Sunday, July 18

iCame, iSaw, iPad.

I'm gonna need a bigger pocket.

As if getting a couple of iPhones, an iPod Touch and a desktop iMac hasn't qualified me as a Mac addict, now I've gone and passed the point of no return. I bought an iPad. Yep, the oversized iPod Touch. I may have mentioned once, twice or perhaps ten times in the past that I would never get Apple's tablet- "I can't picture myself taking this out of the house!" I said. "What would I use it for?" was another statement. Yeah, back then I never saw myself wanting or using this seemingly extraneous, uncategorized machine. For a person who usually wishes to travel fast without anything weighing me down, even just the Pad's 1.5-lb. weight seemed too much.

Well, what can I say? In the past, years ago, I also said I never saw myself ever needing a cellphone with a color screen. Silly me.

Anyway, one reason for my sudden turnaround was caused by the recent news of the reception problem with the iPhone 4- I just got turned off to this device whose basic functions can be affected by simply holding it a certain way. So I found myself gravitating towards the iPad. I was happy with my 3GS, and would be for the near future. But I needed a tech toy to occupy myself.

So here I am with the iPad. As I expected, it's gorgeous- a slate of black glass and aluminum that once again feels so solidly high quality in the hands, as with the past Apple iDevices. After my first week of using the thing, I can easily say that the iPad has changed my whole way of doing things. It has, effectively, unseated my iPhone 3GS as my portable media center, online connectivity device (through WiFi only though), entertainment device and productivity tool. My phone's still sure to be my constant companion, but now I am relegating more stuff to the Pad so my phone can remain, well, a phone.

This includes watching videos, although now I can enjoy the gorgeous HD content available in full resolution- something that the smaller screen of the iPhone (or any phone, for that matter) could never do (even the iPhone 4, arguably, retina screen regardless). Surfing the net, keeping connected to social networks and sending emails is now far easier and more pleasurable with the Pad, although I am limited to WiFi- but this is by choice as well. In terms of productivity, the iPad is a viable tool for me to type out Word documents (typing documents on a phone is, while doable, ultimately impractical), thanks to the larger screen, larger keyboard and better battery life. Then I can send out copy and documents via email, making it a useful tool for work as well as personal matters. Need to write a review and post it asap? Done. Need to write out copy for work? Just get to a WiFi spot, type out the script and then email it to the office. Done! Waiting in between commercial shoots? I'll play a game. Or ten games. Or sketch out some pages. Or watch a movie. Amazing.

And the battery life! I have to say, the iPad blew me away with how awesome the battery is. You can just work or play on this thing for hours, it outlasts any laptop to my knowledge.

That all said, the iPad isn't perfect of course- it doesn't have the power or versatility of a full computer, but what it can do it does well, and all in a pleasantly fun and engaging package that I just can't get enough of. Funny that this thing which I thought was so useless has turned out to be a great investment that I am totally enjoying right now. I can see myself making full use of this on my next TV shoots, on long road trips or anywhere boredom may strike.

The iPad has made me a believer. Don't honk it right away unless you've tried it yourself first- this device is a winner. You may not need it at first, but give it a chance and you may want it. And then you might not be able to do without it.

My iPad's a 64 Gigabyte WiFi-only model, bought at 40K in Greenhills. Got a nice spiffy leather book-type case which was a bit pricey, but worth it.