iPad: the anti-Apple fanboy admits defeat

It’s all over for me. I tried for almost 48 hours not to buy an iPad but then persuaded myself that as I’d saved over £500 paying builders in cash and beating down sofa salesmen the least I could do is drive 18 miles to the nearest Apple store and buy one.

I spent the months since the US release carefully thinking about how I could use an iPad. The argument revolves around whether it is a content consumption or content creation device. It is unquestionably a content consumption device and a stunning one at that. Steve Jobs saw it fitting between a smartphone and a laptop. It in no way replaces a laptop as the on-screen keyboard is about a intuitive as an ATM machine and about as fast. But this doesn’t matter if you confine yourself to short emails and Facebook updates. In fact, I’m writing this on my PC as it’s so much quicker.

So if you see the iPad as a content consumption device how does it perform and which one should you get; WiFi or 3G. My iPad lives in the sitting room as a casual, pickup-and-play web browser, reader and games machine. In this case it is absolutely, staggeringly brilliant. Reading the Sunday Times is a joy, the web (without Flash) is quick as sin and email is a pleasure compared to the iPhone. For me the WiFi vs 3G decision was easy. I opted for 32gb WiFi as I don’t intend to take it outside or at least only to hotels that I know have WiFi.

The one thing I would add is that if you get one you must get a case with a stand. And I mean really, really, really must get one. The iPad isn’t comfortable to hold, it is awkward and quite heavy but I shelled out an obscene £44.95 on an Incase iPad jacket and am really glad I did. It allows you to angle the iPad and you can even type on it. It only works landscape but that’s no problem. So while cooking I prop it up and watch a video podcast while tinkering at the stove.

In conclusion, it is a staggering web browser and video viewer and a hopeless laptop replacement. So sell a kidney and buy one.

UPDATE: A month in and the story doesn’t change. A useless, really, really useless laptop replacement (ok I’m using it now) but a fantastic content device.

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