Friday, January 29, 2010
Apple iPad: the first review
You may wonder what the Apple iPad is for. The answer: everything, but could that be too much?
Bobbie Johnson, technology correspondent, guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 27 January 2010
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs shows off the much-hyped iPad, which he hopes will come to define a new category of wireless device Link to this video
Like everything Apple designs, the iPad is intended to satisfy our cravings for simplicity and clarity. Steve Jobs had already sneered at the idea of netbooks, labelling the cheap, low-powered laptops that have proved phenomenally popular with consumers slow and clunky – but it's clear that this is the market the iPad is aiming for.
On the surface it appears to be little more than an oversized iPhone, a flat, black screen with a single button but underneath it wants to be a laptop.
As one of a small group of people given a sneak, hands-on preview of the iPad, my first impressions were good: it's hefty but not heavy, feeling solid and responsive in the hand. The screen is about the size of a large paperback, but it's just half an inch deep. That big, glassy screen does leave it vulnerable to breakages, but could also prove liberating for people who are used to toting a laptop around with them.
Using it will be familiar to anybody who has tried an iPhone: it uses the same combination of swipes, pokes, jabs and sweeps of the finger of its smaller cousin. Sweep your hand across its reactive 9.7-inch screen, though, and everything feels more satisfying and natural.
The big problem I had was in trying to understand what the iPad was for: the answer, it seems, is everything.
It attempts to do almost everything that your laptop can, while also offering almost everything your smartphone can do as well. Surfing the web was a breeze, while it plays video smoothly and handles a variety of games pretty well. You can use any of the existing iPhone applications straight away, though it is disappointing when you realise that they become blocky and almost childlike when expanded to fill the larger screen.
The rest at The Guardian.