I won a free iPad at Ad-Tech San Francisco. Since then, I have been playing with it and trying to figure out where it fits into my digital toolbox. I already have an iPhone and a MacBook, so do I really need this thing? The answer is a resounding yes.
First and foremost, there is the look and feel. Yes, technically it’s just like a big iPod Touch, but in practice it is far different. You know how in Avatar they have those fully touch-controlled, transparent-monitored computers? It’s like that, only not transparent. But the sheer sensation of technological wonder you feel when surfing the web on an iPad is amazing.
The whole experience is so tactile. The web isn’t just a flat image on a screen anymore. You can touch it, drag it, zoom it, select it, copy it, and paste it, all with a couple flicks of your fingers. At first I wondered why there wasn’t a Facebook app for iPad, then I realized you can actually just use the real Facebook, not a watered-down version. And when you tap the Comment button instead of click it with a mouse, it is so much more satisfying…
The small issue of Flash support notwithstanding, the iPad can and will replace my MacBook as my travel companion. For marketers, you can easily check your stats, pause campaigns, respond to emails, and write blog posts from it (like I’m doing now, the WordPress app is killer!). The instant-on readiness and the battery life will blow away any laptop out there, bar none.
The only thing it’s not good for is doing intensive work such as creating campaigns and graphic design. As tablets become more powerful in the future, I could see them taking over that role as well. The iPhone is slated to get multitasking with the OS 4.0 update, will we see it on the iPad as well?
The bottom line is, when you are on an iPad, you don’t just surf the web, you integrate with it on a much different level. It is so natural to read a book, stream videos and movies, read comics, play games, and network in social media sites that it makes me look for excuses to get away from the computer and use it. As someone who uses the web every single day, the iPad is an amazing new way to experience it, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for tablet computing.