A few months ago, I bought my very first Apple product –the IPAD2. My aging laptop had been a trouper, but it was heavy, would no longer hold a charge and was seriously outdated. Time to bite the bullet and replace it.

I was heading to Europe for a writing trip, so I had some specific features I wanted in whatever I purchased: it had to be lightweight, go for long periods on a charge, have
internet access at a reasonable cost and be able to handle all my word processing easily.

After some online research and hands-on testing at our local electronics stores, here’s why I decided on the IPAD2.

Lightweight:

It weighs just over a pound, so it easily tucks into a large purse or backpack for easy toting to any location. It’s also small enough that it’s easy to hold when you want to read or type.

Easy to Use:

The IPAD2 is very intuitive to use, even for someone like me, who has never been an Apple user.  I could easily find all the info I needed on the machine, without having to wade through a bunch of extra stuff to get there.

Batterylife:

It can run for up to 10 hours on a charge (somewhat less, of course, if you’re watching videos.) For me, this is a huge plus. I don’t want to feel pressure that I’m going to run out of battery charge in the middle of an interview or while researching on the road.

Lots of Apps

They now have over 140,000 apps in the App store. I only downloaded a few, but I have been very impressed with what I got. I use Pages for all my word processing and can save documents in Word or PDF format for seamless transfer to my desktop.

I also found an inexpensive audio App that lets me record all my interviews—right on the IPAD2. The free Kindle App lets me download books right from Amazon, too.

Wi-Fi & 3G

All IPADs come with built in Wi-Fi. Since I was heading out of the country, I purchased one with Wi-Fi and 3G so I could have internet capability wherever I went. You have to decide your carrier when you buy the IPAD, so after some research, I went with AT&T. (Verizon will only work in the US.)
There is no monthly commitment, so I just purchased a data package for the month I was traveling and then added an additional package for Europe. When Wi-Fi was available, I used that. When it wasn’t, I could still get online and access my email through my AT&T plan. Once my month was up, I cancelled both plans. I can re-activate them any time I want, one month at a time.

Sleep/Wake feature:

Apple has come up with a magnetic Smart Cover that instantly puts the IPAD2 to sleep when you close it. Open the cover and the IPAD2 springs back into action: no more waiting for things to boot up. I’ll be honest, I didn’t like the smart cover. I felt like it didn’t offer enough protection for my device, so I bought a third-party cover that wraps all the way around, but still utilizes the sleep/wake feature.

Cost:

IPAD2 starts at just $499. Can’t beat that.

Touch Keyboard:

I’ll admit this took a bit of getting used to. If I was planning to write an entire novel on the IPAD2, I would probably invest in a wireless keyboard. But for now, it’s fine as is.

Downside:

I have only one complaint: no USB ports. None. That can make getting files off and on the machine a little trickier and more time consuming. I either transfer files through I-tunes or email them to myself.

So there you have it. My very non-technical opinion of the IPAD2. Anyone else buy one? What do you think of it?