The iPad 2 Gauntlet…

The last time I stood in line was for Rolling Stones tickets…

When you join a cult like Apple the pamplet does not explain to you that standing in line for something you could easily purchase on-line and wait to arrive in the mail is an experience.

This is the fourth time, I’ve stood in line at the Apple Store at Providence Place Mall for something: First, when the store opened. Second, iPhone 3, Third, iPad 1 and now the iPad 2. I pre-ordered the iPhone 4 and got it a day early. Since the store opened the line security has gotten better and after surviving Hall H at last years San Diego Comic Con, the line for iPad 2 at Providence Place Mall was not that bad.

Hey, they gave us free water and snacks, we were happy lill’ cult members.

The iPad 2 was ready to be ordered on-line at 1 AM PST thru Apple’s website and by the time I woke up at 7 AM EST there was a 5-7 day wait by the time I showered and had breakfast it had risen to 2-3 weeks.

The one downside was there was no pre-ordering this year but as my brother mentioned Apple probably did it on purpose to shove it everyone’s faces.

The Providence Place Mall’s parking lot is not the bestest in the whole wide world. Avoiding the Mall from October to January due to holiday shoppers is the best advice. So, when I tell you it took only two passes to find a parking space on the first level it was sign of things to come. By the time I arrived at 430, the line went to the middle of the mall and then outside. Thankfully it wasn’t raining.

Such a lovely view of the back of the line...

Much of the conversations started off like: This year I’m getting one for me, it’s called an iPad not a WePad.

After several walk throughs of Apple Employees handing out free water bottles and snacks, 5pm arrived and the lined moved at a good clip.

As you can see, there was plenty of time to do this:

The employees did a good job walking the line and giving updates on what sizes were left. AT&T 3G iPad 2s and White iPads went the fastest followed shortly thereafter by the 16 gig black. After a quick check if the difference between 16 and 32, I figure it’s worth the $100 difference.

By 6pm, our destination could be seen…

Almost there. Stay on target.

And by 630pm or so, I had two black 32 gig iPad 2s one for myself and one for my dad. I’m walking towards the exit and someone is passing me talking on their cell phone about wasting two hours in line.

In summary, if this same type of hype follows the iPad 3 with it’s better cameras and retina display (one can only assume since there’s not much else you can fit into that shell) then I’ll probably still be in line next year.

I did not see the iPad 1 as a waste since I knew 2 would have more so I aimed low at the 16 gig and have been enjoying the experience since last year. iTunes Gift Cards are my drug of choice. So, when the next revision and the next revision arrive, I’m perfectly fine with just queueing up.

Thankfully, this queueing up isn’t like buying a PC where you’re buying a new one once a year because the entire hard drive is more infested then…ya know what, it’s too soon for a Charlie Sheen “goddess” joke.

The reason I bought iPad 2 is for a few reasons: Smaller size, the old sleeve for my iPad 1 fits but is nowhere near snug. The new processor. The cameras (yes, I know full well they’re nowhere near as good as the ones on my iPhone 4 and I know the difference between my iPhone 4 and my Canon 40D.) and while I did pay $100 bucks more than what I was planning on, I can fit more movies to watch at the gym and look at adding pictures or my iTunes Library.

Overall, the only downside I saw was the smart covers while great do not cover the back and so the waiting for Marware or another company to produce a harden back shell begins. And, getting a new bag for it for SDCC since my 15″ powerbook Brenthaven bag may be a good go too, it’s a little too big.

As for the original iPad, it has been wiped and be sold to whomever is looking for one whether it be friends or eBay.

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