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To iPad or Not?

 ...from the life of Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

 That is the question.

I've wanted one since they came out. But do I need one? What does it do? These are question I have as well as a few of my friends. I decided to ask my writer friend, Casey Freeland, who loves his, really he does love it. He named his iPad! 

Here is his response. Thank you Casey, now I really want one. 

I'm a recent Apple convert. Well, I did have an Apple IIC+ about twenty years ago. But other than that deviation I've been a PC man for most of my life. Admittedly this was due primarily to the fact that I could afford a Del and not a Mac.

About four years ago I got my MacBook. An 80 gig iPod followed the next year. These two machines quickly became my constant companions, my side-kicks and my best tools ever. By the time January 27th, 2010 rolled around I was primed for Steve's announcement.

I loved the iPad immediately, but not rationally. I was taken in by the hype of the thing, the sort of perpetual-machine enthusiasm that seemed to saturate every corner of the internet. There were plenty of haters to be sure, naming it an oversized iPod or an iPhone without the phone or simply criticizing the lack of a USB port or flash capability. But for me the love affair had already started and even the criticisms made me smile.

For the next three months, I spent an embarrassing amount of time on Google, search word "iPad", filter "latest". Looking back I know that I was doing everything I could to experience it before I had it. My enthusiasm did not waiver for a moment. And I'm so glad it lived up to my ridiculous expectations.

Since its arrival in April, my iPad (named Padrick after I ran an online contest for that purpose) has become an integral part of my life. If it weren't for the fact that there is no Scrivener app to replace the masterful writing software on my MacBook and that Padrick occasionally must sync with iTunes, I don't know if I'd ever turn on my laptop again.


"But what does it do?"

It may seem simplistic, but after a year of use, I can confidently say it does whatever my computer does. And the way it does it is more fun.

It's faster than a laptop, with more immediate response, sharper display, an incredible touch-screen experience and a robust 10-hour battery.

The iPad uses Apps you download from the App store. There are over 60,000 of them. I have 143 of those on Padrick right now, about half of which were free. Here are some highlights.

Sixteen writing apps ranging from simple text editors to the top line Pages WP. Nobody needs sixteen writing apps, by the way. As much as I'm aware of this fact, I'm always looking for new ones. (Obsess much?)

Eight social network apps for reading and writing blogs, Proboards forums, Facebook and Twitter.

Four apps for reading including the Kindle app and iBooks. Reading in direct sunlight is pretty much impossible. It hasn't been an issue, but I do have a Kindle as well if I go on vacation or something. Kindle selection is better, but the iBooks reading experience is king.

E-mail, Calendar, YouTube and Safari (browser). Not having Flash support has not been a problem. Maybe once a month I'll hit a site that won't load properly.

Thirty-six games... Um, yeah, it's true, shameful and probably my biggest productivity hurtle. And with a fast processor, accelerometer and touch screen, video games on Padrick are a whole new level of fun.

Also map, navigation, weather, recipe, news and magazine apps as well as some amazing photo editors and video players. (Netflix is awesome.)

There are more, but the point is that I use it for everything.

I wouldn't want to own one without a case and some sort of keyboard set up. I have the Apple Case, the Apple Keyboard Dock and the Zaggmate Keyboard Case is on my wish list. There are plenty to choose from, both those made by Apple and through outside companies. YouTube video reviews are a great way to test-drive possible app and accessory purchases. I would also recommend at least 32 gigs and the 3G model over WiFi only.

Of course in about a month iPad 2 will be out, will probably have some significant enhancements, and almost definitely will come with a front-facing camera. But for this relatively recent Apple enthusiast, getting my iPad right out of the gate was the only way to go and I wouldn't trade Padrick for anything.


Casey Freeland

Novel as Spencer L. Casey


Casey's Blog


Scrivener Writing Software


Zaggmate Keyboard/Case


Apple Keyboard and Case



  1. i love my iPad too...in fact, i'm addicted to it and my family now regrets buying it for me.

    Just saying

  2. That may be why I haven't bought one yet, fear of addition.

  3. Every review I've ever read on the iPad eventually comes to the point that the device is great for consumable applications (web, games, viewing, reading), but problematic for the more input-driven applications (like, oh, I don't know, say...writing?). An auxiliary keyboard invariably becomes the solution, but at the price of some portability. I'm not trying to talk you out of anything, Sis -- just saying think it through rationally (yes, you can), and then revel in it if and after you decide to buy one.

    Personally I'm leaning toward the Droid tablets.

  4. Rationally? Eric, really you think I can do that, think that way. Nope, not a chance. I haven't looked at the droids yet...I love my iPhone in a weird sort of way so I'm wanting that shiny black iPad. Oh and a kindle. I want it all!

  5. Hey Lynn! Cheers to mutual technological addictions! :-)

    Eric, you are right and a good brother to tell her to be cautious. (I have a brother like that.) My experience with my iPad purchase was reckless and should not be repeated.

    But to say that this is not an input device and one cannot produce without a keyboard simply isn't the case. I usually don't have my keyboard with me. I'll use it maybe a couple of times a week. And I write every day. (Witness writing programs I listed in this post.). I can type about 60 wpm consistently on the touch screen, so I don't feel like I'm compromising. My normal speed is about 75.

    And like I said, it's more fun!

    I think the Droid Xoom is a great machine as well. It's going to come down to degrees of preference and brand loyalty I think.

    But whatever the machine (the 7" devices don't do it for me at all as I don't think I could type as fast) I think anybody considering it should go down to Best Buy and put their fingers on one. It'll take about 30 seconds to either fall in love or say, "Meh..."

    Thanks, Diana, for letting me get all up in your business here. It was a great first guest blog experience for me!



  6. Casey, it's been delightful to have you here.

    I'm thinking I'm needing one...okay wanting one. I have the netbook and I can type pretty fast on that, but it's slow. I want fast.

  7. YOU are the reason I have iPad envy cuz I know who much you like yours. Now I'm really drooling for one.