The iPad after a week

by Russ Roberts on October 19, 2010

in Technology

I’ve had the iPad for a week. That week included a two-day trip to California where I left my laptop at home and relied on the iPad only.

I still love the device. Some new pluses and minuses after travelling with it:

Minuses: It’s really hard to blog with it. That’s the biggest drawback. Writing long pieces that aren’t blog posts can be done but it’s frustrating because there aren’t any up/down/side arrows in the virtual keyboard. So if you miss your selection point with your finger you have to go back and do it again. At the airport, the iPad struggled to get on line because the signal just wasn’t very strong. So I could check my email but surfing and downloading was very slow. Don’t remember that being a problem with my laptop.

Pluses: I didn’t take my backpack loaded with my laptop. Very liberating. I didn’t take the extra battery to make sure I’d be OK on a 5.5 hour plane flight. On the plane, I read articles and web pages I’d set aside for the trip. I studied the Talmud. I played Scrabble against the machine. I read Esquire magazine, something I hadn’t done in maybe 30 years. But I wanted to see what they had done with audio and video. Gorgeous stuff and much amusement. (The fashion advice was pretty much wasted on me, alas.) I used Corkulus, a beautiful little app that lets you create noted for yourself to get my to-dos and other info in order. I watched a movie I’d downloaded before I left. I listened to my music. I played a slideshow of my photos set to music and thought about my wife and kids and the mystery of life. I wrote a short essay. I created a flyer for an event I’m organizing.

I never got close to losing power. My guess is that if you don’t have the wifi on, you can get a lot more than 10 hours even with music playing and video watching.

Probably the coolest thing I did was to use the screen of my iPad to display my boarding pass. When I checked in for my United flight, it sent my boarding pass to my iPad via email. I took a screenshot which put it into my photos. So I didn’t have to get to the hotel business center and print my boarding pass.

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