Have iPad, Will Travel.

OK, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a slave to some trends, especially if they involve electronic gadgetry. I have all the “i” toys. Got the iPhone, the iPod, the iMac and now the iPad. But am I really a slave or nothing more than a smart shopper?

Be honest. How many times have you brought your PC in to be wiped out cuz it got infected with that damn spyware or some other nasty, hard to get rid of virus? I’ve been a PC user for my whole life pretty much. As you can see from my website I’m pretty heavy into the graphics. For the longest time I had people asking me why I didn’t have a Mac as they were known as the top dog as far as computers go when it comes to graphics and design. I suppose the answer to that was that despite the seemingly endless problems I’d run into as a PC user I was familiar with the system and deemed myself to old to start over again on an whole new and unfamiliar platform such as Mac.

I remember that October day like it was yesterday. My wife was on a rampage because her laptop (PC) was on the fritz again for what seemed like the 20th time. It spent a lot of time over the years in the shop and no one was ever able to fix it once and for all. It was fateful timing I guess cuz my desktop computer (PC) had caught a virus around the same time my wife’s decided to stop working. Well, that was the last straw. I ran out about an hour later and picked up a 27 inch iMac. Learning curve be damned, I was fed up dealing with all the pitfalls that plagued our PCs.

Well, without continuing on this tangent I’ll just say that I plugged in the iMac, it came to life right in front of my eyes and found my printer, router and shared folder from my PC immediately. Talk about plug’n play!! My wife and I were thoroughly impressed and have been ever since.

Now I know that Apple is no stranger to hype when it comes to trumpeting about their latest achievements. Some of it cheezy, some of it witty, in my opinion anyway. If there’s one thing that owning their products has taught me, it’s that Apple is synonymous with quality and good customer service. Hell, I was in an Apple store in Buffalo the other day and there were more staff than customers. It took all of 10 seconds to have my needs addressed. So despite the hype of the latest Apple product, the other worldly iPad, I decided, based on my own research, to pick one up for my wife’s birthday.

I had to remind myself on the ride home that it belonged to my wife not me. Of course the alterior motive for purchasing the device was so that I could get a good enough feel for it before purchasing my own later on. I didn’t want to get one right away as I felt it would steal her thunder. The iPad isn’t available in Canada until the end of May so I wanted her to be able to show it off for a while amongst our circle of envious friends and family.

Well, to out it bluntly the iPad is awesome. Of course this is all just my opinion but it’s everything the commercials make it out to be and so much more. This, my friends, is the dawn of a new age. Seriously, I think it is. Yeah, I know there aren’t many PDAs on the market right now to really give a good comparison but from what I’ve read about what’s to come I don’t think Apple has too much to worry about.

The iPad is basically just a big iPhone without the phone. But that’s not a complaint. The screen is huge especially after you’ve been accustomed to surfing the web or playing games on the iPhone. I actually got pretty comfortable watching movies on my iPhone so you can imagine how happy I am now there’s an iPad in the house. Surfing the Internet on the iPad is so much faster and fluid than the iPhone. Plus you don’t have to deal with those limited mobile versions of the websites that you come across on smart phones.

The photo section is visually stunning. Under the “Events” category you have you photos stacked behind little thumbnail pics that explode apart when you widen the space between two fingers (I don’t know the opposite word for “pinch”… De-pinch??). They squeeze back together when you pinch. It’s really cool.

One really great thing about the iPad is that you can upload all of your existing apps from your iPhone. Pretty much all of the ones I have are compatible. They can be used in regular iPhone size or if you look in the bottom corner of the screen on the iPad you’ll find a “2x” which when pushed will blow the app up to the full size of the iPad’s screen. Of course you lose a bit of resolution as most iPhone apps weren’t designed for the iPad. Still it looks decent enough.

Movies on the iPad are spectacular to say the least. That is of course if you have the digital copy from the DVD you bought or downloaded it from iTunes. If you rip one from a DVD be sure when you convert it you do it in the right size. The flicks I loaded into my iPhone that I converted for that size of screen are a bit depixelated but still good enough for my viewing pleasure.

Now a couple of cons. Why the hell can’t I tether my iPhone to the iPad?! I think Steve Jobs got a little greedy with this move just so he can sell other versions of the iPad that come with a data package. You know damn well when all the PDAs come out this summer to compete with the iPad they’ll be able to tether with just about any phone. Bad Steve Jobs, bad!

The tethering (using your cellphone as a modem) was the really big issue for me but something less of an issue but still bugs me a bit is the fact that Apple still won’t allow Flash technology to work on their handheld devices. WTF?? What did the boys at Adobe do or say to Steve Jobs that pissed him off so much? I can only imagine/hope that Flash will one day be found on ALL Apple products.

If tethering and Flash are really important to you then maybe iPad isn’t the PDA for you. But consider this: even without those elements the one thing that drew me to the iPad the most is Apple’s reputation for making a great product. The iPad truly is great. So great in fact that I wrote this blog entry on the one my wife surprised me with two days ago! Thanks baby!