By April 5, 2010

iPad is Punching Your Kindle and Netbook in the Stomach

I'm not exactly an Apple enthusiast.

I don't own a Mac for the sole purpose of running Windows in a virtual machine so that I can actually do my work.

In fact, I bought a Droid.

But I bought an iPad on Saturday anyway!  Why?


Well, like any good software developer, I don't like duplication.  I don't like two devices of similar size taking up space and having to be charged.

Sometime last week, I realized that my Kindle DX and my netbook, could both be replaced by an iPad.  (At least I realized my Kindle DX could be, and once I actually used the iPad, realized the netbook also can be.)

I bought the device expecting it to be basically a replacement for my Kindle DX with color.  I thought that for almost the same price, I might as well get a device that is color, since I am really using the Kindle DX for mainly reading PDFs.

Even with just that functionality, it is a very good bargain. Both the iBooks application and Kindle's own iPad application provide a better user experience than the Kindle or any other eReader that I know of.  There is just something about being able to turn pages, and have color images in your books, that makes it feel so much more like a real book.  You don't really realize how much better the eReader experience can be until you try an iPad.

In addition, I have been pretty impressed with other aspects of the iPad that I had scoffed at before the release.  Perhaps the most impressive thing about an iPad is the screen.  It really does feel “magical.”  It is hard to explain, but the viewing angle, combined with the crisp colors and very responsive refresh are like nothing I have ever seen before.

Browsing the web and typing are much easier than I would have expected.  I can actually hold the iPad landscape and thumb type.  (Which might not be possible for some.)

I spent a good amount of time this weekend staring at my netbook, trying to figure out why I would not put it on Ebay.

I didn't come up with a good answer.  There were some things that I might want to do on a laptop, that I couldn't do on an iPad, but for pretty much everything I would want to do on a netbook, I could do it easier on an iPad.

One of the really important features of the iPad that makes it smack down netbooks is that it turns on instantly.  Having to boot up the netbook is enough of a deterrent to make it sit over in the corner unused, unless it is worth waiting 20 seconds to boot.  (Which most uses of it are not.)  The iPad is also another device that you don't really have to manage configuration on.  If you are like me and have a home PC and a laptop, you probably aren't thrilled with managing configuration on a netbook on top of all that.  The iPad just works.

After seeing how good Plant's vs. Zombies runs on the iPad, and how nice it looks, it may turn out to be a good gaming platform also.  Time will tell.

All in all, I haven't had the iPad for more than 2 days so far, but I am liking it.  I intend to give a more in depth comparison between Android OS and iPhone OS, now that I have a device running each.  I highly recommend at least going out and demo-ing one, because it is kind of difficult to understand why the device is so neat until you've actually played with it yourself.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."