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Entry 1239, on 2010-11-01 at 20:51:02 (Rating 1, Computers)

What's the best thing about the iPad? Some people would say it's that it's a cool, flashy device that owners want to show everyone, but I would say the opposite is true: the best thing about the iPad is how it blends into the background and how people often don't notice that it's there.

Some iPad users have reported taking them to meetings for reference and for taking notes (and maybe for entertainment purposes if the meeting got too boring) because they don't get in the way like a laptop does. I don't go to meetings so I cannot comment on this but it seems to make sense.

I was in a similar situation recently. It was at the end of year awards evening for my son and daughter's school. This is generally a tedious event which seems to go on forever (two and a half hours in this case) and any form of distraction is welcome. It would be seen as rather rude to pull out a laptop but the iPad was barely noticed by anyone else in the audience.

I posted a tweet, wrote a few blog comments, checked my Facebook status, and remembered some fun holidays by flicking through some photos. Then I fired up an astronomy app to check if there was anything good in the sky that night. As I said, it was easy and inconspicuous, especially because the iPad keyboard makes no sound while the user is typing. And even in that situation the iPad is just so easy and intuitive to use. Operating it is just second nature and barely requires any conscious thought after a while.

So the time went quite quickly and I got some useful things done in what would usually be unproductive time.

Often a new gadget enjoys an initial burst of intense use but that gradually fades as it becomes less of a novelty, but the iPad isn't just a cool toy, it's also a useful tool, so I still use it almost as much as I did when I first got it.

It's obviously permeating into general culture too because I see iPads on tv and other media being used with no commentary that there's anything unusual happening. Again it's just there getting things done. It stands out because it's inconspicuous!


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