Andrew Naylor

Home Computing

I mentioned in a previous post about the launch of the new iPad that I had decided my money was safe. At university I became very strict with myself to leave my laptop on my desk, connected to external KVM and as such I used the iPad extensively elsewhere. When I graduated last year, I moved back to my parents house so I could save more effectively for a house deposit. As a result of this I found myself using my laptop as a portable machine again my iPad fell by the wayside.

In the week prior to the iPad announcement - shortly after I wrote the Resolutionary post, I had left mine in the living room and my dad picked it up and started using it. Before long he was looking at second hand prices on eBay, it was clear he enjoyed using it much more than his personal laptop.

When my friend, Mark, informed me that he would attempt to purchased an iPad after work on launch day I decided I would go along for the ride. I was curious to see what the display was like and I got the impression he might need a little encouragement to part with his £500. It was exactly what I was expecting, certainly a very impressive screen, but I was a little underwhelmed as I couldn’t really appreciate the improvements prodding a display model in a busy store. I still didn’t feel I could justify the cost to myself as I already had a perfectly good iPad.

Mark decided he was going to take the plunge, so we approached one of the store staff to ask the all important question - did they have the right model in stock? After all, online orders were showing a 2-3 week lead time across the board. Surprisingly they had plenty, we were promptly escorted out of the store, into the queue system which is always present for launches at our local store. Whilst there was no one in the queue, that was where the staff were standing with stacks of cards, each one representing a unit of stock. I asked about the abundance of stock, while they wouldn’t comment on how many they received, they did point out that what they had would have to last the weekend and they were expecting to be busy.

We were allocated a card representing a 32GB black WiFi only iPad, then taken back into the store to complete the transaction. It was clear that while the store was very busy there weren’t many customers as Mark paid almost immediately. I was very impressed overall, they seem to be getting on top of their launch supply. I can’t see myself queueing overnight for a launch again.

That evening I read lots of feedback on twitter from people getting their new toys and one thing jumped out at me. Someone mentioned that the screen brightness on new iPads could be set much dimmer than previous models and this got me thinking. I have a Kindle which I read on, primarily because I don’t enjoy having my retinas scorched by the iPad screen at night. Having the option of reading on the iPad at night was very appealing though as it is much more versatile.

The following day I visited Mark and spent roughly 2-3 minutes with his iPad, primarily checking exactly how dim the screen could go. I moved some money around, called the Apple Store to check their stock levels and an hour later I was in possession of a Black, 32GB Wifi+4G iPad along with a dark grey Smart Cover.

The Smart Cover, despite its flaws lives up to my expectations and provides a happy medium between bulky case and a naked, easily damaged iPad. I’m ashamed to admit my previous iPad sustained more damage than I would have liked. My dad bought my old iPad off me for the price of my cars Vehicle Excise Duty, which was handy because I’d spent all my money on an iPad.

I find myself using the iPad for much more than I did previously. I happen to be writing this on my Mac because I was working on some code when I decided to write but am I happy overall? Absolutely.