As the iPad launches, so too do the tech-maven reviews. Here’s one from the Wall Street Journal and AllThingsD’s Walter Mossberg, who makes no bones about the fact that he really likes the gadget.
My verdict is that, while it has compromises and drawbacks, the iPad can indeed replace a laptop for most data communication, content consumption and even limited content creation, a lot of the time. But it all depends on how you use your computer.
Mossberg found it excellent for viewing media (including reading e-books), surfing the web, and light typing tasks such as e-mail. He found the virtual keyboard easier to use than some laptops’ physical keyboards, and also found that Jobs had understated the device’s “10-hour” battery life—while watching videos with wifi enabled and the screen fairly bright, he got 11 1/2 hours out of it.
New York Times gadgetmeister David Pogue also likes the iPad, for the most part, though he actually wrote two “mini-reviews” within his single review: a review for “techies,” which was skeptical almost to the point of scorn—
There’s an e-book reader app, but it’s not going to rescue the newspaper and book industries (sorry, media pundits). The selection is puny (60,000 titles for now). You can’t read well in direct sunlight. At 1.5 pounds, the iPad gets heavy in your hand after awhile (the Kindle is 10 ounces). And you can’t read books from the Apple bookstore on any other machine — not even a Mac or iPhone.
—and a review for everybody else, which was quite enthusiastic about how well the iPad works as a media viewer. Like Mossberg, Pogue got about 12 hours of battery life out of the device. He described a number of interesting applications (such as an iPad Scrabble game with a companion iPhone app that lets you view your hand in your hand).
BoingBoing’s Xeni Jardin has another quite enthusiastic review of the device, with lots of pictures. She’s especially excited about how well it reads e-books, calling the iPad “what we wanted e-books to be all along.”
[Theo Gray, developer of an interactive Periodic Table app for the iPad, has] been thinking about all of this, too. "The Kindle is a great device, and I own several," Theo says. "But the concept of an e-book has always been that it’s like PDF. Imagine if the web standard was PDF instead of html, if everyone’s web pages consisted of what you can do in PDF? That would be a really boring world. I hate to see ebooks as being pigeonholed as these static, PDFlike things, in which the biggest ‘a-ha’ you can have is an exciting pageturning animation, or search. What could an ebook be? Let’s draw a line in the sand out in the future and say, this is the greatest aspiration, if the limitations of code and hardware were no object."
I would be inclined to argue that sometimes, “like PDF” is what you want. But on the other hand, if they can find some way to make it fancier without getting in the reader’s way, who am I to say they shouldn’t try?
Like Pogue and Mossberg, Xeni also reports a 12-hour battery life.
Looks like Apple has another winner on its hands.
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