Anyone underwhelmed with their iPad?

Playing with the idea of getting an iPad. More for portability and anywhere internet access than anything else. I need to access spreadsheets, PDFs, and search for stuff on the internet in a lot of places w/o wifi. My MacBook is great, except it’s a little bulky and I don’t have internet access in a lot of places.

I know most people love their iPads, but I’m more interested in people who got one and thought it was kinda “meh”. I have a strange feeling I might end up like that. I do love technology and I do love having internet access everywhere, so maybe I’m just being too timid of jumping right in.

What am I going to look at paying per month for internet access?

ETA: Don’t let the negative focus of my OP prevent folks who love their iPads from commenting!

By “access” do you mean just open files and read the information, or do you need to be able to work on them? For the former, it’s a great, lightweight, very portable gadget. For the latter, I’ve found the limitations are too much to be useful to me. It’s possible, but the iPad versions of Pages & Numbers reformat your documents; you can open one and use it on the iPad, but it won’t be the same when you reopen in on the macbook. Saving and syncing files with various cloud storage options is also pretty clunky.

I’m sorely tempted to trade in my iPad for a macbook air.

I bought one excitedly thinking it would be an amazing productivity tool. My boyfriend uses it play Angry Birds and pretty soon it’s going to my business partner to optimize our technology for tablets. Honestly, I am underwhelmed but I don’t regret buying it since we needed one for testing our software in any case.

You can do that? Where?

I bought an iPad a few months ago, specifically so that I had something I could write with while sitting on the couch (my desk chair is not comfortable.)

I use it every day (using it now, in fact) with an external keyboard. There are some cool apps for iPad. I enjoy the games. It’s really not a bad device.

Was it worth $1000? No, it wasn’t. I would rather have a laptop.

“Trade in” in a figurative sense, not literally. I wish … :wink:

As for data access in non-wifi areas, it’ll run you $20/month. For the same cost, my iPhone data plan allows me to use it as a personal hot spot, allowing my macbook to use cellular data access.

I have one, which I use almost exclusively for entertainment. It is wonderful for watching movies on cross-country flights and surfing the web. However, not being able to play Flash videos is incredibly annoying, and so is the YouTube app, which is harder to search than the regular site. And without an external keyboard, I wouldn’t use it for anything other than sending short emails. It’s good for the limited scope of things I use it for, but if I needed to actually be productive or type a document or something, I’d bring my netbook or laptop.

I have the iPad 1 and 2. I’m not getting version 3. I don’t play games, and I hate the lack of a USB port to transfer files. I also don’t like the lack of an accessible file structure without third party software. Typing with the onscreen keyboard is, for me, a royal pain. It’s too large to thumb type and too small to touch type. Editing Word and Excel documents is ridiculously cumbersome with limited capabilities, regardless which software you use.

The problem with many iPad purchasers, me included, is they try to treat it as a smaller, more portable version of their desktop or laptop computer, which it simply isn’t.

I recently broke down and purchased a new Macbook Pro. I now have my sanity back, although the Macbook Air as a replacement for the iPad is a good idea as well.

Wow. I didn’t expect so many on-point replies so quickly.

Do any of you guys have an iPhone, and do you love your iPhone? What’s the difference, other than even better portability?

I find my iPad 2 perfect for what I need it for - tech support during lunch.
I can access our website whenever I need to, from anywhere I am.

I never thought that the iPd would replace either my MacBook or desktop machine - that’s not what it’s meant for.

My iPad is not a life-changing device that has a significant impact on my world. It’s more of a friendly companion, always at my side and ready to make the world just a tiny bit richer. It’s not something I need or would necessarily even miss if it were gone, but it is something that I really do get a little “ping” of joy in every time I use it.

How do I use it? It’s good for surfing on the couch, public transit commutes, note-taking in classes and conferences when I don’t want to lug a computer around (a lightweight bluetooth keyboard is essential), a handy second screen at work, and bogging/writing on the go. There are a few things it does better than anything else- reading magazines, Skype, watching videos on my own, keeping a diary, taking notes in class (bad multitasking = better focus) and a handful of other apps. There are a lot of things it’s really bad at. Trying to write an academic paper or do any kind of web research is a PITA on it.

It’s absolutely not worth the money, but if you do have the money, it’s worth it. It’s a big fun toy for grown ups, nothing more nothing less.

I have both an iPad and a Macbook Air. I love both of them, but they definitely each have their niche. The iPad is amazing for keeping me entertained on airplanes with both games and movies and for casual web browsing and searching when I’m watching TV or sitting on the couch. For any serious typing or mousing, I get the Macbook Air. So, for me, the cutoff is primarily input: if I mostly want output, I use the iPad. If I plan to enter a lot of input, I use the Air. So if you just want to look at spreadsheets you’ve already written and do Google searches, an iPad will be perfect. If you want to insert formulas and make graphs in Excel, I’m guessing you’ll find the iPad frustrating.

In terms of portability, the iPad is slightly more portable, but only slightly. The Air is incredibly light and easy to carry around.

One major advantage the iPad offers you is integrated cellular data coverage. However, you can always just get a smartphone which allows tethering, or possibly an add-on adapter to get cellular coverage on your Air (I’m assuming such things exist).

Heh, I was very underwhelmed at first, and have grown to like it quite a bit better – but, as others have mentioned, because I now see it as a primarily one-stop consumption / entertainment device and not as a device to replace my computer. I watch TV (netflix, also ABC/NBC apps) on it, surf the internet, look at text files synced with my computer (through simplenote) and do light editing, watch youtube clips, look at pictures with my daughter, facetime with my mom. Light editing/email is fine and it beats not having internet access at all. I did try to take it on a trip once instead of my computer and try to do heavy writing on it, and that about killed me. If I had to do it again I’d get a keyboard or possibly just buy a netbook.

I have an iPod touch which I adore, and which I use to read RSS feeds, look at text files, read books. But the whole point of it is that it fits in my pocket, which the iPad doesn’t. However, the iPad is better for websurfing and for for watching movies.

I don’t think it’s worth the money, although I definitely enjoy mine quite a bit. My mom looooves hers and thinks it’s worth every penny. In general the less technical folks of my acquaintance love their iPads, and the more technical ones are more “meh” about it.

Apple offers a 14 day return policy (30 days/iPhone) on its products specifically to allow customers the opportunity to evaluate whether the product in question meets the customer’s expectations.

http://www.apple.com/legal/sales_policies/retail_us.html

I’d suggest a two-week trial run to see how well it works in regard to your specific needs.

I thought about that, but don’t you have to sign up for some kind of data plan that won’t have the same 14-day bail-out option?

Mine is provided by work and for me (and most of us in MPOW who were supplied with one) it functions really well in 2 aspects, calendaring and email.

As far as productivity tools, I had to look beyond the apple products, and found Office2 HD for editing documents, spreadsheets and whatnot. It syncs with my dropbox and google docs accounts, so I have access to those, and can download to the ipad from them to edit when I don’t have access (we have wifi versions only).

I also found an app that lets me take notes by hand, and for me, that’s better than one I can type into with the ipad keyboard - that does underwhelm me.

All of this said, it took a good deal of hunting for some of the apps that make it worthwhile to me. But I took it to a conference in June as my only non-phone device and it was worth it for me.

I don’t play anywhere near as many games or buy the number of apps that I had initially anticipated. Guess I’m kinda burned out as a computer gamer. So to be honest, from that perspective, it’s slightly less useful than I anticipated it being.

But as a media player, I still love the fuck out of it. I sit on a bus for 40 minutes each way to and from work every day. I watch movies and TV shows. I read books, I listen to music. At lunch, I go down to the cafeteria where there’s free wifi and use the Xfinity app to watch TV shows, some of which (Doctor Who, Torchwood) I can get even when I can’t watch them over cable.

When I can’t sleep, I can lay in bed and surf, watch movies, check the weather, etc, without getting up and walking over to the computer.

Of course, if I did have to do a lot of work with spreadsheets and word processing docs, I’d probably use a laptop instead. Even with a wireless keyboard, this isn’t what I want in a COMPUTER computer.

Caveat Geektor

The iPad data plan is month-to-month. I don’t know if you can bail in 14 days, but there’s no long-term commitment.

And yes, I love my iPhone. It gives me essential online data access, plus even makes phone calls, without pretending to be almost-a-computer.

This is me, exactly. I use a bluetooth keyboard case which works well for emails and notes.

The media player aspect of it doesn’t appeal to me much. 99% of my travel is me driving my car, so I’m not going to be entertaining myself with an iPad watching movies. And when I’m at home, I’d prefer my big screen HDTV.
I guess I’m thinking of it mainly as a very portable briefcase. Put all my docs in there, and I’ve got them handy for reference whenever. An iPhone could do that, but the screen is just too small.

Has anyone used it for video conferencing? I could see that being pretty cool.

For that use, I expect you’ll be very happy with and iPad.