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I have a desktop computer, a laptop, all the games consoles and a smartphone so I can't say I've ever felt the need for a tablet. I also don't get why people are so happy to spend more to get an Apple product over another brand. When it comes to technology I buy whatever has the features I want at the best price. However, there are times when I get to use other technology and this Apple iPad is one of them times. I had briefly used the iPad before, but then my friend who owned this iPad decided she no longer wanted it and so she gave it to me. So then I got to use it properly and see exactly what the iPad was all about.
Dimensions: 242.8 x 189.7 x 13.4 mm
Screen size: 9.7"
The iPad does look nice, although it doesn't take long for fingerprints to be all over the screen. Luckily when it is on you can't usually see the marks. The screen is rather reflective which can be annoying. As you'd expect from a portable device such as this, it is thin and light. Having said that, if you are holding it for any length of time while using it then it soon starts to feel heavy.
The front of the iPad is black while the back of the one I used was silver, but you can get them completely black.
Using the iPad:
When you turn the iPad on it loads quickly and once it has you can begin setting it up. Setting up the iPad is fairly straight forward so long as you have a wireless Internet connection. You also need to make an account with Apple, which is rather annoying as it did require adding card details, but it is a straight forward form.
Once this is set up you can begin using it. You can also alter any of the settings at any time by clicking on the Settings icon on the main screen. All settings can be changed from there such as the Wi-Fi or restoring the device.
Everything is done through the touchscreen, including typing. I always have cold hands and I have long nails so not all touchscreens respond too well for me, but I had no problems at all with the iPad screen.
Obviously one great thing about the tablet is being able to connect to the Internet anywhere so that means it needs to be quick and simple and on the iPad it is. As soon as I clicked an app that needed the internet it came up with a box to connect and within seconds I had the Internet.
The iPad has a simple design which is easy to get used to. All apps are on the main screen with important/most used apps at the bottom (safari, mail, photos and music). You can simply tap the icon to open up the app you wish to use.
Some apps, the Internet for example, require you to type and for this you use the onscreen keyboard. The keyboard is easy to use as it looks just like an ordinary keyboard and if you use a smartphone with a touchscreen you'll already know what to expect from the keyboard. The keys are all quite big and you can always spin the iPad around so that the keyboard becomes even bigger. I'm not a big fan of typing on a touch screen although if I did it all the time I probably wouldn't think anything of it.
Although typing on the iPad is easy to do, I found I couldn't type too well unless the iPad was a bit further away from me and if you're on a packed train or bus and trying to work this may be a bit difficult.
It has a spell check so it does correct words that you type wrong and it is set to UK English which is nice as I often find computers default to US English.
No matter what you're typing on mistakes are easy to make and the iPad is no different. My main problem was when I accidentally missed putting in a space. When I just missed one I clicked the screen to get the cursor to go back, but it refused to go in the right place; it jumped from the letter after where the space should be to the one before and I found it easier to delete it and retype it.
When I missed two spaces out and had three words joined together it counted it as a spelling mistake and refused to let me place the cursor there to correct it. For typing short notes this isn't too much of an issue, but if I were typing a lot or had a limited amount of time to type what I wanted this would probably get rather annoying.
There are only a few buttons on the iPad. The first is the home/menu button at the bottom of the screen. You can press this button to exit/go back to the main/home screen. Pressing the home button on the main screen takes it a search or you can swipe your finger across the screen which does the same.
The second is the volume button on the side which obviously allows you to control the volume. The third is a small switch above the volume button. This will either mute the sound or lock the screen orientation on landscape or portrait. You can change which it does in the settings. If you don't have IOS 4.3 it will just mute the sound. This little switch is very useful if you often need to mute the sound quickly or prefer the screen locked for certain apps/tasks.
The fourth button is on top right and it is the power button. It is easy to turn the iPad on and off. To turn it off you simply hold the button down and then slide your finger on the screen to power off when the option appears. To just turn the screen on and off you can just tap this button.
You can download apps and there are hundreds to choose from. No matter what you want to do there's an app for it. You can view more details on any app before you download it including reviews. Some do cost, of course, but there are also some free apps available. They are quick to download. You can download the apps through iTunes and get it on your iPad. You can also get any songs or videos you've downloaded on iTunes so there's no need to re-download anything or struggle to get it on to the iPad.
As I said before, there are apps are on the main screen with important/most used apps at the bottom. There are a number of apps on the device including safari, mail, photos, music, maps, reminders and notes.
The Map app is useful if you travel a lot. It loads fast, you can pinch the screen to zoom in and it pin points places you search for. You can get directions, go to street view and so on, which is perfect when on the move or trying to find out where you need to go.
You can write reminders or notes which is helpful, especially if you use the iPad for work or college/university. With the reminders app you can ask it to remind you when to do something in the reminders tab. You can also click when you've completed it so if you have a checklist of things you need to do this app is a great help. Both apps are simple to use and come on the tablet, but there are, no doubt, others available if you want them features but don't like them apps.
The important apps in my opinion are the Internet browser apps as being able to access the Internet quickly and easily no matter where you are is always a plus. The Internet browser that came on the device was Safari which loaded fast and it looks the same as it does on the computer so you don't have to waste any time learning how to use it.
I've always preferred Firefox to Safari though and that was free to download, but it asked me to create account so I ended up using safari instead. However, if you want to use another browser you can as Safari isn't the only option.
There is a Youtube app, but I found Youtube through the browser loaded slightly faster than the Youtube app although both only took seconds to load. The videos also load fast and there was no buffering so you don't have to wait around for ages to watch your favourite videos.
All apps can be downloaded from the App store. As the Internet and other apps all load quickly I was surprised that it took a bit longer to open and change pages on the app store. If you are just looking through a couple of pages it's fine though.
You can simply double click the home button if you want to see a list of the most recent apps. There is no need to close the apps as it does it automatically, which saves a bit of time.
The sound is clear. It's not the best quality but I wouldn't expect it to be. It is more than fine for listening to music for a while or being able to hear the audio on games/apps. I played various songs to test the audio and they all sounded fine.
The volume button is on the right hand side which is handy. It also goes fairly high. Even at less than half the volume I could still hear the music well, although as with anything it does depend on what you are listening to. Some songs/videos are quieter than others and I ended up with the volume on full for a couple. I could hear it well enough, but for anyone who loves their music really loud the iPad probably wouldn't be loud enough on some songs.
The speaker is at bottom of the tablet so you have to make sure not to block it while holding it. I guess no matter where they put it there could be problems. Normally you hold it at the sides and if you switch the iPad around you'd be holding the top and bottom. However, if you are holding the iPad up and want to rest the bottom on something it means the speaker is covered so personally I think they would have done better putting the speaker at the top or on the front of it, or perhaps have more than one.
Charging and battery:
The charger is a USB cable for the computer but it can also be plugged into a wall adapter plug, which is useful as you only need one cable and you can charge the tablet whichever way you prefer. The only thing that annoyed me about the charger was the fact that the cable was really short, but you can always buy a longer cable.
It was fairly quick to charge. The battery was completely dead when I got the iPad, but it wasn't long before it was back at 100%. It also seems to hold charge quite well. I played a number of Youtube videos and looked at different apps and the battery hardly went down at all. Apple state the battery life is up to 10 hours, which I'd say is probably about right.
The price of the iPad varies slightly between about £180 and £240 depending on whether the condition and where you buy it from. You can probably get a better deal on sites such as Ebay, whereas shops tend to charge slightly more.
Overall the iPad is a good tablet. It's easy to use and is well designed. Some people might argue it's good for games, work or on the go, but personally I'd rather use my games consoles for games and my smartphone for any apps or when I'm out and about. If I needed to do work I'd much rather have a laptop or netbook as it would annoy me to have to use a touchscreen all the time - I much prefer typing on a proper keyboard.
As much as I do like the iPad I really have no reason to use a tablet at the moment. I'm glad I was given this and did not have to buy it myself as it would have been a waste of money for me. However, if you are looking for a tablet then the Apple iPad is well worth considering.
Apple have once again done it and taken the electronics industry by storm! With the release of their new tablet computer 'The Apple iPad', they have incorporated slick design with variable functionality!
The iPad is extremely nice to hold and with its very intuitive touch screen, allows the user easy access to all their day-to-day applications that they would use!
For instance, it is very easy to read your newspaper, read a book, play games and watch films easily (with the larger screen size being a godsend to the majority people) and certainly helps people who are visually challenged!
All the current apps written for the iPhone will work for the iPad and there are some specific apps that utilise the power of the iPad such as the excellent version of Dead Space on iPad!
WIFI and the memory capabilities are more than sufficient! You could easily fit a small music collection, films, games and still have some space left! You can always install Spotify to stream via WIFI and store it on your device later!
In terms of quality and support, Apple are really no.1! If you have any problems with getting your iPad to work, just walk into any Apple store and they will sort it out for you! The iPad is well made and will last you for years to come!
Due to the larger screen size as well, gaming on the iPad is made better than if you were playing on the smaller screen of the iPhone! You can have a lot of fun with two mates playing Air Hockey, Plants vs. Zombies and a whole plethora of titles that make great use of the touch screen!
All in all the iPad is extremely nice, however if you can live without the larger screen, the iPhone is the better and cheaper alternative! For £600 you can buy a very decent netbook, laptop or any other decent Windows based device!
At some point or another, everyone I know has considered purchasing an iPad since their launch and the main issue in nearly all cases has been the price. When we decided to buy an iPad plan A was to spend the £425 and get the minimum memory but safe on costs. We bought it on the opening weekend and once we got to the apple store there was only the 64 gb version left. This offered a lot of memory but for a good £150 more. It wasn't ideal at the time but we just had to have it!
Now, 8 months on I'm glad we made the decision to buy a product that ultimately acts as the host to all of our media.
The body of the ipad is beautiful and shiny and beautiful....and beautiful. I love holding it and it feels good in your hand. It does seem to get grubby very easily and we often need to give it a good polish, but this takes nothing away from it being a snazzy piece of kit to have on show around the house.
So the iPad is a good gadget. The fact that you can download apps gives the item multiple uses. Without broadband in the house the iPad acts as a good music player and the speaker is suprisingly impressive.it also can hold all of our photos. But you can buy a music playing digital photo frame for less than £100. The ipad comes into it's own with a broadband connection. Since we have had wifi the iPad has become an essential part of our lives, playing music , checking emails and playing games (sim city is immense!)
The new IOS4 software has really improved things so that you can play music and use other features at the same time.it's a bit annoying that the old physical switch that was the orientation lock is now a mute button. This means you have to access the menu and lock the orientation through software. It only takes abit longer but it still can be a bit annoying.
All in all, we are very pleased with the iPad and glad that we spent the extra money on the extra memory.if you buy the wifi only version then you will need broadband for the iPad to be useful.