iPad and Woodworking?

comments (99) January 28th, 2010 in blogs

GEide GEide, Contributor
thumbs up 32 users recommend

Apple unveiled its new tablet computing device yesterday: The iPad. Some (Apple CEO Steve Jobs) are calling it magical and revolutionary. What do you think? Will you be an early adopter? Do you want to find more woodworking content on the new device? Like eMagazines? Or is it being overhyped?

What is it?
The new product puts laptop-style computing in a smaller package and incorporates Apple's glossy touch-screen navigation. With it, Apple's also pursuing the eReader market in competition with the Amazon Kindle and other devices. Pricing starts at $499. Below are some of the pros and cons of the device.


  • Full color: Can incorporate full-color photos into eBook and eMagazine content (good for our glossy woodworking photos). Other eReader are black and white.
  • Web browsing: Lets you surf the net. Can access most FineWoodworking.com content this way too.
  • Portability: More portable than a laptop. Ideal for taking into the shop--provided you get a nice cover to protect that fancy touch screen.


  • Backlit: Harder on the eyes than the white-paper technology on devices like the Kindle.
  • Needs a data plan: If you want the Web connectivity on the go, you must a buy 3G data plan separately. The iPad can also connect via wireless networks.
  • No Flash: Doesn't currently allow Flash, a technology that we currently use to stream videos and animate graphics though that could change.

Does it sound like something that you might adopt soon? Maybe in a year when they've worked some more bugs? Do you want Fine Woodworking to provide more offerings for a device like this? Or more for smart phones like Blackberries or iPhones?

Vote in our polls and post a comment below.

posted in: blogs, news

Comments (99)

CutlistPro CutlistPro writes: I think since the release of the iPad, there has been few woodworking related apps out there. One handy tool app that I think would be of interest to every one here is "Carpenter Cut". It generates optimal cutlist diagrams right from the iPad/iPhone device, without having to have a full blown computer PC in your shop. It takes into account kerf size and grain direction.

Here is a demo video you about it:


Also the app can be of great help to metal sheet and other types of cutting. Here is the download link for it:


Posted: 7:02 am on November 26th

whiskey3 whiskey3 writes: Lets just say I long for the day that FWW makes their ever increasing video library available on the ipad. I use it as my main mode of electronic media consumption and having the video workshops on here instead of seeing 'we're sorry.......' would be a boon.
Posted: 1:06 am on December 13th

Adirondack_Will Adirondack_Will writes: Folks:

I receive around 20 print magazines and two daily newspapers. I travel a lot and managing the print entropy is taking way too much of my time. I like to keep certain pubs, like fine woodworking and the wine spectator around to archive interesting articles. On the other hand, I only read about 10% of my WSJ daily subscription on any given day and don't want to keep all that content.

I am a tech geek in addition to being a builder and woodworker. For example, in addition to designing very fast supercomputers, I have a PC, three apple laptops, an iphone, a kindle and a blackberry; and I intend to buy an ipad soon (although I AM looking at the Macbook Air as an alternative to the ipad.) So, I am really interested in electronic subscription.

I would like to see a number of things happen to make it more attractive:
1. if I subscribe to a magazine or newspaper either in print or on line, I should have the choice of getting it on my ipad at no additional cost.
2. I should be able to download content to the ipad and keep it indefinitely. In fact, it should be trivially easy for me to archive all content.
3. I should be able to move my subscription and archived content to a new reader as the technology evolves at no additional cost.
4. I need to be able to back up my content in such a fashion that it is at least as secure as keeping the hard copies of issues.

I have not moved my WSJ subscription to a reader since they want an additional $4 a week on top of my print subscription fee. I checked and the same is true if I were to switch to the on-line version of the WSJ. In addition they only archive a week of content. [That is not so bad a problem with a newspaper if I can copy and paste interesting articles into my own archival files.] But you know it would be easy for WSJ to note the articles I actually open and read and give me the option when I finish with them to archive them as part of their app.

Okay, so when can I get FW on my soon to be ipad?


Posted: 2:23 pm on December 3rd

Jake411 Jake411 writes: I would like to see you offer a Zinio subscription. You can accomodate the iPad users, laptop users, and other tablet and netbook users. (I'm no longer an iPad user, but do read all my subscriptions on the laptop.)

I have been subscribing to Zinio (and other electronic publications like PDF, NewBay, etc) for years. I have a very hectic schedule, and electronic magazine subscriptions are a perfect match for my lifestyle (and I'm certainly not alone). I now subscribe to well over 30 publications (business and personal), and have cancelled all my other paper-only subscriptions (of which there were only three left)!

So count me in on an electronic version of the publication, but only if you offer it in a fairly universal format (Zinio, PDF, NewBay, etc).
Posted: 7:34 pm on November 15th

KeimArtworks KeimArtworks writes: It may be a result of my age and growing up in a technology rich world but I think Fine Woodworking should make all their content available for the IPad. I can't wait for all of my magazines and books to be kept in one place with easy access. I will probably spend 10 to 15 times more on electronic books and magazines next year than I ever have because they are that much more enjoyable when experienced on the IPad. This device is expensive but for anyone who can afford it you will not be disappointed and will start to only consider content that is made for the IPad. It's unbelievable how much a device can raise your expectations for the industry. I would not hesitate a moment to purchase a new electronic subscription and the archives if made for the IPAD.
Posted: 11:33 pm on September 22nd

CreatingSawdust CreatingSawdust writes: I have an ipad, iphone, & kindle

1. Would looking at woodworking stuff on those devices be cool? Sure!

2. Would I pay extra for them, more that I do for the magazine & pay site at FWW? Not a shot in hell!

3. Would I trade PDFs for print regardless of the price? See answer to question 2.

Posted: 11:04 am on May 3rd

DLJ DLJ writes: I will be getting an iPad as soon as they are available. I think it will be the ideal device for reading magazines and watching videos when away from a desktop computer. I think it will be a lot better than the iphone for using in the shop or on the job site given it's increased size.
I hope that Taunton will make iPad apps for all their magazines as I would love to convert my print subscriptions to digital only. Having all the back issues of FHH and FWW on my iPad along with other Taunton books and videos will be a huge resource. Surely I'm not the first reader to throw the latest issue into the bag before heading out for vacation only to read a reference to a back issue that is at home on the shelf.
I too am nervous about the longevity of the device itself but as others have noted my iphone lives in my pocket, with bit tips and sawdust and keeps on going. My biggest issue is I find the earbuds only last about 4-6 months, but Apple will replace them if your warranty is current.
I'm glad to see that Taunton is looking into ways to move beyond Flash for it's videos. I hope they have a solution in place when the iPad starts shipping because i think the demand will be great once people start getting their hands on them and seeing how intuitive a great multi-touch interface can be on a larger screen.
Posted: 9:09 am on February 17th

GLENNSKY GLENNSKY writes: Sure. Swell gizmo with high whiz-bang factor. But I don't NEED this and won't have one any time soon unless there's something I simply MUST have and can't get some other way. Runs Sketchup? Produces plans or measured drawings or cut lists? Apple products are nice but expensive and have relatively low market share. Don't prepare any content for me.
Posted: 1:13 pm on February 11th

texag texag writes: As visually impared woodworker, my eyes and a small screen do not go well together. The kindel may work if I could get it from the wife as needed. Therfore I prefer Hardcopy, and DVD archive on large monitors (23 inch) and e-zine. I use readers to see my dial pad on a Blackbery. Besides I plan to instal a computer in the shop with printer and internet connection.
Posted: 2:27 am on February 11th

Obeeswax Obeeswax writes: I have a blackberry and rarely use it for anymore than the phone. For me, it's complicated, slow and hard to read. I would not read magazines on this gizmo. I've owned both windows products and Apple. I personally prefer Apple. I don't get excited with reading material on line, I like the old fashioned paper. However, I love the ability to research on line. I'll wait until I can get more answers - can I run a thumb drive? and see if I can stay on it for 20 minutes or so. I am fascinated with the ability to have the printed word and the video side by side in my shop...
Posted: 11:30 pm on February 9th

dphillippe dphillippe writes: I think the iPad is going to be great, but I came across this new device that Sports Illustrated is working on and was blown away. It would be a great fit for what Fine Woodworking is doing with written content, videos, etc. Check it out at http://www.thewonderfactory.com/sportsillustratedtabletdemovimeo.html.
I would be interested in buying a subscription that encompassed written articles alongside videos showing highlights or detailed instructions pertaining to the article I was reading. You could provide very specific advertising of tools related to the work being done in the article. The possibilities are limitless!
Posted: 1:42 pm on February 8th

jedman jedman writes: Here is my take on electronic delivery vs. the printed magazine. I've read some of the other posts and many people seem to be focusing on an either/or position.

I like various delivery vehicles for different reasons. I have an iphone, and yes I want to be able to read content and watch all sorts of videos on it. Not necessarily when I'm in my shop, but rather more when I'm away from it. I'm a firefighter and spend 24hrs at the station. Between calls and other duties, I like to read articles and watch videos. With my iphone my delivery vehicle is always in my pocket and can come out and be put away quickly... and many times I can't carry a magazine with me. I also would not be able to carry a bigger computer tablet with me. So having content available for the iphone is a big plus for me.

When at home, I like to use my laptop to hook into the FWW websites to get content. I like getting content in a more timely manner. I don't particularly care to read most articles online (hard on the eyes). So I print the articles that are useful and don't worry with the rest. I also like the search engines to find specific articles about specific topics. I also enjoy the opportunities to interact with other woodworkers.

The traditional magazine also has it uses though. It is much easier to read and allows the us to leave the technology behind. This is also beneficial at times. Also, as someone stated above, you don't need batteries or wifi in order to read a printed magazine.

So I guess for me, the bottom line is... there is a place for all the delivery vehicles in my life.

I don't particularly care about content specific to the ipad. I probably won't buy one. It doesn't offer me as much benefit as an iphone in terms of portability... which is the primary need I have in a hand held device and it wouldn't be as friendly as a printed magazine on the old eyes.
Posted: 11:33 pm on February 6th

dplumpkin dplumpkin writes: The various views I'm reading here are interesting. However, I have no interest in receiving my "content" via an iPad-like device. Printed copies of FWW never have their batteries die in mid-project. I'm not a techno-phobe (I've made my living in IT), but the printed magazine is my preferred method of receiving content. I can copy it, fold it, trash it, file it, take it to the bathroom or bedroom. The technology of delivering it has been pretty well de-bugged.
Posted: 10:16 pm on February 6th

heyIMmike heyIMmike writes: To me, this is less about the iPad, and more about how content is delivered. Sure I can get FWW on any of my computers, and even check it out on my iPhone. I'm also more likely to watch a video on something bigger than my iPhone, particularly if I was trying to really see what was going on.

When you boil it all down, this is a question of Flash and proprietary tech (regardless of cost) and open standards such as HTML5. If everything on FWW was already in HTML5, we wouldn't be talking about this. I personally believe that using an open standard like HTML5 will not only improve what FWW offers, but also open it up to the largest audience possible.

As to the question, Yes, I'll be getting an iPad. I will not be part of the first wave of adopters, but I will eventually get one.
Posted: 7:46 pm on February 6th

davewait davewait writes: I think it would be a grave mistake for FWW to invest in electronic delivery without really understanding the desires of the whole reader base. This poll is gathering inputs from the portion of your readers that are very active online. That doesn't represent a random cross section of your base.

Many of us are into woodworking as a relaxing, 'old school' activity. Woodworking is the opportunity to unplug from the buzz of the mulit-tasking go-go world and focus on one thing - woodworking. We have had our fill of electronic devices at work and seek to escape that environment in our leisure activites. With printed magazines, I don't have to worry about having the correct, up-to-date hardware and supporting wireless data format and plan. I can't imagine subscribing to an electronic delivery FWW (or any other magazine for that matter.)
Posted: 11:58 am on February 6th

Poilu Poilu writes: I have an IPhone, I'm a FWW web member and I have to admit that I've been a little bit annoyed not being able to watch FWW videos on my IPhone (Woodwhisperer does ;) ). This morning, it is very refreshing to see that you are looking into it.

The Ipad is a great idea, although I won't get one right away. In my view there is a few missing features that will surely be added in a second release. Like the Iphone, there is a lack of multitasking. As an example, I can't listen to a web radio on an app like Flycast while browsing the web or reading email. I also want a GPS and a camera. In short, I would like it to be a "big Iphone" without the voice service. With the keyboard docking station, it would do 80% of laptops applications. For the quality of the screen, when you have tried several technologies from different manufacturers, you come to truly believe that anything related to user interface, screen included, Apple beats anybody around. The other outstanding feature Jobs is introducing, and I'm glad he's got the leverage to do it, is the cell connection G3 that he has pulled from phone companies. Can't beat a 3G data connection for 15$/month with no contract. This is a huge change in the cell phone data industry and I hope it will start a revolution.
Posted: 10:11 am on February 6th

Jigs-n-fixtures Jigs-n-fixtures writes: I have one of the Large format tablets, (notebook with a swiveling screen), which I thought about using in the shop but didn't because of worries about the dust. And, I'm still thinking about building an environmental case for my old computer.

I just don't see any great advantage to the smaller devices in the shop. The primary purpose I would have, the ability to zoom in to drawings for greater detail, would be severely limited by the small screen.

And, if I am relaxing with a book of magazine article; I find the recliner in my den far more comfortable than any piece of furniture in the shop. Particularly since the only furniture in the shop, is a drafting stool.
Posted: 10:05 am on February 6th

Jointerman Jointerman writes: I will be an early adopter of the iPad. The Kindle is great for books, but it lacks what I've been hoping for in an eReader... color magazines!

My FWW and FHB collections are getting unwieldy. It'd be great to be able to read and browse a magazine on the iPad. Videos, I'm not too concerned about. But that said... Flash needs to be in the past!
Posted: 1:59 pm on February 5th

DanM DanM writes: I have a Kindle, but no other such toys (I have a Razr phone, but it's a phone; it can do some other stuff, but I don't know how).

Kindle is terrific for reading fiction. After the first 2 minutes (with a decent novel) and you are "in it" just as you would be with a paper book. Besides that, the whole thing weighs about 6 ounces, and it can hold hundreds of books; it is thereby terrific for traveling. Load up those airplane/port novels and enjoy.

By contrast, Kindle is not good for non fiction; it's not good for anything where you want to go back and forth. In this history of the Civil War, there is a big map on page 26; on page 34 the text mentions a battle and refers to the map. In paper, this is trivial. On the Kindle, it's a nuisance. Although I haven't used the other technologies, my sense is that it has to be the same. Watch yourself the next time you try to follow the details of making a hall table, or a cabinet, and you flip forward and backward, looking again at the plan, then at the joint, then at the text, back to the plan, etc. And of course the color makes a big difference.

I think the "book," that is, stacks of paper connected along one edge, is one of the most useful and underappreciated inventions of all time. An amazing, easily used, random access devise. No instructions needed. Get a Kindle (or whatever) for fiction. Otherwise, stick to books.
Posted: 8:45 am on February 5th

DonTito89 DonTito89 writes: Something i would like to see is a FWW app.
Posted: 11:23 pm on February 4th

HokieJoe HokieJoe writes: I'm not particularly interested in content delivered in this manner. It's fine as an alternative I suppose. I use FWW's website quite a bit and enjoy the content; but I genuinely appreciate having a real magazine that I can lay hands on. What's more, I don't enjoy perusing content on these handheld devices. What's the point when I can view it on a 20"+ widescreen monitor?

Posted: 9:55 pm on February 4th

MadScientist MadScientist writes: @mstrrktek
To counter your points, there is a fundamental difference between a book reader and your iPhone. The e-ink technology is much easier on the eyes than the iPhone's backlit LCD screen. No app can turn an LCD screen into e-ink. I'd like to use an iPad to view some of FWW's content but I wouldn't want to read the magazine with it. I like my eyesight.

I know this may be a small portion of woodworkers but not everyone has wi-fi access in their shop or would like to use their device in places that do not provide wi-fi access. For them 3G access is necessary.

Flash may be "OLD SCHOOL" as you said but most sites still use it. This includes YouTube. They implement flash better than FWW in some ways but it is still flash. They do have a beta that uses HTML5 and the h.264 video codec but for most people it is still flash. At least it isn't quicktime. I hope FWW follows this trend and gets away from flash.

Posted: 8:04 pm on February 4th

MadScientist MadScientist writes: One of the ideas behind the iPad, and iPhone for that matter is to kill flash. It is a security risk and a system resource hog. There are better ways of displaying video over the internet. Youtube is trying to get away from flash(as are many other companies) and currently has a beta version without flash. I'm not an Apple fan or anything but I'd like to view media over my smartphone. The iPad would be a perfect device for viewing articles and video wherever you are, including the workshop. I'd say the forums too if they were designed better. Look to tech and gaming sites to get an idea of what a forum can be. Not the posts, the design.
Posted: 7:31 pm on February 4th

sazeracjeff sazeracjeff writes: To answer someone's question below, YouTube videos ARE Flash video format. The iPhone/iPad do support Flash video (in the form of youTube streams) - but that's the only kind of flash content they support.

Posted: 5:33 pm on February 4th

hutch328 hutch328 writes: Since comments help Taunton understand what their customers want, I'll put in my 2 cents:

1. Accumulating past issues of my favorite periodicals becomes more problematic each time I have to move.
2. I can't afford to get the print edition AND buy the cumulative DVD editions, PLUS pay a subscription fee for online content.
3. I already use an eReader program on my laptop and desktop computers, but the drawback is usually lack of a portrait orientation in the display. The iPad type of device would excel in this regard. I like to see the full page before me, and it needs to be big enough for me to read the print or see details in the photos.
4. A new technologic approach such as the iPad is never perfect at the time of launch. I believe the current drawbacks will quickly disappear.
5. I think Taunton should embrace electronic publishing as the (inevitable) progression away from traditional print media and not run the risk of getting left behind.
6. The buzzword in real estate is location; the buzzword for publishers (regardless of format) will remain CONTENT.

I guess that was more like a nickel instead of 2 cents. . .
Posted: 12:35 pm on February 4th

meanders meanders writes: An iPad with a tight-fitting cover would be a laptop, right? I sometimes use my netbook with 10-inch screen in the shop, battery lasts all day or all weekend or I can plug it in but usually protect it from sawdust in a large Ziploc bag. For music I do not buy snippets and store them; satellite radio is so much more interesting and has live DJs to add color to any genre you're interested in. But I find after a long day or week with electronic devices at work I'm after a real break from all that and in the shop I am more interested in woodworking than tech.
Posted: 8:48 am on February 4th

netartsdave netartsdave writes: I have a Kindle, and have some woodworking books, already loaded onto it. I have found that I do not access these books, on the Kindle, but rarely although, now that I am able to access my Kindle books on my PC, I am reading the woodworking books, a lot more, via the pc, when in my shop. I would expect to find the same type of rare usage of woodworking material on any other kind of electronic devise, other the a pc, as the shop environment just does not, really, lend itself to electronic media, due to the sawdust and other environmental conditions. At least, this is my opijnion.
Posted: 3:44 am on February 4th

DigDome DigDome writes: I've seen a couple on-line demos of book and magazine content on an iPad. The ability to integrate images, video and text in an interactive format is an amazing leap forward for communicating methods and techniques. The ability to dig into deeper levels in just the areas you are interested is perfect when there a a few choice things that apply to your work in any given issue. I am hoping to get all my magazine and newspaper content on an iPad as quickly as providers make the shift. Sign me up!
Posted: 8:12 pm on February 3rd

brandonicus brandonicus writes: I think that the iPad is the future of computing - end of story.
Posted: 6:13 pm on February 3rd

myxylplyk myxylplyk writes: Cute idea. Way over hyped from my perspective.
This version, like the Kindle is NOT going to replace paper magazines and newspapers.
The multi-function nature of the iPad is not offset by it's price/form factor.
Given that the technology for this to be thinner and lighter in addition to fold-able is not with us yet, it's also impracticable.
The "gadget crazy" will love it.
One of the basic utilities of a magazine or newspaper is the "throw-away" factor. If you leave a copy of Fine Woodworking behind in the coffee shop, you won't be out a $500 item.
Wen this device can be folded up and put in a pocket, then I'll be interested.
Posted: 5:23 pm on February 3rd

Bustopher Bustopher writes: It doesn't do Flash, ergo it doesn't do anything for me. Maybe the next generation iPad.

I would like to see more magazines on Kindle, iPad etc. I've been toying with getting one but would like to see FW on there first.

In general, I think the concept of the fifth screen is interesting but the issue of portability is a hard hurdle to get over. If I'm going to have one device that does it all, it has to be big enough to allow me to read plans, or even plain text comfortably, but small enough to slip into my pocket when I go skiing, riding my bike, to a concert, or any kind of activity. It would appear that portability and readability are mutually exclusive--at least until they develop an 8" x 10" screen that can fold up and fit in my back pocket.... Holographic projection anyone?

Posted: 4:47 pm on February 3rd

starryNight starryNight writes: I have taken both my iPod touch and my PC laptop in the workshop at various times for the many reasons posted above. Some limiting factors of the laptop is that unless I have to do some very quick job the battery won't last long enough to be there for a full day. Bringing the cord and mouse to plug in, using an outlet, setting it up, getting the cords out of the way etc. is sometimes the extra hassle that keeps me from doing it. Also laptops are built nowadays with screens that cater to dvd movies and not reading. My 15" screen is awful for reading as there is more horizontal space than vertical and I'm constantly trying to scroll with the mouse pad after reading just two paragraphs - blah. A tablet computer like the iPad would solve the issues I've mentioned with a laptop very effectively by:
1. being more portable
2. No cords and mouse freeing an outlet and no wires to snag.
3. the screen cators to reading
4. scrolling and moving through articles would be faster and easier with an interactive touch screen.
5. longer battery life

We are just at the beginning of the app revolution. I suspect we will see many more apps available for woodworkers and designers and Sketchup or something like won't be far behind.
Posted: 4:34 pm on February 3rd

BA3 BA3 writes: I'm firmly convinced that the future of newspapers, magazines, etc. is electronic delivery -- a lot of it will be cost driven but there is an environmental side to it as well. Plus it will open up whole new worlds like video as a standard format. I'm hoping publications will be available on multiple platforms, not just a single device like the iPad -- I personally have a mini-PC for similar access. To be honest though, even though a number of publications I receive have already made the transition to electronic format, I haven't yet gotten to the point of "cozying up" to my PC for pleasure reading (too much like business applications during the day). And, it's just plain a heck of a lot harder to look at a magazine in front of the TV when it's electronic. Plus there's a much bigger issue: With a magazine, it's easy to leave it lying open with an ad visible as a "hint." How do you do that with an electronic reader?
Posted: 2:54 pm on February 3rd

cutshurt cutshurt writes: Will I buy an iPad? I most likely will. It looks like a great piece of technology but will the iPad end up in my shop, very unlikely. I can already view FWW and other content in the shop and on a much larger 26" screen. I view the iPad as a mobile device to be used when a full sized computer is either unnecessary or inconvenient. The iPad will work for many people and will not work for many more but either way, it will have an impact on future technology. I would hope that FWW would be ready for what ever comes.

I am always amused by the people that will NEVER use or ONLY use a Mac computer. My first PC was an Apple computer. I purchased an Apple computer before you could even buy a so called "PC". Later, when IBM came out with the first "PC", I purchased one and made room next to my Apple computer. I now have a Mac next to my Windows computer and use both every day. Each has its pros and cons but neither has even the even the slightest impact on how I access this website or view FWW content.
Posted: 2:36 pm on February 3rd

lguess lguess writes: I subscribe to not only two of Taunton's magazines but also to several other woodworking magazines. I also subscribe to a bunch of other magazines and newspapers: a total of 27 at last count. The concept of reading an article and then watching one of Fine Woodworking's great videos is exciting. Equally exciting to me would be the fact that I could save all this information and not have to keep the old magazine copies (I know: I can purchase your DVDs and I do, but not all magazines offer this).
Right now I'm inundated with old copies that I just can't bring myself to throw away. What a great tool this new Apple product could turn out to be!
Posted: 1:02 pm on February 3rd

jcrum jcrum writes: I'm sure this is all a vision of the near future for data delivery. I agree with one of the other posts that I am concerned that it means that content will be tiered and that there will be several subscription rates. I subscribe to the print magazine and over the internet. I would not like to see my subscription limited or cost increased in order to incorporate new tech. which may or may not prove useful. Don't forget that the ipad is untested for shop use. Also agree that Apple is way too proprietary for my taste. Have ATT but only because it is the cheapest in my market. I suspect that is not universally the case.
All that aside does anyone know how to read something without a battery or create and design with a pencil and paper anymore?
Posted: 12:52 pm on February 3rd

sazeracjeff sazeracjeff writes: I was hoping the iPad would be more like a full-blown laptop with a tablet style interface. Even If it were, I'd have to wait for my current machine to fail before I purchased an iPad.

Since that's not what it is, I have to judge iPad on what functions it performs and compare it to similar products, to the extent possible. As an owner of an iPhone, the key benefit of an iPad is the large format - so it only makes sense in my mind to compare it to a e-book reader or a net book. Mainly, an e-book reader. I've been considering a Kindle recently, so it's worth considering the comparison.

Given it's price (relative to the Kindle) and functionality, I think the iPad is a much better value. The kindle web browsing is very limited. The iPad is good for more than purchasing e-Books. Apps aren't coming for the kindle any time soon, and certainly not iPhone style apps. Given the 100's of thousands of iPhone apps that just need to be adjusted with higher resolution graphics in order to be upgraded for the iPad, I estimate those will come fast and furious.

So, viewing the iPad against other functions and forms that are currently desirable to me (as opposed to what the iPad could have been) I'd say it's a great product.

Re: would I like FWW on iPad? Yes. Throwing the iPad on the dock and having it on the bench, viewable from places other than standing above it, appeals to me. On the dock, it also would require a smaller footprint on a bench than a magazine, even if it was folded. Plus there's the opportunity to zoom smaller images.

Having scanned the comments quickly, I can see that there are Apple haters, and lovers. I'm definitely more towards the latter, but here are my responses to a few of the comments.

Re: Dropping the iPad, or dropping a chisel on it and it's toast.
I've dropped my iPhone dozens of times without problem. The worst damage I've seen happen to an iPhone (not water related) was my wife dropped her iPhone and the face landed on the corner of a brick. The face cracked, but the functionality remained 100% intact. The face of iPhones, and presumably iPads, is Lexan, ie bullet-proof glass. Just this week I heard of a friend dropping his iPhone from a 2nd story balcony. The face popped off, but he just popped it back in place and it was fine.

Re: Think of the tools you could buy with the money.
That's an excellent point, but you can't use a band saw or a new set of chisels in a meaningful way OUTSIDE of the workshop. You can't organize your life with it, you can't BUY a set of chisels with it, you can't email a manufacturer with a question with it, you can't do a million other things with it. I don't view the iPad as a workshop tool, it's a tool that is also useful in the workshop.

There's my 2 cents.

Posted: 12:31 pm on February 3rd

LorrieC LorrieC writes: Easy answer: keep posting content on the 'net and make it accessible to all devices including the iPad.

Posted: 12:14 pm on February 3rd

BIslander BIslander writes: I admit to having the FWW Magazine Archive DVD, which I access often, and is the extent I wish to use
"electronics." My cell phone only makes and receives calls and thats the way it will stay;-))
My approach to woodworking is probably different than the majority of FWW readers. I'm semi-retired and woodworking has been a life long hobby. Within the last three years I've dusted off some fine old hand tools that belonged to my dad and I've discovered the pleasure of being able to listen to music and not wearing a dust mask while working on a project.
I'm also fortunate to live close to the Port Townsend School of Woodworking and I've taken a number of courses there.
I enjoy sitting down and reading FWW but I wouldn't bother looking at it on an I'Watzit.
This is my personal position only and do not imply it is the only one or right one. Perhaps the main reason I'm this way is that I've spent my entire professional life programming computers from the IBM 1400 and 7074 series through todays multi-server based systems using various 4GL's. I don't get near the kick out of being "plugged in" that I do being able to take 0.001" shaving from a nice piece of maple.
Posted: 12:14 pm on February 3rd

Lank Lank writes: There are more stable alternatives to Flash. Please consider using them. Keep up the great work in print but there are going to be more and more opportunities to make use of video and "eprint" to communicate more effectively and conveniently. These devices are much more robust than people who have not used them think. I have carried my iPhone everywhere for over two years. I have dropped it onto concrete floors. I have no protection of any kind on it and carry it in my pants pocket. It is now a bit scratched up (not the screen) but has never failed to work or needed repair. Thank You!
Posted: 12:00 pm on February 3rd

mstrrktek mstrrktek writes: This iPad review made me realize the BIG problem with FWW's videos ..... they use Flash to stream them? Why? Why are they not like YouTube? I've had so much problem in watching the videos - they will not "pre-load" so I don't have to wait 10 times through the video for it to catch up or buffer.
So, with that said - get rid of the flash and make them either like YouTube; or, upload the videos to YouTube and then the fact that the iPad doesn't support Flash won't be an issue!
Following are the "cons" FWW listed with responses that would see to negate any of the cons. I've put them in all caps, so please don't think I'm yelling!

* Backlit: Harder on the eyes than the white-paper technology on devices like the Kindle.
* Needs a data plan: If you want the Web connectivity on the go, you must a buy 3G data plan separately. The iPad can also connect via wireless networks.
* No Flash: Doesn't currently allow Flash, a technology that we currently use to stream videos and animate graphics though that could change.

Posted: 11:58 am on February 3rd

GRJensen GRJensen writes: I won't buy anything made by Apple ... iPod, iPhone, iPad, iWhatever. Any company that treats their dealers, resellers, and independent programmers the way Apple does is not going to get a nickel of my hard-earned cash.
Posted: 11:50 am on February 3rd

Luke42 Luke42 writes: The subscription model for the electronic version of Fine Woodworking is a much bigger deal than the individual device support.

The paper subscription is the premium product and, as with most other magazines (like Make and Home Power) should include the electronic subscription by default. The electronic-only subscription is a subset of what you get with the paper subscription.

Beyond that, support for e-readers and smartphones would be appreciated -- especially if the articles are searchable and reformatted for the small screen. But, except for music piped into my hearing-protection-headset, I tend to keep my computers and electronic devices out of my 1-car garage workshop. I bump things with lumber in the workshop, so a device with an LCD isn't going to last long. Also, items with a lot of text are read most easily on the 24" LCD screen that I have attached to my desktop computer, or on the printed page.
Posted: 11:13 am on February 3rd

fwwonline fwwonline writes: I'm disappointed to find FWW hawking goods for apple. Will you start placing coke cans and BMW key fobs in your magazine pictures? Be nice if you had a legitimate purpose in shilling for mac. What exactly is the difference to us, your online suscribers, if we use new shiny mac gadgets or a five year old pc to view your site????????????
Oh, let me think, could it be none?
If you'd like to test the subscriber market for interest in paid delivery of your mag or perhaps individual articles using a tiered level of subscriber payment, why not be truthful? I suspect your only interest is marketing research justifying unbundling the subscriber online service we all fund, so that we all get less access under your new broader cafeteria style participation gimmicks.
I am not impacted by the introduction of an ipad and neither should you be. Are you going to give PlasticLogic a spread when their device comes out? How about Sony?
I think you guys got the marketing playbook from a health provider consultant by mistake. Unbundle, rename the program as your new squeaky clean choice opportunity for us, and charge more for each piece.

Posted: 11:06 am on February 3rd

gdennis gdennis writes: As far as i-anything in the woodshop, its a solution looking for a problem. I have an ipod hooked to a sound system for music while I work, but drop your i-thing on a cement floor or a chisel on your i-thing, just once, and its destroyed. Articles on CD? Great. Paper magazine? Fine also, better color, clearer images on plans, and so forth. I'm typically an early adopter on technology things but it has to make sense. So go ahead and write a construction calculator app for an i-phone, and I'll be interested when I have it in the hardware store or the lumber yard. But an i-pad on a workbench? Dumb.
Posted: 11:02 am on February 3rd

gdennis gdennis writes: As far as i-anything in the woodshop, its a solution looking for a problem. I have an ipod hooked to a sound system for music while I work, but drop your i-thing on a cement floor or a chisel on your i-thing, just once, and its destroyed. Articles on CD? Great. Paper magazine? Fine also, better color, clearer images on plans, and so forth. I'm typically an early adopter on technology things but it has to make sense. So go ahead and write a construction calculator app for an i-phone, and I'll be interested when I have it in the hardware store or the lumber yard. But an i-pad on a workbench? Dumb.
Posted: 11:01 am on February 3rd

benmckenney benmckenney writes: I will own an iPad as soon as they are available.
Viewing FWW articles while on the go and downloading pdf files to be studied later would be outstanding. Go for it!!
Posted: 10:59 am on February 3rd

RockyF RockyF writes: This is the future of publishing. Magazine subscriptions that are delivered to the customer via mail and via the internet. Giving the customer flexibility and the ability to access his product and also the added service of "how to" videos. Also like e-mail billing and account info (tired of receiving numerous statements and offers via snail mail). Publishers should wise up and offer package prices for multiple magazine subscriptions, one stop shopping. Its a whole new world out there now and the publishing industry needs to get with it.

A notebook size device is perfect as the screen is large enough to view easily. That is why most paper pads and magazines are the size they are, they work. My i-phone screen is a little small for many things, but this new device seems a perfect size. Wifi is adequate since it is now readily available in many places. Cell phone companies charge too much their data services.
Posted: 10:04 am on February 3rd

tjones tjones writes: First, thank you to Fine Woodworking for having a website crammed with fantastic learning resources. It has been a huge help to me.

I have an iPhone and regularly use it to read NY Times articles. Occasionally I'll import a FWW pdf into my iPhone. Often I think how great it would be to have a app. on the iPhone for accessing FWW. Sometime in the next year I'll buy one of the ereaders.

Posted: 9:42 am on February 3rd

basshill basshill writes: I switched from PC world to Apple world a couple of years ago. There is no comparison when dealing with images - the Aoole systems are far superior and user friendly when compared to PC.

I don't know if I will be purchasing an iPad. I do have a computer in my shop, and I use it to reference articles on Finewoodworking.com. I wonder about exposure to sawdust... I have built an enclosure to protect the computer. I wonder whether the iPad will be more or less robust in a shop type environment.
Posted: 9:38 am on February 3rd

amoseley amoseley writes: Support the iPhone and you support the iPad. They share much of the same DNA. Right now the site is lousy on the iPhone. I can't watch your videos (content I paid to access!), and I have to zoom in and out and turn the phone sideways just to read the articles.

My suggestion is to look at other sites and how the accommodate the iPhone and similar devices. Invest in an iPod Touch to share among the staff. No need for a 3G data plan. Wifi will do fine. Understand the strategies other sites use, such as redirecting to a separate mobile site (good if you have database-driven content) or using different stylesheets when a mobile browser is detected. There are plenty of good design patterns out there without developing a new app.
Posted: 9:12 am on February 3rd

homeagaincda homeagaincda writes: I use computers and electronic devices all day long in my day job, and my personal time is better spent away from the screen and keyboard. Chasing the newest electronic technology seems to me to be a no-win effort - just when you purchase something it becomes replaced with a newer, faster model that also has a short shelf life.
Don't get me wrong, I too look at things online (like the FWW site) and make use of electronics to make my life easier, but still like time away from the technology for my hobby time.

Posted: 9:07 am on February 3rd

Driinc Driinc writes: I review video from several sources on the iPhone daily. I will be buying an iPad as well. My laptop sits beside my chair in the living room. All these are what I use daily to view all types of content, not only wood. Podcasts are great, but a magazine that can incorporate the same content is even better. the biggest problem with smartphones, iPhone included is the small screens, and having to create a version for them as well. The iPad opens up the whole ebook thing, you have portability that connects to your home computer for storing and downloading content to the device. Files are small so you can keep a library on your local network. Just like a library, your check out a book and bring it home to read. You download content to the device and watch it then replace it with something different. Color is always better than BW, you can only see grain patterns in B&W, but with color you can see the vibrant color of the wood (no brainer). Adobe Flash is not the best video format. Files are large. Take a look at what Youtube is doing. They are converting to the h.264 format. File sizes are smaller for the same resolution files, and video quality is much better as well, and it is also a huge standard in the video industry.
Posted: 8:54 am on February 3rd

Shawn_Nystrom Shawn_Nystrom writes: I have a veritable electronic woodworking life. I take digital photos of every project documenting progress and have those on my laptop. I also have templates and scale drawings I have aquired from fellow woodworkers. And last but not lease I have hundreds of videos downloaded from Fine Woodworkings site. If I could put all of that on Ipad and organize my woodworking stuff that would be great. I will watch the progress intently. Check out my new dream shop on facebook (shawn nystrom)
Posted: 8:51 am on February 3rd

Netcrawler Netcrawler writes: None of the listed cons are legitimate as far as I'm concerned. Wifi is more than sufficient for network access, and syncing to the computer through iTunes will work great too. Battery? Really? You can plug into the wall or your computer for charging. How long are you going to be away from electricity? The backlight "con" is simply not true; it isn't harder on the eyes to read. If that were true, we wouldn't be using computers. Backlighting will shorten battery life, but it's worth it to be able to read anywhere without a light. And by the way, backlight is adjustable. There are video formats available besides Flash. Adobe really needs to devote some resources to this to avoid a mass migration to some other standard.

The iPad will be excellent for reading PDF files. eReader on my iPhone works very well because it reformats the text to fit in the window, but PDF is a bit more problematic because you have to be zoomed in enough to see it, and it's best then to read it with the device turned sideways. It works fine in the landscape configuration, but it does require a lot more scrolling. I would go for an electronic subscription over paper-based any day as long as I can print on demand if need be. I'll take a disposable printout into the shop, but not an iPad.

Lastly, I would say that some of the comments on here show that the writer needs to investigate a bit more before making up their mind. It may be that I'll change my mind too once the final product is released, but for now, it looks great.
Posted: 8:34 am on February 3rd

GeorgeFisher GeorgeFisher writes: I use my laptop to read several magazines (using both Zinio and direct web-site access) but need a decent keyboard and screen size (ca 13 inches or more) with good resolution at the same time. Iphone is useless for me and Ipad is little better since it doesn't provide keyboard and useful screen at the same time.

Posted: 8:25 am on February 3rd

kg4vqi kg4vqi writes: Do I put my money into wood and needed woodworking tools or for a tech gagit?
Posted: 8:17 am on February 3rd

Minnesota Minnesota writes: Kindle is the way to go for the written word. C'mon FineWoodworking you guys should be there! Black & white is OK. One of your competitors did very well with B7W photography.
Linux. Good.
iPad? Who knows?
Your content should be available to as wide an audience as possible.
Kindle. Kindle. Kindle. Kindle. Kindle.
VERY easy on the eyes. (-:
Posted: 8:16 am on February 3rd

cottonr cottonr writes: Several features or lack of them puts the iPad (and some similar devices, like the Kindle) on the no-go list for me:

- Non-replaceable battery
- No SD card or other removable storage media
- Proprietary file formats required (I prefer PDF)

I am going to wait for a good Linux-based tablet device, such as the "Always Innovating" device. Check it out at their web site. Otherwise, my laptop is always close at hand to read FWW and other woodworking materials, and my eyes prefer the large screen anyway (18.4").
Posted: 7:54 am on February 3rd

GraemeSmith GraemeSmith writes: With plenty of other converged technology in my life including work computers, household laptops, computers displayed on TV screens and data spread around them all from the cable connection and smartphone tethered data on a laptop as part of working for a living....

I don't need a Kindle, Sony Reader and therefore by extension iPad.

You note I didn't define MAC or PC. I'm not evangelical for either - use both.

HOWEVER - I have NEVER adopted iPod for music as the original packaging of it with restrictive DRM proved highly problematic to my ability to use the music across the various in house platorms - and as long as iPad maintains this kind of approach - you won't see me even remotely thinking of purchasing one. For those who argue for Apple's share of the digital music market - see how even they have been forced off the DRM model by the likes of Amazon's MP3 downloads - free to use where you will.

Steve Jobs is right about Adobe's Flash Player being problematic for Apple's platform - it is not much better in the PC arena either! But it is a fond hope to wait for HTML5 - the adoption of which is some way off.

Which leaves FWW in a difficult position. My advice to FWW - do what you have to do if the iPad takes off - but don't leave behind the - I suspect significant - portion of web readers who do just fine with existing and mature platforms.

Posted: 7:25 am on February 3rd

accentcreate accentcreate writes: I too would love the iPad to be a sketch pad.
If it could run a program for drawing pieces for customer, on site, it would be a great business tool.
To run Google SketchUp would be the ideal, but not much hope with the current bad blood between these competitors.

As it stands the iPad is more a platform for consumption, not creativity.

BTW I've been a Mac user for nearly 20 years and a PC user for a few years longer. Still use both every day due to work constraints, but Macs rule hands down.
Posted: 6:34 am on February 3rd

dwalsh dwalsh writes: I've used Apple products for years. They are consistently the most innovative company in the world.

I would strongly encourage FW to get onboard. Apple will implement this product well and will quickly define this market.
Posted: 6:20 am on February 3rd

ChristophW ChristophW writes: I frequently read FW articles and other content on my iPhone. For the most part this works well enough for me. The only complaint I have are the Flash-based videos. Those often come with the daily emails and unfortunately I always have to wait until I get back to my PC. While support for all the different readers that keep popping up out there might be asking for too much, a website optimized for mobile viewing might help most people.
Posted: 4:06 am on February 3rd

dhirensmiles dhirensmiles writes: The potential for the iPad has scarcely been imagined - a sealed device that can work in dusty environments will make for a highly versatile reference tool. It could be used to view video in the shop, email and browse the web using the wireless facility. I can see it being used in the classroom to great advantage - what a way to capture the kids attention!
I use my iPod all over the house and garden through my home hub - the only thing I ever wanted for was size, so that's sorted! Local network is far better than mobile because of availability and speed issues, so save your cash for wood and get the regular non 3G version - time to go and design a nice wooden stand for the iPad in the workshop.......
Posted: 4:05 am on February 3rd

RDM RDM writes: Lack of Flash Video support is a real killer. This dispute between Apple and Adobe should have been resolved a long time ago. For this reason, I do not recomment iphone, ipod or ipad to anyone wanting great state of the are multimedia experiences. Also these things are very deficient in the personal information management categoy. I went back to the palm pilot simply for the software involving keeping calendars, contacts and memos.
Posted: 9:36 pm on February 2nd

Gunnerdog Gunnerdog writes: I use both the iphone and NOOK. I would like to see both your books and magazines available to both.

Steve Blanks
Posted: 5:23 pm on February 2nd

TeddyB52 TeddyB52 writes: I am technology oriented and I find that, more & more, I am taking my laptop or portable DVD player into my workshop to view "how-to" videos or even to watch the news when I'm working. Also, more & more woodworking groups are getting online or providing video libraries and such. I make sure that I cover my keypad when it's in the workshop. The iPad may be a good alternative with no keypad and a "closed" device that might be resistant to dust. I like the concept.
Posted: 3:03 pm on February 2nd

nealaron nealaron writes: I use my iPod Touch in my shop quite a bit. There are apps that help with evenly spacing holes, balusters, etc. I often reference PDFs of shop jigs that I've loaded to the Touch from Finewoodworking or replay bits of podcasts that contain information I want to access in the shop. The only problem with the Touch or iPhone for this is the small size makes it a challenge for my old eyes to read. I would use my Powerbook, but I don't want to get it full of saw dust. That's the beauty of the iPad - not affected by dust and big enough to view without a magnifying glass. Bring it on!
Posted: 2:30 pm on February 2nd

Twobolt Twobolt writes: I think there are many, many questions about the iPad. This devils is definitely in the details.

From a woodworking point of view, it will need some kind of sealer thingys for the orifices.

To me, a 25 years Mac user, Apple is just too restrictive for the IPad to really get my interest. Have to buy from the App store, have to use ATT, have to live with non-user-replaceable batteries, no stylus (though they are there already, no GPS on the low end, no camera (though there is a spot for one on the inside already). Have to, have to, have to ... nope. Don't have to.

But the real issue will be software. If HP made something comparable with a touch screen and allowed me to run Google Chrome and Sketchup, it would be a no-brainer to buy it instead of the iPad. I think a good product from HP would give the iPad a very good spanking, especially if they hid Windows from the enduser but not the developers.

Posted: 2:04 pm on February 2nd

roenyc roenyc writes: I have a shop workstation with a monitor on a arm, so I can reference things and still work at the same time. The main issues with having a computer in a shop is the dust issue, I keep the CPU in another room and have a 15' VGA/USB cord to the monitor and a mouse and keyboard on the stand. It was very easy to set up and is great to have access too when doing large projects and ordering supplies. While I think the Ipad is a great invention, the price point and over all functionality seams to fall short. Readering FW in paper form is allot more natural, you get to write notes on the pages and having to do that on a touch screen just doesn't work for me and I think most people of a certain age. While I agree the youth of today do little to no reading of paper material. Unless you are able to have the portability, ease of use, and convenience factor all taken account, reading from a screen will only be done when you must do so! Having a magazine is much better and to my mind will be the way we do things for many years to come.
Posted: 1:26 pm on February 2nd

justbarak justbarak writes: I use my iphone constantly when in the shop. For projects I keep reference pictures, dimensions (in an email or notepad app), and online articles. Some of the construction calculators are fantastic for calculating fractions and keeping track of dimensions. An app for Fine Woodworking that allowed for easy access to articles, plans, photos, and videos would be amazing. Add in a basic construction calculator and a project notebook to the app and you'd have an incredible tool.
Posted: 11:45 pm on February 1st

caledoniacontracting caledoniacontracting writes: Seems like it could be really functional however since there are screens being developed that can do both LCD and E ink modes with the flick of a switch i think the iPad was a little early and they will probably come out with an updated version in less then a 2 years. That being said i think the iPad is great and there is no difference to your eyes between LCD and e ink they are both just light.
Posted: 10:00 pm on February 1st

gotofair gotofair writes: not locked to att
just a good price from them
Posted: 9:32 pm on January 31st

corky15 corky15 writes: The concept is good but I have a problem with this device only being able to use AT&T as a service provider just like the I-phone. I want to have a choice. I'll wait because I am sure that somebody will be coming out with a similar item like Google did with their version of I-phone.
Posted: 1:46 pm on January 31st

NickJW NickJW writes: I wonder how SU would work on an iPad? I think you really need a mouse with a scroll button to be effective. I hate it when I go out on a job, forget to pack my mouse, and have to use the thouchpad on my laptop. Ugh!
Posted: 5:42 am on January 31st

TWM TWM writes: it would be great if you could port your videos to iphone / ipad compatible formats.
Posted: 2:04 am on January 31st

Dick1950 Dick1950 writes: People who compare the iPad to a Laptop, Net book or even the iPhone don't get it. The iPad is a complete game changer on how we read books and magazines, watch video, listen to music, take notes, keep a calendar, surf the web, read email etc.d Think of the iPad as a PAD. Anywhere you would carry a pad of paper to take notes etc, the iPad will be used instead. It will have your calendar, your email, your personal notes, internet access. You will takes notes, make sketches, check email etc on it. And it does it all in an elegant, easy to use way. I suggest readers view the video on the iPad on the Apple web site. It gives a hint of the possibilities. Bill Gates predicted at least five years ago that the tablet computer is the way of the future. Gates was right but couldn't get his geeky product to actually work and be useful. The iPad is not perfect yet, but in a year or two it will have tremendous capability. Remember the critics of the iPhone when it was introduced. These critics didn't even consider the "apps" that would be created. In just a couple of years there are 140,000 apps with 1.4 billion downloads. Just imagine the creativity that is being unleashed when developers have a large multi-touch screen, lots of computer power and 3G (and 4G) internet connections. The iPad will have Sketch-up and much, much more that we haven't yet even dreamed of.

Posted: 8:44 pm on January 30th

BingoBoy BingoBoy writes:
P.S. As a follow up to my previous comment:

I’m thinking of getting one of these for my father. He’s 89 and I think it would be easier for him to use than a laptop. Kind of like one of those desktop phones they make for old folks with the great big numbers.

Posted: 9:18 pm on January 29th

planespeaking planespeaking writes: As a high school computer education teacher I have seen technology change constantly over the last 24 years. I once paid $1500 for a computer that had a useful life of about 3 years. At that time a Delta Unisaw was less...and it would last a lifetime. I like the idea of learning a skill with woodworking tools. Both the learned skill and the tools will last a lifetime. Consumer technology is WAY too expensive for what you get. However, the technology that presents Fine Woodworking in this way( the Internet)has been very beneficial. The ipad is a glorified large-scale itouch. I don't get the whole Apple thing...and think of the Lie-Nielsen or Veritas tools you could buy...
Posted: 9:08 pm on January 29th

BingoBoy BingoBoy writes:
1. Like everybody else, I haven’t used one of these (since they’re not available yet).
2. But I have used one or another of Verizon’s smartphone/PDA’s for years now (going back before the iPhone or iTouch came out), and I’ve found them very valuable because there are so many apps available and yet the device will fit in a pocket. However, the larger size of the iPad and the fragility of that beautiful screen makes it impractical for use in the quite the same way as a smartphone/PDA. And yet it’s not as powerful or versatile as a laptop either, or so it seems to me. And of course it wasn’t meant to be – really it’s a very special niche product.
3. In my shop I use an older PC running Windows XP and covered with a towel when necessary. It’s networked to a PC running Vista in the house. The shop PC is rather heavy, but it has a big bright 17” screen which makes it easy to see. Also, I’ve gotten in the habit of copying to my PC many of the Flash videos I see at FWW Magazine, YouTube and other sites. Then I can watch them at my leisure, either at my desk or in the shop. So I’m very disappointed that the iPad won’t play Flash. BTW, I use Replay Media Catcher to copy the videos, but there are other, maybe better, programs for that purpose too.
4. So for me I think a laptop connected to the web still is much more versatile & practical in the shop. And you can get a small PC laptop, with a fairly powerful processor (like an Intel Core 2 Duo) for not much more than the most expensive iPad.
5. But the iPad does look great for entertainment uses, e-book reading, web surfing or making calls with Skype. And I love how you can change the screen from portrait to landscape mode just by flipping the device! Unfortunately, with the AT&T 3G network making phone calls or downloading large files may be problematic for some users, as I understand it. On the other hand, I’ve read that the AT&T contract for the iPad is essentially a month-to-month deal, cancellable immediately without penalty (unlike the contract for an iPhone).

Posted: 9:00 pm on January 29th

davcefai davcefai writes: "Will I buy one?" No Way!

As long as Apple devices remain closed and Steve Jobe tells me what I may or may not do with my property this is an Apple-Free zone.

Now my linux web book - that's another matter altogether.
Posted: 3:35 pm on January 29th

mainerustic mainerustic writes: I have an ipod touch and love it. The screen a little small for reading, but the iPad looks like it takes care of that problem. I don't think I'd run out and buy it just yet, I'll hang back a little and wait a year for the updated model. It's a very exciting product and I look forward to seeing it soon.
Posted: 2:44 pm on January 29th

MikeLingenfelter MikeLingenfelter writes: I have a Kindle and love it for books. I'd like to start to get Papers and Magazines on an eReader, but for now the Kindle isn't optimized for Papers and Magazines (really need color for mags). I'm a Mac person, but I think the iPad missed the mark (even for a Generation 1 device). I'll wait to see what else comes out in the next year or so.


Posted: 2:32 pm on January 29th

BHewton BHewton writes: I have been a PC user for almost 20 years but lately have become very disillusioned with the PC and Microsoft in general. I am planning on purchasing an Apple next anyway and I think this iPad will be a great first step for me. I have been using a Palm eReader, an eBookwise eReader, a Kindle, a Blackberry and a Toshiba notebook and they are all great but have limitations. I think the iPad will bridge the gap between those devices and a full up desktop unit.
Posted: 2:27 pm on January 29th

GEide GEide writes: Good suggestion... SketchUp app for the iPhone/iPad... Maybe our SketchUp gurus know whether there is already something available...

Just to add my $0.02 to this debate... My only big concern is the screen... portability is great but it's also easier to lose or break. I have an iPhone but wrapped in a hideous OtterBox: http://www.otterbox.com/ ASAP. I’ve heard horror stories about people breaking their touch screens soon after they purchased the device. I hope they develop nice rubber bumpers for this new iPad as well so I could klutz-proof it.
Posted: 1:58 pm on January 29th

kenalley kenalley writes: I really like this as a tool used for what it is intended. The kindle is good as a book reader, but lacks the ability to go to the web for info. I could see myself using this device to review videos at fine woodworking on tuning up a saw, and then going through the steps, or for looking at diagrams I've worked on at my computer, and bringing it to the shop.

I like that it is portable--from house to shop. I don't want a dedicated laptop for my shop. I don't work on a laptop, either--I use a desktop computer for its power and for the apps I run all the time--photoshop, illustrator, indesign, etc. The iPad isn't trying to be a phone or a computer, and that is what I like about it. As a tool that is portable, and that will hold a charge for ten hours of use--that is plenty for any shop session. Plug it in at night and let it charge.

I won't use it for on-the-go... an iphone or blackberry is better suited for that. If I'm traveling, though, it can be used with wifi--pretty nice.

I'm not sure it is a perfect device, but what device is. For some, it will be too expensive. That's a choice. For me, it will be a useful tool for the shop, and for web surfing at night on the sofa checking out the tube. If it works for you--get one. If not, pass on it. For me, it is nice having a new choice available, that will work well and will serve its users with what it specifically does, without me worrying too much about what it doesn't do. Pretty cool.
Posted: 12:37 pm on January 29th

bko bko writes: I remember getting the early black and white FWW issues and the B&W only Kindle seems like a step back in time that would not be good.

I like the PDFs FWW puts here now--they work fine on my iPod touch.

I wish this site would move from Flash based video to HTML5 or other iPod/iPhone-friendly movie, but flash works great on the desktop. It has always seemed funny to me that FWW seems worried about copying videos and so uses Flash, but nicely has PDFs here for the magazine content.

Having a small screen optimized (iPhone/iPod etc) mobile version of the site would be great too! I know others are doing this!
Posted: 12:10 pm on January 29th

TedFurlong TedFurlong writes: I am a mac user who often brings his macbook down into the shop, using my wireless.

I really like the iPad concept but want to see how well character recognition and drawing apps that are available for the iPhone work on the iPad. I want to be able to put information into an electronic device as well as get it, and i haven't seen any indication that this can be done with the resolution of paper and pen.

Also, is there a sketchup app for iPhone/iPad? This could be important for woodworkers. Google makes a competing smart phone/applications store and I don't know if an iPhone/iPad app is provided or supported by Google.

Posted: 12:04 pm on January 29th

SuperChuck SuperChuck writes: I'd rather see better support for the Kindle... (nudge, nudge) ;)
Posted: 11:36 am on January 29th

RalphBarker RalphBarker writes: I just finished upgrading from clay tablets to papyrus. Does this mean I have to upgrade again? Sheesh! ;-)

Posted: 11:22 am on January 29th

GEide GEide writes: stevehva: Good clarification. Yes, if you have wi-fi, you're good to go. But, if you want to get web access while you're out and about, you should get a data plan. I updated my post to be more clear.

Good point about Flash and HTML5. I think that Brightcove, our video service provider can also let us embed video with HTML... more to come. A couple more months though until it'll inconvenience iPad users.
Posted: 10:51 am on January 29th

bones bones writes: I love the concept. I have not had an apple yet. This may be the first one.
Posted: 10:30 am on January 29th

Morbius_Of_Oz Morbius_Of_Oz writes: I am a military woodworker and we were just on our forums discussing how useful this device will be in the workshop - portable, sealed unit (no dust) and big enough to read a plan off, or a cutting list. All I have to do is figure out the best way to suspend it in my workshop :)
So I rekon this thing will be good for us splinter factory owner/operators :)

Posted: 5:13 am on January 29th

stevehva stevehva writes: Hey Gina,
A point of clarification. All iPAds will come with WiFi which is all you need if, for example, you already have a wireless home/shop router hooked to an ISP or have access to a hot spot. The 3G and an AT&T data plan are only required if/when you don't have WiFi access.

Re: Flash. You may want to consider looking at HTML5 as an alternative. Apple purposely avoided Flash because it's a processor cycle hog.

Steve H
Sterling, VA
Posted: 12:56 am on January 29th

JeffFuchs JeffFuchs writes: I read books and pdfs on a Kindle 2.

I browse FWW on an HP mini notebook. It is pretty small and very portable. It also cost $379. I use a verizon USB antenna and thier wireless service to connect to the internet for all at home use.

The Kindle battery life far exceeds the iPad (reported to be 8 to 10 hours) or my notebook. With wispernet turned off the Kindle holds a charge for around two weeks of reading an hour or more a day.

The iPad is interesting, but my HP mini works pretty well and its paid for. For reading books, the Kindle is really hard to beat.

Posted: 12:34 am on January 29th

Sacadelic Sacadelic writes: I have a Verizon Droid. It is a smart phone similar to the iPhone but run on Google's Android OS. I would love to see apps that run on this phone or any Android phone. I would also like to be able to read content and article form the website as well. Videos would be awesome!!! I realize that lots of people have iPhones and they are kind of the standard when it comes to touchscreen smart phones, but I think that Android id going to give them a run for their money. So lets not count them out. Thanks.
Posted: 12:24 am on January 29th

waynew waynew writes: I'll be getting this when it becomes available primarily for for my home automation. I would also use it for FWW articles and videos if available as it will make it very easy for me to take them out to the workshop as a terrific resource.
I've been thinking about taking out a PC but it would take up a lot of space and would be a lot of work to dust proof it, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
This seems to be a perfect size for your articles, and a great opportunity.

Posted: 11:37 pm on January 28th

fmarabate fmarabate writes: I currently have a Blackberry and a Kindle. The Blackberry works, but is a bit small for my liking. The Kindle is wonderful, but only displays in black and white, which would not be very good for videos or reading the magazine in my opinion.

Concerning the I-Pad: I am very interested, but will have to see what type of apps become available and at what cost. To be honest cost will probably be the biggest factor.
Posted: 10:49 pm on January 28th

ricksite ricksite writes: I would like to be able to view the FWW videos on my iPhone. I sometimes read articles (PDF) on my iPhone. They can take a while to load but they look nice once they do. It would be nice to have a mobile version of the FWW website.
Posted: 8:24 pm on January 28th

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