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Customer Review

71 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes it's cool - but it's more about what you can do with it! Great addition even if you have an iPhone 4., April 17, 2011
This review is from: Apple iPad 2 MC773LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi + AT&T 3G, Black) 2nd Generation (Personal Computers)
My primary reason to buy an iPad was both work and home use. At work I wanted to stop printing the powerpoint decks and reports to read, and just read them on an iPad in meetings/on the go. For home I was tired of not being able to get to all my magazines and never having them on me when I wanted to read them. I also wanted to watch some TV/movies in bed/around the home so that I did not have to switch on the big living room TV. The iPad 2 has been a perfect solution for all these and more. I'm kicking myself that I went with the lowest 16GB version as I find myself downloading more content and apps everyday! It's not a laptop/desktop replacement either at home or work, but it's a great media consumption device and more.

I already used my iPhone 4 constantly due to the multitude of apps and games available for it. Fewer apps are available for iPad but it's still thousands, and I have already downloaded 200+ to try, most of them free.

The hardware itself is very slick. Very light so you can hold it in one hand, especially if you use a cover - otherwise it tends to be slippery. But it's not so much about the hardware, which other reviews have detailed anyway. It's all about being able to do what you want to do with a device. With the best technology the device itself should disappear and allow you to create, read, connect - whatever it is you want to do. That's what iPad 2 is doing for me, like a netbook never could. Using it is so intuitive and seamless, that despite having the iPhone 4, I am amazed with how much more I can do to be productive. I regret not buying it sooner!

Like the previous devices Apple has created the genius is in the apps available for it. The PressReader apps allows me to read newspapers and magazines from all over the world. I can now read some favorite magazines that were so difficult to get in the print version and newspapers too. Apps like the Flipboard and Zite make magazine content come alive. Favorite magazines like Bloomberg Businessweek and Wired are available free as iPad versions to print subscribers. Also, all news magazines are now featuring interactive content, so I'm reading the news article and looking at static images, and then just as easily click on a video to watch it. The Daily is a good interactive made for newspaper but I'm looking for even better interactive journalism!

"The Civil War" shows us what history books of future should look like with its interactive content and a daily log of events as they happened 150 years ago. Netflix streams nicely and I can watch the content I want to that bore my family to tears - like documentaries. I also download all my PDF reading materials on it and can read and annotate and highlight. Powerpoints are so easy to read and I can scale the screen to look at the graphs better. iMovie is so simple to use, and I've already created several home movies with music and subtitles. GarageBand is great for novices like me, it has a multitude of instruments that I can play and even has smart versions to create music. With penultimate and UPad I've been trying to completely do away with paper notepads, but that's not the perfect solution yet.

With apps like Dropbox and Box you can drop your files into the cloud and access them from your iPad. Chatting over FaceTime or over Webex is simple, although it's entirely dependent on bandwidth. With other apps you can access your remote desktop and use every program on your computer or pull any file. I am using TeamViewer which is free for individuals to log into my home PC from work and check my files or run some programs remotely. It shows you your PC screen on your iPad and you drag your finger to move the mouse cursor and click. It's pretty seamless once you set it up, as simple as opening the app. I opened it one day from work to see my kid watching Youtube and surprised her at dinner when she told me she had been doing home work (ha!).

Another made for iPad app I use a lot is the Tivo Remote. When I turn it on it automatically shows the program I'm currently watching on the iPad screen with more details and upcoming episodes. I can use the remote buttons or explore like programs, set my season passes, etc. And when I'm not home I can use it to record programs remotely. Xfinity from Comcast also allows you to schedule and watch your onDemand content. HBO GO is simply a delight, I am thrilled to have all the HBO shows available to me anywhere I go!

I have been reading much more since I got iPad 2. Especially blogs, magazines and newspapers. That alone makes it worth it for me. And it's SO much easier to stream content like TED Talks, Lectures from YouTube, movies from Crackle and Netflix. I would have never wanted to sit down with my heavy and hot laptop for such prolonged periods to watch this content. There are some fun games available too, and every day more apps get launched which make me wonder how did I manage without this before!

Facetime has been fun too. There are Qik (from Skype) and Tango, and several other apps available that will let you do video chat but since Facetime is integrated with email, you can just click on a contact's name and choose to connect through FaceTime. I can not only check on my kid on video through this feature (all they need is an iPod Touch and wireless) but also connect with friends overseas for free. And I can click their pics while they're on the call with me. Again this feature is dependent on video quality but as a multi-tasking mom it's been great to be able to connect any time in video from work to home. My kid will be listening to music on her iPod Touch and my FaceTime call comes in - and we're off talking face to face. VLC Player has been a great app to watch .avi and other videos. I had slightly lower res version of a TV series in AVI format and the VLC player allowed me to watch it on iPad, I prefer that screen to my HP Pavilion 17 inch which has worse resolution and tends to get too hot in my lap anyway

Battery life was a big surprise for me. Mine lasts 10-11 hours on the WiFi model with full usage. That is amazing, I never carry the charger as it goes 2 days without charging. Love it! None of my laptops can compare!

The frustrations I experienced with the iPad 2 was its inability to play Flash, which will not come any time soon due to Steve Job's dislike of that technology. However, a genius of an app called iSwifter has found a way to run flash on iPad 2 and I have been using it to watch video on websites that have flash content. However, it's still not as seamless as I would like it to be! The other is a more seamless way to store and organize photos and files. I can do this through apps but why not make this more seamless. If I have to delete photos there should be a select all feature to delete a whole folder.

If you're on the fence about buying an iPad 2 go ahead and make the leap, you won't regret it. If you already have an iPad then hold on for iPad 3 as this version gives you some enhancements (faster, improved graphics, thinner, cameras) but nothing that is so extraordinary that you can't wait another few months!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 20, 2011 5:59:55 AM PDT
Most reviews focus on specs. I don't need that, I can get the specs from Apple's website. What I find most helpful is information from real people about the everyday experience of using the device. That's why yours is really excellent. Thank you!

I love Dropbox and have it on all my devices. It really increases the (already great) usefulness of iPhones and Android phones. I'm sure it would be fantastic on the iPad.

You said powerpoints are easy to read - do you read them natively on iPad, or do you read them as PDF files? I do a ton of work with powerpoint.

What other apps do you enjoy and recommend?


In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2011 9:31:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 21, 2011 9:35:29 PM PDT
ZenWoman says:
I read Powerpoints natively on iPad right now. Other apps I like:
Business - TeamViewer for remote access to my desktop, PDF Reader Pro for PDFs - there are some others that may be better, Digits Lite - a calculator with a ticker, OverDrive for checking books out of your local library, Roambi for presentation of information, TradePub for industry publications
News - News 360, TED talks, Bloomberg, Wolfram Alpha for all kinds of information, Flud - another format for news, Reuters Pro, Huff Post among others
Media - VLC player to play all .avi files, Zap2it for TV listings, PBS which has videos too, Tivo Remote for iPad, The Onion for iPad, Netflix and Hulu+, Discovery HD
Info - Terra browser, Wikipanion, Google Earth
Travel - TripAdvisor, Kayak, Jetsetter
Fun - Smule's Magic Piano, already mentioned - GarageBand, iMovie

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2012 3:26:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 4, 2012 3:27:15 PM PDT
I agree with the dropbox usefulness. It is by far the most important aspect for me.

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