Hands-on With the Apple iPad

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Yes, the iPad is a ginormous iPod Touch with a tweaked UI, but it’s still pretty cool. It’s surprisingly lightweight and the screen is just as responsive as the one on the iPhone and iPod Touch. What’s more impressive than the large 9.7-inch touch-screen is the speed with which Web pages get rendered and how well it’s able to scale existing iPhone apps to double their size. Some things look a smidge pixel-y but it’s not terrible. If you thought the iPhone 3GS was fast just wait until you get your hands on an iPad.

Safari appears to be untouched in terms of functionality and it supports the same basic gestures as the iPhone or iPod Touch. But it still doesn’t support Flash.

(More on Techland: Apple’s iPad: The Specs Sheet)

Video playback (720p) was incredibly smooth and image quality was sharp.

Apple has trumped Amazon when it comes to reading books, but I can honestly say that I won’t be staring at the screen for hours on end. The ability to adjust font size and switch between fonts was a nice touch. Flipping through the iBook pages was almost like flipping through the pages of paper book.

On the hardware front, the back of the iPad is tapered just like the iPhone/iPod Touch. I wasn’t able to sit down with it on my lap but it felt good in the hand.

(More on Techland: Gallery of Apple’s Hits and Misses)

The jury is still out on the keyboard. The size is perfect but even Steve Jobs was pecking at it with his index fingers. It’s kind of awkward, but I only had a few minutes with the device, so I can’t say for sure whether or not I like it.

Still no multi-tasking and no mention of how much RAM the iPad has. It appears as though apps are cached so when you return to them they’re exactly as you left them. It doesn’t make up for lack of multi-tasking, but it’s something.

Check out my hands-on video below, where I test out the main features:

Are you going to buy one?

More on Techland:

iPad: Your Complete Media Gallery

Liveblog: The Apple iPad Event

The Long And Winding Road To Apple’s Tablet