It is totally unexpected but I have not been able to find time to update this blog for months, well, it is not exactly about time, the workload is just too heavy that I have to frequently work over the weekend and late night, and updating blog is something luxurious for me to do.
But today I really have to write something, as I am finally able to grab an 蘋果 Apple iPad on Friday, I just came back from a trip to New York, and even the US has no supply of iPad at Apple Store, being able to get one (official stock with warranty - 行貨) locally is quite exciting indeed.
The New York Apple store, quite a landmark!
The competition to purchase was expected to be tough, as local news revealed that many failed to get one, I was lucky to be at the right place (there is an outlet close to my home) and right time (I did not get there too early nor too late), so I did not have a hard time queuing up, and in fact, the line at the outlet I went to, which is in the busy district of Causeway Bay, was not really that long, perhaps a lot of people were expecting stocks to be available abundantly soon, but since I failed to grab one in several Apple Stores in US Eastern coast, I am afraid that stock availability would still be tight in the upcoming time in Hong Kong, considering a lot of visitors from China would also come to buy iPad in Hong Kong.
One trick when queuing up is to show intent to buy accessories, although the accessories available at these outlet are not interesting at all (only third party hard plastic case and screen protector), buying a Capdase IMAG screen protector (like what I did) would give you a priority to get in, thus saving time and have the assurance of getting an unit (limited to 1 unit per person, which makes sense). I have not applied the screen guard yet, as I plan to use the iPad for a few days to be sure that this unit is ok before putting the screen guard on. And I am also wondering if I need to use one at all.
So what is inside the box? You get a Hong Kong/UK style plug, a cable and a small pack containing some simple documents a pin for pulling out the sim card bay, please note that the black iPad plastic case was purchased in US and not included.
So is the iPad good? I think so, the form factor is optimized for what it is supposed to do, fast and efficient viewing of photos and multimedia content, using two fingers to quickly zoom in and out on contents effectively would give people with poor eyesight a pleasant viewing experiences, I would also suggest people getting a model with 3G (3G版) and not just Wi-fi, as mobile efficiency is what iPad works best for, being able to browse the web for real time information anywhere while on the road with this device will be very helpful.
At present I think the accessory supply for ipad in Hong Kong is still limited, fortunately I purchased the important ones during my trip to New York last week.
The official iPad case from Apple is expensive at USD 40 but it does look good, the hard plastic case being sold at the local outlet is a ridiculous thing to buy as it would offset the value of iPad, which is being stylish and lightweight.
Although you can sync content to iPad using iTune from your computer, but if you are travelling for fun, having the camera kit (USD 30) will allow you to quickly import and view your photos either through a USB connection to the camera, or through a SD Card reader (USB纜線或直接從SD卡輸入), without this, you would need to carry a computer with you, this can even be true if you are just using the iPad in daily use, ipad can be a netbook/Notebook replacement and be the sole device you need for casual daily travel. Although for work, I would still need to use a powerful notebook running Windows.
The iPad Camera Connection Kit
Apple iPad Accessories (iPad 配件) link for Hong Kong: http://www.apple.com/hk/ipad/accessories/
By the way, you get this nice bag if you purchase Apple stuffs in US Apple Store.
iPad is great, I used it yesterday on the road and it was a pleasant experience, with 3G + wifi, connectivity is key, and the extra money for getting a 64GB version can easily be justified, I think with the way we consume information, 16GB is way too little to be practically useful.
But is iPad without fault? I think there are a few negative things that I would point out:
- The language support is a strange thing, I can't understand why Simplified Chinese (简体字) input is supported but not traditional Chinese (繁體字), it seems to be a sign of pure financial calculation with no regards to culture and community factors!
- iPad is great for content consumption, but poor at content creation except that you can post things online, I still yet to figure out what I can do on this pad for rich content authoring, which can be for the purpose of instant online sharing or work collaboration, especially when Apple is trying to use iPad to penetrate into Enterprise market.
Anyway, iPad is a very helpful tool, and it may help to bring the Apple stock price soaring if the market goes fine as well, my next interest would be to see what the next generation of iPad is going to be.