We waited, breathlessly, for our new iPad to be delivered. The iPad was a gift for my wife who is retiring from her public school teaching career this year. Our daughter has an iPad, and my wife really loves to play with it.
Around six o’clock on March 16, a big, brown truck pulled up in front of the house. Our iPad had arrived. Strangely, the delivery man was not our regular guy. Did UPS reorganize their fleet to handle the millions of iPad’s they would have to deliver on March 16?
When I opened the box, I had the same feeling I get every time I pick up an iPad.
I have been an iPhone user for about four years, and the iPad screen is EXACTLY like the iPhone screen, only bigger. However, the iPad doesn’t have a cell phone built-in. The iPad doesn’t have a keyboard, either. So, why should anybody spend upwards of a thousand dollars to buy a computer that is missing essential components?
Oh, wait. There is a wireless keyboard for the iPad that costs $69.00. Plus, you can get a dock for the iPad for #$29.00 to keep the iPad upright while banging away on the keyboard. Hmmm… That’s OK. It is beautiful thing that you don’t have to use a mouse. The touchscreen is wonderful for navigation.
Including the 4G cellular coverage feature, the new iPad weighs in at 1.46 pounds (662 g). Nice! It is about half the weight of one of those ultra-light laptop computers.
When using the iPad to read my books, it is OK. In our house we have two Amazon Kindle’s, one of which is the new Kindle Fire. The Fire has a 7 inch diagonal screen as compared to the iPad’s more than 10 inches. However, the Kindle Fire does as good a job as the iPad when it comes to reading a book. It costs less than half as much, and weighs about half as much as the iPad.
When working means using a computer, I would rather have a regular PC with my 24 inch screen and full-sized keyboard. For reading books, I prefer the Amazon Kindle format. For entertainment, the iPad takes the prize for streaming video, playing games, and just plain leisure surfing.
There is more to come in the computer world. Much maligned Microsoft has improved their operating systems greatly since the VISTA disaster. Indeed, Microsoft 7 is a real winner, and has done lots to repair a damaged Microsoft reputation.
Windows 8 will be a game changer in the computing world. Operating systems are evolving into more usable interfaces between people and machines. Windows 8 makes use of touch screen technology, and extends the use of mouse and stylus interfaces. Laptops and desktops will be particularly blessed, and Windows 8 will drive the market for traditional computers for a long time.
Look for some really decent laptops competing feature for feature with the Apple Macbook Air, and tablet computers running Windows 8. The new Microsoft system is more powerful than IOS5 which Apple uses for iPhones and iPads. Microsoft is not dead.
This gives us three viable systems for tablet computers and smart phones. The Google Android system is fantastic, and Apple has done a credible job with IOS5. Windows 8 will drive prices down, and feature content up.
We live in exciting times.
If you decide to get an iPad, you are not making a mistake. You will get a useful, high quality piece of hardware and software. If you cannot afford an iPad, there are plenty other devices out there, and in the future the device world just gets richer.