Apple's iPad review round-up
Apple has hand-picked a select group of journalists to review the much-hyped and long-anticipated iPad, ahead of its launch on 3 April.
Gizmodo have looked through everyone's reviews and broken it down into a handy table to compare what people say about different features, or lack of them:
"At least eight people got iPads from Apple pre-launch, three usual suspects plus some new faces. Their approaches are different, but the take-home remains the same: It's good."
In a positive review, Walt Mossberg at allthingsd was impressed with the battery life and speculates that the touchscreen could see the end of the mouse. But, he says, people will have to try it out before making a judgement on the device:
"Because the iPad is a new type of computer, you have to feel it, to use it, to fully understand it and decide if it is for you, or whether, say, a netbook might do better."
Ed Baig at USA Today agrees:
"The iPad is not so much about what you can do - browse, do e-mail, play games, read e-books and more - but how you can do it. That's where Apple is rewriting the rulebook for mainstream computing. There is no mouse or physical keyboard. Everything is based on touch."
However, he also points out some of the device's deficiencies:
"The iPad has its share of Version 1.0 inadequacies. It doesn't multitask, save playing iTunes music in the background. There's no webcam for those of us hoping to do video chats. The battery is sealed. It's too big for your pocket."
David Pogue at the New York Times provides two reviews - one for the techies and one for "everyone else". In both he describes it as a "gigantic iPod Touch".
In his general review, he points out that the iPad is a new category of device, "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 the more technically minded he explores the device's lack of Flash:
"Apple has this thing against Flash, the Web's most popular video format; says it's buggy, it's not secure and depletes the battery. Well, fine, but meanwhile, thousands of Web sites show up with empty white squares on the iPad -- places where videos or animations are supposed to play."
Omar Wasow at The Root says technical niggles are easily dealt with and proclaims: "The Techies Are Wrong about the iPad".
"The techie obsession with specs and obscure features completely misses how most consumers will actually use the iPad. A small percentage of power users will be disappointed that the iPad doesn't, say, have an HDMI video-out port or that it currently lacks the ability to run multiple applications simultaneously or that it fails to address some other esoteric concern."
Xeni jardin at Boing Boing has a series of high-resolution pictures and screenshots. In the review, she is impressed with the gadget's potential as a gaming device, comparing it to her first experience with the Nintendo Wii:
"There's something about tilting and steering and braking with a device you hold in your hands, just like a steering wheel, that's so much more viscerally pleasing than a big old shelf-bound console."
She also explores some of the content that will be available on the device, including an interactive "Harry Potter book" of the periodic table:
"The elements in this periodic table seem very much alive. The obvious way to examine static objects - say, a lump of gold (number 79) or an ingot of cast antimony (number 51) is to rotate them, to spin the specimen with your fingertips. And that's exactly what you do here."
It is an app that also caught the attention of self-confessed Apple fan Stephen Fry, who posted a series of videos and pictures of his device on Twitter:
"Best App of all Theodore Gray Wolfram Periodic table. Everything is animated and gorgeous. Alone worth iPad."
Links in full
Wilson Rothman | Gizmodo | iPad Mega Meta Review: Works Great, No Surprises
Walt Mossberg | allthingsd | Apple iPad Review: Laptop Killer? Pretty Close
Ed Baig | USA Today | Verdict is in on Apple iPad: It's a winner
David Pogue | New York Times| Review: Looking at the iPad From 2 Angles
Omar Wasow | The Root | The Techies Are Wrong about the iPad
Xeni jardin |Boing Boing | Apple's iPad is a touch of genius
Stephen Fry | Twitter