Saturday, we checked them out. I liked the sleek look of it, and my husband being the nerd that he is, liked everything else. Not expecting the sales associate to say “Yes, as a matter of fact we do!” my husband asked if they had any in stock; a few minutes later, he was a proud owner.

    He debated on waiting for the 3G version to come out, but with an iPhone he didn’t feel it was something he needed. His one minor beef is that the keyboard is missing the colon/semi-colon key from home-row, so your pinky rests on the Enter key…aside from that, he is a happy camper.

    From what I’ve seen on it, I love the display and the clarity of the photos. The battery life is pretty decent, I think – most of Sunday was spent with it being passed around to various family members, playing games and watching videos, and by the time we left it was at 14%. I have relatively short, stubby thumbs, so playing games and such is a bit tricky (Rock Band especially). The iBook app is great – despite my unwillingness to like eBooks in general (nothing better than the smell of a book!) – I might actually spend more time reading…that is, if I can pry it out of my husband’s hands…

    • Josh Hanagarne April 5, 2010, 11:07 am

      Yeah, I wouldn’t be trying Rock Band on this, but mainly because I feel like I’m cheating on my actual guitars when I play a video game guitar:)

  • Randy Hauer April 5, 2010, 10:58 am

    Which configuration did you get? I’m wondering if the 16gig wi fi is enough to start with or does it need to be at least 16gig with wifi +3G?

    • Josh Hanagarne April 5, 2010, 11:06 am

      Randy, I got the smallest version and I don’t think I’ll ever get 3G. It’s going to be enough for me, but most people may not feel that way.

  • Melinda April 5, 2010, 11:43 am

    Wow, thanks foar the reveiw, Josh. My friends and I have been wondering what the big deal was about but it sounds like it *is* a big deal!

    • Josh Hanagarne April 5, 2010, 11:52 am

      Melinda, that remains to be seen, but it’s a big enough deal for me:)

  • Moira April 5, 2010, 1:47 pm

    Lucky you Josh I didn’t want to read this cause I’ve been told I have to wait. I just don’t know what I’m waiting for. It’s not like I don’t appreciate stuff – hell I’m still riding my Zappy scooter.

  • Bill Long April 5, 2010, 4:26 pm

    Josh glad you like it I’m in search for a new pc and have been looking. I’m still debating on the upas as I do have an iPhone and use it for most everything. I will probably wait until the full verdict is out but who knows! Enjoy!

  • Larissa April 5, 2010, 5:56 pm

    That’s awesome. . though I’m a little sad to hear that you do like reading a digital book. 🙂 I’m sure I’ll give in one of these days too. . .
    Here’s a funny video that one of my friends just posted on FB. . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAl28d6tbko

    sadness 😉

  • Daisy April 5, 2010, 6:22 pm

    I’m more PC than Mac, but the iPad does intrigue me. Daughter loves her iPod touch, and I could see getting the iPad… stop me before I talk myself into it!

  • Deon K April 5, 2010, 6:25 pm

    Glad your putting it to better use than this guy. http://bit.ly/ahX703

    Hopefully I’ll have my hands on one soon.

  • Dave Doolin April 5, 2010, 8:36 pm

    I’m seriously considering sacrificing a big hunk of my current traffic to carve out enough time to write code for this wee beastie.

    It will be a hit. Going from posting every day to maybe 3 times a week.

    Haven’t decided yet.

  • Joel Friedlander April 21, 2010, 11:35 pm

    Josh, very interesting review. You don’t have to be a tech reviewer to communicate just how impressed you are with the iPad. It’s quite a machine, many years in the making.

    Every single person I’ve talked to recently who’s bought a Kindle or an iPad has said about the same thing: didn’t know how great it was, thought they loved the “book experience” more until they started getting into eBooks. It’s obvious this is the direction the book industry is going.

    It will be fascinating to watch how the business makes this transition. Congratulations. Don’t drop it in the toilet.