How has the iPad changed our lives and made savings?

A year ago I used to finish working in my office/study and then move into the lounge. As our company works across multiple timezones and I manage teams in each of these timezones I always get emails or phone calls throughout the course of the night that I need to respond to. 2 years ago I used to lug the chunky laptop into the lounge. A year ago I downsized and had a netbook that allowed me to work easily in the lounge by placing it on one of the recliner arms. This year the iPad came along and made my working of an evening even better when I’m home.

One thing the iPad has done is give me 0 second startup time. I simply press the power button and it turns on. There’s no hard disk to spin up, there’s no time to boot the operating system, it’s there. All solid state as opposed to a hard disk. It’s also larger than my netbook in terms of screen size, but it’s thinner and more lightweight. Okay, granted it doesn’t have a keyboard but the on-screen keyboard works pretty well for me. The biggest part is that I always had to leave the netbook powered on because even bringing it out of hibernation was slow. That ate up electricity, not a lot on a daily basis but when you consider you’re running a device 24/7 for 365 days a year, that adds up to a lot of electricity. With the iPad I only charge it when it gets low, e.g. over night if I want it topped up to 100%, or sometimes I go for several days without charging it.

On the iPad I have my Exchange email, I have BeeJiveIM for my Instant Messaging chats, I have Docs2Go to open up and read any attachments people send me, I also have a variety of other office based apps that allow for online storage of docs, to read PDF’s and PowerPoints as well as my creature comfort personal apps.

Steve Jobs said that the iPad was revolutionary and magic. For some maybe it’s not, but when I look back on how my evenings have changed and how much more I use the iPad than a regular computer, I guess I would call it revolutionary. I’m not sure I’d class it as magic, but it’s not far of it.

The iPad is still selling strong, but in people I talk to it’s had a lesser take up than I would have imagined. I think this comes down to more the price point and that people already have computers available and see no need for the iPad. Some said that the iPad would be a niche market, and it is. However the more people that have iPhone’s and iPod Touch’s, the more that like their devices and want a larger ‘living room’ computer will probably adopt to an iPad more than going to buy a new laptop, mini-laptop or netbook.

This is where the 7″ Android tablets might come in to still the thunder a little from the iPad. Android has got to the stage in it’s life where it has matured enough to be a serious contender for Apple both in the mobile phone platform but also in the tablet platform. A 7″ tablet would be nice and I have to agree that if I had one I’d probably take it with me more than I do the iPad because it’s smaller, but then comes the smaller screen, less battery power and suddenly you start to realise that all you have really is a device that for the best part is double the size of a regular mobile phone. Will that cut it for you? For me probably not, that’s where the iPad screen size if 9.7″ really comes handy. Will Apple do a 7″ to compete with the new Samsung Galaxy Tab? Possibly, time will tell, but for the best part I think Apple will probably sit back but have something to go just in case they feel they need to. The one thing that Apple don’t want to do is create a drop in iPad sales and create fragmentation around the iPad and ultimately bring in less money because people will start buying the 7″ more than the 9.7″ iPad.

Let’s not forget the iPad is an all-round device, it’s good for gaming, there’s tons of games from card games to fully fledge 30fps shoot’em-up games and driving games available for the iPad, most games are under £10 too.

Also the iPad just isn’t a gaming device, it also allows you to catch up on your ebook reading, store hundreds of thousands of electronic books on the device, so you have your entire reading library on the device when you take it with you.

If you have apps installed like Amazon’s Kindle app, then you can also synchronise where you left off reading on your iPhone or iPod Touch and pick up at the same location on the iPad.

There’s also lots of magazines, newspapers and periodicals you can also purchase or subscribe to and have delivered to the iPad on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

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