How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the iPad

Tomorrow is iPad day.  Having waited patiently for 3G models, The Beverage intends to make the purchase at the Apple Store tomorrow evening.

In the month since initial iPad launch, people have identified enough potential problems with the new device to turn some away.

The Beverage has never been one to fret too much over naysayers when discharging his function as a gadget early adopter, but there’s been enough heat and light around the reported iPad problems to make even me a little nervous.

So, I set about to collect the top 10 problems with the iPad and convince myself to stop worrying about them and make the deal.  Optimism is powerful medicine, but there are some facts behind this.

  1. WiFi Connectivity – People seem to be reporting two different kind of problems with WiFi, signal strength and IP address leasing.  

    Signal strength is clearly a hardware issue, and I’m not worried. This is a common problem with many devices, and, if encountered in The Beverage’s home network, we will adapt, improvise and overcome.  IP leasing is a bit more troublesome, if only because I’ve experienced the same issue with other Apple devices in the past, and it can be very frustrating.  Good news is that the early IP leasing issues I experienced with MacBook were ultimately resolved with firmware updates and the like, and I’ve never experienced anything like it since.  My suspicion is that this software problem will rapidly disappear with updates.  Some have reported fixing by changing from WEP to WPA2 encryption, which is easy enough.

  2. Overheating – Just after launch, many reports surfaced that the iPad would shut down in the sun and not restart until it cooled off.  This seems to be the second most serious complaint reported, and some people are very upset.  From the available reports, this seems to be entirely related to using it in the sun in places where it is real hot.  If you bought the iPad because you thought it was a Kindle and want to read on the beach, you may be in big trouble here.  Buy a Kindle.  It is a great device, which I’ll continue to use to read at the beach and by the pool.
  3. Can’t Print – I’m not worried about this, but I needed 10 things and it gives me a chance to link to this great gag photo.  I can’t remember the last time I was walking around an airport with a printer in my pocket, so I’m not sure how this even comes up, but you can’t make some people happy.
  4. Can’t Type – I have a laptop for writing on the road, and I think I’ll do about as much word processing on the iPad as I do on my phone, which is none.  Somewhat surprisingly, many people are reporting that they like the iPad soft keyboard.  Again, if you thought that you’d replace your laptop with an iPad, I can see how it might be a problem, but I have a couple of Apple bluetooth keyboards laying around that I’ll use if I have to.
  5. No Multitasking – This is why I have a laptop and two phones.
  6. No Flash – This is the most interesting technical question in the pile, and it has the potential to turn into an epic lawyer war between Adobe and Apple.  Some people think that the absence of Flash support renders the iPad useless because you can’t read restaurant menus, but I have a hard time getting there.  If you want to take a view on who will win this war in the end, you should read Steve Jobs’ open letter to Adobe and tell me who you think will blink first.
  7. No Camera – Just what I needed, a giant camera.
  8. Won’t Power Up – If this happens, take your iPad back because it is broken, Apple says.
  9. USB Charging – People have reported that they can’t charge their iPad from USB ports on other machines.  Sort of like WiFi signal strength, this comes up with other equipment and isn’t really an iPad problem.  Plug it into the wall.
  10. Too Salty – My personal favorite, courtesy of the New Yorker.  If you were to eat the iPad, I think you’d have a bit more to worry about from the heavy metals, but you never know until you try.

So that’s it.  I’m buying tomorrow.  Check back later to see if my optimism was misplaced.

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