At the time of writing we’ve had an iPad for a little over four weeks. Here at Macworld we were lucky enough to have American friends ready to help out with a little shopping here, and a FedEx delivery there.
But not everybody is as lucky. Most people now have to wait till the end of May before the iPad hits the UK. You think this is a bad thing? It’s certainly frustrating, but it means we’re your guinea pigs, testing the iPad to bits before you have to justify your purchase.
After all, unlike a PC or a phone, the iPad isn’t a necessity. Like many Mac fans, you may want an iPad, but do you need it enough to justify spending a significant amount of your hard earned cash on one?
Even the most devoted Apple lovers are wondering “what’s it for?” and “what does the iPad really do?”.
Fear not. Where you have questions, we’ve got answers. We’ve had four weeks to get to grips with every aspect of the iPad, and here are our top 40 reasons why you should get an iPad at the earliest opportunity.
1 Browse the fingernet
You can get on the internet everywhere these days: on your iPhone, at work, at home. Why would you need another internet device? Because the browsing experience on an iPad is superb. You can open several pages at once and flip between them just as you can on an iPhone, but the layout fits the screen, the text is a decent size, and images look great. We’ve also found that using fingers to browse the web is more intuitive than using a mouse and cursor. The iPad is a surprisingly capable and enjoyable web browsing device.
2 Be inspired and write the next bestseller
In Japan, millions of novels have been written on mobile phones. Before computers, you’d have written a dissertation with an HB pencil. Chaucer and Shakespeare wrote their works with bird feathers. The key thing is you can pull the iPad out of your bag when inspiration hits. The iPad is a great writing tool: you have a screen, a keyboard and a word-processing program, as well as reference materials and internet access. What better tool is there for writing in odd locations, such as in trains, coffee shops, or even in bed.
3 You can travel light
If you’d rather not lug around a heavy bag you’ll be pleased to learn that the iPad weighs 680g, considerably less than a laptop (half the weight of the MacBook Air). So if you have to travel a lot that’s a good reason to take the iPad and leave the laptop at home, giving your back and shoulders a break. Also, at 13.4mm thick you can fit the iPad comfortably in your bag – there is no need to carry around a separate laptop bag (which is ideal if you are getting on an airplane). We expect that salespeople will adopt the iPad quickly for presenting on the move.
4 You can access your Mac from your iPad
If you are worried about leaving your Mac at home and relying solely on the iPad fear not. You can use the iPad to access your Mac even when you’re away from your desk thanks to LogMeIn Ignition (£17.99, http://secure.logmein.com), one of best apps on the App Store. Install LogMeIn on your Mac (the LogMeIn Pro2 desktop software costs £41.20) and leave it running, now you can access the Mac from your iPad and use Mac OS X remotely. Forgotten a file? Need to do something on your Mac but only have your iPad? No problem. All you need is an internet connection
5 You’ll be playing your favourite game
As a gaming device the iPad has lots going for it. The display is large and gorgeous, the processor is snappy, and the multimedia interface allows for innovative ways to play. Plus, the App Store is a model of instant gratification with hundreds of cheap games a download away. Many are HD versions of iPhone games at higher prices, but they’re still inexpensive in comparison to most standard PC games. The iPad’s implementation of many games is superior to anything the consoles have attempted. Nintendo and Sony should be concerned.