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iPad review round-up

April 1st, 2010 at 7:20 AM

Last night while most of our readers were snuggled up in their warm beds, a lot of the big names in traditional media and elsewhere were hard at work pushing out the very first reviews of the Apple iPad. While we fully plan on conducting our own review just as soon as we can get our hands on a retail version, we thought it would be a good idea for us to compile all of reviews we could find to give people a general idea of how the iPad is being received. For those who need to know every little thing the reviewers said, we have links to the full reviews. For everyone else, we’ve trimmed out all the fat and went with bite-sized quotes.

Click on through to check out what some of the biggest names in tech had to say. Some of it might surprise you.

Ed Baig (USA Today):

Apple has pretty much nailed it with this first iPad, though there’s certainly room for improvement. Nearly three years after making a splash with the iPhone, Apple has delivered another impressive product that largely lives up to the hype.

Tim Gideon (PC Magazine):

Is the iPad a perfect product? No. And the omissions will give the anti-Apple crowd plenty of ammo. Why do I need this extra device that’s not a full-fledged laptop? Where’s the camera? What about Flash? Um, how about multitasking? These are all valid complaints, but one thing I can say about most Apple products, and certainly the iPad: There may be things it doesn’t do, but what it does do, it does remarkably well. Aside from the aforementioned limitations, there isn’t a lot else to gripe about. And to my great surprise, you can actually get real work done with the iPad. There aren’t a lot of directly comparable products in this nascent category. We haven’t had enough quality time with the competing Fusion Garage JooJoo, but it will be a huge coup if it can match the utility and grace of Apple’s first tablet. 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.

Andy Ihnatko (Chicago Sun-Times):

The most compelling sign that Apple got this right is the fact that despite the novelty of the iPad, the excitement slips away after about ten seconds and you’re completely focused on the task at hand … whether it’s reading a book, writing a report, or working on clearing your Inbox. Second most compelling: in situation after situation, I find that the iPad is the best computer in my household and office menagerie. 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.

Xeni Jardin (Boing Boing):

I like it a lot. But it’s the things I never knew it made possible – to be revealed or not in the coming months – that will determine whether I love it.

Bob LeVitus (Houston Chronicle):

It turns out the iPad isn’t as much a laptop replacement as I thought (though it could easily be used as one). Instead, it’s an entirely new category of mobile device. For example, now when I want to surf the Web from the couch or back deck, the iPad is the device I choose. Starbucks? Same thing. Think of the iPad as a new arrow in your technology quiver, an arrow that will often be the best tool for a given task.

Walt Mossberg (The Wall Street Journal):

All in all […] the iPad is an advance in making more-sophisticated computing possible via a simple touch interface on a slender, light device. Only time will tell if it’s a real challenger to the laptop and netbook.

David Pogue (The New York Times):

The iPad is so fast and light, the multitouch screen so bright and responsive, the software so easy to navigate, that it really does qualify as a new category of gadget. Some have suggested that it might make a good goof-proof computer for technophobes, the aged and the young; they’re absolutely right.

And the techies are right about another thing: the iPad is not a laptop. It’s not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it — books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on. For most people, manipulating these digital materials directly by touching them is a completely new experience — and a deeply satisfying on

The bottom line is that the iPad has been designed and built by a bunch of perfectionists. If you like the concept, you’ll love the machine.

The only question is: Do you like the concept?

Last but not least, and only because we can…

Stephen Fry (for TIME Magazine):

It is possible that the public will not fall on the iPad, as I did, like lions on an antelope. Perhaps they will find the apps and the iBooks too expensive. Maybe they will wait for more fully featured later models. But for me, my iPad is like a gun lobbyist’s rifle: the only way you will take it from me is to prise it from my cold, dead hands. One melancholy thought occurs as my fingers glide and flow over the surface of this astonishing object: Douglas Adams is not alive to see the closest thing to his Hitchhiker’s Guide that humankind has yet devised.


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