I have the 3rd generation iPad. There is a newer one whose processor is twice as fast but mine will not be a year old until March and it works more than just fine. It has the killer feature, the retina display, and apps that work with the cloud along with many games. It is more computer than most need and the perfect extension for those who require a more powerful desktop. I will describe a typical day with my iPad.
It is 7:00 AM as I begin writing this. It is dark outside and my sleeping wife next to me in bed would be woken by the light of any device at its dimmest level. So I begin this blog like a little boy under the covers reading a comic book with a flashlight. I am sneaking and it is fun. A laptop no matter how small would not work under the covers like this but the tablet is perfect — angle and logistics. Better too than a laptop is this typing on the screen while laying on the couch.
The text on the screen is as sharp or sharper than the text printed on a glossy magazine page; perfection, unreal until you get used to it. My 55-year-old eyes need this clarity and need it more than a young person might. Not only do I appreciate finer things but consider aging eyes; if one’s vision is imperfect, would not having an image of perfect clarity be all the more important to start with? Blurring an already blurred or grainy image simply makes a bad situation worse. So the spectacular clarity of image only currently found on the iPad should sell this device by itself, and sell it does! Just don’t buy it on TV from a shopping channel because they throw in a few crappy accessories and nearly double the price. No QVC, BAD!!!
It is now 7:30 AM and I want coffee. Time to sneak out of bed and take this article with me. I set the iPad down on the kitchen counter and note that now a laptop would be better for typing. I have a bluetooth keyboard cover/stand that would make this tablet just like a laptop but why bother for this brief moment? I am now saving to the cloud and will continue by opening this document and continuing on my desktop computer.
The cloud is a lovely thing. I do recommend that you have programs and files that are usable across all your devices so that everything travels with you no matter which device you have on hand. Better to continue this article slowly tapping on my iPhone than not being able to do it at all if the mood strikes. Word processing and my calendar are the two most important things I need to work across all my devices. Others will want certain games or spreadsheets or other things to be interchangeable and mobile. Not only the iPad offers such inter-device mobility, it merely does them best, most elegantly with the only truly spectacular screen available. Others will catch up but currently Apple has no real competitor in quality of experience with desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, and music player. They have become the world’s most valuable company for a reason. Best is best.
Each day my wife and I peruse the free USA Today news app to catch up on current events. We also lay on our respective couches and do the crossword puzzle from that same app, calling out for help as needed. There is a free web aggregator called “Zite” which collects a wonderful array of articles on the topics you specify, a sort of custom-made newspaper. There are many apps that do this but Zite suits me best.
I am now editing this on my Mac Pro using an app called “iA Writer”. I also have it on my iPad and iPhone. It is one of those simple no-nonsense text editors that provides an empty screen and minimal controls so you are distraction free. There are others, I just prefer this one.
Throughout the rest of the day the iPad is for games and reading books and very wonderfully for surfing the web. The iPad has gotten my wife and myself together through much of the day where we used to be off in our own rooms with our own desktop computers. We don’t share devices, but these allow us to be both “plugged in” and together like never before.
For travel I load up my iPad with TV shows and movies and books in case there are blank times without good online access. It is good for playing music as well. Indeed, content consumption including internet access is the iPad’s tour de force but content creation, as I have mentioned already, is better than on a laptop unless one is sitting up or at a table and then there are keyboard cover/stands that correct the form factor.
I end my day reading comic books or regular books on my iPad. If my wife goes to sleep too soon, and she needs complete dark, then I finish my reading as I began this blog, secretly reading under the covers.
I do have what is arguably the most powerful desktop computer available at any price, a Mac Pro with dual multicore processors, maxed out ram, and four internal multi-terabyte drives. I also have dual monitors, one of them a top of the line 30-incher. Even while at home, I have come to use my iPad 75% of the time, mostly using the desktop for power user activities like producing multitrack music and converting video. Without those two power-user tasks I would not need the desktop computer at all and could get by nicely with only the iPad, which is all the vast majority of people could not only get by with but would come to prefer if only given the chance.