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When I initially heard of the Apple iPad I had absolutely no interest in splashing the cash, as whilst a number of friends and work colleagues immediately jumped on the band wagon, I did not feel that it could offer me anything superior to my laptop. Over the following months I listened to all of the positive points that the new piece of technology had to offer and could feel myself getting drawn into its wide range of benefits.
I dithered for a few months as I didn't want to make an impulse purchase of an expensive product that could possibly end up being pushed to the back of a drawer never again to see the light of day. I carried out extensive research although I found the wealth of information extremely mindboggling with the different generations and gigabytes. I finally bit the bullet and decided to purchase an Apple 4th Generation with Retina Display Wi-Fi 64GB in black with this review discussing my experience with using.
I was like a child in a sweetshop when my rather expensive toy was delivered to my home and couldn't wait to remove it from the protective packaging. As some of my research had been carried out in a high street store as well as online, I knew exactly what I would be receiving for my hard earned cash. The iPad or tablet, which weighs 625g is installed with i0S 6 and offers an Apple A6X processor although I have since updated it with i0S 7.
It seemed really strange to be holding such a technically advanced product in my hands, which measured only 24 cm in height, 18½ cm in width and 9½ mm in depth. Its sleek and contemporary appearance is most impressive as is its 2048 x 1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch together with over three million pixels. As the LED (Light Emitting Diode) 24.64 cm back lit glossy wide screen is somewhat smaller than my laptop it initially took a little getting used to. However, the vivid images due to the dual core A6X with quad core graphics processor in addition to the sharp and crisp text more than compensate and as a result, I quickly became accustomed to using the smaller screen.
OPERATING MY IPAD
The on/off button is discretely hidden on the upper rear section of the iPad and it requires a gentle press to fire up my little toy. It took a little practice to be able to effectively swipe the screen with my finger tips in order to operate and I found that my long finger nails were a real nuisance in addition to the fact that I was worried that I would scratch the screen.
As a result, I made a purchase of a screen protector from Poundland for a pack of two, which then enabled me to apply a little more pressure with my finger tips and I did not need to worry with using the tips of my nails. In addition, this prevents smudges and whilst the screen has been treated with a fingerprint resistant oleophobic coating, they continually appeared although were easy to wipe away with a dry cloth.
Whilst I have uploaded a fair amount of additional software, there was quite a lot already loaded when I made my purchase such as App Store, iTunes, Videos, Maps, Calendar, Safari and FaceTime. However, I cannot admit to using all of the software, as despite having owned my iPad for over ten months I still have a lot to learn. The touchpad is highly responsive with only a slight touch being required to open up each of the applications. I love the addition of Siri, which is Apple's voice powered assistant and whilst it was quite a novelty when I first made my purchase, it is something that I now rarely use. However, it is extremely easy to operate in addition to being fast responding by pressing and holding down the circular home button, which is located on the lower central section of the tablet and speaking into the built in microphone. It is this button that needs to be used each time the iPad goes into standby mode.
WATCHING FILMS AND VIDEOS
I never thought I would watch films or television programmes on anything other than a television especially as I like to see them on a large screen. However, I have watched a considerable amount on my iPad when I am sat up in bed where I use headphones in the 3.5mm stereo headphone mini-jack, so not to disturb my husband. The quality of colours and images is quite remarkable, as they are vivid, crisp and clear and far more defined that our LCD 42" television screen, which I believed to be of a fairly high quality. The iPad offers a single speaker, which has neatly been built into the iPad and is located on the lower side of its reverse and despite it being small it provides high quality volume without being tinny, which transforms to stereo when using headphones.
I generally tend to flick back and fore between my laptop and iPad, as despite the iPad offering either a full size or split screen keypad, being a touch typist I find it frustratingly slow to use. However, it is fine on those occasions when I am surfing the internet and carrying out online shopping although a real frustration is that the number keys, which are always situated above the QWERTY keys, have been omitted and the shift key needs to be used. I find this disappointing as it slows me down when typing in passwords to access various websites. I occasionally find using the keyboard a little difficult, as whilst the keys are of a good size, I frequently press the wrong position. Consequently, I use a stylus, which I purchased from Poundland,
The iPad offers two cameras; a 1.2 megapixel SD in the front and a 5 megapixel HD at the rear in addition to 1080 HD video recording. I cannot admit to having used these functions for anything serious and have simply played around with them whilst using various applications that I have downloaded from the internet. However, I am able to advise that the cameras capture clear and crisp images.
The internet connection is fast due to the iPad's specifications of 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz). Unlike laptops, the iPad offers up to ten hours of use due to its built in 42.5 watt hour rechargeable lithium polymer battery. Charging up the iPad is via the lightning to USB cable and USB power adaptor; both of which are included with the tablet with the lightning port being discretely hidden on the rear underside of the tablet. The battery indicator is situated on the top left hand of the screen and I have to admit that I do not know how long it takes to fully charge, as I tend to plug it in overnight. However, I would point out that I allow the battery to almost fully discharge before recharging. Unlike laptops, the iPad does not emit a high level of heat and as a result, it is comfortable to hold for long periods although I frequently use it in its protective cover whilst propped on my knees especially when I'm cuddled up in bed.
GRAPHICS AND PROCESSING SPEED
Graphics and the processing speed of games are superb and have enhanced my crazy addiction to Candy Crush and I cannot speak of any flickering or juddering whilst using. The iPad supports a considerable number of files such as JPG, enhanced audio and offers Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology. Whilst this is not an issue for me, there are no USB ports or memory card slots and had Apple decided to include these, the sleek and contemporary design would have been compromised. However, I am easily able to connect the iPad to my laptop or desk top computer on those occasions when I wish to transfer any data, photographs or applications.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
I am more than satisfied with my iPad and my only wish is that I had made a purchase much sooner rather than dithering for so many months although I had to be certain that I would be obtaining value for money. I have checked online for the best price and at the time of writing, Amazon are offering this model for £530, which includes postage and packing. The iPad comes with 90 day telephone technical support together with a one year warranty. As with the majority of highly technical products these days, the iPad is not accompanied by a full instruction manual and this needs to be obtained online.
Due to the reasons discussed above, I can award nothing less than five stars together with a high recommendation.
I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.