This past Saturday as I lay on the couch recovering from knee surgery, I eagerly awaiting the delivery of Laura's iPad. Yes, it isn't mine and it is 100% hers. She saw the original ads and really wanted one. How could I argue since it was a win win for me. I get to play with it and check it out and when the new version comes out I can actually buy that one for myself. This is the ultimate win for someone like me. Even though the Boston Globe didn't label me a local alpha adopter, everyone I know keeps asking me what I think of the iPad and the short and simple answer is that I love it. For all the detail freaks, I got her the 16GB Wi-Fi only model.

I was stuck laying on the couch all weekend. Using a laptop in this position is not possible, but the iPad was made to be used this way. Not having to position a keyboard or worrying about a mouse means that you can use it from any angle. I laughed thinking about how this must be the type of computer that Astronauts use as they are floating around in space. I've found myself feeling like an artist as I hold it in one hand and touch it with the other just like I've seen many artists when painting something.

The device is currently made to consume more than to create. This is the perfect device to leave laying on the coffee table to allow anyone to quickly check their e-mail, watch some video or interact in one form or another with other people. I've dubbed it Couch Computing. *grin*

While I'm not much of a gamer, Laura and the kids have been having a blast tilting and tapping it to play a bunch of games. I even fired it up to play some racing in which the iPad turns into your steering wheel on a high performance car and the graphics were top notch without any blips or bumps (except when I crashed into a building). There is a lot of money to be made in the game space for this device and I'm eager to see what comes out.

Emily Enjoying the iPad

I'm excited by this device for a lot of reasons:

  • It has a nice large screen that is sharp, crisp and video looks great on it. While I'd love for stereo speakers, the sounds is more then good enough and with headphones plugged in you miss nothing.
  • It felt strange at first in my hand, but instantly I got used to it and realized just how comfortable it fits in one hand. I'm curious if the 3G or the 64GB models are thicker or feel different then this.
  • The team that came up with the UI was extremely smart. Once you start using it, you naturally fall into the groove of just figuring everything out without having to be told how to do something. I watched as Dylan and Emily instantly figured it all out without any questions.
  • The variety of news outlets and magazines publishing content is good and is only going to get better. There are no usability standards yet so each one is an exercise in learning a new navigation. Right now USA Today has my personal favorite with the AP News doing a great job as well. GQ and Men's Health both are trying so hard, but have yet to get it right yet. They are close though and all these kinks will work out in time so I'm not worried and am very excited about consuming more publications on the device.
  • I grew up loving comics and Marvel Comics has completely embraced this medium. After seeing how natural it was to read a comic, I can't wait to see what companies like Panelfly do on the iPad for indie publishers and children picture books.
  • Netflix & ABC streaming of high quality video directly to the device is amazing. I just want to be able to get all my DVR content or all channels right on the iPad so that if I'm laying in bed or just chilling somewhere that I don't have to actually go into the living room and turn on the television.
  • These are the early days and if I'm this excited now it is only going to get better.

I'm not a delusional Apple Fan Boy that thinks this is the best thing since slice bread because of course there are lots of improvements that I'd like to see get made. But, any of you who don't think this changes everything is not thinking nearly big picture enough.

The concept of a completely touch screen device that has constant Internet connection changes everything from how people shop, interact and do business. This is the ultimate device for anyone not into computers but wanting to stay in touch with the world around them. One opening of the Weather Channel and I instantly laughed about how this is going to end up on every grandparent's kitchen counter.

I'm eager for a future version that has a camera in it and will allow me to do an iChat video call with another person directly from the device. That can't be that far away and as a photographer I now have a mini editing tablet to do post production on my photos in the field. Plus, it needs to be able to write on so that it can replace my paper notebook which I have yet to see anything come close to replacing yet, but this is getting there.

I may not personally own an iPad yet, but the Chapman Family does and we love it.