iPad follow up

It’s been a while now since I handed my friends iPad back to him. After borrowing it for a weeks time or so, I wanted to wrap up my last post by passing my “final” judgement.

Overall using the iPad didn’t quite pan out as I had imagined. My imagined scenario was bringing it with me more or less everywhere I went, using it for a few central things like writing, browsing and photo and video editing.

Two things hindered me from doing this. 1) It being my friends iPad I wasn’t completely confident just throwing it in a bag and lugging it around. I didn’t want him to come home to a ruined iPad and 2) photo and video editing would probably be great, except I didn’t have much chance to try it out. All the apps I already owned were not iPad compatible, and not knowing when or if I’m getting one myself, I didn’t want to spend the money on these types of apps.

There are however a few scenarios that I did use it for, where it proved pretty suited for the task and actually made the job easier for me. That might warrant it’s existence in my gadget arsenal, but let’s examine.

The first scenario is as a complimentary browser and entertainment device at home. Not having a TV I’m “stuck” using my computer for any entertainment I consume. The iPad makes it easier to move this from my desktop to anywhere else, which is definitely more comfortable. It also seems to be one of the much described use cases for the iPad.

The other use I found for it was a companion for interviewing people. I performed two interviews while using the iPad, one of which was in the field. The iPad enabled me to bring along any documents, additional information and notes, while also serving as a note taking device.

This last scenario of actually using the iPad as a tool instead of just for entertainment is what I was actually intending to test it out for. One thing about this is that not many other people use a tablet (or smartphone for that matter) for this yet. This means that the opening remark from both the people I interviewed was about the iPad. In the moment it kind of threw me off, but if used correctly I’m thinking it could be used as a conversation starter, thereby easing the actual interview.

But is it any good you might be asking. Well I guess I’m still somewhat undecided. I can totally see myself using an iPad for vacations, where I’d like to be able to write and do light photo editing. Another place I could see myself using it is for casual work, like interviewing people or using as a document reader for meetings.
On the other hand most of these things can already be accomplished either using my phone or a simple notebook and pen. So then what the iPad seems to bring to the table is the longer battery life (useful for all those intercontinental flights) than the iPhone or laptop (but less than a notebook and pen), easier to bring than a laptop, and the added benefit of not having to retype what I’ve put in a notebook.

So in the end the question seems to be if I am willing to pay for a device, which for my usage only have some added benefits over a notebook, a pen and my phone? As of right now it’s a definite no but I am not sure it will continue to be.