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New iPad Info

April 5, 2010 - Dave Hecei

New iPad Info – Pros and Cons

With the iPad now in consumer’s hands there is much more information out there on how the iPad really works. Apple did have plenty of pretty pictures and some new videos out there on the new iPad, but nothing deep. Here are a few things that I have picked up off of several tech sites and personal blogs.

The iPad is a hit. Everyone who has one seems to love it and agrees that it will change how they do things. Many have bought the iPad as a ‘Kindle killer’, Amazon’s very popular E-book reader. While the iPad seems to be an excellent E-book reader, it can do so much more than the Kindle, plus it does it in sharp and vibrant color.

Here are a few things that we weren’t sure about before the launch.

1.    Battery Life. Expect your iPad to last the whole day. Most people, and remember they’ve only had them for two days, are reporting over 10 hours of battery life. The surprise is that the iPad is more difficult to charge than an iPod.  Power requirements must be much higher since the iPad seems to refuse to charge unless it is with the included pack or with a newer Mac, or PC, with high-power USB ports. Even some powered USB hubs don’t seem to do it. If the iPad says it’s not charging, put it to sleep and it may charge. It seems that any way other than the AC adapter will charge the iPad at about half speed.

2.   Heat. Most everyone reports that there is no significant heat generated by the iPad. This is great news since heat equals less battery life (and sweaty thighs). There is no fan in the iPad so very low heat generation was an important part of the iPad’s design.

3.   Dock Port. It seems that a large number of accessories for the iPhone and Touch (and other newer iPods) work with the iPad. The Apple iPad Keyboard Dock has a good weight to it, presumably to keep the iPad from tipping over. It also is kind of bulky since it is all one piece. Too bad the keyboard doesn’t detach from the dock part. If you want to take a keyboard with you for long typing sessions, get the Apple Bluetooth Wireless keyboard instead.

4.   VGA Output. I was really hoping this was going to be a true computer output port. Wrong. The VGA to Dock adapter is just another way to output video from an App. If you want to watch a movie or do a Keynote presentation you can use this accessory to attach it to an external monitor, HDTV, or LCD projector. It cannot be used to mirror what you see on the iPad screen or extend the desktop.

5.   Fonts. This will be a factor for those who intend to use the iPad to replace a laptop. Apple has created iPad versions of their iWork applications – Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. You may think that you can then use the iPad to create all your documents on the road. Wrong. At least in this first version of the iPad there is a limited amount of Fonts available. Any fonts you’ve added to your Mac and used in your documents won’t be available on the iPad and there is no way to add them. This is something that will likely be addressed in another revision of the iPad’s OS, or in the next iPad.

6.   Printing. Again, this will only be a problem for those interested in productivity. On launch day the iPad does not have any printing capabilities. Documents on the iPad must be synced, emailed, or if you are working with the iWork Apps, use the online site to get them onto your main computer and print from there. Down the road, printing could be added by some third party App, but don’t expect something real soon. It’s a shame that a device with both WiFi and Bluetooth doesn’t have the ability to print.

7.   While you don’t need a computer, to get the most use out of an iPad you really should have a Mac, or at least a PC. You need to hook the iPad up to a computer to back it up, do updates or restores, and print.

The iPad is probably more revolutionary than the iPhone. As more Apps become available specifically for the iPad, its abilities will grow exponentially. Today, the iPad can do remarkable things, but I think we’ve only seen the tip of it’s true potential.


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