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Adventures of an iPad Owner

Updated on November 25, 2015

Why an iPad?

I've been a long-time Apple owner/user. I don't own a cell phone and have no plans to get one. I don't own a laptop computer but had considered one from time to time when I travel. I'd been debating an iPod Touch. I know I don't want a monthly service charge for a portable device.

When Apple announced the debut and launch of the iPad, I went to their site and viewed the demo. I saw it do everything I wanted for traveling and do it smaller and lighter than a laptop. It was clear I could eliminate a bunch of other items I carry during travel too. I was sold, I decided to buy an iPad. On April 3, 2010, the true adventures of an iPad owner began. And it went on the road with me for the first time just four days later.

On Wednesday November 28, 2012 I began a whole new iPad adventure when my fourth-generation iPad arrived! Yes, I really had been using that 1st-gen one right up until that time. For all the adventures from that first one to why I got a 4th-gen one, read on! (also, you'll find out just what I'm going to do with that old iPad too!)

My first-generation iPad, fresh out of the box
My first-generation iPad, fresh out of the box | Source

My Mobile Computing Needs

I travel several times per year to a variety of gatherings and festivals, and can be gone anywhere from a few days to a few weeks at a time. Most often I am doing group car camping and the environments range from wooded forests of the Pacific Northwest to the Valley of Fire in Nevada. I also swing through the Bay Area regularly. I spend time in airports, stay at friend's homes and occasionally stop somewhere that says "free Wi-Fi."

My phone needs are well met with a pre-paid calling card. When people say that the iPad is missing a camera, I wonder why they would want to use something as large as a magazine to take pictures. If I'm going to take pictures, I'm going to use my digital camera. And I'm not going to video chat in the woods or at an airport.

My main activity on airplanes is reading or sleeping. Those are what make the trip seem to go faster. As a voracious reader, I've had to carry two to three books with me so that I don't run out of material. I suspect having e-books on an iPad is going to be cheaper (new hardbacks tend to cost $25-$30) and the idea of reclaiming the space that multiple paperback books take up in luggage is most welcome. A friend of mine is fond of using her iPhone as an e-book reader. It looked handy but also very, very tiny.

iPad + Velcro

iPad Features

If you are physically holding an iPad in the portrait position with the centered button on the bottom: (moving clockwise from the bottom)

  1. The Home Button - this is centered on the bottom front margin, and functions to turn Apps on and off or take you back to the home page
  2. Power Socket/Dock Slot - this is centered along the "bottom edge" of the iPad, just below the Home Button.
  3. Headphone Jack - top left corner, takes standard headphones. Works well with any external speakers too.
  4. Power on/off - upper right corner, turns the iPad itself on and off.
  5. Screen lock/Mute - this is a tiny button just at the top of the righthand edge. Originally this was a screen lock. Later software updates turned this into a mute button, which many people found redundant and/or annoying. Later software updates gave users control over the function: rotation lock (my preference) or mute.
  6. Volume control - upper right edge button will control your volume, but you can also access this control via any on-screen program that has a volume control feature.
  7. Built-in Speaker - just to the right of the Dock Slot on the bottom edge. Puts out a decent quality of sound. Works to provide a nice level of ambient music in a room with the volume turned up just a bit.
  8. Cameras - From the 2nd generation on, the iPad has had one or two cameras. In the latest version (called New iPad with Retina Display) there is one camera centered in the top front edge, and a second one found on the back, just below where the power on/off button is located. These allow for real-time chat, video or photos.

Out Of The Box

APRIL 3, 2010: It's here! My iPad was delivered sometime between 10:15am and 11am while I was out getting a haircut. I left a signed release form taped to my front door just in case. It took me a little bit to get my Mac Mini up and running as the wireless base up with a password, but once that was working, the iPad got really, really easy to use.

TUESDAY APRIL 6TH: I'm definitely in the "new toy" stage, and loving it. My Wi-Fi signal throughout the house is pretty good. We've had rain lately so I have not tested usage in the backyard... yet. One of my favorite authors has free PDF editions of his novels up on his personal website and a nice $0.99 PDF reader program set me up for that. I also have an extensive collection of books on alchemy on PDF that I've been collecting. There are now over two dozen books on my iPad. And they are going to take up zero room or weight in my luggage.

The dictation software that I use has a free app for iPad to go with it and I just downloaded that too. I hadn't thought that would exist... bonus! I can play music on the built-in iPod or I can stream my favorite internet radio station while surfing, checking e-mail or reading. Switching from email to web browser and back again is so fast, it's like multi-tasking even though that's not what is really happening. A "multiple page" option in Safari sorts of acts like a cross between tabbed browsing and new pages.

My travel calendar and address book on my Mac sync with my iPad via my MobileMe account. All of my travel details and contact info for my friends that I have at home doesn't need to be entered, it's all there already. The case I ordered for the iPad arrived and not only does it protect the device, it flips into a neat little stand that makes it easier to type on it or stand it upright if I'm watching a slideshow or video. And somehow the thicker edge makes it more comfortable to hold when reading too.

TUESDAY APRIL 27TH: The iPad was great on my trip! I could check email easily, it connected to the Internet quickly at various friends' homes, and was a show-stopper when used to display pictures. It took me a week or two to really get the hang of using my finger for everything that a mouse normally does, and to adjust to the different keyboard layout and functions while typing. Sending email from a WiFi-equipped, Virgin America plane while watching BoingBoing TV was the geeky zenith.

I've added a few Apps to my iPad too. I didn't have a Netflix subscription before, but I do now. I found a cool Adobe app that allows me to use my iPad like a writing tablet, quickly taking notes by hand (by finger really). That was free, but I'm keeping my eyes open for whichever similar app ultimately turns out to be the best for that, and I'm willing to pay for it.

Cats Love iPads Too!

May 2010 Travels - Putting the 'Pad To The Test

SUNDAY MAY 16th: Just home from trip #2 with the iPad. This time it was a multi-day festival in the Nevada desert. The iPad was great at the airports and on the plane. At the event, I didn't have to print out the schedule or event info as they were PDFs I carried around and referenced from the iPad: much nicer than shuffling papers. And speaking of paper, I tested out a different writing app this trip, finding something that worked much better than the one I used in April. It was great to take notes and have them ready to refer back to, or ready to fire off to someone else in an email. And I got to skip collecting business cards, and just noted down contact info right into my address book.

LATE MAY: I just got home from an awesome trip! I took Amtrak's Empire Builder from Seattle to Chicago, and back again. It was about 46 hours each way on the train, and I did spring for a sleeping car. So, this was me and my iPad for two days alone together, then in Chicago while I did both biz and pleasure, then two days on the train to get back home.

The iPad was a dream! I had all my travel info, contact info for friends in Chicago, a few dozen books, a couple of movies and several days worth of music, and it all fit into the slim little device. The sleeper car has my own personal power outlet, so that kept the iPad just rocking along. It really can run for 10+ hours without recharging. I used it to journal about my adventures and all the interesting people you run into on a train. And to amuse myself, I used the iPad to "wardrive" at all the stops we made on the route. I found a lot of wireless networks, even in the middle of nowhere, and managed to piggyback twice just long enough to fire off an email to a friend to prove I'd done it.

When I arrived in Chicago, I got online via WiFi at Union Station, and emailed my friend to let her know my train had arrived on time, and fired off a Skype message to my convention group to let them know when I'd be meeting them. Now that I'm getting more used to the touch screen, typing on the iPad is a lot more natural.

On the way home on the train, I again had no trouble keeping myself amused. By closing the door to my sleeping compartment, I could listen to music aloud without having to resort to headphones, and it was nice to watch a movie in bed before going to sleep.

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iPad Commentary

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    • relache profile image

      Raye 2 years ago from Seattle, WA

      My mom now has my 1st gen iPad and it does great for her. I have a 4th gen now.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i have ipad 1, the first version but doesn't have bluetooth, usb port or camera, but i had been using it for 5 years already, still working well

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Awesome hub! We have an ipad as well and it's so useful for so many things. Voted up!

    • James McCullough profile image

      James McCullough 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

      I'm a huge iPad fan and have been using it more and more on a daily basis to do my work on. I bought the Belkin YourType Folio keyboard + case to help me with typing, do most of my writing in Byword, have it connect remotely to my Mac through PocketCloud, and so on. Everyone is going to own one of these in the future.

    • baby-strollers profile image

      baby-strollers 6 years ago

      Nice review-I'm definitely a big time iPad fan.

    • Alavux profile image

      Alavux 7 years ago

      Great review! It's nice reading hubs written by people who do actually own the products they are disussing. I'm sure you know what I mean!

      I am a big Apple fan but I'm still not going to get an iPad just yet. I do require the functionality of a laptop and for my electronic book reading, I use my Kindle.

      There is no arguing with the fact that the iPad is cool as funk!

    • inkanet profile image

      inkanet 7 years ago

      Very nice hub. There are rumors that iPad-2 is to be launched this year.

    • mon012 profile image

      mon012 7 years ago from NYK

      wow, great hub good inform

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Brilliant tile and helpful and very practical advise. I am torn between a new laptop and an IPad - you convinced me - an IPad it shall be.

    • profile image

      tbanks316 7 years ago from Who knows?

      I have been on the fence about getting an ipad. I think I will!

    • MusicTechGuy profile image

      MusicTechGuy 7 years ago

      Interesting post, I keep finding lots of unexpected uses for my iPad!

    • Csjun89 profile image

      Csjun89 7 years ago

      Agree with your experiences! The iPad is great!

    • catherine74 profile image

      catherine74 7 years ago from London

      Great. Thinking of getting one myself but still wondering what role its going to play within my 'tech space'.

    • Garrett McLee profile image

      Garrett McLee 7 years ago from Florida

      I really want one of these, but I can't justify shelling out $500+ for one when I already own a laptop and an iPhone. Had I known this was going to be the way it is, I wouldn't have bought these things and saved for the iPad. Oh well, thus is life.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      look forward to getting one next month thanks to this Hub !

    • tonynosense profile image

      tonynosense 7 years ago from Japan (for now)

      Sounds tempting but I think I am going to stick to my policy of waiting for the second generation. I am always happy in the end when I do.

    • stevewong profile image

      stevewong 7 years ago

      Great piece on the iPad. I actually still have my Apple Newton from the 90's Does anyone here remember what those are : )

    • BritFun profile image

      BritFun 7 years ago from Oxford

      Great to get a first-hand account of how the iPad is working out. Here in the UK, they're not out until next Friday. Mine's on order - definitely looking forward to it.

    • BanjDog profile image

      BanjDog 7 years ago from Travel Around

      A very good hub! Hope I can buy my own iPad with my my earnings from my hubs soon!

    • kronic26 profile image

      kronic26 7 years ago

      Very well laid out hub :)

    • profile image

      adilptc 7 years ago

      very nice I really like your hub information regarding ipad.

    • snkhan120 profile image

      snkhan120 7 years ago

      ipad beat the netbook in future

      nice sharing

    • Dorsi profile image

      Dorsi Diaz 7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      Really interesting. It's amazing how fast technology is evolving, as evidenced by the ipad. What a great tool!

      Great hub!

    • climberjames profile image

      climberjames 7 years ago from Steel City

      Great hub! I think that, as you pointed out, its not supposed to replace a laptop. That in mind the specifications and its dimensions make it a very impressive piece of kit!

    • relache profile image

      Raye 7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      lakeerieartists, I'd say that connectivity and breadth of function are very different between a laptop and an iPad. You use software on a laptop to do most of the configuring of the applications for the iPad as well as content management in regards to what media is on it. It doesn't have the ability to create or manipulate raw content the way that a laptop does, for music, media or writing. I'd have to say it's the most advanced access tool I've ever used for the Internet and media, but when it comes to creating large-scale written or visual material, that's not what it was made to do.

    • lakeerieartists profile image

      Paula Atwell 7 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Hi relache, I just came back to this hub to see what you added. My burning question has been what is the difference between a laptop and the iPad other than size and shape. You have answered some of my questions. I am not sure that I want one, but at least I understand what it can do better. (and not do)

    • SummerSteward profile image

      SummerSteward 7 years ago from Duluth MN

      Hey relate, I just got my iPad, and must say, though it was a gift, I am disappointed..I was really hoping I'd be able to hub with it while inspiration hit me on the road.. much more convenient than lugging my laptop around however, it seems near impossible to hub with it.. looks like you can do some html coding.. however that is like chinese to me.. any thoughts?

    • fantus profile image

      fantus 7 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      The ipad seems like a good product, has everything you practically need on-the-go -- at least technology wise. Though i doubt i will ever get into the ebooks, i just love the feel of a good book. Definitely buy it... if only i could afford it. sniff*

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      I think this sounds wonderful for every writer to have on hand as about...I WANT ONE! Thanks and Peace :)

    • profile image

      bigZ10 7 years ago

      I like the iPad. It is good. And you can also do things on it like typing, games and ps3. It is fun and nice. I like the touching screen method.

    • L3B0 profile image

      L3B0 7 years ago

      I hate you, I'm Sooooo jealous!! :)

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Well donw great information due to your hub there has been a rush on IPads now we have to wait another month here in Australia !

    • gramarye profile image

      gramarye 7 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      Congratulations on your mention in the HubPages Weekly. This is a good hub and deserved the mention.

    • Lee B profile image

      Lee Barton 7 years ago from New Mexico

      Thank you for the excellent review. I already wanted an ipad; now I want one soooooooo bad!

    • Touchdown profile image

      Touchdown 7 years ago from Michigan

      Very good overview. I've also shared my review of the iPad as a new owner here:

    • billymatt profile image

      billymatt 7 years ago from London Ontario Canada

      I'm crazy about the iPhone, I use it all the time. I think the iPad is a tad on the big site for me. I'll have to give it a go. Nice hub!

    • johntwofive profile image

      johntwofive 7 years ago

      amazing information, the article is a must see for me. Hopefully it gets good rates from critics. thanks for the information

    • JJ182674 profile image

      JJ182674 7 years ago

      i want have one of it too.. waiting it to release in my countries..

    • tal g mel profile image

      tal g mel 7 years ago

      Sound great!!

    • msuggdrexler profile image

      Martha Sugg Drexler 7 years ago from Southeastern US

      Ain't it great? I got mine Friday and have loved every minute of it. Can't catch 'em now. Try the slide show if you haven't. Nice bedside stuff in the evening.

    • ns1209 profile image

      ns1209 7 years ago from UK - England

      Sounds really great - not been released over here yet though!

    • conferencingvideo profile image

      conferencingvideo 7 years ago from San Diego

      I just bought one for myself , and you wouldn't believe, its an amazing!

    • MiniCircle profile image

      MiniCircle 7 years ago

      I'm very torn about the iPad. I hate getting new tech stuff because I get addicted to it. I'm waiting to hear more reviews because for me this is just too new. Thanks for the post

    • Rismayanti profile image

      Rismayanti 7 years ago from Tropical Island

      It's great relache.. you have a new ipad.. and bring possibility as high quality reviewer too.. double luck..

      I will folllow you.

      I see that you continuesly become a hubber since 4 years.. it's long history. i want to know how your experience, earning, up and down in hubpages.

    • Frisko profile image

      Frisko 7 years ago from Newbury Park

      i wonder how much these are wortyh in other countries?

    • profile image

      Crazdwriter 7 years ago

      My husband and I just recently played with one and it was actually a lot of fun. And after reading your hub? Yea I want to buy one now lol

      Have fun with your iPad, Relache

    • profile image

      hubpageswriter 7 years ago

      For a good basic usage and a nice travel time hassle-free, I think the iPad is a very suitable device. Depends on the user, though. Great review.

    • Research Analyst profile image

      Research Analyst 7 years ago

      great review, I think the iPad is a good travel companion like you mentioned.

    • profile image

      Ralph 7 years ago

      Apps seem to be a big deal with these new products coming out. Hey... the Slate from HP hasn't came out yet maybe I should go to Godaddy and buy a couple of domains. How does or sound?

      Nice article. I think I might buy the iPad and the Slate. Glad to hear you're having fun with your new iPad, hope I enjoy mine as much as you do.

    • profile image

      Orbiter 7 years ago

      I'm really interested in the iPad. Thanks for the info.

    • Chicagovision profile image

      Chicagovision 7 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks, I'm going to buy one this weekend.

    • kgnature profile image

      kgnature 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Great info! I've been considering an ipad for ebook reading and keeping tabs on my email when away from home. My main concerns have been the lack of a usb port for transferring information between my computers and the ipad, and the fact that I would have to pay for yet another cell connection. It's good to know that it will work with a wi fi connection - that will resolve most of my concerns.

    • stephensaldana profile image

      stephensaldana 7 years ago from Chicago

      Looks good.. I guess I am going to buy one for myself and may be later on will give it to my children.. lols..

    • profile image

      fabianmaula 7 years ago from Germany

      Amazing article, I need a iPad

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 7 years ago from Australia

      It's just being released in Australia. I usually love to buy the latest gadgets, but I'm not sold on the iPad yet. I've heard it doesn't use Flash (can't read websites that use Flash technology - and so many of them do thesedays) as well as that, it doesn't have a Webcam or Camera. So I'll probably hold out until it's improved a little more yet!

    • JJ182674 profile image

      JJ182674 7 years ago

      i'm sure wanna having it soon.. it's a motivation for me to

      earn more money..

    • lender3212000 profile image

      lender3212000 7 years ago from Beverly Hills, CA

      Looks like a great device! I can't wait to get one and play around with all of the unique features.

    • Joe Brown profile image

      Joe Brown 7 years ago from Greenwich, London

      I am split on buying an Ipad, just because I want to see what innovative products other companies are bringing out in the Slate Notebook market. It will be an interesting year for new tech I believe.

      Great read, Thanks

    • OhSnapItsMikey profile image

      OhSnapItsMikey 7 years ago

      Thanks for the info! I'm planning on getting an iPad close to the summer, and it was helpful to hear your "adventures" with it. :)

    • SummerSteward profile image

      SummerSteward 7 years ago from Duluth MN

      I just got one ordered! I'm so excited! It's the 3G version! Great hub!

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I have been thinking of buying an IPad, and now my son has one, I get to use it soon. It looks like a great innovation to me.

    • windsurferguy44 profile image

      windsurferguy44 7 years ago

      Thanks for the info regarding the ipad. I have an ipod touch, but it's nice to see the first review of the ipad... Glad you like it!

    • relache profile image

      Raye 7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Not having Flash is not a problem for me. What I do online on the road is vastly different from when I'm at home goofing off.

    • Phone Excitement profile image

      Phone Excitement 7 years ago

      Nice hub. I enjoyed it. I got to play with an Ipad in Best Buy store today. Not having flash is a major issue for me so I'm considering a Netbook instead.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      You are selling me on one :) It will definitely be my next electronic device.

    • relache profile image

      Raye 7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      It's been two days now, and I'm finding more and more cool things that I can do with the iPad. This upcoming trip is going to be like night and day in some regards.

    • DragonOZ profile image

      DragonOZ 7 years ago from Australia

      Can't wait to get my hands on one!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      Definitely looking forward to hearing of your experience with the iPad---thanks!

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Interested to hear how it performed in a week or two !

    • lakeerieartists profile image

      Paula Atwell 7 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Just read your hub. I would love to hear feedback on how you like it. Not sure if it is something I would use or need quite yet, but would love to hear more. :)

    • borge_009 profile image

      borge_009 7 years ago from Philippines

      I am hoping to own one in the future.

    • save my system profile image

      save my system 7 years ago from United Kingdom - London

      Apple introduces new tech device I pad, but it is unable to impress technology savvy people much. Thanks for publishing its positive side too. Nice hub. Good work

    • Eddy2106 profile image

      Eddy2106 7 years ago from Chicago Suburb, IL

      There an expensive little piece of techonly, which seems pointless on buying, since you have to buy the apps which range from 2.99 to 49.99, waste of money if you ask me, but i wouldn't mind haveing one, and a gift card to buy apps for it.

    • relache profile image

      Raye 7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      There are two models of iPad: one uses WiFi and the other will be able to use a 3G network or WiFi to connect to the Internet.

    • MEjones profile image

      MEjones 7 years ago

      That really sounds neat, but it sure is expensive. I really think it looks cool. And i don't understand- so you do need wifi to get on the Internet on the iPad?

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Sounds interesting. So many toys, I mean gadgets these days

    • gramarye profile image

      gramarye 7 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      MMMM I'd love to have one, but just bought a netbook instead. I'm sure an iPad would be much better though. Can't wait for your trip to see how it goes! I'm staying tuned...

    • Dr. Cherie profile image

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 7 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      Hi Relache

      I love my e-book, The Nook, but I still take my small-but-still-too-big laptop with me for email and Internet needs. I am going to check out this iPad. Thanks for the insight; much appreciated. Great to see this hub.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      I've heard it's best to wait for the 2nd generation iPad. I saw several sites that had loads of reasons why. I'm trying to convince my dad to wait; he was going to wait initially, but got impatient, and is not considering it again.

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      oooooh...I've been wondering about these!! Keep me posted on how you like it!

    • L3B0 profile image

      L3B0 7 years ago

      mmh, nice "Hubber-2009" said, owning an iPad is a adventure itself :P

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 7 years ago from Delaware

      Great preview, I will be following your hubs about your experiences using the Ipad. It does sound like it will be a good fit for you!

    • hubber-2009 profile image

      hubber-2009 7 years ago from India

      I think owning an iPad itself is an adventure...

    • relache profile image

      Raye 7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Stay tuned, Green Lotus. In just about a week, I'll have some serious feedback.

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I've been contemplating buying one too. Even as a Mac user, I'm still weighing my options so your hub helps a lot. Thanks!