Like clockwork, the iPad reviews are starting to pour in and the general consensus is positive. Before we get to them, I’ve listed a few notable tidbits from each review.
• Looks as though Apple plans to have at least 1,000 iPad apps at launch
• 60,000 iBooks at launch
• Marvel Comics app “closely replicates printed comics.”
• Some video controls aren’t readily available
• Direct sunlight is a buzzkill
• Keyboard is “barely usable” at a 90-degree angle
• The A4 chip is blazing fast
• Battery life ranged from just over 9 hours to well over 12 hours
• Winnie the Pooh iBook bundled with every iPad
(More on Techland: Hands-on with the Apple iPad)
Walt Mossberg from the WSJ:
I did run into some other annoying limitations. For instance, the email program lacks the ability to create local folders or rules for auto-sorting messages, and it doesn’t allow group addressing. The browser lacks tabs. And the Wi-Fi-only version lacks GPS. Also, videophiles may dislike the fact that the iPad’s screen lacks wide-screen dimensions, so you either get black bars above or below wide-screen videos, or, if you choose an option to fill the screen, some of the picture may get cut off.
All in all, however, the iPad is an advance in making more-sophisticated computing possible via a simple touch interface on a slender, light device. Only time will tell if it’s a real challenger to the laptop and netbook.
David Pogue from the NYT:
If you’ve already got a laptop and a smartphone, who’s going to carry around a third machine?
The Apple iPad is basically a gigantic iPod Touch.
Ed Baig from USA Today:
Apple has pretty much nailed it with this first iPad, though there’s certainly room for improvement. Nearly three years after making a splash with the iPhone, Apple has delivered another impressive product that largely lives up to the hype.
Tim Gideon from PC Mag:
Is the iPad a perfect product? No. And the omissions will give the anti-Apple crowd plenty of ammo. Why do I need this extra device that’s not a full-fledged laptop? Where’s the camera? What about Flash? Um, how about multitasking? These are all valid complaints, but one thing I can say about most Apple products, and certainly the iPad: There may be things it doesn’t do, but what it does do, it does remarkably well. Aside from the aforementioned limitations, there isn’t a lot else to gripe about. And to my great surprise, you can actually get real work done with the iPad.
Bob LeVitus from The Houston Chronicle:
Finally, I wanted to test the iPad’s claim of “up to 10 hours of battery life,” but was unable to monitor its use for 10 hours because my wife Lisa kept grabbing it and running into another room.
Speaking of my wife, prior to our iPad’s arrival she said she didn’t understand why anyone would want or need an iPad. Now she just keeps saying, “No, you can’t have it back.”
And now we have an unboxing video from Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun-Times (Hint: It’s not that great):
Boing Boing‘s Xeni Jardin also has an iPad:
The on-screen QWERTY keyboard is more finger-sized than iPhone (obviously, the screen’s larger when either in portrait or landscape) but I didn’t find myself using the device for lots of text input (email, blog post composing) without the aid of the keyboard dock— pretty much exactly like the standard Mac keyboard. No, there’s no camera, but it doesn’t seem like as much of a big deal as when I heard that news back at the January unveiling. iPad is more about experiencing media, and light sharing, than heavy-duty media production.
That said, I can imagine traveling with iPad instead of a netbook, with that keyboard dock in tow if I really need to do heavy text input.
Maybe the most exciting thing about iPad is the apps that aren’t here yet. The book-film-game hybrid someone will bust out in a year, redefining the experience of each, and suggesting some new nouns and verbs in the process. Or an augmented reality lens from NASA that lets you hold the thing up to the sky and pinpoint where the ISS is, next to what constellation, read the names and see the faces of the crew members, check how those fuel cells are holding up.
I like it a lot. But it’s the things I never knew it made possible — to be revealed or not in the coming months — that will determine whether I love it.