Back in January when Steve Jobs took the wraps off the iPad, I declared it The Greatest Disappointment in Human History. Obviously I did so tongue-in-cheek but really I wanted to make a point—that the device was clearly not what it could have been and clearly not what it will be in a generation or two. Never has it been easier to see the road map for a new device before it has been released (Gee, you think there will be a camera in generation two?).
Nevertheless, my work responsibilities dictated that I had to spend a good bit of time with this device, learning what it is and what it isn’t and learning how people will and will not use it. I have spent a couple of weeks using the iPad now. As part of my research I bought almost all of the bestselling apps through the App Store and tried to use each of them for a good bit of time. This, now, is my review of the iPad. But do note that it’s a two-week or ten-day review. A year from now I will undoubtedly have more to say and perhaps different things to say. Still, I think this kind of perspective is valuable. After all, movie reviews are written after seeing a movie just once or twice; book reviews are written after a single read. There is something useful about the urgency and about those early impressions.
In general, the iPad is an interesting mix of good and bad, of innovation and frustrating lack of innovation. Where it is at its best is in those ways in which it is obviously more than just a big iPhone or an oversized iPad Touch.