iPad Initial Thoughts

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few days, you know that Apple released the iPad on Saturday. Paul Groepler, the unrepentant, bleeding-edge, early adopter, had to have one, of course. Here are his initial thoughts.

Saturday at 10am the UPS guy showed up at the front door with my iPad. I’ve taken a few wacky photos to show you what’s in the box…not much actually.

Okay, I’ve been thru one day with this thing and a few of you are curious, so here are my initial impressions:


  1. Very intuitive.
  2. The Amazon Kindle ‘reader’ works FINE. Which begs the questions…for those of us who already have a Kindle, and already buy from the massively larger library…if I already have books on the Kindle and can move/transfer them FREE to the iPad…why do I even care about the iBook reader thing? Less titles, etc.? Great eReader!
  3. You can ‘lock’ the aspect ratio, e.g. Keep in portrait or landscape with out auto-rotation as you move it around.
  4. Mail works…all flavors, e.g. IMAP, POP and LDAP.


  1. No easy way to move files around. You are stuck inside (for now) the iTunes ‘walled garden’ interface. That is BS. I’ve tried a few of the iPhone apps, e.g. MbDrive, WiFiDisk, but no idea where the files go!?
  2. iPhone apps are silly 2x sized. That’s crazy. As a matter of fact, one quickly realizes that half the iPhone apps don’t really translate to the iPad (at least not this version without GPS/3G!!)
  3. I could not get my Bluetooth keyboard to work(!?). That’s also BS. This is a recent Apple-brand wireless keyboard. I hate going into the Apple store and dealing with some pimply-faced 20 something who acts like a demi-god…but I guess I’ll give it a try.
  4. Not used to the small keyboard yet.
  5. The screen smudges in a second. You’ll need some kind of frosted screen protector same as for the iPhone.
  6. No GPS features. I want ‘augmented reality’, which means I want a camera and GPS…
  7. No camera


  1. The iWork apps don’t easily share files. (see #1 dislike above).
  2. My Bluetooth keyboard would not ‘pair’.

Wish list:

  1. Get reasonable office-style apps. I don’t care if it’s Microsoft, Omni, or OpenOffice…
  2. Allow me to use the iPad as an external disk when I hook up to the Mac, PC, whatever. No easy file transfer?! C’mon…
  3. Where’s the freakin’ camera?
  4. Why isn’t there GPS on the non 3G version? I know that Apples’ implementation of GPS is via the GSM system, but c’mon…


  1. Get the cover for it ASAP. You’ll get tired holding the thing and the Apple standard cover makes for a very nice stand and protector. This thing can get scratched!
  2. Get at least one of those docking doo-hickys. Unfortunately said doo-hicky does NOT work when you have the cover on. Bad Apple, no biscuit!
  3. Get a screen cover, frosted. The screen smudges and shows ALL the dirt.

While my initial reaction to the iPad announcement was decidedly negative, I’ve slowly been coming around. My PowerBook G4 is both old and high mileage, and is long overdue to be replaced. Processing video from my Flip UltraHD is nearly impossible.

I currently have the 17″ display, so replacing it would cost more than $2,500.

On the other hand, I could get a high-end iPad plus a high-end Mac Mini for about $1,500. For this to work, however, the iPad would have to do the job for me when I travel. The Mac Mini isn’t really portable (unless I took all the peripherals with me), and I’m not carrying both a iPad and a laptop.

The iPad would need to sync tightly with my Mac Mini when I was at home. If that isn’t the case today, it soon will be.

I’m most concerned about the weak office applications. For this to work on the road for me, I need word processing, spreadsheet and presentation apps. And they need to be able to create and run MS Office compatible data files, especially for presentations.

Like it or not, Microsoft PowerPoint is the industry standard, and I need to be able to supply PowerPoint files when I speak at conferences or other events. I’m not sure a dumbed down version of iWork is going to do the job.

All in all, it sounds like a decent product, but not one that’s quite ready for my own work environment. But that may be why I rarely buy cutting-edge technology.

Note: All photographs (c) 2010, Paul F. Groepler.

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