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My New iPad: First Impressions

I bought a new iPad yesterday -- the 3G, 16 GB variety -- and after 24 hours, it's safe to say I'm in love. Three first impressions:

* FLIPBOARD IS THE FUTURE: Have you seen this app? It take links your Facebook and Twitter friends post, and turn them into a magazine. The video explains better than I can:



This is such a marvel of design and functionality that, frankly, going back to run-of-the-mill Facebook and Twitter apps seems a little disappointing. This app alone makes the cost of the iPad seem worth it.

* IT'S AN EXCELLENT E-READER: My long angst over whether to buy an e-reader is over. I read three chapters in a new book yesterday, using the Kindle application on the iPad. I suspect that this will be the primary way I read non-fiction, information-consuming books from now on. (The Luddite lover in me would like to say I'll stick with paper for novels and similar leisure reading, but I suspect I'm fooling myself on that score.)

* BUT IT'S BEST FOR CONSUMING: I haven't fully tested the New York Times and Washington Post applications on the iPad yet. Why? Because when I read the news, I want to be prepared to blog it immediately. (The Blogger extension for the Chrome browser on my regular computer has actually been a pretty marvelous tool in that regard.) The iPad isn't quite as handy when it comes to me reprocessing information and spitting it back out into the world. Which is why my morning headlines scan will probably continue to take place on the computer.

* BONUS THOUGHT: The iPhone, a cherished device in my pocket for two years now, seems a bit diminished. Instead of seeming a vital piece of technology, it now seems to augment a technology ecology in which my iPad is closer to center stage. If I want to read Instapaper or the headlines, I'll probably use the big iPad instead of the phone. The joke I -- and everybody else -- made when the iPad came out is that it's a big iPhone. That's not true. The iPhone is a small iPad.

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