First Impressions – The iPad Seriously Rocks

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Although the kids have already monopolized CoM’s brand new iPad, here are some initial impressions. My colleague Jose Gutierrez also chipped in.

* It’s seriously WOW. A huge grin broke on my face the first time I swiped the lock screen. It’s so much better than just a big iPod touch. The size of the screen makes it a very different experience. I can already tell, using a mouse and keyboard is going to get old fast.
* It’s got great heft and feel. It feels tough and substantial, but the 1.5 lbs weight is going to take some getting used to. In fact, it’s heavy. Definitely need an armrest. Next model will likely be plastic backed. The glass screen makes it top heavy, especially when typing it portrait mode.
* At first I thought the screen was scratched — but there are shooting time lapse images of stars on the Home screen wallpaper. Hard to believe Steve Jobs didn’t spot this.
* The screen is bright and very sharp. HD video looks astonishing.
* It picks up greasy fingerprints super fast — in spite of the oleophobic coating.
* Out of the box it won’t turn on until you set it up through iTunes.
* Set up is super simple. Connect to iTunes (you need version 9.1) and there’s two choices: start from scratch or back up from iPhone.
* The UI is very fast. Apps launch instantly.
* Being able to put six apps in the dock is awesome. Many features like this and the custom wallpaper need to make it to the iPhone. Bookmarks bar in Safari is very nice.
* Keyboard needs work. Very difficult to type in portrait mode. In landscape, the keyboard dominates the screen. Might be a deal breaker for some.
* iPhone apps look horrible, especially Facebook.
* Some apps have bugs, due to lack of hardware availability to developers. Simulators can only do so much. Expect firmware upgrade soon as well as many app updates.
* The iPad’s speaker is pretty loud and perfectly adequate for watching TV or movies, even with background noise.

Overall a good product but will become an awesome product when people’s favorite apps are optimized for the iPad. A firmware update is needed to work out some bugs. Perfect for relaxing at home or on a plane. Not ready for the working world. iWork just not quite good enough due to file management constraints.

Please chip in your impressions in the comments. What do you guys think?

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