Apple iPad 3G first impressions

Last week the iPad 3G landed at my house as a present for my wife.  After several days of use here are my initial impressions.

It has quickly become the most popular device in the house, displacing the iPod Touch and iPhone.

Out of the box I was slightly disappointed.  I expected it be bigger, the iPad feels like a scaled-up Touch.  After a few days of use, I began to appreciate the larger size of the iPad.  I love my iPhone but the larger screen size of the iPad makes web browsing easier and watching videos comfortable.  The iPad screen keyboard is very accurate compared to pecking at the iPhone/Touch keyboard.

As an entertainment device, the iPad is a clear winner.  For many people it also is a competent laptop replacement if you limit yourself to web applications.  You don’t want to write a novel on the device, but it’s fine for composing short documents and email.

There are a few chinks in the iPad armor.  The well documented lack of Flash support is annoying but not a deal breaker.  Another problem is that there’s no support for Google’s Chrome web browser.  If you go with a 3G model and Apple Care warranty the price easily exceeds budget laptops and netbooks.

I expect the iPad to will decimate the netbook market and take a good chunk out of the budget laptop market.  Since most people in these segments are buying a device to mainly browse the internet, it will be an easy decision to upgrade to an iPad.

Compared to the now discontinued Windows XP Tablet edition, the iPad is a far superior device.  Once again Apple has taken a form factor with a great promise, shed extraneous features, and created a slick streamlined device for the masses.

With rumors of a Google tablet in development, the iPad may soon have some competition.

But for now the Apple iPad rules the tablet space.

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