My First Time With the iPad

All of the tech critics and bloggers have weighed in on the iPad, but so far few writers have said what they think. Novelist Jay McInerney gives Apple’s revolutionary new device a test run.

04.08.10 12:05 AM ET

A reporter met Jay McInerney at his home to test out the iPad and see what he thought.

[We try to check out The Daily Beast’s homepage, but can’t connect to the Internet..]

I have a cable modem. Well that already tells me I need to change my lifestyle.

I could try my friend Ed Norton’s over there if I could get the password.

[Plays with e-book and flips through Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn .]

I do love Apple. I love the touch screen aspect of this.

[We search the book for ‘the king’.]

It really is very convincing, book-like experience almost. It’s much more convincing.

[We look at the NYT and WSJ applications.]

I give it one and a half thumbs up. And I wasn’t even able to get online.

Nicholas Ciarelli: 5 Secrets of the iPad I’ve been resisting a Kindle because I’ve been waiting for this. I’m trying to decide whether I would use this as a travel device, which it really would be pretty great for. I mean I sometimes carry an entire carry on case of magazines and books. And I’ve been hoping this was going to convert me. I wasn’t converted… I got a Kindle and I haven’t used it at all. This, I might. This is more fun. It looks better. Let’s face it: That’s why we love Apple—it looks better.

I do, I like what it looks like, the newspaper layout. The Kindle doesn’t do that, does it? It’s a much better simulacrum of the paper and print experience.

Actually, I’ve kind’ve been waiting to see if this might convert me, which the Kindle didn’t. And I think it might, if only for travel. Cause you know this is like, I don’t know, for people like me [gestures to huge bookshelf], I don’t think anything will replace books entirely.

I don’t consider the magazine, as a physical object, to be sacred. It’s that it’s always been so much more convenient than its online incarnation. But this is more, this comes closer, to the appearance, the layout, and the ease. I think it’s still probably a little easier to pick up a copy of Vanity Fair and thumb through it than to use this. But this is… isn’t bad. This probably weighs less than the fall issue of Vanity Fair.

I give it one and a half thumbs up. And I wasn’t even able to get online. I really like the way that it presents books and magazines, as opposed to the other screen presentations. Layout, print, font, you know. I don’t think anybody delivered it this way before. I’m kind of enthusiastic. Now I need a wireless router.

[He writes a note on the iPad. He types ‘Two thumbs up!’]

I would still carry a Rhodia notebook and pen if I were on the job reporting.

Plus: Check out Book Beast for more news on hot titles and authors and excerpts from the latest books.

Jay McInerney is the author of, most recently, How It Ended: New and Collected Stories