Like everyone and their dog, we’ve been waiting impatiently for an iPad to cross our path. Originally we thought we’d be able to wait until the local release, but that’s been delayed again to some vague future date, and we’ve got some web projects that we want to make sure are going to work on the device. So, thanks to some kind friends in the Land of The Free, our iPad arrived in the post yesterday.

First of all, this is the most unusual device I’ve ever used. Without the purchase of additional applications from the app store it doesn’t actually do all that much. More than any other thing I’ve used, this is a promise, a window into the potential of what the application can do. Philosophers, mostly French, will talk about this thing for years.

For me so far, the best application is Marco Arment’s Instapaper, which you probably already know about from its fame on the iPhone. Marco’s been generous enough to update his app so that it works correctly on both the iPad and the iPhone; on the iPad I think we’ve found the perfect platform for delivering what Instapaper is all about.

Mobile Safari on the iPad is great, and obviates the need for a lot of app creation –– why create an iPad app for Tumblr when the website itself works perfectly? The New York Times ‘Editors’ Choice’ app is also an interesting peek into a potential future model for newspaper delivery.

What I’m most interested in is to see if it can replace my laptop for most of my ‘out of the office’ tasks. I’ve recently realised that when I am out of the office, the bulk of my computer use is centred around correspondence and consumption of information. My iPhone is too small for me to be able to do most of this effectively, and so I lug around my laptop. I’m hoping that I can start leaving that at the office, and with it the constant nagging pressure that I should maybe ‘creating’ when I want to relax or interact.

Let’s see how it goes.

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