iPad: a Great Holiday Computer

Yesterday we came back from a 10 day trip to [Coma-ruga, Spain](http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=coma+ruga,+spain&sll=16.130262,-55.283203&sspn=55.830742,87.890625&ie=UTF8&cd=1&hq=&hnear=Barri+mar%C3%ADtim+de+Coma-ruga,+Spain&ll=40.86368,-0.439453&spn=11.409787,21.972656&z=6). We stayed in a nice hotel, but like any hotel, you don’t really want to leave expensive stuff there while you’re out on the beach. Usually we take a laptop to watch movies and TV series during the evening, this time we decided to take my iPad, which conveniently fit into our room’s little locker.

The iPad is great for media playback, we managed to take about 10 movies and a dozen or so episodes from TV series we watch (I got a 16GB version). I bought a leather case that wraps around the screen and can also be folded over to the back to let it stand up, for instance on the bed, which worked out great.

Not only is the iPad great for watching video, it’s great for games too. My wife finally beat the adventure mode of [Plants versus Zombies](http://www.popcap.com/games/pvz), and I played a bit of [Asphalt 5 HD](http://appadvice.com/appnn/2010/04/ipad-app-breakdown-asphalt-5-hd-2/) and [Orbital HD](http://appadvice.com/appnn/2010/04/orbital-hd-full-advantage-ipad/).

When I finished the two physical books I took I also read the 97-paged sample of [“Under the Dome”](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under_the_Dome) that I got through iBooks (I think I’ll have to purchase the whole thing now). And yes, I read it outside, albeit in the shadow. The screen brightness is good enough to read outside. Unless you’re reading in the sun, that probably won’t work so well.

But maybe my favorite feature was that although it can do all of the above, it is not a full-fledged computer that would invite me to do some work. If you’re carrying around a laptop, why not open up Eclipse and do some programming? On the iPad you can’t and when you’re on _holiday_ that’s a feature for sure. I could have read one of the few dozen academic papers that I have stored on it, but I resisted. Who wants to read about functional reactive programming when you’re outside on the beach anyway?