Readers of The Investment Edge know that I bought an iPad about five or six weeks ago; I thought it would be a good idea to report as to how I feel about this latest offering from Apple.

I like it. One reason I bought it was because my laptop was stolen from my old office (we moved to new digs in early April). I do not have the wireless version — my iPad only connects to the Internet if I’m near a public network (or my own network at home or office). For my purposes, it’s dandy; I don’t really need wireless, since I get my e-mail and have office access on my iPhone. Apple has offered free classes, and I plan to attend one or more soon. I have yet to master the spreadsheet program, which is called Numbers. The word processor is a breeze — I use it for typing up my research notes during my weekend bookstore prowls, and then e-mail them in Word format (Apple thinks of everything — when I’m ready to e-mail from Borders or Barnes & Noble, up pops a choice menu that says I may use Word, PDF or Apple formats).

Another thing — I get plenty of attention when I use it at bookstores: there were maybe four or five inquiries at Barnes & Noble this past weekend. So far, I’ve not seen any others. Borders is usually filled with students on weekends, and they mostly use laptops. Barnes & Noble has fewer students and more old fogies like me.

Like the iPhone, it has many cool apps, some free and many at 99 cents or more. I have two free games I use while waiting in doctor’s offices, usually during short waits, when there’s not enough time to get into reading a book. Reading a book? Yep. I bought my first e-book — an investing book, naturally — and am reading it pretty comfortably on the iPad. I confess that I have to cut the screen brightness for reading, but it’s easy to do, and to undo, and it was less than half the price of the paper version. There are literally thousands of free books, too; these are ones for which the copyright has expired.

Finally, I got my iPad with an auxiliary keyboard. I don’t like the on-screen one, but I suspect it will be fine for many. I have to figure out a way to carry it — it’s an odd shape, but it works well.

Have a terrific week and share information about your iPad (or whatever) below!

Check out more blog entries from Richard Hoe.