I was debating between purchasing a dongle with 3G connectivity for my MacBook Pro versus the iPad. Now keep in mind that iPad does not support Flash, a huge con for a web design firm. Needless to say we are steering more and more of our clients away from incorporating Flash into their sites.
The iPad excels when comparing it to a Netbook or laptop due to it’s ease of use. In general it is just one huge iPhone but then again I love my iPhone.
Overall the iPad is a great device for showcasing our portfolio. Just like the iPhone when in sleep mode with a simple touch of a button the device turns on. In general I leave my laptop off, thus waiting for it to boot with a client can seem like an eternity. Often times clients have wireless connections at their office but they are locked down and they don’t have their passwords readily available. Thus with AT&T’s 3G access for $15 a month you can download 250mb of data, which so far has proven to be more than enough, or you can have unlimited for $29.99 a month. The best part, you aren’t locked into a contract, so if you decide you need it for one month and not the next, no problem. To avoid using too much bandwidth I’ve taken several screen shots of our work and loaded them on to the iPad via iPhoto. A simple solution but keep in mind that the images are automatically optimized for the iPad thus when zooming in they become bitmapped (blurry).
The screen is viewable from almost every angle, so when passing it around a table every one can interact. It is best to enable the “Screen rotation lock” when using Safari since websites seem to get a little screwy when switching from landscape to portrait view.
The battery life is amazing. Apple claims it is a full 10 hours and from my 3 week experience it truly is. At night I will use the device to read PDF files or online articles. If you are used to reading on a screen then you won’t find the backlit device difficult to read. However I don’t think it is a replacement for the Kindle or just a plain old book.
Overall I would give the iPad 2 thumbs up. The price is right and if you are looking for a simple and elegant solution to quickly demo your work go grab yourself one.