Apple iPad Review
While you may dismiss the previous opinion as psychological over analysis it really was apparent when book lovers handled the iPad. The e-book interface is much more graphically rich than other e-readers like the Kindle or Nook; you can actually turn pages, images display in full color and you even have a bookshelf to store your titles on. But there is a visceral element to books than just cannot be replicated on a computer screen. Books make a crackling sound when you open them and the pages have a unique feel and smell.
We’ve always been told about the potential of e-readers for textbooks, and students don’t likely care what their books feel and smell like. They do, however, care that the book can be marked up with highlighter and notes in the margin. Again the iPad fails to deliver a pretty basic need here, though we do feel that this obstacle could be pretty easily overcome with software. If there was a way to index and search these notes it would be a better offering than your traditional textbook due to the iPad’s portability. There is a definite market for textbook replacement here if done right, and given that your average textbook costs well north of $100 if publishers could offer them for even 70% of that price it could mean large profit margins for Apple and substantial savings for students, all with less bulk to carry around. Then again, this is all predicated on note-taking software being added and prices being dropped.
Apple used the siren song of tiered pricing to lure publishers onto the iPad, but of course this means that you, the average consumer, might end up paying more for e-books. And not just you, iPad owner, but you too, Kindle aficionado. And since Kindle owners don’t get the rich graphics, web links, etc. that iPad owners get…well you see where Apple’s plan was quite genius from a business standpoint here. (In fairness we should point out that the Kindle is way cheaper, much more portable and easier to handle with a battery life that will go for weeks, and that e-ink is way easier on the eyes than an LCD screen. If you’re just looking for an e-reader the Kindle is probably the better solution.) While pricing might be comparable or even better than what you’ll find for the real thing at Barns and Noble, keep in mind that there won’t be a Half Priced Books app; you’re going to be stuck paying full price forever. There are some free titles in iBooks right now, although not the most interesting ones (then again, this is according to the personality).
It's worth noting that Apple has redesigned some if its core apps so they can take full advantage of the iPad's capabilities. For example, the calendar app is very functional now. You have the ability to create different calendars, each with its own color, so you can easily distinguish them. The month view is now showing all your appointments inside each days, and the other views are also full of additional detail. The e-mail application has also gotten the redesign touch. When in landscape mode, the user is presented to a split-screen view, with the inbox on the left, and the content of the selected message on the rigth. Pretty neat.
Typing on the Apple iPad is easy, as long as you have it laid on your lap, or something else, but using it on the go may prove difficult.
The more we used it the more apparent it became that the iPad is a bridge device between your cell phone and a computer. Put simply the iPad cannot do what your computer can do (and the cell phone cannot do what the iPad does). The problem with multitasking is still at hand. We want to listen to Pandora while surfing the web or reading an e-book and it’s just not possible. While AIM offers push notifications, you still have to close out of the program you’re in to acknowledge the conversation, and so on and so forth. Rumors of multitasking in iPhone software 4.0 are rampant, but this can’t come soon enough and is really a huge drawback to the iPad at least for now.
So far we’ve been pretty focused on what the iPad fails at, but there are areas where it excels and nowhere is this more apparent than in personal entertainment. Full access to the App Store means all the mindless games you could ever want at generally reasonable prices. iPhone apps will run on the iPad, but since they are in iPhone resolution (HVGA) this will leave you with a lot of dead screen. Of course, you always have the option to view them in full screen, which will hamper the quality but will at least deliver a bigger image. There are already a number of iPad-optimized games though and the number is only going to exponentially grow if the past is any indication. Of course the iPad has an iPod and video player built into it for all of your side-loaded content.
What the iPad has that the iPhone doesn’t have is entertainment apps like Netflix, ABC Player and a myriad of other on-demand video services to keep you occupied. There is no Hulu, and since the browser doesn’t support Flash you can’t watch via the website, but rumors have an appcoming. The iPad has the potential to really bring on-demand videos into the forefront. As cable and satellite pricing rises higher and higher these on-demand services are just looking for the right product to burst onto the scene full-time and the iPad might just be that product.
When watching videos the iPad is at its most comfortable to use. It’s being held in its natural, landscape position and interaction with the device is minimal. With two hands it suddenly feels as light as the 1.5lbs would suggest. Lying in bed watching a video or surfing the web is much more natural than using a laptop. The screen is crisp and bright, though direct sunlight hampers viewing and with white backgrounds you can see the abundance of fingerprints that will inevitably accumulate quickly. Streaming video quality is quite good, but artifacts are present at times and it is definitely not HD. Apple has made a curious decision to go with a letterbox screen as well, meaning that for all those movies and TV shows you’ll be streaming you’re going to have a good amount of black to go with the already large bezel. It should be pointed out that a widescreen iPad would be very awkward when used in portrait mode.
Another area we think the iPad has huge potential is in magazine and newspaper content. Like textbooks, regular printed media rarely has the same emotional connection as books have (collectors aside) and the delivery of your daily newspaper to an interactive device is a much better method, in our opinion. While it’s not nearly as slick as the Sports Illustrated concept demo we saw a few months back, reading articles was very natural on the iPad. As the interactive content grows and becomes better integrated we really think that remaining newspapers and magazines will find new life with the iPad.
The larger screen really comes into play with applications like these, or even familiar applications that have gotten a rework. There is simply more room to work with, so Pandora for example can give you a better graphic interface, more artist information and still have room to spare. Put simply, information apps are better on the iPad because of all the extra room.
Web browsing is of course pretty great, but then again with Mobile Safari we have come to expect that. The lack of Flash has made headlines since the iPad’s announcement and does indeed leave gaping holes for popular sites like Hulu. Still, most video sharing sites will get HTML5 support and when that happens, the iPad will be ready to take advantage of it. The lack of Flash is a drawback now but not a backbreaker, in our opinion. The internet is even more accessible on the iPad’s large screen and the touch controls are as natural and accurate as ever.
Microsoft has confirmed that they have no intentions of bringing Office to the iPad, but with Keynote, Pages and Numbers you can get around this. You can open PowerPoint, Word and Excel attachments with the respective iWork counterparts, edit them and then transfer them to your computer via iTunes, send them as email attachments and so on.
1. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)
And it's still not a phone... or even really in the same class as a phone...
2. jhoots (Posts: 74; Member since: 13 Jan 2010)
they arent trying to market it as a phone.. i think this device is pointless. it aims to take marketshare from netbooks and mini labtops but how can it without flash and no multitasking capabilities?? id much rather spend my money on a tablet PC labtop.. all the trendsters will buy it but its a waste! like they pointed out in the article it doesnt do anything new. it is a super sized ipod touch thats it!! try jogging with this strapped to you trendsters.. haha it probably would be good for college students that want to download book and text on it for school but for the price and lack of function id just go with a laptop.i hope that it does one thing though.. and that is get people interested in simple and easy apps for regular netbooks and laptops. to help make the PC more personal and less complex for the simple (non-geek) everyday user. imagine, if you start telling the average consumer they can now do apps on their computer (i know laptops already do better than this) they be more interested and and excited. you can kind of trick them into buying things like this just because the vast popularity of "apps"
13. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)
It's on "Phonearena", not "Netbook-ish device arena". I expect to atleast be able to make a phone call without 3rd party VOIP software.
3. ilia1986 (unregistered)
"Things like playing 3D games, seamlessly surfing the web, enjoying YouTube and other video, emailing, reading e-books and even basic document editing. Yes, you can already do most of that with certain smartphones, but not in that smooth, easy and intuitive way the iPad allows you to" Explain please. How is the iPad any different in that aspect from the iPhone? Of course it has a larger screen, but considering that the 3.5" screen of the iPhone looks way better than a lot of smartphones out there - I really fail to see a significant advantage here.
4. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 932; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)
i thought about replacing my computer with the ipad, but it doesnt come with a disc drive so theres no point in buying it. apple has become boring and all 3 products are literally the same. you can download the line2 app so u can make phone calls with the ipad and with the $30 AT&T data plan, u have a big azz iphone without a contract. apple needs to stop making generic devices and get creative like HTC and even blackberry
5. electro.livin (Posts: 17; Member since: 15 Feb 2010)
i would be a bit worried about using this say on a train or bus cause it's probably going to get nicked (unless you use it as a weapon)
8. cellgeek82 (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Dec 2009)
So lets see, an iPhone (or iPod Touch) for a couple hundred dollars that fits in my pocket, looks stylish, has enough bells and whistles, makes phone calls (iPhone). And of course the iPhone has the wireless network advantage. Or get a $500 device that doesn't fit in anything less than a dufflebag, doesn't do much more than an iPhone/iPod, can't make phone calls, probably expensive as hell to insure (if available) in case of theft or damage...I don't get it! WHY? Do people actually spend money on crap like this? I'm not saying it's not functional, but it's useless. Why get a giant iPod? Have fun traveling with this. I'm an Android user but would definatly consider the iPhone over an iPad any day. iPad = iDon't Android/iPhone = Does!
12. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)
Agreed, this thing is a pseudo bastard child of an ipod touch and a netbook and doesn't replicate the features and conveniences which made each respective product standout. I hope Apple gets their nose blooded a little on this venture so they have to go back to the drawing board and try to innovate a little bit more...
16. iHateCrapple (Posts: 734; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)
He called it a bastard child ROFLMFAO!! Classic! +1
9. ajac09 (Posts: 1211; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
once again PHONEarena.. THIS IS NOT A PHONE
10. Rico Dinero (Posts: 21; Member since: 28 Oct 2009)
its another way Apple can put their hands in your pockets. And not even in the good way. For 500.00, I better get a reacharound instead of getting F&$%ed
14. fsjon (Posts: 119; Member since: 03 Sep 2009)
Once Chrome OS is finally out the door, imagine that on a slate/tablet design! And by then, the table design will be matured and know what design elements work best. I can see it now where I can replace my computer with a chrome OS tablet!!
15. fongy (Posts: 41; Member since: 09 Feb 2010)
I think that this is a very good review.... My main problem is the score - with all those negatives (a lot more than positives, and fundamental negatives at that) and considering niche appeal and considering alternatives... 8/10? Really? Tops 7/10, realistically 6/10... I bet CNET will do exactly the same, all major reviewers appear to shy away from giving apple products anything less than 8/10 despite better competition... Bizarre... but predictable...
17. vzwtech86 (Posts: 20; Member since: 31 Oct 2009)
I don't understand why everyone is hating on the iPad...I have one and I think that it's great. People need to give it a chance. The apps on it are so much better than on the iPhone and gaming blows the psp and the ds out of the water IMO. Not only that but the games are still cheaper than the psp and the ds by 15 to 20 bucks, sometimes even more. The only gripe I have is that the iPhone apps scaled up kinda look like garbage so it kinda forces you to rebuy the HD resolution versions which kinda sucks but is still cheaper than buying ds and psp games. And I personally don't like flash in the first place html5 just seems better to me. Call me a fanboy if you want but I use a nexus one for my cell phone and I like android as well. Once you actually own one it's really another story. And the battery life is just phenomenal. I can seriously watch 7 or 8 movies back to back and still be at around 30 percent battery. Btw I typed this all on my iPad. I rarely use my MacBook or nexus one for browsing anymore either. Anyways, everyone needs to give it a chance.
20. jellyelly (Posts: 7; Member since: 14 Dec 2009)
You are what they call a SUCKAAAA lol........Apple got you for your MONEYYYYYY lol just like they got my brother you guys are both idiots lol........i dont have a i pad and i never need to. Sure I will agree over all its cool because iphones and itouches are cool as well and the ipad is just that, just waaaay bigger and 7 to 8 movies please, my brother got the ipad and he loves it as much as you do but even he said 7 to 8 movies back to back is pure B.S. and what are you talking html5 is better html5 isnt completely developed. Still in 2010 your tablet, cpu, netbook, smartphone would be a lot cooler with flash player. Ipad over all is cool but nothing new and there are certainly better things out there. Too much money, very limited hardware and software(meaning no room for expansion) and i typed this on my HP laptop by the way and i bet i did it a lot faster then you did. = }
23. sgg61991 (Posts: 3; Member since: 13 Feb 2009)
HP FTW! Anyways, I completely agree with you. Plus, there's no multitasking (as of yet). I had multitasking on my HP PocketPC that came out in like 2005 (it still works btw). For all of the hubbub Apple gets, it's a pretty big oversight for them not to include it. Especially if it's supposed to compete with netbooks.
24. nmajors (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 Apr 2010)
HP rocks. http://www.engadget.com/2010/0
4/05/hp-slate-to-cost-549-have-1-6ghz-atom-z530-5-hour-battery/Game, set, match Apple. Honestly if you can survive on device that only runs one app at a time then you might as well go check into the elderly center because there's no way you're living in the real world with its technological demands. Also written on an HP.
30. WKlingbeil (Posts: 215; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)
Not to mention, how can you even compare gaming on the iPad to a PSP or DS? I mean, good luck fitting an iPad in your pocket, because that's what DSes and PSPs were created for. They weren't created for college kids to carry around in purses, they were created for handheld gaming and mobility. Apple is waaayyyyyy too arrogant because they've even made those comparisons of the iPhone to a DS or PSP, which is ridiculous. The iPhone has nothing on a PSP for gaming, bottomline, even though at least it meets the pocket-sized gaming criteria. I won't get into the rest of it because I've never used the iPad, but I do have eyes and can plainly see that an iPad is in a completely different market segment than a PSP or DS.
18. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)
Wow...Phonearena.com actually seems like they are bashing their once precious Apple product maker...interesting
19. mr. anderson (Posts: 92; Member since: 16 Apr 2009)
their last iphone review wasnt all that great either, and despite the score the review was only so-so on the 3g. methinks phonearena arent the apple fanboys theyre made out to be
25. adash13x (Posts: 20; Member since: 08 Apr 2010)
NOT a phone!! WTF?!!! get this crap outta here!
26. ZeroC00L (Posts: 11; Member since: 22 Apr 2010)
I made the move into Steve Job's pocket 3 years ago, and NEVER looked back!!! As an iPhone, Macbook Pro, iTouch user, I was excited to see the iPad make its way into the scene. Everyone has opinions, and obviously Apple has created an incredibly successful business model from hype (such as how the "Bar Floor iPhone 4" issue reaching headlines nationwide!!) I think with time, just as with all Apple products, the iPad will truly demonstrate its capabilities. I can already see the holiday season bringing about new colors and features, with OS updates coming soon as well. Personally, I would buy an iPad decades before I'd buy a lame Netbook!! I work for a prominent Mobile Phone company, and the issues with Windows Based Netbooks are endless. Of course nothing is perfect!! Just my opinion, but if and when the iPad supports Adobe programs, such as CS4 (or soon to be released CS5!) with Illustrator and Photoshop, MY life will never be the same!! I would love to edit and create on a screen with my fingers as opposed to using a mouse or a pen tablet tool. THAT is when the iPad will truly show its value and potential!! Its good to read everyone's thoughts tho... Very valid points!!
27. iHateCrapple (Posts: 734; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)
You must be the one trolling around giving everyone -1 for negative crApple comments...Good luck waiting for more Adobe products. FAIL
31. ILOVEIPHONE25 (unregistered)
i don't like your attitude.
28. networkdood (Posts: 5505; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
I would rather have my HP latop or tablet - I can do a whole lot more than on the closed OS of APPLE......
32. stonee (unregistered)
we cann’t take advantage of video chatting by ipad with a cross-platform. I’ve purchased ipad in july, the reason why I choose it is its convenience, actually, I'm feeling inconvenience with the 9.7-inch multi-touch screen, what's more this problem cannot be solved like video formats limited by ipad which can defeat by video converter like ifunia and handbrake.
33. mr.ddf (unregistered)
theres no flash, no usb, no hdmi, no keyboard, not a pocket sized, makes people look like idiots when calling, no camera, runs iphone OS but not OSx so apps are limited and can only be downloaded from the appstore, no multitasking, unremovable battery, screen resolutions too low for a 9.7" tablet, name is terrible and it would be better if it was called islate just like they were planning to do