I just spent a week in Mexico on vacation. I left the laptop at home, brought the HTC Inctedible (but kept it off) and packed up the iPad. The iPad makes for an interesting vacation companion. It’s thin and lightweight, which means you won’t need a separate bag for it (we’re all trying not to let the airlines screw us with bag fees) nor will it break your back. You don’t need to pull it out for security and that’s a big time blessing.
So we know getting it on vacation is a joy, but what about what happens when you’re on vacation? Well Mexico was sunny, warm and surrounded by water and sand. I mainly used it as my all in one news and entertainment reader. No need to carry several books and magazines when you have the iPad. That’s a huge plus in theory. Yes, you have access to a seemingly unlimited arsenal of content. However, trying to read that content outside, even in the shade, is a horrendously unsatisfying experience. You’ll find yourself trying to find an angle that works, shading the iPad and squinting/straining your eyes to read. On the plus side you can do this for 10 hours without scorching your legs. The iPad’s battery life lives up to the hype and the great job the engineers at apple did with the design ensure the iPad is cool to the touch, even after heavy use. Additionally, the sealed form factor and lack of a keyboard are great at fighting the elements…like the sand that gets blown around, the rain and of course the splashes from the pool.
All in all the iPad is a wise choice for a vacationer. It saves you space, let’s you enjoy content on demand and if you so choose will keep you connected to the “real world.”. Just keep in mind that the visual viewing experience you have indoors is not even close to the experience you’ll have outdoors. It’s a tough and initially frustrating situation to get used to. For me, it took nearly 2 full days to start seeing passed the visual shortcomings. I imagine this will be different for each person.