So, if you follow me on Twitter, you already know that I successfully obtained my iPad with nary a problem on Saturday morning. It was a pretty good experience overall and was lightning-fast compared to what it took to get my first-generation iPhone and my iPhone 3G.
To recap briefly, I got to my selected Apple store (at the Rockingham Mall in New Hampshire – a bit of a ways from home for me but I like to go there to avoid the bigger crowds at the Boylston store and save on sales tax) at around 7:30 a.m. I first walked to the longer line (it was closer to the entrance I used) and saw that it was marked Purchases. I asked people there if they had pre-reserved an iPad and they said no and pointed me to the other line. I walked over to the other line, which was marked by a little sign that said “Reservations” and confirmed that those people had pre-reserved their iPads. There were only two people in that line. Yes, two. I got behind them with a huge grin on my face as third in that line. I was quite happy since I had been running later than I had planned, but this apparently wouldn’t hinder my ability to get an iPad quickly without spending the entire morning there. The first guy in line had arrived at ten minutes to 7:00, so he beat me by a good margin.
That first guy in line got a lot of attention from the press. Every reporter who showed up interviewed him and took pictures or recorded video. A few reporters seemed interested in talking to the woman who was second in line as well as me, but I acted uninterested and no one talked to me or took any pictures of me. I had no desire to show up in any papers or on the news, to be honest. I get enough “Look! Geek!” reactions in my daily life as it is, thank you very much.
Promptly at 9:00 am, the doors opened and everyone in the reservations line (around 60 or more by that time) rushed into the store. It took me a minute to realize that there was no order in the store – all you needed to do was find a specialist to get you an iPad and take your money in exchange. By the time I realized that the line order wasn’t a factor in getting helped, I had to wait a minute to find a free one and then get my iPad. I hovered around the iPad cases for a moment, not expecting them to have much in stock and picked out the Apple case in haste (I should have picked out a skin case since I already have a book-style case on order). Once I had it, I paid for everything and headed out. I was back at my car by 9:18 a.m. Woot!
So what do I think of the iPad? A few of my first impressions are posted at MacRumors. Beyond this, the iPad’s weight is still probably my biggest sticking point in terms of book reading (in lieu of a Barnes & Noble Nook I had almost purchased earlier this year, the iPad is going to spend a lot of time as my dedicated ebook reader). The screen is fantastic but the fingerprints it shows so easily despite the oleophobic coating are killing me – an anti-glare screen protector is definitely on my shopping list even though it will detract from the screen’s crispness a bit.
I find that I’m loathe to load iPhone apps onto my iPad. I tried a couple and they look shrunken and miserable in normal mode and even worse in 2x mode to take up the iPad’s entire screen. Yes, I’m spoiled – I want everything I see on my iPad to look sharp and wonderful, so it looks like I’ll just waiting for iPad versions of my favorite apps. Hopefully that won’t take too long.