Product Type: Apple Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
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Not just a big iPhone!
Apple iPad Wi-Fi + 3G 64 GB
Member Name: Pilotgavw
Apple iPad Wi-Fi + 3G 64 GB
Date: 09/01/11, updated on 09/01/11 (37 review reads)
Advantages: Ultra portable, great battery life, dedicated appstore.
Disadvantages: slightly heavy to hold, does lack cameras.
I first purchased the iPad within the first week of its release after seeing all the hype and build-up to this products début, mainly because I am a self-proclaimed apple fanatic, but also because I am in huge agreement with the apple philosophy, to make stuff people actually want, centred around the user and as aesthetic pleasing as possible.
There has been a large amount of controversy surrounding this product, some saying it is "just a big iPhone" and others saying it lacks the functionality of other tablet devices on the market, but one thing about the iPad is unquestionable, it is a game changer. Before the iPad, there were no really competitive tablet devices available on the mainstream market and the devices that are available since the iPad release have followed apples lead and in my eyes are always playing catchup.
The iPad has a 9.7 inch LCD screen with a great resolution (although not quite as good as Apples "Retina" display found on the iPhone 4 and iPod touch) making video watching and book reading very easy on the eye. The backing is made from aluminium, with a black antenna strip on the top for the 3G models. The front is a simple glass panel with a border of approximately 1 inch so that your thumbs aren't inadvertently touching the screen when gripping it. The only button on the front surface is a home button located centrally bottom of the front panel. The top of the device has the on/off button and on the left side are the volume buttons and a mute switch (which use to be a screen rotation lock before the latest software update).
There is no doubt the iPad looks very good and sleek and the 9.7 inch screen is a perfect size for usability, unlike some competitors which have produced some smaller 7 inch designs, but in my eyes, they are just a little too small for certain tasks that the iPad is perfect for. I will say that the iPad is heavier than I thought it would be and would certainly be easier to hold for long periods if it was a little lighter.
The operating system used on the iPad is part of Apples mobile operating platform, know as iOS. Currently the latest release of this version is iOS 4.2.1, which was a major upgrade for the iPad, bringing with it the ability of multi-tasking which is of huge benefit. This update also brought with it "AirPrint", the ability to print directly from the iPad to any AirPrint enabled printer without the need for cables or installing drivers which is a fantastic addition. Other features include AirPlay and Folders, amongst others.
One of the most appealing features of the iPad is access to the appstore, apples primary method for distribution of software for installation on this device. At the moment there are hundreds of thousands of apps available from the appstore, ranging from office tools, business applications to games and utilities, and this is continually growing, however, unfortunately the apps for the iPad tend to be slightly more expensive than those for the iPhone, although the quality does appear to be better.
As you might expect, you also have direct access to itunes from the iPad, being able to download music, movies, tv shows and podcasts.
The iPad price, thanks to apples regulation, is pretty standard no matter where you buy it from. For the model with 3G capabilities, for the 16GB version it will set you back £541, the 32GB for £612 and the 64GB for £714, slightly higher than they use to be due to the VAT increase.
There are rumours of a new iPad version coming to market in the near future nick named the "iPad 2", as apple tend to release product upgrades on a near clockwork yearly cycle. This is rumoured to contain a forward and backward facing camera for use with apples "Facetime feature", improved screen resolution, lighter weight as well as more. This could be announced as soon as February 2011 so if I were you, I'd hold on before buying until the next release.
Overall, this is a fantastic product which has changed the way in which portable computing is developed for ever. In the future, I wouldn't bother with buying a laptop computer any more, I'd be more than happy with an iPad and a desktop for the home, because with remote desktop applications available, you can access everything on your home computer while your on the move.
I know the iPad does lack the use of a USB connection, which other tablets have and also a DVD drive, but the way in which computing is developing, in my own opinion, cloud computing is the way forward which will hopefully remove the need to carry around memory sticks and DVDs all the time.
I would say this device is a must have and I can't wait to see what apple produce next in the iPad line-up. 5 stars from me.
Summary: A fantastic game changing product
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