What do you do when you have a $1,200 Toshiba laptop that mostly sits idle? Why you acquire an Apple iPad. Yes, I did it a couple weeks ago.

I love the iPad. I am using it regularly in a productive (for me) way. I have had an iPod for about a year and, while it has some nice features, I have not been using it to its fullest. It’s really too small in size for practical use for me. The iPad is different. It has great applications, it is sized for easier use, and just works really well.

I upgraded from the basic model to the 32GB size plus the 3G. It comes with Wi-Fi built in including Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology. To use the 3G you must pay AT&T $14.99 to $25 a month with no contract required. I am not doing this yet, but I can see myself using this in the not too distant future.

The battery life is great. Right now the battery percentage shows as 56% (shown in the upper right of the screen) and I could do 2-4 more hours of work before a recharge is needed. Different from the iPod (or similar models) recharging does not occur when it is attached to your base computer for syncing. It charges like a laptop, directly to an AC source.

I have been searching for appropriate Apps for me. Some of the Apps I have acquired are: The CalenGoo calendar that syncs with my Google calendar on my base computer as well as my iPod; Pages word processor; Atomic Web browser (nearly as good as Foxfire and several steps up from Safari that comes with the unit); Amazon.com Kindle App that works just like the stand alone Kindle; and Wolfram (look it up on-line if you are not familiar with this).

Several of the Apps I have on my iPod transferred (synced) to the iPad and work just fine. Some don’t work so well. The most expensive App I have is iBird PRO and it moved to the iPad nicely, but it would be great if the vendor could come out with one specifically for the iPad.

All my music synced nicely, and the speakers in the iPad are not bad. Of course you can use earphones for listening.

It has been a bit of a challenge to learn to use the iPad efficiently; and will continue to be a learning experience. Soon I will be getting the wireless keyboard so make word processing and editing duties much more efficient.

If you want a hands on experience before going ahead with a purchase, find your nearest Apple Store. They are sure to have some you can test drive.