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iPad Observations

I've had a 3G iPad for a bit over a month now and though it would be good to capture some observations of the device, software and how I've found it useful.

• I find the iPad most useful and pleasant as a reading device using Instapaper for saved articles, NewsRack and Reeder for RSS and Kindle Reader for books. I still read RSS feeds with my iPhone but there's something pleasing about the larger screen that makes reading a joy on the iPad.

• Battery life is a killer feature. It's unusual to see the battery go low, though vie learned that the 10 watt charger is key — iPhone chargers simply don't have the oomph to charge the iPad, even though they will at least maintain the current charge level.

• Browsing is also very well suited to the iPad. This Friday I had to do some sketching for a logo project and decided to take only my iPad, sketchbook and pencils to the cafe. It was perfect device to reference my Basecamp projects, search for reference images in Google and playing music in iTunes and Pandora.

• I've enjoyed the Netflix and ABC Player apps — watching movies on an iPad is nicely intimate and not cumbersome as it always feels with my MacBook.

• Drawing works well on the iPad with a variety of useful drawing apps. I especially enjoy Adobe Ideas, Sketchbook Pro and Penultimate. The biggest issues are stylus options. I have the Pogo Sketch stylus and it works, but feels like drawing with a mushy pea on a stick. I've heard good things about the Dagi stylus but haven't bought one yet. I hope more, better styli appear over time that feel like actual pens and pencils.

• it's heavy and that's a plus and minus. On the downside it can be awkward to hold up in bed for extended periods, but that weight also gives me the sense that an iPad is a substantive device. It certainly feels well made.

• Using the USB adapter from the photo connection kit works well with my wired USB Apple keyboard, though the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard is one item I think will make the iPad a more useful as a writing device for me.

Those are just a few thoughts — I'll post more here as I think of them.


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