iPad 3G Reviewed and I Think I’m in Love!Rich
iPad 3G Reviewed And Oh, By Way, I Think I’m in Love!
By: Chris Pope – www.CEDSolutions.com / TechJives.net May 4th, 2010
My Buying Experience
So I pose a question to all you readers out there… is it considered polygamy to have a wife but take a beautiful sensual piece of technology sexiness as your bride as well? Okay, so maybe the word “sensual” is taking it a bit too far. Come to think of it, maybe the word “beautiful” is a bit too far as well. But it is a sexy piece of technology, don’t be a hater!
Friday morning at 10:28am Eastern Time I found myself fourth in line at Lenox Mall Atlanta Georgia to wait six and a half hours to pick up the iPad 3G. The words “No sitting on the floor” was heard periodically throughout the day by mall security guards. However, I did enter the Apple store to look around before beginning the long days wait. Located in the Apple store there were around fifteen iPad Wifi editions for people to play around with. Like harlots on an old western movie they were calling my name trying to entice me into cheating on my own iPad before I even had it! That’s right folks, I was an iPad virgin prior to getting my 3G and proud of it! At 5:23pm I walked out of that mall the proud new owner of my new iPad 3G with what seemed at the time like evil glares of the massive line of around two hundred people that had formed throughout the day.
Candle lit dinner, some romantic music and waking up the next day with my head pounding is a small summary of what happened following the joining of the iPad 3G and I. Okay Okay fine, so I’m over dramatizing things, but you gotta admit, it makes a more interesting read!
On with my reviews…
Technical Review (from an IT perspective)
I’m sure you’re probably wondering how an iPad could be all that helpful for an IT(Information Technology) person. You might be surprised to find that there’s a whole lot you can do with the iPad involving IT, but let’s start with the facts!
The 3G model looks almost identical to the original WiFi iPad that came out on April 3rd with the exception of the black plastic area at the top which as you can probably imagine, is used for the cellular signal.
Wi-Fi + 3G model (16GB, 32GB, or 64GB available)
- UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
- GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
- 1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip
- Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology
- Digital compass
- Assisted GPS (Wi-Fi + 3G model)
- Cellular (Wi-Fi + 3G model)
- Dock connector port
- 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack
- Built-in speaker
- Micro-SIM card tray (Wi-Fi + 3G model only)
There are two different 3G plans you can use that do not require contracts! One piece of advice is to be aware that once you sign up for the 3G service, AT&T will auto renew your monthly service unless you manually cancel it.
$15 a month gets you 250 MB of 3G data use; $30 a month gets you unlimited 3g data use.
The 3G speed tests I did were actually pretty impressive. You can very easily stream videos music and more over 3G with a half decent signal strength, not to mention watching a movie using the free Netflix App is also very doable. Here’s a screenshot of my speed tests over 3G
The First two test are for Lansing, Michigan. The Second two tests are for Dallas, Texas The Third two tests are for Atlanta, Georgia
Essentially by running these tests you can see that I was clocking the 3G at around the download speed of a T1 (1.54 Mbps) which is a common business speed Internet connection, with the exception of the upload speed being low. Of course one must consider the time of day and the amount of traffic traversing certain portions of the Internet during that period, but all in all, the bandwidth was pretty impressive in my opinion.
The below picture is another test I did demonstrating a connection to a Microsoft server and viewing Active Directory using the iPad over 3G. The connection worked perfectly with very little lag.
So in closing for my Technical Review, I’d like to point out that the iPad would probably surprise most people at how versatile and helpful it can be even for a systems administrator running an enterprise network server!
Oh wait? Whats that? What about needing to type out long emails, documents, or spreadsheets?
Typing On A Digitized Keyboard
I average around 68-75 wpm(words per minute) on a regular computer keyboard.
On the iPad keyboard turned in “landscape” I averaged around 42-49 wpm, not that bad considering I just got it!
Learning and Educational Use
Digital Documentation – One thing you may or may not know already is that, with the help of a downloadable app, you can easily download and view PDF and other documents from anywhere on the Internet. The sky is the limit here really as you have the Internet at your finger tips. The Apple app store also offers hundreds of books that you can purchase pretty cheaply and that’s not to mention the Amazon Kindle app you can get that can even further your digital library. So there’s plenty of material to educate yourself with all across the Internet.
Video – Whats that? Not into reading? Well never fear, as the iPad has the ability to view video feeds from sites like YouTube.com. Granted the iPad doesn’t support flash, however it can support other video formats and you’ll probably find that slowly but surely a lot of websites are starting to migrate their video feeds over to Apple supported formats.
Audio – Don’t forget about the hundreds of audio books available for your listening pleasure as the iPad is also an iPod as well! Download audio books directly from the iTunes store or via audible.com. There’s even thousands of free podcasts to choose from within iTunes, and be sure to check out all of the Tech Jives(www.techjives.net) podcasts as well!
Online Training – As time progresses with HTML5, online training classes will be easily viewable via your iPad. CED Solutions(www.cedsolutions.com) is one of the top computer training companies in the world so be on the look out for products they’ll be offering!
Here are some apps that I highly recommend!
Save web pages for later offline reading, optimized for readability on your iPhone or iPod touch screen. Featured by Apple and critically acclaimed by top blogs, newspapers, and magazines!
The Early Edition takes all of the news sources that you enjoy and presents their content in a format which is familiar, stylish and intuitive.Each time you collect news, the most recent articles from your source list are gathered into an edition for that day and then stored in Archives for later reference.
Create and edit Word (DOC) and Excel (XLS) files on your iPad. It integrates with Google Docs and MobileMe iDisk too, which means that you can now access your important documents at all times.
iTap RDP Client
Manage your Windows desktop from your iPhone or iPod touch. Utilizing the Microsoft RDP protocol, iTap RDP client gives you complete control and fast access from anywhere.
Stitcher Radio turns your iPhone into a Smart Radio. With Stitcher, you can stream your favorite podcasts and radio programs ON-DEMAND.
Get Netflix on your iPad. Just download this free app and you can instantly watch TV shows & movies streaming from Netflix.
• It’s part of your Netflix unlimited membership. Not a Netflix member? Start your FREE trial today.
• Watch as often as you want
• Resume watching where you left off on your TV or computer
• Browse movies and manage your Queue right from your iPad
Enjoy your entire video collection everywhere! Get more of your video library on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Air Video is a great solution to watch your AVI, DivX, MKV and other videos.
WeatherBug Elite for iPad employs the power of the WeatherBug network – the world’s largest weather network – to provide iPad users with the latest weather information including local current conditions, extended forecast, severe weather alerts, animated Doppler radar, live weather camera images and much more! Available FREE for a limited.
Downsides To The iPad
Although I tend to stick to positives more often than not, I feel it’s important to make a list of the draw backs to the iPad.
- No Camera – This seems to be the number one thing people complain about when it comes to the iPad, so naturally it is listed in the number one spot. Most people agree that this could have been easily implemented by Apple. If you’ve watched Apple over the years it should be no surprise when they hold out on features that are planned for future versions of their products.
- No Multi-tasking support – The iPad does have certain multi tasking capabilities, but none outside the built-in Apple applications.
- No Built-in USB connectors – Apple does have certain adapters available that can support USB products, but the iPad doesn’t come with any standard USB ports. Yet another thing people complain about but should be no surprise based on Apple history of controller hardware support.
- No Good Service Plan – Apple offers an extended warranty, but it only covers manufacturer problems.
- Limited Hard Drive Space – The iPad only comes in 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB worth of space and cannot be extended.
To close out this Article I’d like to leave you with the argument that I believe that almost anyone could benefit from one of these. I have two desktop computers, two full sized laptops, one net book, and an iPhone. I haven’t had a big need for my netbook since I have the iPad. As far as my desktop computers go, I connect to them from my iPad and can control them with very little lag whatsoever not to mention the fact that I can even play sound from the desktop computers to the iPad speakers. So I say, before you argue that the iPad isn’t useful, maybe you should consider everything it can do and re-evaluate how helpful this tool can be!
Feel free to email me any questions or comments at Chris (@) TechJives.net (Email split up to protect from spam bots)
Chris Pope is a Certified Technical Trainer for CED Solutions in Marietta, GA as well as he hosts numerous podcasts for The Tech Jives Network. You can also follow him on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/thechrispope