The first iPad reviews are in and they seem to suggest that the hype is true – the iPad really is very good.
iPad Reviews – What are the biggest Pluses?
There are some big pluses –
- Very fast thanks to the custom Apple processor.
- The IPS LCD screen is stunning.
- Great for consuming content.
- Great for technophobes.
- It will run nearly all of the 150,000 iPhone Apps.
- Apps built specifically for the iPad look really good. They are however priced higher than iPhone versions.
- Battery life is solid – an hour or two longer than the claimed 10 hours.
- Tight, thoughtful integration of the Mail, Photos, and iWork apps.
- 3D games look fantastic.
The consensus is that Apple delivers and the iPad lives up to its promise and is excellent.
iPad reviews – Any downsides?
The iPad Reviews point out some negatives too –
- Not suitable for creating content – spreadsheets, long writing, etc. don’t work. For content creation and writing longer posts and emails you would prefer a laptop (or you could get the iPad keyboard dock attachment).
- Techies might not like all the restrictions and the lack of options.
- It comes in between laptops and phones and its unknown whether it’ll succeed in creating a new category.
- Lack of multi-tasking.
- It does not support Flash.
- The memory isn’t expandable and the battery isn’t replaceable.
- There is no USB port.
- No Camera.
- Only 1,000 or so iPad specific apps at launch. Plus they’re priced higher though the free market is going to take care of that.
- The optional accessories are border-line necessary – especially the keyboard dock.
It’s worth pointing out that the negatives might not apply to you if you don’t care much about things like multi-tasking and USB ports. It’s also interesting that a lot of the reviewers hint at it not being a techie device – not sure if I’d agree with that.
Top 5 iPad Reviews
iPad Review by Edward C. Baig at USA Today
Here are the key quotes from Ed Baig’s iPad Review –
The first iPad is a winner. It stacks up as a formidable electronic reader rival for Amazon’s Kindle.
Apple is likely to be the first (to crack the tablet market).
The device resembles an iPhone on growth hormones.
Apple has pretty much nailed it with this first iPad …
He’s very positive on the iPad though he does think that there are a few downsides such as lack of multi-tasking, lack of a USB port, no camera, and lack of support for Flash.
In terms of reading he feels –
- iPad wins in terms of sizzle, color screen, quick page turns, being backlit (for night reading), and being easier to navigate. He thinks newspapers and magazines are vastly superior on the iPad.
- Kindle wins in some important areas as it has 450,000 books (iPad has just 60,000 for now), books cost more on iPad (will change with Agency Model arriving tomorrow), Kindle is much cheaper ($259), has better battery life, and is lighter.
He, like many other journalists, feels that ‘it remains to be seen’ whether eInk is better than LCD for reading.
Walt Mossberg’s iPad review
Walt Mossberg reviews the iPad and thinks that it has the potential to ‘change portable computing profoundly’ and also to ‘challenge the laptop’.
Here are some key quotes –
… it’s far more than just a big iPhone …
It’s qualitatively different, a whole new type of computer … you have to feel it, to use it, to fully understand it and decide if it is for you …
I was impressed with the iPad’s battery life, which I found to be even longer than Apple’s ten-hour claim …
Apple’s custom processor makes it wicked fast.
In terms of downsides he lists the lack of tabs in the browser (it actually allows up to 9 tabs), lack of GPS on the WiFi version, and the lack of wide-screen dimensions when watching videos.
Mr. Mossberg actually thinks the iPad is better than the Kindle for reading –
The iPad is much more than an e-book or digital periodical reader, though it does those tasks brilliantly, better in my view than the Amazon Kindle.
He adds more details –
I consider the larger color screen superior to the Kindle’s, and encountered no eye strain.
But the iPad is much heavier than the Kindle and most people will need two hands to use it.
The iBooks app also lacks any way to enter notes, and Apple’s catalog at launch will only be about 60,000 books versus more than 400,000 for Kindle.
After all his love for the iPad he ends on a strange note (especially given that he started by saying the iPad would challenge the primacy of the laptop) –
Only time will tell if it’s a real challenger to the laptop and netbook.
David Pogue reviews the iPad
David Pogue provides 2 iPad reviews – one for techies and one for non-techies. Not a bad idea and one worth stealing when reviewing eReaders – one for people who read a lot and one for people who read once in a while.
David Pogue’s iPad review for techies is rather critical and ends on a harsh note –
The bottom line is that you can get a laptop for much less money — with a full keyboard, DVD drive, U.S.B. jacks, camera-card slot, camera, the works.
Besides: If you’ve already got a laptop and a smartphone, who’s going to carry around a third machine?
The techie review is also pretty harsh on the iBooks app (to the point of being unfair) –
The selection is puny (60,000 titles for now). You can’t read well in direct sunlight.
At 1.5 pounds, the iPad gets heavy in your hand after a while (the Kindle is 10 ounces).
And you can’t read books from the Apple bookstore on any other machine — not even a Mac or iPhone.
His review for non-techies seemed much more balanced. The iPad benefits he talks up include –
- The big difference the larger screen makes.
- All the nice touches in the iBooks app like animated page turns, dictionary definitions, and brightness controls.
- The fact that you don’t need a contract with the 3G model.
- The promise of Killer Apps and how good the Scrabble App and the Marvel Comic Book app are.
- The fact that all iPhone Apps (nearly all) work on the iPad.
- It’s fast and light and the multi-touch is very responsive.
He paints a picture of the iPad as being great for technophobes –
Some have suggested that it might make a good goof-proof computer for technophobes, the aged and the young; they’re absolutely right.
… (the iPad when compared with laptops) it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it (content) — books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on.
David Pogue definitely has the right idea – the 2 reviews model works perfectly because the iPad is a very different device depending on what your perspective is (techie or technophobe).
iPad Review from Andy Ihnatko
Andy Ihnatko reviews the iPad and starts off by saying that the iPad really does justify the level of excitement.
It’s a computer that many people have been wanting for years:
a slim, ten-hour computer that can hold every document, book, movie, CD, email, picture, or other scrap of data they’re ever likely to want to have at hand;
with a huge library of apps that will ultimately allow it to fulfill nearly any function;
That is actually a really good summary of what the iPad is – it’s a super-simple computer for people who don’t get computers.
There are also a rich selection of good quotes –
When Apple looks at a fingertip, they see a warm, living thing that can feel. They don’t see a poor substitute for a mouse.
It’s not a replacement for my notebook, mind you. It feels more as if the iPad is filling a gap that’s existed for quite some time.
Mr. Ihnatko goes as far as to say that the iPad confirms his decision to choose staying in tech over becoming a movie reporter. I guess he’s definitely going to buy an iPad.
PC Mag’s iPad Review
Tim Gideon writes perhaps the best and most comprehensive iPad review. It is however a tech focused review so skip it if you’re not tech savvy – the above 4 reviews are probably enough.
He has a lot of good things to say –
Content from the iTunes Store looks predictably awesome on the iPad’s big, bright display.
The Photos app is brilliantly organized.
He does mention the lack of HD support, the necessity of having a case or a dock so you can prop up the iPad, lack of headphones, and also touches on the usual suspects – lack of camera, multi-tasking, and Flash.
The section on iBooks is particularly interesting –
Kindle: I like you, but I am nervous about your future.
The iBooks pluses and minuses Mr. Gideon lists are –
- iPad is much flashier, you can bookmark individual words, search is excellent, and there’s a brightness setting/indicator.
- Like every other journalist he’s not sure how the iPad will do for long periods of reading. Why not just compare the iPad and the Kindle by reading a couple of books on each?
It’s amazing that when contrasting Kindle and iPad hardly any reviewer covers obvious things like reading in sunlight, making notes, reading at night, ebook range, and ebook prices. Everyone is obsessed with the iPad being flashy and page turns being animated.
Mr. Gideon does end with this ringing endorsement –
I’m curious to see who actually buys the iPad, apart from Apple enthusiasts.
But I can tell you that when my laptop eventually dies, I’ll be getting one.
Closing Thought – 5 out of 5 is pretty darn good
All 5 iPad Reviews are very positive. The overwhelming sentiment seems to be –
iPad lives up to the hype. Try it out and see if it’s right for you.
It creates a new niche – between phones and laptops – and fills it beautifully.
It’s more for non-techies and it’s great for them.
It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how the iPad sells. Look for more on the iPad and on Kindle vs iPad once I get an iPad myself.