The latest must-have gadget from Apple was announced more than a month ago and, since then, the tech world has been buzzing about the iPad. The device fills a hole in the product line between the iPhone/iPod Touch and the MacBook. Consumers in the United States will be able to see the iPad at Apple Stores during the first week of April when it becomes available for purchase. A handful of tech websites have had a chance to get their hands on the device, so let’s check out what they have to say.
Popular tech related site Engadget posted an article and video on January 27th. The site’s first assessment was that the iPad screen is gorgeous and super thin. They felt that the device was not light and feels weighty in your hand. The screen is stunning at 1024×768 and feels like a huge iPhone in your hands. The writer went on to say that the speed of the CPU is marvelous and that web pages load extremely quickly and scroll without any hiccups. Moving in and out of applications was a breeze and everything ran quickly.
The writer also said that the lack of multi-tasking within the iPad was extremely disappointing. This meant no streaming Pandora while you are working in another App, which he considered to be a serious setback. The final comment was that the keyboard is good, but not great and not quite as responsive as it looked in the demonstrations Apple gave during the announcement.
Ubergizmo.com is another site that had the opportunity to play with the iPad. The writer at this site first discussed the device’s responsiveness. He said that despite the vastly superior resolution of the screen when comparing it to an iPhone, the iPad is just as responsive or more responsive than the iPhone 3G S. The overall 2D graphics speed scored well and the user interface responds very well to input. He also stated that the screen looks very good, but not as good as OLED, and that the colors are great.
He predicted that the screen would fare decently in direct sunlight, but it remains to be seen if that is true. The movie playback capability was tested with the Pixar film “Up,” which was preloaded on the iPad at the event. The video playback was described as being impeccable and colors were vibrant during the movie. Web browsing was reported to work very well, similar to the iPhone or iPod Touch experience, but faster and with a bigger display. Although Flash is not supported, web pages loaded and scrolled extremely well.
The Telegraph, based out of London, also gave largely positive reviews. The site feels that Apple has designed a product that looks good and feels great in your hands and uses a familiar interface. The Telegraph commented that the new touch-optimized iWork suite is beautifully done and makes it easy to piece together a spreadsheet or presentation. The Telegraph was critical that the iPad doesn’t support Flash capabilities and pointed out its inability to multi-task between applications. In the end, The Telegraph’s first assessment of the iPad is that it’s a large iPod Touch and not a seismic shift in technology, but definitely a hip gadget that consumers will love.
The Apple iPad will go on sale in the United States on April 3rd and can be preordered now on the Apple Store’s website. Prices will range from $499 for the baseline Wi-Fi unit, while the top model will be $829 for 64 GB of hard drive space and 3G connectivity.