I have been following the news about the new iPad since it was announced. Some of the positives have been the obvious retina display and the ability to run it on a faster 4G/LTE network. I have also read about the negatives such as it being hot, the battery charge issue, and some reports of poor WiFi reception.
Weighing the pros and cons I have been looking for an upgrade from my first generation iPad.
Being that I already own an iPhone 4, retina display was a must which is why I stayed away from the iPad 2. So I made my decision last week after hearing good initial feedback from my friend Jeremy with his new iPad. I have been sitting on a share of Apple stock since about 2006 when I bought it at $60. Last week I cashed that in at $605!
Yesterday I headed to the Verizon store after calling to confirm they had the model I was looking for, the 32GB 4G. Once I got there the same salesperson that took my call, Marcus, assisted me with my purchase. I explained to Marcus the reason I went with Verizon despite being an AT&T iPhone customer was simple. One, Verizon offers LTE in Tupelo where as AT&T does not. Secondly, Verizon allows the iPad to use the hotspot feature of the iPad. As anyone that follows me on a regular basis knows, I have had repeated issues with Comcast regarding the Internet going out. Having a hotspot feature which I won’t have to pay anything extra a month for btw, was a huge selling point.
I walked out of there and headed home to set it up. I showed Savannah’s babysitter how easy it was to setup right out of the box, needless to say she wants one now and is even going to give up cigarettes to pay for one. Talk about a positive goal! Setup was so easy as anything Apple does (fanboy gloat). I configured it with iCloud and boom, my contacts and calendar as well as Photo Share was setup. Next was getting the obvious apps on it. Facebook, Twitter, Reeder, DayOne, and WordPress, among others installed from the previous download section of the app store.
Retina Display & Camera
Next was trying out the features of the new iPad. Retina display is stunning! Readability and Read it Later have both been updated to reading my news stories look sharp, I would say even sharper text wise than my Kindle. Taking pictures and video was also cool. The more lighting the better when using both of course as there is no LED flash on the iPad like there is on the iPhone 4.
So if you want that 1080p video, I would highly recommend doing outdoor shooting for optimal results. Low light indoor was Ok but it is a bit grainy.
Then there was the LTE network. I turned off my WiFi to try that out and got about 10 Mbps download, easily beating my 1-2 Mbps 3G speed and coming close to my Comcast connection which at the time was 14 Mbps (it fluctuates). I will only use LTE in non-WiFi conditions or very slow WiFi (like right now at Atlanta Bread during lunch hour).
Then there is Dictation, this feature I knew about but was not high on my radar in making a purchase decision, but once you use it, it does spoil you especially if you don’t own an iPhone 4S with Siri. Since it is built into the iOS for the new iPad, you are able to use it for darn near almost anything. I have the option to even utilize it within WordPress but the people at Atlanta Bread would think I am either rude or crazy talking to my iPad. But I can also speak my status updates to Facebook and Twitter as well. I will be using this feature a lot. It’s not perfect yet but I usually only have to correct 1-2 spellings per sentence but even with that it is still less time consuming than typing everything out.
I can’t say this enough, you do want a case with this thing and I picked up a Targus one at Best Buy for about $40. It doubles as a stand for the iPad when you want to do some serious blogging. It is also a slim but protective case so it won’t make your iPad look fat in its dress.
Overall after the first 24 hours I am very impressed with my new iPad and haven’t touched my MacBook much at all. Having a camera on it will be huge as I try to move away further from the laptop and going more tablet on a regular basis. The real test will come when I leave the MacBook at home for our West Coast trip and I just take the iPad and iPhone with us.