Karessa Ramos

Karessa with the hottest gadget of the holiday season...

Karessa with the hottest gadget of the holiday season...

This holiday season, one of the hottest holiday items on everybody’s wish list is the Apple iPad. The iPad is light and portable, making it perfect for carrying around to class or work. It is pretty fast, so moving from app to app really is all at the touch of your fingers. What many people struggle with when deciding on purchasing an iPad is the size that they should get. It is always difficult to gauge how much space one should invest in, and unfortunately the iPad does not allow the ability to expand. This means that many jump straight to buying the 64GB model, which can be a problem for those hoping not to blow their wallet on a single item. In short what you get is what you are stuck with.

While the touch screen is definitely a cool technology, typing on the iPad screen can be a chore since you can’t feel the physical keys, so a keyboard is a definite recommendation, especially for those with lazy fingers who plan on using it in class or for work. The autocorrect tool for typing is helpful when typing short notes, but it cannot decipher everything.

The iWork apps are certainly worth the investment from the app store, particularly for students or professors hoping to take notes or edit presentations on the go before and during class. Pages is simple enough, but again difficult to use efficiently without assistance from a keyboard. Keynote is bit more difficult to get used to since all of the functions and tools are condensed down and a bit more difficult to find in the application’s menu. Resizing images and moving slides is as easy as a double tap and slide of the finger: very cool! Unfortunately though, I am unable to test the compatibility of the iWork for iPad apps with Microsoft Office at this time, which I am sure is a huge feature most people would probably like. [Note: Pages can import and export files in .doc, while it seems that keynote and numbers can import their Office equivalents, but can only export in their native format.]

The iPad is much more than a notepad or a glorified e-reader (which is a wonderful component of the iPad because the screen is just so beautiful). There are so many fun apps that can be added to the iPad. Getting more apps is as simple as downloading them from the App Store, which you can visit just by giving a quick tap to the app icon on your iPad. My personal favorite is Plants vs. Zombies. For those who are movie and Hulu junkies be aware that the iPad is not compatible with Flash so you won’t be able to enjoy your shows on the using Safari. Apple seems to have answered this problem with a Hulu app. If you have Nexflix, then the Netflix app is an essential download too.

Overall, the iPad is a great piece of technology that integrates both work and play into one device. Its size and portability make it great for those on the go who don’t want to deal with lugging around their computers all day. However, if you are planning on doing any long term work make sure to invest in a keyboard and plenty of space. All in all, the iPad is a great little gift, but make sure to try one out for yourself before making the commitment!