Early iPad Reviews Are Positive
The Apple iPad will officially hit consumer hands this Saturday, but Apple has already sent out a few review units for the media to test. Some of the early reviews are going live and the response is remarkably positive.
Given the amount of discussion about missing features in the iPad , early reviewers seemed to think the iPad was quite useful, powerful even.
Walt Mossberg, longtime technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Apple enthusiast, said it would change the industry and the way we use computers.
"After spending hours and hours with it," Mossberg said, "I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop."
That doesn't mean the iPad was perfect in reviewers' eyes.
"The Apple iPad is basically a gigantic iPod Touch," wrote David Pogue, tech columnist for the New York Times.
"Apple pretty much nailed it with this first iPad, though there's certainly room for improvement," said Ed Baig, of USA Today.
The biggest difference of opinion among reviewers seemed to revolve around the on-screen keyboard. It has large keys, especially in landscape mode, but lacks the response and feel of typing on a physical keyboard.
Mossberg said the iPad's keyboard was more comfortable than those of netbooks, Pogue said it ranged from "horrible" to "barely usable," and Baig landed somewhere in between, conceding it was just "fine for e-mail ."
Other than complaints about typing, the iPad touchscreen interface received praise from every reviewer, especially for Web surfing. The color and sharpness of the screen impressed all, though Pogue pointed out that, just like almost any device, the iPad screen is hard to see in direct sunlight.
Reviewers uniformly praised the iPad's performance, especially the processor, which was designed by Apple. Mossberg said the tablet was "wicked fast," and other reviewers used near identical language to describe the iPad's performance.
Interestingly, all three reviewers also reported that Apple's estimate of 10 hours of battery life for the iPad was true, and even a little conservative. Pogue said he got more than 12 hours of use out of his iPad on a single charge.
The e-book reader features of the iPad were also one of the main selling points in the Apple unveiling. iPad reviewers seemed pleased with the capabilities of the iBook app for navigating the bookstore and the iPad itself for displaying e-books, although Baig admitted it was easier to curl up in bed with a Kindle because it was smaller and lighter.
Even though these reviewers were all impressed with the iPad, they all seemed reluctant to say that the iPad would be a threat to laptops and netbooks . Even though Mossberg said the iPad was a laptop killer to him, he later hedged by saying, "Only time will tell if it's a real challenger to the laptop and netbook."
Perhaps Baig put it best when he said the iPad is "the antithesis of the cheap underpowered netbook."