25 March 2011
As you've probably read, today was the launch of Apple's iPad 2. I went along to a PC World shop in a sleepy town near me to check it out and was surprised to see a queue of 30 or 40 people there. I can't imagine how long the queues must have been at Apple's own stores, especially in central London. The shop sold out of about 30-40 units fairly quickly, which was surprising for a run-of-the-mill PC store. Don't forget that represents at least £16,000 worth of sales in half an hour. I expect that scene has been repeated across the country, too. Here are some pictures I took...
The marketing materials, waiting to be unveiled
You can look, but don't touch. The shiny new cases were defended by shop staff until 5pm, and then only available to those who bought the iPad.
The queue. I got there at about 4.30, which is half an hour before the official on-sale time, and they had nearly allocated all the units they had. Congratulations to the idiot near the front who changed his mind when it came time to buy later, and so messed up the allocations for those behind him in the queue. When they say 'think different', they don't mean that.
And there it is, on display at last. Those who were buying one couldn't leave the queue to try it out first, which was sort-of funny. Everyone was relieved when they were finally put on display and plugged in, if only because it stopped the table's security alarm whining.
And here it is! Ta-da! I didn't think the physical dimensions would make much difference, but it felt quite a bit lighter than my 3G iPad 1, although that might be partly because I was holding a Wi-Fi demo unit. I don't think the unit's noticeably heavier than my SLR camera, so it might be okay for shooting HD video, although it's still a bit clumsy to point. Still waiting for that tripod!
Here's the Photo Booth software, which enables you to shoot photos with weird effects applied. It's interesting, but feels more like something for a Nintendo handheld than the iPad. I expect we'll tire of seeing photos featuring that Dr Who title sequence tunnel effect, but it's a nice way to have a bit of fun with the camera, even in a PC shop, which isn't the most photogenic place to shoot.
I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the iPad 2 for a proper play with it. The main difference is the camera and video conferencing app FaceTime, plus a couple of minor things in the apps.
By the way, I passed the half-way point in writing the first draft of my book iPad for the Older and Wiser today. Cheers!
Labels: iPad, iPad 2, writing
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