Apple iPad: review of the reaction around the web

What the tech community thinks of the 9.7-inch device

Apple iPad

Updated: read our Hands on: Apple iPad review

Apple's iPad may not have shocked in the way the iPhone did and it might have been the subject of sustained and surprisingly accurate rumour, but it's certainly not fallen short of expectations. Or has it? We've gathered together the leading views from around the web – including our own first impressions piece.

TechRadar is already a fan of the device, but one thing we felt was lacking was multitasking – can this really not be incorporated into the iPhone OS yet? Maybe we'll get this in iPhone OS 4 though, the iPad is only running 3.2 at this stage.

Engadget felt this was a flaw. "There's no multitasking at all. It's a real disappointment," said the site's Joshua Topolsky. "All this power and very little you can do with it at once. No multitasking means no streaming Pandora when you're working in Pages... you can figure it out. It's a real setback for this device." Endgadget was more optimistic about the speedy Apple A4 processor ("it flew") and the ebook experience.

The Telegraph's Claudine Beaumont liked the keyboard: "Zooming, scrolling and flicking through photos feels just like rifling through a real picture album, while the huge virtual keyboard, with its big, responsive buttons, is a pleasure to type on."

Despite warning of the disappointment swelling around many blogs, T3's Duncan Bell is a fan. "The iPad is a great-looking device that will doubtless work like a charm. Its only major failing for me is the lack of Flash, and the fact that the 16GB and 32GB options seem to lack, er, flash. The pricing seems positively reasonable when you consider the price of something like the similarly diminutive Sony Vaio X Series."

The multitasking debate is one that will run and run (well, until we actually get multitasking) and it's the missing feature that has garnered most criticism. In a piece entitled '8 things that suck about the iPad', Gizmodo's Adam Frucci picked holes in the device about the lack of camera, massive bezel and more.

"If this is supposed to be a replacement for netbooks, how can it possibly not have multitasking? Are you saying I can't listen to Pandora while writing a document? I can't have my Twitter app open at the same time as my browser? I can't have AIM open at the same time as my email? Are you kidding me? This alone guarantees that I will not buy this product."

Is the iPad actually a peripheral?

But what exactly is the iPad? MacFormat's Chris Phin questions whether the iPad does actually create a third mobile computing category as Steve Jobs suggested in his keynote: "Is the iPad conceptually a device designed to be synced to a 'proper' computer or is it its own master?

"If the latter, would we be happy to use Apple as our only gateway to content? And is 64GB enough space for that content? Would you sideload pictures from your digital camera directly to it? (Technically, you can, but will you, and what about RAW support and editing?)" Phin also says this is a problem Apple has faced before, with the Newton.

CNET's Dan Ackerman agrees. "Even though the device as described by Apple initially feels more like a portable media player and less like a computer, is it fair to kick it out of the computer category entirely? Within our office, the topic was the subject of a surprising amount of heated debate."

As usual, the BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones took a superbly observed overview, again questioning whether there is actually a market for the iPad. "The big question is whether Steve Jobs is right in thinking there's a yawning gap between smartphones and netbooks which the iPad will fill. It's not entirely clear if a huge number of people - apart from dedicated early adopters - are desperate for yet another device."

What about the iBooks?

And what of the iBook app and store? The Guardian's Bobby Johnson reckons the model will be attractive to publishers. "Apple is understood to be offering electronic content publishers a 70% share of any revenues from sales through iBook – and is allowing book publishers to set higher prices than Amazon has. That will be attractive to publishers worried that ebooks will undercut them."

PC World was less enthused by iBooks: "What was all this about saving old media? While the New York Times briefly showed off an app, and we saw an online bookstore called iBooks, Apple didn't show any radically new content or business models, and no magazine subscriptions, just free websites. The iPad is very much a large-screen iPod touch."

"Some analysts have estimated that the tablet could offer a 10-20 per cent increase in the digital revenue of publishers," notes Mike Harvey of The Times. The cost of the iPad also received praise: "The price will help, with the basic model starting at $499 (£310). Mr Jobs acknowledged that the device would be bought by people only if it provided a better way of getting at the internet. "


Liked this? Then check out Apple iPad - our first impressions

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