Bad jokes aside, the fact is that I do in fact now have an iPad, thanks to David Dunham. He got one early, and then wanted to upgrade from the wi-fi-only configuration to one with 3G, and mentioned this to me, and now I'm buying his first one on the installment plan.
This is a really amazing device. It...well, it doesn't exactly feel like a "computer", in a lot of ways. A lot of that is that it's a single piece of hardware - nothing stands up or protrudes, except the docking cable when it's connected to the desktop machine. There are a few buttons around the edge, but nearly everything happens on the screen itself, which fills the front. (It does collect fingerprints, but a daily application of Windex and a paper towel cure that just fine.) So when I lie it on a flat surface it really lies flat, in a way that a laptop does not, and when I hold it in my hands, one lift gets the entire unit, because there's nothing else.
I was skeptical that 7x10 inches of display would work well for things like gaming books, but it turns out that the slight reduction in size is in practice not a problem at all. And the design of the iOS interface makes it so that when you're looking at something on screen, you're really, really looking at it, with much less interference at any margin. When David's app DiceBook goes up for sale, I'll review it with some screenshots to illustrate, since it's my favorite of the options I've tried for PDF viewing. (And it's the only PDF viewer I'm aware of with a built-in dice roller, which is pretty neat.) And for anything more straightforwardly text-ish, options like iBooks work just great. I've been importing my library from Baen Books, Fictionwise, and the like, and so much loving the big comfortable display.
I will go through what I'm doing with it in future posts. Right now I just waned to share my happiness and enthusiasm.
- iPad, uPad, we allPad...never mind