Product Type: Apple Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... of the news or particular articles of interest. The product itself was purchased direct from the Apple store (£320 approx.), and a useful ... more
Apple - you win this round. For now.
Apple iPad 3 Wi-Fi 32 GB
Member Name: RichardWK
Apple iPad 3 Wi-Fi 32 GB
Advantages: Great build quality, excellent battery life, gorgeous to look at
Disadvantages: Reflective screen
Okay, I have a confession to make: I never liked iPads. Look at them, with their great big silly screens. Sat there telling you how sleek and portable they are - have you ever tried to carry an iPad for any length of time? Nightmare. You can't carry them around with you. And don't get me started on how difficult is must be to type anything significant without a proper physical keyboard. Who would want to subject themselves to all of that? Well... me, as it turns out. I got sucked in by Apple's pretty, seductive advertising and threw my cash at them in exchange for a brand new iPad 3. And on this occasion, I'd like to report that I'm happy to stuff my face full of sweet, delicious humble pie.
Apple's latest generation of iPad is their most polished yet, a happy culmination of two years worth of iteration on their previous models. Perhaps the most noticeable improvement--and the one that's certainly been the focus of all of Apple's advertising--is the upgraded screen. For the technically minded, this screen holds over 3 million densely packed pixels, even more than an HD TV. For everyone else, know that it's not just hype: this screen looks incredible. Photos look stunning, text looks crisp, colours look incredibly vivid. It's worth bearing in mind that the screen suffers from reflection issues when used in bright sunlight, but this is something that affects all tablet screens (apart from ones on e-readers such as Amazon's Kindle). Unless you're planning on constantly using your iPad at the beach you'll probably be fine.
So what have you got to gain from an iPad? If you're one of the few people who, like me, never got around to buying a laptop, it's pretty much revolutionary to be able to use what is essentially a fully functioning computer in any room of your house. Even if you already own a laptop, iPads are so much lighter and more comfortable to use in comparison; it's a world away from the experience you're used to. It's an odd sensation to describe, but browsing the Internet using your hands makes you feel closer and more involved with everything you're looking at.
Perhaps the greatest appeal of the iPad is that everyone will get a different experience out of it depending on what they want to use it for. Apple's famed app store provides a wealth of content to suit everyone's needs: want to use it for watching a film on the train into work? Done. For taking notes in a lecture? Easy. As a handheld games console? No problem. This flexibility alone catapults the iPad out of the realms of cheap gimmick and into the strata of genuinely useful gadgets.
Battery life pleasantly surprised me. On a full charge I easily get the full 10 hours that Apple promises in it's advertising. This understandably varies depending on how bright you have the screen; you can get more than 10 hours out of it on the lowest brightness setting, or you can have it really burn your retinas out at the cost of battery life.
Build quality, as with everything from Apple, is superb. You know how laptops have a habit of feeling a bit flimsy and start creaking a bit after you've had them a while? One of the things that first strikes you when you hold an iPad is just how solid it feels. It feels like it's been forged out of one material, as if there's solid rock inside the case rather than dozens of individual components. I'm not scared about throwing it on my bed, or onto the sofa. It just feels too substantial to get damaged. (I should probably mention I'm not planning on testing this theory on anything more challenging. Concrete, for example. I think we all know who'd win that one.)
If you're on the fence about whether you can justify buying an iPad when you've already got a computer: go for it. After a few days you'll wonder what you ever used your laptop for.
Summary: One of my most fun purchases of the last year.
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