Yes, I am one of the people that actually wanted an iPad. Yes, it has a stupid name. And no, it isn’t a laptop replacement.
I had been wanting an e-reader for a while, but was unimpressed with them. My iPhone e-reader apps were great, but I was growing tired of reading such a small screen. The iBook demo immediately appealed to me though. Finally there was an e-reader that worked just like my iPhone and did so much more. So, I reserved one just as soon as I could.

I really don’t know why everyone had to rush out and line up first thing in the morning for these things. That is why we reserved them right? To avoid that sort of thing? Which is why I was in no particular hurry today. I think we got to Crabtree around 11:30 and went directly to Robeks for a treat.

Of course then the Robeks dude, who was alone, said he had to run to the back for more frozen yogurt before he could make our tasty smoothies. “The back” for them really means leaving their kiosk and going all the way across the food court to that little access hall in the corner, and then going who knows how far beyond that. At that point I told Sean I was going to peak around the corner, and get in line if there was one. I figured there was no point in waiting at Robeks just to wait longer at Apple.

I was surprised to see how much space they had roped off for lines; I am not even sure where it ended! And there were two large coffee dispensers from Starbucks on a table outside the door. Glad I had enough sense not to go first thing in the morning. Even 2.5 hours later there was still a short line. Still, I was in the store with iPad in hand before Sean arrived. Apparently since he had two cups the employees manning the door believed him about delivering a drink to his wife and let him pass without standing in line.

It was lucky that Sean showed up when he did. Bank of America decided the purchase was “irregular check card activity” and blocked my card from further purchases. Yay. But that is a different story that subsequently involves calling them and spending a hour on hold before giving up. At least BoA didn’t seem upset at Sean’s card making the purchase though. I wonder how they make decisions on what counts as suspicious activity considering his card goes to the same account. But I digress.

Apple Employee No. 1 rang up everything for me (32GB iPad, dock, case, and Apple Care) while I stared at iPhone cases, then handed us off to Apple Employee No. 2 to activate the iPad. I let him borrow my knife to open the package, we got it activated, the iPad slipped into it’s case, everything bagged up, and we were happily on our way. It wasn’t until we were pulling out of the parking deck that I realized he still had my knife. I just wanted to be home setting up my new toy though, so we didn’t go back until later. At which point I got that iPhone case I had been eyeing!

The case I ordered from Etsy arrived today too. Great timing! I am not that excited about the colors, it looked much better in the seller’s photo. But I do like the design, and it fits over Apple’s case which is nice. Here is the iPad in it’s case, laying on top of the case from Etsy. And a shot with the iPhone on top for size reference.

So what are my early impressions, thoughts, likes, dislikes, etc? Hmm…

  • it is disappointing there are no screen protectors
  • the screen picks up fingerprints way too easily, I have stashed a microfiber cloth in the etsy case’s pocket
  • the screen is very smooth and your fingers glide easily on it; it seems smoother than the iPhone… but I have had an anti-glare screen protector on it so long my impression of that might be skewed
  • love that you can put six icons on the dock, and happy that you can arrange app icons 4×5… but think it could really be 5×5 or even 6×6. Hopefully this will change with a software update.
  • the screen is very reflective, the thing could double as a mirror, so beware of glare
  • apps designed for the iPad are wonderful, a world of difference compared to iPhone; I look forward to seeing more of them pop up in the app store
  • apps designed for iPhone/iPod work but are a bit pixelated, some worse than others; games like Katamari look pretty good, but B&N’s e-reader and other text heavy apps aren’t so great
  • if iBook has a white-on-black text option I haven’t found it, which is disappointing… hopefully they will update it soon, and hopefully whenever B&N finally releases their iPad reader this option will be there (it is for iPhone). Kindle, at least, does offer this option. And considering Kindle also syncs with the iPhone app to save where you left off, I might be using Kindle’s app rather than iBook.
  • it is pleasingly fast, with screen transitions being very smooth… quite happy with it’s performance, it makes my iPhone 3G seem a little slow and clunky
  • will probably be taking the dock back, considering I can’t use it without taking the iPad out of the case
  • immediately wished I had the 3G version, but I can probably learn to live without it; I didn’t realize exactly how much I took that for granted with the iPhone apps
  • the case is nice as a stand and screen cover, but the material picks up dirt easily and will provide little to no protection if dropped
  • That is all I can think of off the top of my head, and this post is much longer than intended. I think I am going to go lounge in bed and read an e-book now ;)