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When the iPad first came out always fascinated me, it was always something that I wanted to buy but was in a lot of doubt about buying it. My main concern was the portability factor and the fact that at the point I owned and iPhone anyway I always thought there was no point bothering. And the final nail in the coffin which made me swing towards the decision or steering clear of the iPad was the itunes factor. For some reason I hate using itunes, it tends to stop and with every update it just gets harder and more complicated to use than before. When I switched from my iPhone to a Blackberry I brought the Blackberry playbook as my first tablet as I liked the way the Blackberry software worked. To be honest I'm still very satisfied with the playbook, it is worked out amazingly for me. My husband however, decided that he wants a tablet too and went and bought the iPad3 and honestly- this is my dirty little secret- I'm just a bit more than a little jealous. I certainly wish I had bought the iPad instead of the playbook. Basic Specifications: My husband with his combined love for gadgetry and his utter impatience managed to get the iPad on the day it was released and that was where my secret love affair began. I have used the iPad 2 before here and there and to be honest it has not changed much in appearance. It is is still sleek and curvaceous and to be honest only a keen eye will be able to tell them apart at a quick glance. The iPad comes in three memory sizes 16GB, 32GB and 64GB and each has the option to be bought in simple Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi without 4G. I would recommend (if your budget allows it) the 4G even if you don't intend to use it outdoors, just in case. Trust me it is better than kicking yourself later, even if the hundred extra pound is a bit heavy on your purse strings. Depending on the size of memory in your iPad the steeper the charges will be. For a Wi-Fi only version the 16GB costs £399, the 32GB costs £479 and the 64GB costs £559. Obviously for the 3G version there will be a £100 extra charge. We bought the 64GB version just because my husband likes to get the most memory in absolutely anything he buys but, I think for most people the 32GB will be fine as I find our version extremely hard to fill. Apple has decided to power the iPad with a dual core A5 chip that provides absolutely fantastic quad core graphing and there is also a 1GB of RAM, making this device work extra efficiently. Look: From day one I have found all of Apple's designs sleek and elegant and the iPad3 definitely keeps up all appearances - at least in my book. It keeps the understated elegance of the iPhone, but simply enlarges in size. The screen is encased in a thick case of either gloss white or black. The slight curved aluminum back I think just makes it look even more classy and the minimalistic look is completed with a home button in the middle on the extreme bottom, just below the screen and a power button and the top. There is also volume and mute buttons on the side. These minimal buttons also make it very easy to operate and are virtually fool proof. Apart from this the only other thing on the iPad is a small lens for the camera at the back and a tiny hole for the front camera. The screen The iPad's screen is an absolute breathtaking feature. The 9.7 inches screen has had a complete retina upgrade which mean pixels galore and 1080p HD video screen. The screen is so bright and vivid you feel like what you are watching is there in real life in front of you rather than on the screen with zero percent pixilisation. There is also no glare on the screen, with a simple touch I just increase the brightness and end up with an excellent result even outside. The fact that the screen changes angles depending on how you place it, for me is an excellent function. I can sit or laze in whatever position and use the iPad however it suits me best. Cleaning the screen however, can be the hugest pain in the behind ever. The finger print resistant coating completely took a nosedive fail, within minutes it is completely emblazoned with finger prints. It can get quite annoying, trust me! Media When we first bought the iPad it was only to be used as a tablet or more ideally as it is described by apple as a "multimedia machine", but I am beginning to find that the iPad is beginning to certainly decrease the laptop use age in our house just like the blackberry playbook did when it first entered our house. The amazing apps on the iPad is certainly a feature that will outdo any laptop or desktop, and the internet performance on this machine is lightening fats in comparison to that of a laptop. The screen size can be a bit of an issue whilst surfing the internet and some zooming may be required, which is something I hate doing, but luckily the need does not occur that often. The internet that is used is Safari, which just like the other explorers allows tabs and bookmarks. It is pretty user friendly, however if it does not suit your liking the app store provide plenty of variety when it comes to browsers. I haven't had many problems with the Wi-Fi connection either, it tends to pick it up quite well. The problem that really, really gets on my nerves is when it comes to video downloads. Apple only support a few formats and I nearly always have to convert my videos which can be a huge hassle if I want to get up and go because it takes ages. The music importing however is a breeze just like on any other Apple product you simply import through iTunes and of course once played on the iPad the music sounds excellent. There is also the iBooks feature on the iPad but I haven't explored it yet, for some reason I just prefer the ability to read whilst holding the book in my hand. As far as gaming goes, let me make it clear I am no gamer so venturing further than angry birds is something I cannot imagine but watching my husband play the games on both the iPad and the consoles I can honestly say they looked no different on either screen. iTunes and the app store: Even though iTunes was one of the reason I stayed away from the iPad, however I find it quite useful now. I can literally search anything under the sun and its there in the appstore. Certainly an improvement from the content availability with the Blackberry Playbook. The amount of apps avalible is astounding and some of the are honestly amazing. Downloading the app is also a piece of pie, you can download them straight from your phone to your iPad within minutes and your rearing to go. The store is also very nicely set out and organized. It is pretty simple to use and practically fool proof. iTunes have also made it a lot easier to add my own content, thus removing the hassle and problem that I used to initially face. Battery: The battery last up to about nine hours a go, which is pretty impressive and allows you to be portable. I hate with laptops, when you are constantly having to be near a switch to make sure you have enough battery. However the six hour time wait to fully charge the iPad is a complete pain especially if you run out of battery midday. I have never seen any lagging or performance problems no matter how much load is on the machine, which is excellent. Extra features: The camera on the back of the iPad is five megapixels, which was quite decent on the few test pictures we took but honestly the iPad is too big to use as a camera. We tend to just use the front camera for chats with overseas family, but that camera could do with being a lot better in quality. The dictating feature is also handy. No more sore fingers from typing. Hurray! But there is always the odd word they have taken down wrong that you will have to go back and correct so proof reading is a must. And to be completely and utterly honest I find using the touch keyboard a lot easier and less tiring than a real one. Conclusion: This is truly admirable work from Apple and I would recommend it to anyone. The features are so vast and the downfalls very little. The iPad does not get excessively hot, neither does it lag or do any of the annoying things laptops do. It may not be a necessity for anyone now but after you buy it you definetly won't be able to function without it.