Using a small part of my innovation budget, I purchased an iPad to have a play. Here are some thoughts, from a geek and an IT professional's perspective.
I have to confess that I was most impressed with the power-up time of the device. Being used to Tablet PC's, this is simply just magical ! The battery life duration is also breath-taking, just unknown for a laptop user….
I found that the ergonomics was extremely intuitive, navigating on the internet or on iPad apps was just so easy.
Socially speaking, I found it much more acceptable being seated on my sofa with the tool on my lap rather that seating at my desk, turning my back to the room. Okay, I did not quizz my wife on this but at least she was not blaming me to be sitting at my PC. The backlighting of the screen is in my opinion very well designed and my eyes did not get sore by reading an e-book and I even enjoyed flipping pages of a few other ones.
After a week-end on it, my favorite applications is the Worldwide geo-localisation of public restrooms with route calculation and user feedback, this is web 2.0 at its best ! However, I would have had to walk for 800 km, letting a few trees passing by.
On the downside, I found that the lack of a webcam, a USB port, Flash support are unacceptable limitations. Being iTunes-captiveis so irritating and I see is as an huge obstacle to corporate usage. The virtual keyboard is designed for illiterate people writing without accented letters and special characters. This is just not acceptable.
If I had to find an enterprise raison d'être for the iPad, that would be an application with limited data entry, a quick availability and a high visual content like a simple configurator for sales people in front of a customer.
Having said that, I am very excited with the tool and I will definitely make it a home device for internet access, available throughout the house. In this respects it beats the laptop PC by far. I am waiting with bated breath for other manufacturers to release poorer copies of the device with a much more open approach.