I got the iPad as a birthday present about a month ago. I have been using it since and I want to share my experience with you.
You would have definitely heard about or seen the iPad by now, some of you may own one too. It is a portable device sold by Apple Computers to bridge the gap between a smart phone and a computer, negating the need for a netbook.
The package contained a USB chord, a printed user manual with the iPad sitting on top. I thought it would at least come with some kind of a usable cover. It did not. You have to buy it separately, and with so much choice online, I have yet to decide on a purchase.
Unlike a computer, there is no boot up process, it is ready when you are. The iPad feels solid and sturdy and once fired up, it is easy to start using all the apps. You just know what to do, especially if you have used an iPhone before. The software is really fast and very intuitive. The apps are what makes the iPad experience so enjoyable.
The screen is gorgeous and big enough to surf the internet like with a real computer, without going to mobile version of the websites. I like the fact that, some websites, like Gmail, give you an optimized layout for iPad users.
I mainly use the iPad to surf the net, tweet, check email, read PDFs and catch up on google reader. Here is a list of apps on my iPad. It is pretty limited, so feel free to add anything you think I should check out.
iBooks - I guess this is must if you want to read books and PDF.
iDhivehiSites - To read websites in dhivehi, like Haveeru.
TweetDeck and Twitterrefic - TweetDeck keeps crashing on me, almost everyday.
GoodReader - Another PDF reader, but this app can read PDF on your computer via WiFi.
Marvel, DC Comics, and Comics - Comics has most of the free comics on Marvel and DC.
IMDB - An app to easily check Internet Movie Database.
Wikipanion - An app to easily read Wikipedia.
Dropbox - Store, edit and sync files in he cloud. See my post about dropbox here.
Evernote - A note taking app with sync functionality. Very useful.
Flipboard - A visual social media links aggregator. I just installed it.
The battery life is impressive. I have not used it extendedly, but with about 3-4 hours daily, it last 3 days. Not bad at all.
That being said, the iPad is not perfect. Let me tell you my gripes.
It is a bit heavy for extensive use, your hands get tired soon, maybe because the primary purpose of the iPad is not extended narrative reading. The iPad is not as good in sunlight as the Kindle, not even close, you need some kind of shade to be able to use it. If your want to read books, I suggest you get a Kindle.
The iPad has an OKish on-screen keyboard, but if you want to do any serious writing, forget it. You cannot type like how they do in the ads. It is good to write a few sentences at most, if you want to write more, you will have to get the external bluetooth keyboard.
Some people say that the iPad is plagued by WiFi dropout problems. I have not had a single dropout yet, may be the latest software update had it fixed.
I have to admit, when the iPad first came out, I was extremely skeptical. I could not think of a reason to get one or anticipate how it would fit in to my daily life. However, now that I have been playing with it for a while, I can tell you that iPad is an extremely versatile device and a sheer joy to use.
While I have friends who are exited about the gaming ability of the iPad, I know people who use it essentially for email. I have seen photographers using it as a proofing device and I have heard about parents using the iPad to make learning fun for kids. This is not only a device, its a platform, and I think that is what makes it revolutionary.