May 14, 2010

Hands on iPad

One can’t help but wonder if the iPad is going to be a success especially with all the hype surrounding it. The sure thing is everyone wants to get their hands on one. Walking around some of the popular IT centres reveals that the iPad are already in Malaysia despite the fact that it’s not being sold by Apple Malaysia yet. The initial price for the device was a staggering RM 3k for the 16GB wifi version.



Weeks later the price has now dropped to roughly RM 2.5k which is still a far cry from the USD 499 price displayed in Apple US site. With the current exchange rate it works out to roughly RM 1.6k. So if you know of anyone heading over to the US make sure to ask them to bring an iPad back !!Lucky for me a colleague of mine recently got himself the iPad and the best part is it was a gift. He doesn’t even know how to register for an AppStore account and just uses the device to browse the web !!! I persuaded him to bring it to office and let me fiddle around with it for a day and yesterday was that day πŸ™‚

Picture frame

Picture frame

First impression I had when I saw the iPad was “Wow it looks like a very big picture frame. The multimedia type” but all that changes as soon as you press the power button on.

About screen

About screen

There isn’t much you can do on the device with its default applications. Played around with the Photos application and one thing I noticed is how fast and smooth the pinch zoom gesture is. The gorgeous screen definitely does not disappoint. Also tried playing mp3 on it and I’m quite impressed with the sound quality over the speakers. Sounds pretty decent and comparable if not better than some notebooks. After a few mins of just toying around with it, I got bored and decided to explore the AppStore.

As soon as I keyed in my details I received an error stating “App Store is not supported in your country”. I was like damn so what do with this expensive brick now ? Thank god google saved the day.

App Store not supported

App Store not supported

Luckily the fix is simple enough.

  • Set-up a free US iTunes account.
  • Open the iPad iTunes Store app (which does work.
  • Scroll down to the bottom and log out of your international account
  • Log back in with your US iTunes account
  • Voila and now you get to access the App store and download some apps to run on the iPad.One of the thing I did was to install Tweetdeck as they have an optimised version for the iPad and I wanted to see how it looked like πŸ™‚



    Installing tweetdeck

    Installing tweetdeck

    Setup screen

    Setup screen

    The keypad on the iPad is big enough for double-handed typing which is a big plus. It takes some getting used to as there’s no place/space to rest your palms unlike on a notebook. Soon enough I was quite comfortable typing on the screen. One thing that I still couldn’t get used to was there’s no number row on the keyboard and like the iPhone you need to press the number button to reveal the number keys.



    3 coloumn view on Tweetdeck

    3 column view on Tweetdeck

    I wish the iPad came with a stand or something to tilt the screen slightly towards me instead of me having to look at the screen straight from the top. Maybe they are trying to promote good sitting posture and ensure you keep your back straight while using the iPad πŸ˜€

    I tried loading up Facebook on the iPad and was utterly disappointed. Facebook has yet to launch an optimised version for the iPad, this in turn resulted in very big everything and not making full use of the extra screen real estate on the iPad.

    Very big Facebook

    Very big Facebook

    This got me hunting for an alternative app to access Facebook. After much searching I ended up installing Sobees. I was pleasantly surprised when I launched the app. They have made Facebook look exactly like a magazine and some friends even thought I was reading a magazine online πŸ™‚

    Facebook ala magazine

    Facebook ala magazine

    I spent the rest of the day just toying around with the iPad and had fun carrying it around in the office πŸ™‚ It’s roughly 0.7 kg only so you don’t really get tired lugging it around compared to a laptop or netbook even. The ability of having it switch on immediately with a press of a button is definitely appealing. Wish there was a stand included so I don’t have to hold it every time I want to show someone something. It could even come in handy when doing presentations of the iPad to a group of people. Wish I had more time to play around with it and evaluate its daily usage and if it can actually replace a laptop. If it were to retail less than RM 2k when it launches in Malaysia I’m pretty sure a lot of people will be getting one.


    1. I’m not jealous, really.

      Comment by lightyoruichi — May 14, 2010 @ 4:46 pm | Reply

    2. I’m sure you’re not since you’re not an apple fan πŸ™‚

      Comment by yoga — May 16, 2010 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

    3. Hihi,

      I know google is my friend, but it would be awesome if you could point out where to get instructions to setup a free US iTunes account WITHOUT having a:

      1. Credit card with US billing address
      2. iTunes USD credit


      Comment by zxbr — May 16, 2010 @ 7:15 pm | Reply

    4. you can get the instructions to setup the account here

      Comment by yoga — May 16, 2010 @ 8:32 pm | Reply

    5. My mother bought the iPad a month ago. She was the first one to get it from one of the first guys that had imported a couple of them to NL. He charged around 600 euros for it and my mother was crazy enough to buy it without hesitation. She actually found out that for ‘older’ people it is really nice to use. She’s a weird one as she even has a Macbook Pro 15″….which I even don’t have πŸ™‚

      Cheers Yoga!

      Comment by Ilya — May 23, 2010 @ 1:29 pm | Reply

    6. Whoa your mum sure has expensive taste πŸ™‚ What does she primarily use the iPad for ? Reading books/magazines ? Would love to know how she uses the iPad.

      Thanks for the visit Ilya. Cheers: )

      Comment by yoga — May 26, 2010 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

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