A month after I became 1.5 pounds heavier and several hundred bucks lighter, I wanted to share my thoughts on how iPad fits in an average person’s life.

In summary, iPad is better than I anticipated in some ways and not as good in some other ways. In any case, as I have always said, iPad is a usage device, not a feature device. What I mean is the mere hardware and software features will not blow you or keep you excited for longer than a few days. What will keep you attached to it is how you use it.

I describe here the overall experience, which includes the Apps and quality of the Apps as well.

  • Since I got my iPad, I have been able to keep my (work) laptop in the bag, except when I had to actually do work related stuff. I will explain the exceptions later. So that is a big relief for me and should be for anybody who is tired of carrying a laptop all the time. Infact, this reason singularly kept me strong during my days of post-purchase dissonance.
  • It is difficult to be a *free* customer of App Store for long time. Being a free customer not only means your Apps choices are limited, but also means it is difficult to experience and appreciate some of the exciting features of the device, demonstrated by Apple to lure us in buying it. Even if you do find a game or two, there are 100 levels of which 3 are free. See what I am saying?
  • Media consumption is throttled down. Please notice my choice of words here. There are all tools available — feed readers, video players, Twitter clients, print-style newspapers — to pour the information into your gadget, but the rate at which you gulp it is significantly reduced. This could be bcoz of reduced screen size, lack of keyboard (I am a keyboard guy). As an example, in Google Reader, I find myself doing mark as read more often than I used to do on a PC. To complicate things, Apps are still very much evolving. As an example, Tweetdeck does not have a mark as seen button. This means everytime I open it, it loads all tweets, so I don’t know what I’ve already seen. So I end up missing a lot. (On that note, I found Twitterific to be much better). Summarized in a ridiculously technical language, your ingress bytes/sec is reduced :-)
  • When somebody argued with me before iPad’s release that (lack of) multi-tasking is a handicap, I argued against. Now I can’t wait for OS 4.0.
  • There are things you cannot do — many things. But I am disappointed I still have to use a PC to write this blog post.
  • I don’t want to repeat good things (stated by others or myself) — screen attractiveness, battery life, book apps (ibooks, kindle), user experience, store experience — all of these are next to none.

In summary, my recommendation is — if you have not already invested in an e-reader and intend doing so, buy an iPad. Otherwise, stick to what you have. If you are on a budget, Nook is a terrific choice.