Here's my thoughts in no particular order:
- I believe the battery probably can last 10 hours.
- The wifi-only one is a PITA, unless you have something like a Mifi, assuming you take the thing out and about. If its only sofa-surfing, it might be good enough.
- The screen is very bright, and collects smudgy fingerprints like a fat kid eats cake. If you have an aversion to smudgy fingerprints, this'll drive you nuts. Else just keep a glasses-cleaning cloth handy.
- The screen is very bright, but not actually bright enough to use in bright sunlight. Its very reflective and this might bug the crap out of you. I'd love to see a slightly matte screen, but I'm guessing that'll collect smudges like a weightwatchers club collects chocolate.
- Its fast. No really. Its fast enough to zip through photo collections, switch off and re-open apps.
- All my iPhone apps - well aside from the ones that required a phone or a camera obviously - worked fine. Things like Mini-Squadron was awesome. Cant wait for an iPad version of that. The thumbwheel/joypad interface works really well.
- Reading books - via the iPDF, the Apple iBook, or the Kindle iPad application - is very nice. I've not read an entire book - this weeks task is to get my 20gb of ebooks into some recognisable order and onto the iPad.
- You have to use (IMHO, so far) the iTunes app to get stuff on there. TV or Movies you may have already might need to be re-ripped to get them onto the iPad correctly. Basically, if iTunes refuses to add it to the library, go and run Handbrake on it. Worked for me. (And yes, it was a PITA, but so what. CPU is cheap). Yes. iTunes sucks, we know that. Get over it.
- I've handed it to various folks over the last few days and they've just picked it up and ran with it. Its that intuitive. I've not tried a child with it yet for obvious reasons.
- The iPad based 'App Store' application doesn't yet work on the UK store - it comes up with 'this country isn't supported'. Which sucks. But hey, you can pretty much get stuff from the normal iTunes App store from the Mac. Though I've not been able to see the iPad version of iWorks yet. Still looking.
- Its going to be the next hottest thing to lose in a pub, or get stolen. Really. I have an Apple case for it, and no-one here has figured it out yet. Walking to my flat in darkest Sauf London with it tucked under my arm didn;t result in instant death. This month. Come April 23'rd or May 23rd or whenever they become prevalent, it'll become the hottest thing to die for.
Less of the observations. Lets cut to the chase. Is it good enough? Is it hot? Should you want one?
Well, I prepared this blog entry - despite having the Squarespace.com app on the iPad - on my computer. I've just typed 500+ words, and that would quickly become tedious on the iPad. Keyboards work and work well. So its not going to replace a computer where you want to enter a lot of text.
A low-use, intermittent user with little input requirements, but with the requirement to browse media, web and listen to sound - yes. This will work well. I can see me putting all my PDF stuff on this machine and using it alongside the laptop for research. I can see me using this on the train where I wouldn't take out my laptop.
I can see this working well on the sofa, replacing a low-use macbook. I can see this completely killing off netbooks - the sheer convenience and use-factor of this device eliminates the netbook sector for a lot of end users.
Is it a game-changer? Yes. Here's the apple fanboy telling you that this is the most convenient, intuitive media device I've used and played with. There are shortcomings - but this is a v1 device. Unlike the tablets we've seen with Windows on them before - this is a game-changer right out of the starting gate.
Update: It just occurred to me that I tried to attach the iPad to three separate wifi's over the last few days and had a horrible time connecting - till I realised that you have to enter the WPA/WEP Alphanumeric passwords in UPPERCASE (in some cases). Hope this helps.