Review: iPad

Make: Apple
Model: iPad 64GB

It was announced back in January as the next big product to come out of the House of Apple, with a lot of pundits admitting they weren’t too sure what it was. A laptop? A bigger version of the iPhone with no calling ability? A glorified e-reader? What exactly was it? Well, it turns out it’s a bit of everything.


Make: Apple
Model: iPad 64GB

It was announced back in January as the next big product to come out of the House of Apple, with a lot of pundits admitting they weren’t too sure what it was. A laptop? A bigger version of the iPhone with no calling ability? A glorified e-reader? What exactly was it? Well, it turns out it’s a bit of everything.

Just a little bit bigger than the size of an A4, the iPad is lightweight and easy to carry around. It will fit nicely into your briefcase or shoulder bag and seems pretty robust. It took a few knocks and seemed to handle them fine, although I wouldn’t recommend dropping it any time soon. It does work exactly like the latest versions of the iPhone and iPod in that you use the touchscreen technology to navigate around the unit.

Like most Apple products, its looks cool, but is it easy to use? Very. Navigation was a breeze and entering and exiting applications was no problem. I was especially impressed with the speed of the wireless internet, as with some wireless products at home there is sometimes a lag. Some would say it comes down to the connection – and logically it should – but in saying that, for the week I was trialling the iPad, it connected very quickly to our wifi and never once dropped out while our wireless PC connection did so on several occasions.

Navigation itself is easy, using the touchscreen technology – in fact, it’s a lot of fun. You can check out URLs in either portrait or landscape mode, which is handy depending on what you are using it for – gaming = landscape, while e-reader = portrait.

Downloading apps is pretty straightforward, while the just under 10-inch screen more than suffices when gaming, reading or surfing the ‘net. Colours seem vibrant and bright, without being too overpowering to the eye.

One thing we did notice when multitasking with applications is that unless they are Apple-based – such as Safari – then you can only use one app at a time. If you want to use IM and your gmail or hotmail account at the same time, then you’re out of luck. Some people won’t really care, but there are quite a few of us out there that have multiple applications open at one time.

There is one bummer in all of this, as far as applications go. For some reason Steve Jobs doesn’t like software provider Adobe and refuses to support the latter’s Flash format. This is a huge problem as nearly a zillion web pages who have video clips on their pages use Flash. In fact, very few don’t. Jobs being Jobs is spruiking his company’s HTML5 standard, but with hardly any penetration in the market, it’s hard to see how this will benefit iPad users.

Overall the iPad does what it is supposed to do – a mini computer, gaming machine and e-reader, with its portability being a huge selling point – but there just seems to be something missing. Not too sure whether it is the lack of functionality, or the pre-hype worries of that it was just an overgrown iPhone without the calling ability.

Still, having sold over 2 million units before it even arrived in Australia proves that Apple has a fan base, and gotten the marketing right. Will it stand the test of time? We’ll know soon enough.

3.5 out of 5

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