So You Got an iPad, Now What?

Were you lucky enough to open an iPad (s aapl) Christmas morning? If you’re wondering what to do with your new tablet we’ve got you covered, with a healthy selection of info, tips, apps and accessory reviews.

First, you may have some questions about your iPad. Like for instance, why isn’t it a standalone device? If it’s such a game-changer, then why does it still rely on being plugged into a computer occasionally to operate? Dave Greenbaum has some answers. They may not be the ones you want to hear, but at least your iPad’s role as a companion device might make a bit more sense.

In case you’re curious about what exactly your iPad is made of, what powers it and how much battery life you can get out of it, you can check out Kevin Tofel’s initial look at the iPad’s vitals.

James Kendrick’s post about five things to do to get ready for the iPad was originally intended to prepare users for its initial launch, but it applies just as well if the iPad’s only new to you. It’s a very basic list, but you may find that you’ve overlooked one or two items.

Unsure about how to get your iPad up and running after you get it out of the box? Try Dave Greenbaum’s walkthrough of an initial iPad setup. It’s far easier than trying to get Apple Technical Support on the phone Christmas morning!

Now that you’re setup, it’s time to get some apps on your iPad. Alex Layne’s list of 10 must-buy iPad apps from shortly after its launch remains surprisingly applicable, even eight months later. Jon Buys has a roundup of iPad RSS reader apps, and Alex provides a list of the best TV and movie apps, for watching and for reference. Be sure to check out Nick Santilli’s list of religious iPad apps, too, and Dave’s list of food diaries and calorie counters, although you might want to hold off on those until after the holidays. Dave also has a list of iPad apps to manage your finances, but that’s another category you might want to bookmark for later. Write up your thank-you notes right away before you forget, though, with Mark Crump’s list of writing apps for the iPad.

There’s also a whole host of iPad accessories out there, and we’ve got you covered for those, too. James Kendrick has a series of iPad accessory roundups, including stands, cases, and portable Bluetooth keyboards. We also have in-depth reviews of the Kensington KeyFolioZAGGmate and Dooble iPad Bluetooth keyboard cases.

If, instead of an actual iPad, you just got a very large gift certificate or a significant amount of cash, you can check out Weldon Dodd’s iPad buying guide to help you decide which model you want. I should’ve consulted it more closely, because for my usage habits, 16 GB turned out to not be nearly enough storage space, and I find myself hitting the limit all the time.

The most important thing you should do if you got an iPad this morning, however, is to give a huge “thank you” to whoever got it for you.

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