iPad review – two months on


It’s been over months now since i treated myself to the new iPad. Now is perhaps the best time to review it, when the novelty factor has worn off…

What i use it for…

Typically, the iPad will stay in one of two places… under my pillow or in a bag when i’m on the move. It depends where i am and what i’m doing. I use the iPad every night without fail in bed… people always say you shouldn’t watch TV / stare at monitors etc… right before you go to sleep but i’ve never had any problems sleeping. If i’m not tired, i’ll just continue browsing or working until i am tired. It’s that simple. The iPad is perfect when in bed… big enough that you can do some typing and proper browsing, small and compact enough so that you don’t have to expel any energy putting it away and shutting it down like you would a laptop. Like i said, it stays under a pillow most nights.

I get about a week’s worth of use out of it on a full charge so that suggests i use it for about 90 minutes per day, which is about right. I’d *never* use a laptop for that length of time in bed – it’s just too awkward to sit / lie / type with. First world problems, eh?

When i’m going away, whether it be to meetings or just on leisure breaks, it also comes with me. It’s so light and thin that i don’t even notice it in a bag. I’ll take notes, set reminders, send emails and use social apps. The odd time, i’ll be stuck in a place with no wifi but that’s where the iPhone comes in handy. It can be used as a hotspot so connect the iPad to iPhone and voila… ‘free’ wi-fi access. That’s why i bought the wi-fi only version – it didn’t make sense to get a 4G version for extra €€€.

What i don’t use it for…

The most useless feature for me on the iPad is the camera. I have an iPhone… i use it to take pictures & videos relatively covertly. Why anyone would want to use the iPad to take photos or videos is beyond me. I can see why it might be handy for facetime / skype but again an iPhone will over-rule the iPad. Chances are when you get a call, your iPad won’t be within easy reach and readily available… your phone will. The *only* time i’ve ever taken any photos or videos on the iPad is when i was testing it out. I don’t think it even registers with me that there’s a camera on it. It’s just not a natural experience to use it on the iPad…

I also don’t use the iPad for word processing. I bought the ‘pages’ app which is basically MS word for the iPad but don’t think i’ve ever used it. For me the iPad is still a stop gap solution to a desktop or laptop where the ‘serious’ work gets done. The iPad is a note catcher… a thing that you scribble stuff down on quickly but sort out later when you get home or to a desktop / laptop.

Would i buy it again?

If my iPad went missing i think i would undoubtedly miss it. Not as much as i’d miss my iPhone but it would be a really frustrating experience having to use my iPhone to do everything that i used to do on the iPad. Sending emails & browsing the web is a much better experience on a bigger screen. Most apps are also much easier to use and more useful on the iPad… (Twitter, Facebook & Flipboard off the top of my head).

It’s a lot of cash to part with for an iPad but if you can’t afford an ultrabook and don’t necessarily *need* an ultrabook but need something portable, then the iPad is a smart buy, even though it is pricey. There isn’t really any better tablet out there and a laptop in the same price bracket is gonna be much bulkier and awkward to use if it’s portability & battery life you’re after.

If you can put up with a non-retina display, the iPad 2 will save you some cash. I’ve known nothing other than the iPad (3rd gen) so i can’t compare the two side by side but from what i’ve seen briefly and read extensively, there’s not a whole pile of difference to the untrained eye once you overlook the marketing spin on the retina display.