After obsessing over it for about a month, I rounded up enough money to buy my 16GB black WiFi iPad 2. I bought it on Tuesday, August 23rd. So I've had it nearly 2 weeks, and it has already become part of my daily routine. I absolutely adore it, and while $570 was a huge amount of money for me to spend (I bought a green SmartCover also), I do not regret it at all.
I was the first one to make fun of iPads when they first came out. Mainly because I thought they were a waste of money. The people I know who bought them bought them "just because they were cool" or "just because it was Apple". I didn't see how someone could justify such an expensive purchase. To me, it seemed like an expensive, albeit fun, toy.
I have changed my tune. I admit that I was ignorant upon first forming my opinion on an iPad. I didn't know much about them. Nor did I truly understand all of the uses for it.
I have an over 3 year old Toshiba laptop that is probably on its last leg. It's heavy, clunky, and has no battery. It is not practical to carry around to a college campus due to its weight and the fact that you'd need to sit near an outlet. I figured my iPad could be its replacement in terms of something to take to school to use the internet and to write notes in class. I was right, because it is.
My TV in my bedroom is starting to die out. I've had it for six years and the picture is quite distorted. I do still lay in bed and watch it, but once it completely dies, I figured my iPad could be its replacement and I could set it on its SmartCover on my nightstand and watch movies. I was right, because I've done it. Thanks to the forums here, I now know how to convert movie files to mp4 and have watched several movies on my iPad. I also have Crackle which is a great app for free movies and shows. The selection isn't fantastic, but you can't complain about the price! I haven't traveled or anything with it yet but it would be awesome for a long car ride or a flight. (I also have the Netflix app so I can watch Netflix things in my bedroom; right now I can only stream on my laptop or on my Blu ray player in my family room.)
My ex bought me a nook last Christmas, an original WiFi. I liked it, but it hasn't gotten much use being a college student finishing up my teaching program. I sold it to make some money for my iPad, and quickly realized my iPad ALSO replaced my nook, because all of my epub files go nicely into iTunes and go right into iBooks. While I miss eink, I do prefer reading on the larger screen of my iPad than on my nook!
I keep up with the news a LOT better on my iPad than I ever did on a smartphone or my laptop. Their news apps are just so amazing. My personal favorites are AP, Pulse to get NYTimes and WSJ headlines, Politico, USA Today, NFL '11, The Onion for some humor, and CNN and Fox News for video clips. I find myself reading the news on my iPad for at least an hour a day. I check each one of those apps for headlines every day.
So, to sum up, my iPad replaced my laptop (for the most part; I still use it for iTunes and things), nook, bedroom TV, and created a news hub for me. Here's more of a quick pros and cons list I've come up with about my iPad so far:
+ Battery life. Major plus! I turn it off instead of putting it in standby when I know I won't be using it for awhile, and it lasts me for days! I was amazed by the longevity of the battery. My phone's battery drains at lightening speeds compared to the iPad.
- iTunes. Now, this might be because of my slow laptop, but I just hate iTunes. It's very moody and doesn't really work half of the time.
+ Notifications. Yes, I have a plus next to it! I'm one of the only ones who likes Apple's current notification system. The only time I don't like it is when I'm watching a movie and it'll interrupt that. Otherwise, I love it. I like knowing right away when someone replies to a tweet, for example, or a change in a sports score.
- Stock photo app. I haven't heard of or found a free photo app that allows you to make photo albums (anyone wanna suggest me one?). But I find the process of getting photos to your iPad somewhat tedious, and it's nearly impossible to make photo albums out of the stock app.
+ Performance. This gets like a million pluses. For me, iOS is just so smooth. I thought I'd hate the folders, but I like how all of my apps are on one screen and are organized by categories. I also love the simple way to take a screen shot (no way to do that on an Android device). I haven't had one thing freeze nor have I had to do a hard reboot yet. Being an Android smartphone user, this is incredible, even after only having it for 12 days!
- Lack of official Facebook app. I know this is coming. MyPad is alright, but I'm definitely looking forward for an official one, hopefully coming with iOS 5.
+ FaceTime. I don't have too many people who use this, just a few friends and my mom at this point, but I love it.
- Cameras. Yeah yeah, I know everyone complains about this. It's not a super big deal to me, but the quality of both are slightly disappointing. That being said, I've never felt compelled to take a picture with it.
There are a million other things I love about the iPad, and while some of my "cons" slightly annoy me, I understand that it's not perfect, and I can live with all of it's "flaws".
$499 was a LOT of money for me to spend, and I could barely afford it, but this device is top notch. It is serving so many more purposes for me than I originally imagined. It has been great.