As I’ve mentioned here many times before, I’ve been an iPhone user for several years. When the iPad was released 2.5 years ago, I wanted one of course, being a geek. But, I couldn’t convince myself what I’d use it for. Questions like “couldn’t I do that with one of our laptops?” kept bugging me.

I made a first step into tablets with a Playbook. For $99 I couldn’t pass that up. I did like the Playbook; the OS is very slick and it’s good as a media consumption device. But, using it helped me figure out what I was really looking for.

All of my computers are currently work-related and I figured out I needed something to help me step away from work at night. I didn’t really want another laptop, so I was trying to use the tablet to fill that hole, as a laptop replacement. The Playbook ended up falling short on this, for a few reasons

First, the 7″ screen made it feel too small for anything but media consumption. I didn’t feel compelled to grab the Playbook over my iPhone for most things. 7″ is great for videos and ebooks.

Second, the apps just aren’t there yet for the Playbook. There are lots of great apps, but when looking for a laptop replacement it’s hard to be satisfied with less knowing the iPad has much more. Also, notable omissions like Skype and Kindle are frustrating.

Anyways, I finally made the leap to a new iPad. Wow. It really is as good as everyone says. It’s a joy to use, I’ve switched to doing almost all my web browsing on it because the screen is beautiful and it somehow feels more satisfying to touch a webpage compared to a mouse.

Also, it really does feel like an iPhone with a bigger screen. I remember some people saying this as a joke when it first came out, but I think this is ideal. The iPhone feels incredibly powerful yet constrained by the screen, so this is perfect. My dream would be an iPhone that can slide into an iPad-like shell and instantly get a bigger screen, but that’s another matter.