A word of warning, this review is strictly based my lifestyle. I’m a PC User and this is my first jump into the Mac world.I’ve found myself in alot more meetings lately so i’ve been looking for a tool to make me more efficient, ironically I am also due for a laptop upgrade. So it’s a great time to get this figured out!
I currently run a laptop with a dock allowing me to run 3 monitors, so I had the notion to replace my laptop and just get a desktop, and keep my current laptop for when I need it, and just have my ipad and my desktop for the most part.
Initially the ipad seems like such a great device, it’s not perfect, and it’s not the fastest at everything. But so what? It has to have a purpose Apple is telling millions of them!
So I began to setup my ipad to have the basics, email, some documents, dropbox etc. I didn’t buy the 3g model, because i’m on wifi for the most part and I have a Blackberry Torch, I should be able to tether it?
This is where my first problem comes in. You can’t tether by default, so you must spend the money to get a 3g ipad and another $25 with sasktel per month to have a dedicated 3g account. This irritates me! I did find out what others are doing. You can Jailbreak the ipad and run a few 3rd party apps to let you tether over bluetooth, however the speed reports are not that great. So having said that, either you pony up for the 3g or you settle for a slower connection and a complicated setup.
My next problem was with my emails. We utilize a exchange server in our office and one important function to keeping myself relatively organized is inbox rules. The server will sort the messages into sub folders automatically. Outlook and my Blackberry will display they messages and notify me of new messages, however the ipads email application will only display messages that come into the inbox. I will not highlight the sub folders to let you know there is an email. Essentially it doesn’t even know itself until it checks that subfolder.
Another problem I had was with Flash support. Again you *can* fix this by jail breaking the ipad but come on. I’m not in jail, it’s basic functionality!
A common complaint has also been the lack of camera’s on the ipad. I can agree with this, it would make it alot easier to adopt the ipad. In this case for some daily things I do, i’d still have to take out my blackberry.
I also had problems playing windows media files, I never got to far into this, but i’m sure it can be done with either an app or via the jailbreak.
One of my original goals was to have the ipad for meetings so I really worked on getting some apps for taking notes etc.
I found a few decent apps, but one task I was looking for was the conversion of hand writing to text, which is something I can do on a windows 7 tablet with office 2007.
There are some cool functions I did find, such as the ability to record and entire meeting on the ipad and have it match up with when you wrote your notes. Kinda handy? I think?
Some other things that impressed me about the ipad was the fact that ox 4.2 has a cisco vpn client built in. While my opinion is leaning more towards the ipad is still young and getting better, this definitely shows that improvements are coming.
A complaint about blackberries app world i’ve heard alot of is the prices of apps. I was a little surprised to find that the prices for apps on the ipad aren’t much different. In fact to get the facebook app on the ipad, I had to pay for it!
I found the ipad more useful as a toy, for lack of a better word. It’s incredible with handling all our pictures of our new baby, playing simon says and believe it or not it works really good as an electronic whoopi cusion.
At the end of the day, i’ve found the ipad to be a great potential tool, but you as the user must work to create this tool. There are many apps to find and try, apple really likes to think of this as a great thing, however i’ve found it to be more of a nuisance, I never really did find a good app to suit my needs, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist!
The Ipad 2.0 and Blackberry Playbook are both just around the corner, and while the current ipad may not suit everyone’s needs, i’m confident the future will hold some really great!