I am not usually a super early adopter, especially of Apple technology because I know that Apple iterates fairly quickly and that their next gen products get better and better. Nevertheless, I decided to get an iPad as soon as it comes out. I decided not to just order it online, but reserved it so that I can pick it up in store to get the whole Apple experience.

On Saturday April 3, I got to the Apple store on Michigan Ave at 8:30AM and there was already a long line that wrapped around the corner. I originally planned to get there at 7:30, but I just couldn’t get up. It was raining and I brought my flimsy umbrella.

While in line, I asked people around me why they wanted an iPad. One guy was an early adopter. He also stood in line for the iPhone. He said that the line for iPhone was much longer. Another guy was a startup founder and wanted to put his apps on the iPad at a convention to get people to come play with the iPad and hence his app. Another was a writer who was excited about the possibilities of publishing on the iPad.

This is where the Apple experience begins – even before you set foot inside the store. There were Apple employees handing out umbrellas for those who weren’t prepared for the bad weather. They even had Starbucks coffee for those people who wanted it. Some enterprising folks set up their hamburger/hot dog stands nearby. Apple employees also came by everyone to pick out those who had reserved their iPad to hop on another line.

About half and hour or so later I finally made it inside the store. I was greeted by two columns of Apple store geniuses all cheering, clapping, and whistling, and congratulating. It was as if I had won some Academy Award seriously. They really made you feel like a rockstar when in the fact only thing you were doing is lining Apple’s coffers with more money. I tried to quickly make it past that. It was hard to make eye contact because I felt really weird being congratulated for apparently doing nothing.

I picked up a couple of the official iPad cases. Tim Courtney called me up while I was in line to see if I could pick him up one. – The power of twitter. On my way out of the store, a correspondent from ABC asked if she could interview me. She said that many of the people refused to be interviewed and were downright rude to her. She mentioned something about not wanting to be portrayed as hardcore mac fanboys. Whatever. Being a shameless self promoter I naturally said yes. Here’s the segment. I was disappointed that they pretty much took all the interesting (where I pimped all my wares) parts out. I took the train home and had to go train a bit. Yes I did not touch my iPad for a couple of hours even though I was one of the first people to get it.

Anyways, late in the afternoon I finally did get to play with it. Here’s my “Unboxing” video:

My first impressions were:

  • Dang, this thing weighs a ton, compared to my kindle
  • The screen is really nice
  • iPhone apps look horrible on it – which is great opportunity for enterprising folks
  • Not too crazy about typing on it. Takes a while to get used to.
  • Apps made especially for iPad look gorgeous on it
  • The official iPad case feels cheap. I’ll probably have to replace it with something else.

As I get more and more into it, my impressions will undoubtedly change so stay tuned for more.

Popularity: 2% [?]

Related posts:

  1. Concept UI: iPad Curved Keypad
  2. Video Wars: Episode IV. BLOCKBUSTER’S DOOM
  3. Impressions of PS3 from a UX Perspective
  4. Dell Customer Service Redemption
  5. On Innovation Part 2 (How Apple Does It)