Why I hate my new iPad
When I put it down on my sofa and caught it in less flattering light, I saw my unattractive fingerprints all over it. When I took it to work the next day, it weighed down the new handbag I'd bought in part because it would fit it (plenty of people have lamented the iPad's weight issues). On the subway, when my Wall Street Journal app didn't work, I happily went back to my print papers and magazines. The next day, I learned of the recent flurry of articles that warned against sharing touch screens with others during flu season. Great. Now it was a germ trap, too.
There's no climactic trip to the Apple Store return counter in this story. Reader, I'm keeping it. There are plenty of reasons to, even for an early resister. I can sit on my sofa and surf the web (as long as I don't need to type very long urls). It makes awesome noises. Fortune looks undeniably beautiful on it, as do other magazines and newspapers, and I'm sure I'll soon find some apps I won't be able to live without. People say it's a consumption device more than a communication device, so once I start to use it that way I might think differently.
Also, I just got the most fabulous ostrich leather sleeve for it, and I feel a rush of coolness when I send an email (albeit a short one with typos) that says "sent from my iPad." (I could also just buy the separate keyboard dock, which would make things easier.) And really, how wrong can the rest of the world be? According to ChangeWave's recent survey numbers out this week, iPad user satisfaction notched up four points from its last survey in May to 95%, surely a historic record for a consumer device.
People around the office all said I would soon adjust, which is Apple's (AAPL) take, too. "We think people become accustomed to typing on the iPad and find it an incredibly easy and intuitive experience," said spokesperson Trudy Muller; she pointed out that auto correction and auto completion learn the user's typing habits, making it easier. (The underscore, it turns out, jumps to the front page of the keyboard when the cursor is in the 'to' field of an email, when you're more likely to use it, the same way the '.com' key appears when you're typing a URL.)
The iPad user guide says the screen has an "oleophobic" coating but wiping it with a clean cloth is supposed to help with fingerprints. As for the germ situation, those concerns may be a tad overblown. While there are germs on an iPad, medical experts say the risk of transmitting a virus from one is no greater than from touching a doorknob. ("There's no such thing as a sterile surface," says Aaron Glatt, M.D., CEO of St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage, N.Y. and spokesperson for the Infectious Disease Society.)
I think my colleagues are right; I'll adapt. I hope I can. As a lifelong Mac loyalist, I don't even know how to use a PC. I have some faith that if I just use my iPad more I'll become faster and maybe as zippy as I am on a regular keyboard. But Steve Jobs need not worry even if I don't. I'm also adding a new unchecked box to my to-do list: "Buy new MacBook Air."
--Editor's note: Leigh Gallagher promises to revisit touchscreen typing and life in the tablet world for Fortune.com in three months. Stay tuned.