April 27, 2010 By BJ Cook,

This last week I had the opportunity to take the iPad with me to Catalyst conference in Orange County. Although my goal could have easily been to make more friends based on how many people asked questions about it I was actually giving it a real world shakedown. Here are my thoughts…

Here is what I like:

UX – Apple has it down with the touch screen.

Touch Screen – A lot more accurate and effective than what I am used to on my Blackberry Storm

Applications – More to choose from than I’ll ever need. I used the ABC app to catch up on Flash Forward. The simplicity apps provide while still getting the job done is refreshing.

Size – It’s the perfect size to hold and type, just big enough to use the keyboard with 2 hands, and small enough to carry with you even without a bag

Battery life – Charged it on Monday night, didn’t have to recharge it for the entirety of the event (5 days)

Accessories – I picked up the Apple iPad case that has the cover on it. Makes it a little less noticeable and allows you to have a few pieces of folded paper inside such as a conference schedule or a meeting agenda.

Opportunities – Having a light weight fully functioning computer with the abilities that Apple products have creates limitless opportunities such as being mobile while working, replacing point of purchase systems at stores & restaurants, documenting humanitarian issues, creating an interactive experience at sporting events and so many more.

Here is what I didn’t like:

WiFi – The signal strength was consistently weaker than my computer in the same spots at the conference. I also had problems connecting to the hotel network. I also think I would be willing to make the step up to the 3G so that I could use email and surf the web even outside the reach of a local WiFi network.

Camera – I know this one has been beat to death already but once you have it in your hands you realize how nice it would be to have a quick video chat. Because it is so lightweight and portable it would be rather convenient to have this feature. Overall I really enjoyed using the iPad. Because of the touch screen interface using it felt really personal. Although I wouldn’t sit down to write a long email or case study on it, I would enjoy having one for things like keeping in touch on the road, watching movies while traveling, and casual web browsing & email while sitting on the couch at home. I would not consider it a replacement for a lap top computer, rather a nice complimentary product to the computer technology you already have.

Sent from my iPad

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