iPad Free For 2 Weeks

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cc photo credit: AlicePopkorn

The 30 day difference between the release of the wifi-only iPad and its 3G sibling gave me a chance for an interesting experiment. After two weeks, I packed up and returned the wifi iPad, pending the release of the 3g model. So, two weeks with an iPad; two weeks without. Would I find in iPad shaped hole in my life; or, would the reality distortion field surrounding Apple products wear off?

April 29th, is the two week point and here are my observations:

I feel disconnected. Even with a laptop and smartphone, the iPad is a better solution for keeping up to date with social networks. My twittering (which is a major marketing vector) has dropped, because it is easier to find and distribute articles via the iPad.

I am limited by battery life. I write and brainstorm from various locations: the kitchen table, sofa and easy chair — all places I do not have chargers to plug in. I hate seeing my battery meter go into the red in the middle of a writing session.

There’s portable, and then there’s portable. If the only places I worked were at a desk or table, the iPad would not be a big deal. These are the environments laptops and netbooks were made for. However, the unexpected interruptions of life tear me away from these ideal work areas. Using an iPad, I can keep working in more places.

To be sure, this is a matter of degree. Computers have been portable for more than 20 years. However, no one thinks the 10 pound behemoths of yesteryear are desirable computing experiences. While there are other portable choices available today, at 1.5 pounds with an all day battery, the iPad is more portable. And that makes it a more enjoyable device to use from the sofa. Plus the iPad is the first computer that I can reasonably prop on the magazine rack of an elliptical.

So, I will be picking up an iPad 3g tomorrow and testing how the 3g compares with the wifi version.

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