Taking a test drive…

I promised an unboxing, but was a little too quick getting things unwrapped to keep much of a record. For the moment you’ll have to be satisfied with riding along as I take the new toy out for a test drive. The first thing you notice out of the box is just how good it feels in the hand. The tapered edges are much more comfortable than the vertical edges on version one. It’s definitely a slimmer form factor. I didn’t expect it to be as noticeable as it is, but it makes quite a difference.

After the mandatory registration with iTunes and really getting a chance to put iPad 2 through it’s paces, I’ve got to say that it handles remarkably well. Web browsing is very, very quick and switching apps doesn’t lag at all. I haven’t thrown too much stress at it yet, but I’m expecting great things based on first impressions.

For an afternoon launch, the line wasn’t bad – assuming you got there early enough. I ended up waiting just over three hours from getting in line to walking out of the store… Which brings up the only negative experience of the day. Stockage of the 18 different versions was a bit of an issue. By the time I made it into the store, the AT&T 16 and 32 GB models in black and white were sold out, leaving the only AT&T option as the 64GB version. Since the card I got while in line guaranteed only an AT&T enabled version, it was either hand over an extra $200 and take delivery of four times more storage than I planned on or walk out empty handed. Since I had an AT&T card, I couldn’t just switch off to one of the Verizon versions that were still in stock. This is an issue Apple could have prevented if they would have taken online reservations as they have for previous product launches. Of course it’s not necessarily in Apple’s interest to do that. I forked over an extra $200. I wonder how many others did too. I can’t image many who sat in line for hours were going to be thwarted by another two bills. Now if I were one of the people who was still several hundred people deep in the line when I left, I might be feeling a little different about how things turned out.

All things being equal, I’m well pleased. There are still plenty of things I need to put through their paces, but I’m pretty sure our friends from Cupertino hit another home run.

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