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The REAL iPad Review

The REAL iPad Review
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We spent two more days testing the iPad than most other reviewers. That makes us able to answer the question: iPad, netbook, or wait for something else?

Nearly four years after the release of its industry-changing  iPhone, Apple has expanded its horizons once again. With the iPad, Apple attempts to take on the entire netbook and ultraportable industry with a handheld device many have scoffed at as an oversized iPod Touch. Indeed, at first glance the 9.7-inch screen appears to be just that, a bigger window into a world we’ve already become intimately familiar with. But the iPad isn’t just a supersized iPod Touch.

Apple means to change the course of computer technology, and for better or worse, it has succeeded for the last decade. With a completely touchscreen tablet, the iPad is no ordinary computer. In fact, its evolutionary lineage has much more DNA from phones than from computers.

But that won’t stop Apple from setting its sights on overtaking the portable computer and e-book markets. The company is literally taking on several different industries—all of them major successes in the last few years—with a tablet: a concept that has a long history of failure. Our news team took a first look  here with an unboxing of the iPad. That article gives impressions from the first few hours of use. Want to know what it is like to live with an iPad for more than 48 hours? Keep reading.

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  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 5, 2010 9:08 PM
    Found the cleaning cloth that Apple forgot to include:

    http://www.shaggymac.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=13

    Shame on you Apple...but thanks for the awesome iPad :) 
  • 0 Hide
    AMW1011 , April 5, 2010 9:22 PM
    Quote:
    Today, no other company offers a device that has the capabilities of the iPad with an application-base to match. HP plans to release its Slate in the coming months, and more and more tablets are in the works. But if you’re keeping score today, Apple is still ahead by a margin.

    http://www.umpcportal.com/products/

    There are plenty of them actually... Oh and real Windows is far better than a cellphone OS or an app-based OS.

    This is a fair review. To be honest some people will never "get" UMPCs because they don't satisfy their needs. However, there are many people who love UMPCs and can benefit from them immensely if they give them a try, its a very love or hate it type situation.

    That said, a tablet this size is simply too big and ruins the form factor. If you want a large tablet then you need a real keyboard should you want it. This is were convertable netbooks or similar UMPCs come in. Take the Viliv S10:
    http://www.umpcportal.com/products/Viliv/S10
    This is a very fine machine and has all the naturalness and benefits of a tablet or slate, with the ability to be used as a laptop. I believe this is a great product in this segment.

    However, where the UMPCs truly thrive is a place where portability and function meet, the 5"-7" screen size. Here there are plenty of slates/tablets, clamshells, and slider design devices to satify anyone.

    Anyone interested should check out the:
    Viliv N5
    Viliv S5
    Viliv S7
    Viliv X70
    UMID M1
    UMID BZ

    Just to name the most popular.

    That said, the UMPC market won't appeal to a lot of people, simple as that, while some other people will love them. I for one love them as I have an Archos 5 which is a very basic one and I'm personally waiting for the Viliv N5 to be released.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 5, 2010 9:40 PM
    Ahem! You've left out eReader and Stanza. Please revise your comments that Kindle and iBooks are the two main ereaders. Both of those also tie into bookstores... and have the advantage of tying into Project Gutenberg (seamlessly in Stanza's case). Plus, both give more reader options (text, font, coloring of page, text, etc.)
  • 2 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , April 5, 2010 9:49 PM
    starman7Ahem! You've left out eReader and Stanza. Please revise your comments that Kindle and iBooks are the two main ereaders. Both of those also tie into bookstores... and have the advantage of tying into Project Gutenberg (seamlessly in Stanza's case). Plus, both give more reader options (text, font, coloring of page, text, etc.)

    Stanza is a great iPhone app! But, the selection is not so great. Is there a Stanza iPad app already? If so, very cool!
  • 2 Hide
    cadder , April 5, 2010 9:57 PM
    Quote:
    As a laptop replacement, we just don’t see it


    I've heard this before and I agree for most people it won't have the functionality of a laptop. Then I was reading the other day that you take the ipad out of the box and activate it through itunes... So you have to already have a computer running itunes in order to start using the ipad. Lots of people only have a laptop, don't have multiple computers, so they will already have a laptop for when they need a laptop, and can use the ipad when its functionality is all that they need.
  • 1 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , April 5, 2010 10:03 PM
    cadderI've heard this before and I agree for most people it won't have the functionality of a laptop. Then I was reading the other day that you take the ipad out of the box and activate it through itunes... So you have to already have a computer running itunes in order to start using the ipad. Lots of people only have a laptop, don't have multiple computers, so they will already have a laptop for when they need a laptop, and can use the ipad when its functionality is all that they need.

    So what you're saying is, "It was never meant to BE a laptop replacement." That very well might be true--in fact, I'm sure its true from Apple's perspective. But what about a netbook replacement? The question here is about 2nd and 3rd computers--not primary computers. I'd love to see a formal study of what types and how many consumers own 2 computers already. I think the demographic Apple is aiming for is that demographic.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 5, 2010 10:56 PM
    Not sure why news outlets are giddy over it. its just a big iPod touch, I was disappointed when apple promised it wasn’t, but it has no features that the iPod doesn’t have, its a little oversized to be a very portable device.

    I tried taking it to church Sunday, and it was just in the way. Its kind of heavy considering its size. It’s not the greatest for portable handling for kids.

    The iPod touch has plenty of books, so not accessing the overpriced iBook app books isn’t really a hindrance, the few books I looked at were actually cheaper on the kindle app, however both apps prices were still higher then buying the actual book which is idiotic

    I just can’t figure out why news outlets are so giddy over it. Either A) there getting paid to hype it up, or B they never played with an iPod or iPhone before.

    Gaming on the iPad kinda lacks. it seems games are faster on the 3rd gen iPod and 3rd gen iPhone then on the iPad, though I’ve only run ipod/iphone games at 2x size since the currently release of iPad games so far aren’t the greatest offerings..

    Here is to hoping mag sites get people who actually use a vast amount of technology devices so there not giddy like a school girl over an oversized iPod touch.

    ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    jamezrp , April 6, 2010 12:20 AM
    starman7Ahem! You've left out eReader and Stanza. Please revise your comments that Kindle and iBooks are the two main ereaders. Both of those also tie into bookstores... and have the advantage of tying into Project Gutenberg (seamlessly in Stanza's case). Plus, both give more reader options (text, font, coloring of page, text, etc.)


    Unfortunately, both of these applications are unavailable for the iPad right now. There are some other available e-readers, but most are pay-for applications (meaning buy the app and then either buy books or get your own free ones, which is lame compared to both iBooks and Kindle). However, we are interested in seeing whether the iPad can pull off being a strong contender in the e-book marketplace, so we'll keep an eye out for new apps or new features to existing apps.
  • 3 Hide
    jamezrp , April 6, 2010 12:31 AM
    TomsguiderachelSo what you're saying is, "It was never meant to BE a laptop replacement." That very well might be true--in fact, I'm sure its true from Apple's perspective. But what about a netbook replacement? The question here is about 2nd and 3rd computers--not primary computers. I'd love to see a formal study of what types and how many consumers own 2 computers already. I think the demographic Apple is aiming for is that demographic.


    The reports right now are that Apple wanted to have it work as a standalone device, without needing to first connect to your computer via iTunes (as well as ship with iBooks preinstalled), but they simply didn't have the time. If that's true, then it's understandible. Still, cadder's point is valid: why make a standalone device that cannot actually function until some sort of activation? Kind of defeats the purpose, no?

    AMW1011, Tablets have obviously been around for years. Viliv's, among others such as Archos, haven't performed well not because they aren't good devices, but because they aren't openly accessible to a larger audience. Yes, we all know how to use Windows, but the bigger concern is that the standard consumer may not want a desktop/laptop operating system for a touchscreen-only tablet. It's failed for years, and many, including several staff members, are hesitant towards these devices because they were built as a do-everything device. What I mean by this is that Microsoft's OS focuses on making sure everything is compatible, that everything works in every way possible. Apple is much more focused on a singular point for their products, which is easier for Joe Consumer to handle.

    And, of course, the market goes to the biggest seller, not the best hardware, no matter what happens. So while companies like Viliv may be making excellent devices, they aren't streamlining them for the average consumer, or even the tech-aware consumer. They design them for tech-savvy people, like you and I, but ultimately they cannot succeed in the long run because we are just the 1%.
  • 3 Hide
    killerclick , April 6, 2010 2:08 AM
    I won't buy an iPad because I'll be limited to Apple-approved applications from an Apple-owned app-store. Also, it doesn't support Flash because Apple doesn't want Flash applications eating away their profits.
  • 1 Hide
    zodiacfml , April 6, 2010 7:42 AM
    not a bad review and i can imagine your concern regarding holding the thing for long periods of time as the device seems suited for mobility and simply on the couch or bed.

    i think they should be addressing the problem with handling the device, create a mechanism to allow the device to stand on its own, and lastly to include a USB port for a small mouse and music, video, and photo uploads.
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , April 6, 2010 12:49 PM
    Haha..yeah 'unbiased' review. First you say over and over how you "tested it for 2 more days than everyone else so you can give it a full review" then at the top of the 2nd page you state that you "didn't have time for an official testing of the battery"...Nice! Typical uber-geeks who fawn over anthing that is not 'for the rest of us'. Not only that but, just PC-Rag magazine, you keep reffering to it as a 'glorified Touch'. You mean the form factor. It is internally all new, by definition it is NOT a touch. I am sure the HP slate review will have all you guys masturbating over the "revolutionary" design when all it is is a netbook crammed into an enclosure with PDA style "douche-pad" software running on a 'desktop OS' which, in it's basic form, is not designed for a touch interface. Yeah...that'll work. "Unbiased" is something I have come to expect from anyone who works in the computer industry. If you're not a hater or fanboy, you act like one to get page clicks...Yeah, you guys are the shiznet...Not!
  • 2 Hide
    Onus , April 6, 2010 2:57 PM
    Too many dealbreakers, from the lack of ports and memory expansion, to the non user-replacable battery, and no multitasking; not to mention the price.

    PS. Excellent reference to Ender's Game. That's what iPad COULD have been (and may yet become?). "Speaker for the Dead" is also good. I'm assuming you're NOT the same Jane that Ender talks to all the time...:-).
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 6, 2010 3:34 PM
    @Undrpsi: Just out of curiosity, have you ever used an iPad? I honestly have not, so I won't go so far as to venture an opinion on its usefulness compared to a netbook or what have you. However, since the guys at Tom's Hardware actually have their hands on one, I'll listen to them voice their opinions about it. I have also read various reviews from non-"geeky" sources, most of which have been good. For most of the people who follow Tom's and for the editors themselves (on the whole), this device doesn't meet what we feel that we need. And I seriously doubt that the HP Slate will get any kind of automatically awesome review when it comes out just because it isn't an Apple product. As far a publicity goes for a product, I was moderately frustrated with Tom's for having 11 articles withing 3 days of each other on the iPad. I highly doubt that such a thing will happen over the Slate.

    Just my two cents.


    P.S. to "fawn" over something means to show affection for it, or to " to court favor by a cringing or flattering manner" (ty M-W.com). I'm fairly certain that you meant to say something to the effect of belittle or ignore. Yay literacy.
  • 2 Hide
    fwupow , April 6, 2010 6:20 PM
    I just bought an Asus Eee PC for $355.00. It has a real keyboard, Windows 7, new Intel Atom N450 cpu, 1GB DDR2 memory (expandable to 2GB), 250GB HDD, Multi-card reader/writer, WiFi & Bluetooth, VGA out, 3 usb2.0 ports, mic, headphones jacks AND "up to 14hr battery life". I think that if you want a convenient sized device that you can produce as well as consume on, the new netbooks are a real bargain. No touch-screen, but more powerful hardware and OS. BEST OF ALL--No iTunes hegemony.
  • 1 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , April 6, 2010 7:21 PM
    "Typing on the screen, both in portrait and landscape, is a hassle."

    That pretty much kills it for me. It's a deal breaker.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 6, 2010 9:23 PM
    The efforts made on justifying this limited function, impractical, overpriced gadget is just astounding. The tech media pimping combined with Apples mastery spin has the lemmings lining up to part with way too much money for a device that would be crucified from any other vendor. Truly a great example of Mr. Barnums famous quote. The cowardice of tech industry media coverage is down right embarrassing. Be sure to check out the emperors cool new clothes as well....."everyone" has been commenting on how fine they are;) LMAO at the suckers. Well done Apple.
  • 0 Hide
    kctim , April 6, 2010 9:34 PM
    I find it HILARIOUS that the "we are more tech savvy that you" crowd are buying these things, sight unseen, just because they are from Apple. I mean come on, 3.2 PhoneOS. They are partners with Intel. Can't they put somthing in that could run OSX 10.x even if it isn't Snow Leopard? I mean Windows 7 has Touch Screen capabilities that I have heard are not bad. I have used Windows XP (Pro not Tablet) on a 10" touchscreen and the only thing that was hard was clicking the right hand corner to minimize, restore, or exit, and the double-click. No memory slots or USB host ports, Puh-Lease. It's just a way to sell more bright shiny objects to people that don't need them. I will buy a deluxe scrabble set for $50.00 and play anytime I want, with anybody I want, and they don't have to have an iPhone. Good Grief. Just my $.02
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , April 6, 2010 10:20 PM
    For those of us, like myself, who have bought the iPad as their first Apple product, I find your review too much focused on existing Apple customers. I think the iPad is wonderful and I've been buying home computers since 1978.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 6, 2010 10:44 PM
    when apple took out the floppy disk in the Imac and the compact disk in the Mac Air everyone said how much of a dealbreaker lack of a feature. Apple pushes technology, in 5 years people wont be using CD/dvd's much. Nearly everything will be from the web.
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