OK, I think I have had enough time with the iPad now to share some first impressions. Keep in mind that these are based upon a few hours of sporadic usage and hence they are a lot more jerk then knee. Also, this was written entirely on the iPad in landscape orientation on my lap.

  • Holy Moses is this thing fast! I mean, the first thing I imagine any iPhone user will think after using this for a few minutes is how BadAss™ the next iPhone will be if they use a similar A4 chip as they do here.
  • That speed comes with a side advantage that I did not put much thought into before today — making the device disappear. The experience is so natural and reflexive, the only thought that comes to mind is “Yes. This is the way computing should have always been”. After only a few seconds you are suddenly flying around the interface with such speed and grace that you forget the interface completely. It is simply an extension of you.
  • The keyboard is entirely useable and comfortable to me. Especially in landscape orientation. The whole “lean back a bit and cradle it in your lap” experience works quite well. So does the “hunched over looking down at the thing” experience. In other words, if one is not careful this will produce a whole new range of ergonomically induced syndromes. Keep in mind that I am a “two finger” typist and generally don’t have issues on keyboards of different sizes and types your milage may y.
  • Many, many of the apps are far better, more useable and more natural than either their desktop or iPhone counterparts. While that is certainly true of many of the built in ones, it is not exclusive to them. Twitterific for iPad is far better than any other version. The Kindle app is even better than the Kindle itself, let alone on the iPhone or Desktop. Instapaper is an absolute dream. The list could go on. I really believe this is also related to the speed and fluidity of the iPad and how these apps simply behave in ways that are natural and intuitive.
  • Some short term investment advice – The future is in microfiber! Short of that, if you have been thinking about starting a business that sells cleaner for the iPad screen, now is the time.

In all, I am beyond happy with the iPad. It not only lives up to the hype, it exceeds it.