I couldn’t agree more. Most tech commentators just don’t get why the iPad is so significant, because they are all so far into the geek category, they can’t see the world through the eyes of the rest of the planet.
The iPad rocks as a personal computer. Over the last 2 weeks, I’ve only had to open up the MacBook to do things that regular users do not have to do – Adobe Illustrator for example. For email, web, Twitter, blog posts, photos, etc. The iPad is just great.
My only complaint about the iPad (which would apply to a laptop too) is that mobile Internet access is still a royal pain in the arse. I’ve been unable to get onto wifi from the apartment, not because there is no nearby wifi, but because it’s all either private or behind some pay wall or closed system which has more to do with brand building than it has to do with providing ubiquitous net access. Whilst I have a 3G SIM card with SFR for the iPad, and this has been the backbone of my net access, the performance is poor. Despite 4-5 bars of signal, I’m only getting a non-3G connection (shown as ‘o’ on the status bar) which appears to give no more than 9600 bps, with abysmal ping times of 1400ms. I’ve found one trick is to switch off 3G data for a moment, then back on, and often it will give a 1 bar 3G connection for a minute or two, before dropping back. Whilst it has a 3G connection, the performance is pretty acceptable. I don’t know if this is because there is distance 3G cell but it can’t maintain a reliable connection, with a stronger non-3G cell that it then switches to for reliability, or if the signal strength is a quirk of the difference between 3G and non-3G connections.
Either way, the only way to get good Internet access is to like coffee – a lot – and put up with the inconvenience of having to go out all the time. Anyone would think we still live in the 20th century.