First Impressions: I bought a New iPad on launch day

I was being a bit of a fan boy yesterday when I bought two new iPads in the Apple Store on Lincoln Road. We’ve even joined the live event via Twit when the announcement of the new gadget was made last week.

So now I’ve got an iPad with razor sharp Retina Display, an improved camera, 4G LTE and a bunch of other stuff. Let me tell you all about my first day with The New iPad.

I’ll pay close attention to the new camera features and compare them to the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S.

The massive queue

We expected to see vast amounts of people in front of the Apple Store this morning. And I guess Apple did too. We were there at 9am sharp to find various camera crews and an orderly queue formed of about 10 people. Barriers and security in place, all that was missing was the red carpet.

Launch Day at The Apple Store on Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 16th of April 2012 at 09:00 EST
The queue was much shorter than we had expected. Did nobody want the new iPad after all?

Our original plan was to have breakfast first and then go in, but since it was so empty we decided to park our Decobikes and walk in right away. A friendly Apple guy offered us a bottle of water, and we didn’t wait longer than perhaps 2 minutes.

Then we were greeted by another Apple employee, Alex, who asked what he could do for us, we joked for a second and were probably caught on camera for XMZPWKJ-K7 News. Keep in mind that this was before the general store opening at 10am. The whole transaction only took maybe 5 minutes if that.

Camera crews and bystanders

I’m not disappointed, but I had perhaps expected campers outside, hundreds of people waiting for a device, you know – like we’ve seen from New York, Covent Garden and Regent Street. Maybe things are a bit more chilled out here in Miami Beach.

Alex did admit though that most employees didn’t sleep much and that they had to re-organise the shop and prepare for the launch event. There was indeed a queue outside when they opened at 8am this morning. Interesting!

Enter: The New iPad

We had breakfast at Paul’s in Lincoln Road not far from the store, which seemed to be the iPad Hot Spot in the area. We counted about 4 people who all had bought their new gadgets and eagerly playing with them over a cup of French Roast. Julia and I joined with breakfast, but didn’t get out devices out.

Good thing too because we left two minutes before a quick monsoon freak rain which lasted for about an hour! Those Apple bags are a great water protector.

Back home we had some other stuff to take care of (mainly looking into more options to develop iOS apps with the new Redfoundry Fusion – which is free out of a sudden and for no reason) so I didn’t get a chance to have a play until after lunchtime.

Let’s have a look at my first impressions next.

One thought on “First Impressions: I bought a New iPad on launch day

  1. So I’ve spent a week with my new toy and I can tell you this much: the display rocks. Seriously. You get used to being able to read everything no matter how small the font is.

    Pictures I had taken weeks ago shine in a new light as I discover details that I didn’t know was there before – it’s a great enjoyment. HD video is the same: the extra clarity just adds a new dimension to it.

    But I’ve also found a couple of things that appear to annoy me, which really is a shame.

    For once, the new iPad is heavier – and that’s not just on paper. I can feel it when I pick it up and use it, especially with the unhealthy “reading while holding it in my left hand hand” approach. You’ll think I’m crazy making a fuzz over the additional weight of a chocolate bar, but I can feel it. The extra strain on your wrist isn’t fun. Not a dealbreaker either, but enough to annoy me.

    Then there’s the battery. When previously I would have put my depleted iPad to on charge for half an hour, I could take it out again for half a day. Not so with the new iPad. It takes nearly twice as long to charge. Again not massive issue, but it eats into the smooth cool of the iPad 2. I’ve heard reports that charging the new iPad on a well powered USB port or iPhone charger now takes 4x longer than before. That’s mathematically correct: we still only have 10W on the iPad charger, and a maximum of 5W on a USB port. So if the new iPad uses 10W just to operate, and you put 5W in, then you’re still down 5W. iPad 2 on the other hand may have only used 2-3W max, so the extra wattage goes into charging the battery.

    Software is a biggie though: I have a feeling that the new iPad isn’t as responsive ans slick as iPad 2. I understand there are more pixels to be moved and all, but what made iPad 2 so cool is its slickness. The magic touch if you will. The new iPad feels a bit like an Android tablet, where moving the screen sometimes jitters. Would Steve have approved of this? Certainly not.

    In addition, many apps are still not (yet) running well on the new iPad, and I don’t mean they haven’t updated their hi-res graphics yet. Some apps just don’t run. I know that’s only a matter of time until developers have sorted this, but my point is we HAVE a well-working version right here today (granted without the Retina Display). Why but up with a Beta Version if you don’t have to?

    3G (or 4G) is another minor issue: iPad 2 had better reception on AT&T – at least where I am right now. I wonder if HSPA+ is actually thinner in coverage compared to the previous UMTS, and since my new device supports HSPA+ it only connects to that band, neglecting the other. Hmmm…

    So I’m now thinking: it’s certainly great to have the new iPad, but maybe I’ll keep my old iPad 2 as well and use it depending on the situation. Maybe 2 devices is the answer, especially having one eye on developing apps.

    None of this really matters, and they’re all minor minor issues that only spring up if you compare both devices. I guess what I’m saying here is that if you have a choice which one to get, and you’re stuck asking yourself which once should you pick up, don’t see the iPad 2 as old technology. It still rocks, so much so that it has advantages over its new brother.

    I can’t help but wondering that if Steve would be alive… had the new iPad come out thicker and heavier? Or would he have said: “not an option – find a way or you’re fired”!

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