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iPad – thoughts after a week of ownership…


So, I did it. I was out to dinner with a great client of mine, and some friends from Rackspace, Jeff DeVerter (@jdeverter) and Matt Lathrop (@MatthewRAX), to talk some shop. After dinner, the plaza we were in had an Apple store, and I casually mentioned to Jeff as we were walking by, that I was seriously on the fence about getting an iPad. He then proceeded to tell me how much he loves it.

I was in need of a new Mac, since my mini died over a year ago, I needed something with a full-fledged Safari browser (on a Mac, the Windows port is not even close!) We then went in, and less than 20 minutes later, peppering the poor soul who just happened to talk to me that works there with hundreds of questions, I walked out with a 16GB 3G iPad. I might soon regret not going bigger, but, I’ll deal with that down the road.

Now, I am an Android fan, I’ve had a Motorola Droid since April, and I love it. But the iPad… wow, I love this thing. Sure, it’s a bit less “geek friendly”, as I really want to have access to more, but, the Exchange integration is great (Calendar and Contacts apps are a phenomenal UI design), I have DocsToGo, which I can rip through Excel sheets quickly on the road, use tech books via the Kindle app, and be able to read more than a sentence without scrolling the screen. The battery life is great, and I can tweet to my hearts content via TweetDeck.

I’ve also had a netbook for quite some time now, and, well, they’re cumbersome, somewhat cheaply built, but, great if you like to be able to have USB connections, etc., but, I’m not running any demo images on it any time soon. The iPad was the perfect replacement. I’ve actually been more productive since I got it (I was able to pull off the road, review estimates for a client that were legible – and I could see the entire sheet – a feat which cannot be done on an Android, iPhone, or anything of the sort, have a call about them, and get back on the road with the surprisingly reliable AT&T network), and without having to boot up a netbook to get this done.

I’ve also been working on some branding for a client, and simultaneously when I am on-site, be viewing it in IE and Firefox on my laptop, and checking my changes for compatibility in Safari on the iPad.

Another huge thing, is that I can log into SharePoint via Windows Authentication. Something that I cannot do on my Android, and something I need when on the road, since, after all, I am a SharePoint consultant.

I also do love the contextual keyboard layouts, which change from app to app, giving me colons and parenthesis when I am in the browser, and hiding them when I am not in the browser, replacing them with other frequently used keys.

All-in-all, I think it’s great. I’ve even attended a GoToMeeting presentation on it, and have RDP’ed with great resolution into a terminal server at the office to fix an issue.

So, with that, all I can say, is that I heart my iPad. And my son cannot get enough of the HD version of Angry Birds… but neither can I 🙂

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About Geoff Varosky
Geoff Varosky is a Senior Architect for BlueMetal Architects, based out of Watertown, MA. He has been architecting and developing web based applications his entire career, and has been working with SharePoint for the past 13 years. Geoff is an active member of the SharePoint community, Co-Founder and Co-Organizer of the Boston Area SharePoint Users Group, co-founder for the Boston Office 365 Users Group, co-organizer for SharePoint Saturday Boston and speaks regularly at SharePoint events and user groups.

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