At the end of May I bought an iPad 32GB WiFi for £499. I’d been looking forward to having the perfect machine for web browsing, email, apps and games from the sofa and bed – filling the gap between my iMac and iPhone. After the repeated delays in the iPad being released in the UK, it just made my excitement and anticipation grow for when it finally did arrive in my hands, knowing it would be worth the wait.
I wanted to love the iPad. To feel like it was the one can’t-live-without-gadget. But I couldn’t love it no matter how hard I tried. And I tried, especially as I’d just spent my hard earned £500 on it. I just kept feeling that something was missing and it certainly didn’t feel like the magical device that Apple were touting it to be.
I had been asked by many people to write a review of the iPad shortly after I bought it. You may have noted the absence of an iPad review here, simply because I was still trying to figure out where this was fitting into my life and why. And somehow putting it all into words would have made me realise that the iPad just wasn’t for me. Quite hard to admit to for my own sake, believe me. But, I wanted to give it time. Time to see what apps would come along to improve it, to see whether UK magazines would finally start coming to it and the arrival of books I’m interested in, in iBooks. It deserved a chance to prove itself.
The iPad, sadly, was starting to feel like an oversized iPod touch, to me. It also felt extremely limited. I’d bought some iPad versions of apps that I already had on the iPhone, thinking that the larger screen estate would make them more enjoyable. Yet I found playing games much more comfortable on the iPhone, particularly driving games. Navigating twists and turns on the heavy iPad was not ideal infact it was awkward. One of the reasons I wanted the iPad was for full size games, so this was a heavy disappointment.
I gave it 6 months to see whether I would start to see it as a gadget I couldn’t do without. But there were just too many shortfalls – some websites automatically reverting to their mobile versions rather than standard with no way of changing it. I know this is down to the individual site developer rather than the iPad itself, but it still meant I was having to run to the iMac to view the site(s) as intended. The inability to log into some sites on the iPad was also a huge frustration and defeated the entire purpose of being able to browse the internet and buy things from my favourite online stores from my sofa and bed.
Once the new MacBook Air was revealed at the October Apple Keynote, the future of my iPad was sealed; it had to find a new home. I was lucky enough to sell it very quickly for £429, meaning a loss of just £70 compared to what I paid for it. I couldn’t ask for more than that.
Today I headed to the Apple Store Metrocentre and walked away with the new 11″ MacBook Air 64GB, costing £849. I am absolutely thrilled with it. I have hardly been able to wipe the huge grin from my face eversince I opened the box. It’s fast – open the lid after sleeping and it’s there, good to go – no delay. It’s cool and absolutely silent. The screen size is perfect as is the clarity – and the keyboard feels so very comfortable to type on, infact this entire review has been typed on it. I can see this being much more comfortable when using it in bed, compared to the iPad.
Do I regret buying the iPad? No, not one bit. I feel fully qualified to give my own honest and unbiased opinion on it after using it for 6 months, not just a five minute fumble with it in the Apple Store only to instantly declare it a piece of rubbish or the best thing since sliced bread. It’s not a piece of rubbish, it’s just not for me.
It’s far too early to cover everything and give a full intensive review after such a short period of time with it, but I will say I am absolutely blown away by the Air – it was definitely love at first touch! If you have any questions then fire away in the comments and I’m sure I’ll be writing more on the MacBook Air soon