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iPad Review: Mommy’s...

iPad Review: Mommy’s New Little Helper

As part of my full-time freelance writing job, I recently finished a short term blog writing gig where I got to research topics and provide personal reviews of the iPhone and iPad. I love my job!

Upon winning the bid for that job, I decided it was time for a new business investment—I went out and purchased an iPad. I had been wanting one for awhile anyway (much thanks to the Modern Family episode where Phil so desperately wants one for his birthday), so having found myself with an assignment to review them was like a cosmic sign that the time was ripe for me to become the proud new owner of my very own Apple iPad.

My husband and I took the kids to Best Buy rather spontaneously one Saturday afternoon. (Him: “Hey, you want to go look at iPads at Best Buy?” Me: “Sure.”) Of course, during the thirty-minute drive there, we went from discussing merely looking at the iPads to trying to figure out if I should get the 3G or the Wifi. This is no slight debate since the difference in price is about $150. However, when we got to Best Buy and found out that all the store had in stock was the 16GB Wifi iPads, that pretty much ended the argument.

One of the major discussions about the iPad is where it actually fits into the world of computing. It’s almost like an old-fashioned joke: “What’s bigger than an iPhone, smaller than an iMac, and still has great apps?” I have to say that the iPad has become almost a late developed appendage. I have it with me almost constantly—even (much to my husband’s alternating amusement and, I think, jealousy) to the point where I frequently fall asleep in bed cuddling with it at night.

Why am I so weirdly obsessed with my new toy? Because every day I find yet another way, the iPad makes my life so much easier than it used to be. On this one perfectly sized handheld computing device, I am able to read a book (iBooks, Kindle), listen to music (iTunes, Pandora), play a game (check out Angry Birds or Plants vs. Zombies), write an article for work (iWorks Pages, Google documents), surf the Internet, read and write email messages, watch a movie (Netflix, iTunes store), and even help my preschoolers start learning to read (check out the Preschool app).

Now, if you don’t have an iPad, you’re probably thinking, “So what? I can do most of that on my PC or iPhone.” To some extent, yes, you can. But you can’t do it nearly as easily, flawlessly, and simply as you can with my one little iPad.

The screen is plenty big enough to be able to make excellent use of the touchscreen capabilities of the Apple handheld devices. The onscreen keyboard is especially impressive—I can even use two hands to do my own “iPad pecking” version of typing on a full-sized keyboard. I will add, though, that I did make the $70 investment towards the keyboard docking station when I bought the iPad, an investment that I absolutely recommend to anyone looking to purchase their own iPad.

The true value and use of the iPad revolves around its convenient size, shape, and weight. It’s not too big or small, the perfect shape for holding or propping up on your knees, and definitely not too heavy to transport. iPhones are great, but the smaller screen causes a lot of “fat finger” mistakes. Laptops are more convenient than a desktop to tote around, but they’re still too cumbersome to easily travel with, or to snuggle in bed to watch a movie on. No, only the iPad provides the absolute perfect size machine for multi-tasking use.

I have been in love with my iPad since the day I brought it home. However, as we prepare to get ready to go on vacation, my love has suddenly both deepened and strengthened. As the mom of three kids, you can imagine how much extra stuff is needed to help keep little ones entertained while traveling. Today when I was packing our carry-on bag I suddenly realized that now that I have the iPad, I won’t have to lug a whole backpack full of extraneous items.

Gone are the books, puzzles, games, art supplies, etc. that normally weigh me down like a bipedal pachyderm. My iPad will be able to provide all of the normal airplane ride entertainment by itself. There are kids books on my iBooks shelf, the Doodle Buddy app for my budding artists, iTunes movies loaded and ready to go, and dozens of games to play. It’s a whole traveling entertainment system in one sleek 7.5' x 9.5' handheld screen. Fantastic!

If you’re thinking about getting your own iPad, my recommendation is HURRY UP! Don’t wait! The iPad will truly revolutionize your life. As far as I’m concerned, this is Mommy’s New Little Helper.

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