Apple iPad Review

The Apple iPad is breaking new ground, and has defined a new product category, the tablet computer. However, this has been confusing for some people, primarily because it doesn’t have the full functionality of a computer. If you expect the iPad to do everything your computer can do, you will be disappointed. Think of the iPad as a new class of device. It is more like a combination of an email reader, web browser, iPhone app player (minus the phone), and eBook reader. The iPad is primarily designed for consuming content, not creating it. I suspect that over time the iPad will take on more computer functionality, but for now, don’t expect to replace your computer. Read on to learn more about the iPad. Also watch the following videos on the iPad to see it in action.

iPad Overview and Basic Features

The iPad runs the same operating system and software applications as the iPhone and iPod Touch. Interaction with the iPad is the same as the multi-touch interaction on the iPhone. There is no mouse or trackpad. Just use your finger to point, select, drag & drop, copy & paste, and any other function you would normally do with a mouse.

The iPad’s 9.7-inch screen has wonderful color and resolution. Book, magazine, browser or email text is crisp and easy to read. On the other extreme, game graphics are awesome. See my review of the Firemint Real Racing HD game for an example of great graphics and interactivity.

The iPad comes in three memory configurations: 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. The iPad also comes in two network configurations. The basic version supports WiFi, while a more expensive version supports both WiFi and 3G access to the net.

Built-in Applications

The iPad comes with a set of built-in applications similar to the iPhone. These applications include usual suspects like Safari, Mail, Photos and iPod music player. Also included is a Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Google Maps, iTunes, and a YouTube video client. If you are familiar with the iPhone or iPod Touch, these applications will look very familiar.

The App Store

As with the iPhone, the iPad uses the iTunes Store for loading applications, videos, music, and digital media onto the iPad. The App Store has been optimized to take advantage of the larger iPad screen.

Third Party Applications

Third-party developers are actively creating new applications for the iPad. There are currently over 150,000 iPhone applications compatible with the iPad. Many of these applications are now being optimized for the larger iPad screen. Popular iPad applications include: Popular Science Magazine, Real Racing HD, Marvel Comics, Wall Street Journal, MLB At Bat, Scrabble, Labyrinth and many more. Check out the Apple App Store to see the ever growing collection of third-party apps.

For more information on the Apple iPad, see the Apple Online Store.

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