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What You Get For Five Hundred Dollars

It’s been two weeks since the iPad 2 has come into my life. When I saw the first one at the store, I never thought I would have a need for one and actually considered getting a MacBook Air instead, but then cooler heads prevailed (or I just couldn’t get over spending $1000 when a perfectly serviceable laptop lives here). But then the iPad 2 was coming out and I felt like buying myself something. Thanks to a lot of overtime, it seemed clearly nearly already bought so I got one.

Other than having to be careful where I take it since I don’t have a case yet, I’ve used it as much as possible. I find myself going to it over and over again not only out in the city but in the comfort of my own home. It’s so instantaneous that doing things on the iPod feels sluggish and doing things on the iMac feels like so much work (and then I have to sit on that swivel computer chair). It’s so fast and the apps are so often streamlined versions of full programs. It’s small yet not too small. It makes the web and a lot of other activities immediately 3D. I’ve cooked with it (Epicurious), read in it (Nook and Kindle), facebooked, browsed pictures, taken notes at a conference, and used it to edit some files, and now I’m blogging on it. It makes things immediately real in a way personal computing has not been. It’s interactive.

There are a few downsides. The absence of the Tab key is irritating beyond belief, especially for dialog. Moving about in a document is less than easy since there are no arrow keys and the touch step is a little awkward and far from accurate. I will be writing and editing scenes on it but not whole novels. Somehow I keep missing the space bar and end up with words about twenty words long though I’m getting better at it. There appear to be no perfect cases available for it for now since people are backordered and I’m very picky. Mine is still in its shipping plastic suit. People need to make apps that work both as iPhone and iPad more often. It’s a ripoff I need to pay twice to use THE SAME APP!

Overall, I love this thing. It’s blazing fast, something full computers cannot be by their nature. Welcome to the new word of personal computing.

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