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The iPad reviewed

This article was been published more than 6months ago. The information contained herein may be outdated.

First off, I know I said I wasn’t going to get an iPad. That decision was based on the hype and buzz about it, after laying hands on one myself, though, I’ve got to say I was simply wrong. Probably not about my concerns, as I still feel they are valid, but about my decision not to get one.
 
What it all boils down to is this; do I think it is worth paying the cost, and accepting the limitations for what I get?
 
Quite obviously, my answer to that is yes. If it hadn’t been, you would not have been reading this, now would you? The question to answer, then, is not if, but why it is worth it to do so.
 
This post will be part rationalisation, part review, and I ask you to bear with me in that respect. Still, though, here goes…
 

Technical specifications:

Display 9.7-inch Multi-Touch display (1024×768@132 PPI)
CPU 1 GHz Apple A4
Sensors Accelerometer, ambient light sensor
Wireless capabilities Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1
Storage capasity 16, 32 and 64 GB
Input/output ports Dock connector port, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack

 

Build quality:

I think one of the most important aspects to a hardware device such as the iPad is the build quality. Sure, the technical specifications matter a great deal, but when those are good enough, the second thing to look at is build quality. The look, and feel of a product. When it comes to the iPad, I’ve got to say, job well done. The ten inch screen is a perfect size for this kind of product, and the tactile response felt when using the iPad is just amazing.
 
Having used touch screen phones for a number of years, I was concerned about the performance of the screen when it came go writing documents and such. With the iPad, those concerns are totally unfounded. I quickly found that I write as quickly, and generally speaking with fewer mistakes than when using a normal keyboard, due to the autocorre features in iOS.
 
Now, the glossy screen, while great for indoor use, does make it difficult (at best) to use outside, but that’s not a huge problem as yet.
 

Performance:

Apple claims the WiFi only version of the iPad has ten hours’ battery time. Now, having used various technology for years, I expected this to be far from the truth. Many reports have shown that the estimate is, in fact, low. This is my experience too; I think I can comfortably claim twelve hours, which makes this the best unit of its kind I have ever encountered.
 
As for application performance, the iPad does very well, largely due to it’s single-tasking approach. Having used an Android unit for a while now, I have seen that multitasking on this kind of device might not be what the doctor ordered. To be sure, single-tasking works excellently, though I’d wish that the apps were able to cache their state.
 
Another problem about the single-tasking approach is the fact that when you need to use more than one app at a time, you go back and forth, reloading apps all the time. If your ely on more than one app at a time, the iPad might not be for you.
 

Conclusion:

Sure, there are a few weaknesses. The built-in movie player only plays .mov, and as I mentioned, the single-tasking approach has its share of challenges. Is it for you? That’s for you to decide. I love my iPad, and I’ll be using it a lot in the time to come. I suggest you try it out, and find out for yourself?

2 Comments

  1. The iPad is getting an update soonish, introducing the pseudo-multitasking from iOS4 to the iPad. From my experience with the iPhone 4, this is a good compromise between battery time and full multitasking.

  2. Absolutely, and I like the sound of it.

    I’ve written up a post about it, which is due in a few weeks…

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