The iPad is advertised as “a magical and revolutionary product”. This 1.5-pound half inch thin tablet features a 9.7″ 1024-by-768-pixel multi-touch screen, a 1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed processor, 16, 32, or 64GB of flash drive storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a claimed battery life of “up to 10 hours”. Models with 3G mobile broadband connectivity are expected to hit the market later this month.
Apple’s iPad runs iPhone OS and comes with 12 iPad-specific applications, such as Safari browser, Mail, iBooks ebook reader, Photos, Maps, and separately sold iPad-optimized iWork office suite. Other apps are available through the iTunes app store. The iPad is capable of running unmodified iPhone apps.
According to the reviews, “Pros” of the iPad are:
– sleek, elegant, and very portable design;
– excelent screen with vibrant and saturated colors and wide viewing angles (Engadget);
– a simple multi-touch interface;
– a great battery life – a full day of constant internet-connected use on one charge; more than 12 hours, with heavy video and gaming, and screen cranked up to full brightness (Boing Boing);
– virtual keyboard more comfortable and accurate to use than the cramped keyboards and touchpads on many netbooks (WSJ);
– large number of downloadable applications;
– runs nearly all of the 150,000 iPhone apps;
– improved iPod, Safari browser, photo and e-mail apps (PC Magazine);
– regarding ebook reading, iPad’s larger color screen is superior to the Kindle’s (WSJ);
– can indeed replace a laptop for most data communication (WSJ).
Its “Cons” are:
– no multitasking;
– lack of Adobe Flash support;
– no camera, no video recording;
– when the iPad is turned 90 degrees, the keyboard is “just barely usable” because it’s bigger (NY Times);
– external keyboard needed for long-form typing chores (MacWorld);
– absence of a USB port or other connectors (USA Today);
– no iChat chat client (Slashdot);
– the browser lacks tabs (WSJ);
-offered no way to save the email atachments to the iPad (The Root)
– email program lacks the ability to create local folders or rules for auto-sorting messages, and it doesn’t allow group addressing (WSJ);
– no user switching (Slashdot);
– music and video apps could be better (MacWorld)
– iPad is not optimized for widescreen videos;
– single speaker isn’t stereo (USA Today);
– sealed battery (USA Today);
– doesn’t ship with earbuds and case (PC Magazine).
The iPad prices range from $499 to $829.