On Friday, I, along with many other Apple fans around the country, waited in line for the latest hot piece of technology:  iPad 2.  I’m going to give a little insight into how the process went and also offer up my take on Apple’s newest toy. It should be noted, however, that I am an […]
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iPad 2 Impressions

On Friday, I, along with many other Apple fans around the country, waited in line for the latest hot piece of technology:  iPad 2.  I’m going to give a little insight into how the process went and also offer up my take on Apple’s newest toy.

It should be noted, however, that I am an iPad rookie.  Aside from a few minutes here and there in the Apple store, I never had an extended period of time with the original iPad.  So, I will not be able to fairly compare both devices.  For that, I suggest you check out Joe Tomasone’s post.

I didn’t have the opportunity to stand in line early since work didn’t let out until 5:00pm on the dot.  Luckily, there’s an Apple Store a mere five minutes from my job, so by the time I settled in line, it was only 5:15.

Now, I knew there would be a line.  I just didn’t think it would be this bad.  I purchased my iPhone 4 at a different Apple Store, so I can’t really compare both lines, but I actually waited longer for the iPad:  a total of three-and-a-half hours.  I expected it to take an hour, maybe two hours, tops.

The line moved fairly quickly at first, but slowed down towards the end.  Or maybe it just seemed that way since I was pretty tired of standing still in my uncomfortable boots.  Apple staff and mall security guards were stationed at different points throughout the line.

They were asked and answered questions as best they could.  Interesting to note that some Apple employees said they didn’t know how many units the store had, while others stated they weren’t allowed to say.  As the minutes became hours, people in line were getting annoyed that they couldn’t get a better update or estimate of what they had left.

But I think the store handled it pretty well.  At around 7:00, they announced that 3G models were sold out.  They kept cutting the line off and informing people towards the back of the line that the chances of getting a unit were slim.

Once I finally got to the part of the line in front of the Apple Store, I was told that the only units that were left were 64GB WiFi in both colors.  It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I wasn’t going to give up 3.5 hours on a Friday night to come away empty handed.  So, the friendly staff bagged one up for me and sent me on my way.

I actually had a very busy Friday and Saturday, so I didn’t even get to open the box up until very late Saturday night.

In keeping with the simplistic Apple packaging theme, the iPad greeted me once I popped off the box cover.  Below that was the charger, cable, and a few documents with the ever-popular Apple stickers.

After turning on the iPad, I was prompted to sync with iTunes, which I did.  After a few minutes of loading some photos, videos, and music, I was good to go.

My first thought?  “What the hell are those yellow marks at the bottom?”

MacRumors has an article about this.  It seems that this might be the same issue that plagued some iPhone 4 units.  Apparently, Apple is shipping these units out so fast after manufacture that the evaporation process has not completed before opening.  The prevailing thought is that these tints will eventually vanish.  I am hopeful, because the unit looks much better today than yesterday.

My second thought?  “Wow, this is cool.”

While I’m usually leery of seconding company PR talking points, Apple’s VP hit the nail on the head in a video about the initial iPad a year ago:  holding the internet in your hand just feels natural.  And that is the truth.  I know that much of this has to do with the fact that I have been an iPhone user for years, but the iPad is just comfortable to use.  There’s no learning curve whatsoever.  I was instantly familiar with how 99% of everything works.

While I can’t compare how much faster the iPad 2 is to the original, I can say that the device is very, very snappy.  There is no delay in doing whatever it is you want to do.  Apps load very quickly, the quick launch bar switches in an instant, and Safari feels very responsive.

Other than the yellow tint, there are two somewhat-negatives are worth mentioning.  First, as many others have noted, the charge/sync cable does not go in “straight.”  You almost have to hold it at an angle to line it up before it locks in.  It’s bizarre, but something I’m sure I will get the hang of with time.

Second, and this is very minor, but swiping between photos doesn’t seem as smooth as everything else does.  It’s not that it’s jittery or anything like that.  It seems to almost stutter when you swipe.

Other than these things, I am loving the device.  It’s hard to say right now without any long-term exposure how the device will fit into my life.  My guess is that, unless I need to compose a lengthy E-mail or edit or write some documents, I will reach for my iPad in most instances.

iPad apps are a blast to play with.  I really enjoy the official Twitter app, especially since the recent iPhone Twitter app update has been so poorly received.  The App Store does a great job of identifying apps in three categories:  iPhone, iPad, or Universal.  If you already have an iPhone or Universal app installed on another iOS device, the App Store recognizes this and, instead of “Buy App,” you see “Install.”  Very cool

What do you all think?  Do you like your iPad 2?  Do you have any interesting stories about standing in line on Friday?  Comment and let us know!


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