iPad Impressions from People Who've Actually Used It

Steve Jobs with iPad on Chair

Like many things Apple, the iPad launch has galvanized those who believe it's the "next big thing" from those who believe it's the "latest stink" -- but what about those who, you know, have actually spent time using the thing, and now had a chance to ponder it a bit?

Sure, some are no doubt Apple enthusiasts easily impressed, while others are jaded journalists almost impossible to impress. For a mix of both, follow on after the break.

Daring Fireball has two long posts up about the iPad, and is decided pro. John Gruber also wins the cleverest analogy award hands-down, comparing the Mac to manual and the iPad to automatic transmissions.

Car enthusiasts (and genuine experts like race car drivers) still drive cars with manual transmissions. They offer more control; they’re more efficient. But the vast majority of cars sold today are automatics. So too it’ll be with computers. Eventually, the vast majority will be like the iPad in terms of the degree to which the underlying computer is abstracted away. Manual computers, like the Mac and Windows PCs, will slowly shift from the standard to the niche, something of interest only to experts and enthusiasts and developers.

British actor and tech enthusiast Steven Fry also spent time with the iPad and came away positively giddy because of its simplicity and Apple's perfectionist tendencies towards product development. He also called the iPhone a "100,000 volt taser shot up the jacksie" (whatever that is) to the Nokia, Samsung, Palm, and Blackberrys of the world, so we're predisposed to heart him:

There are many issues you could have with the iPad. No multitasking, still no Flash. No camera, no GPS. They all fall away the minute you use it. I cannot emphasise enough this point: “Hold your judgment until you’ve spent five minutes with it”. No YouTube film, no promotional video, no keynote address, no list of features can even hint at the extraordinary feeling you get from actually using and interacting with one of these magical objects. You know how everyone who has ever done Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? always says, “It’s not the same when you’re actually here. So different from when you’re sitting at home watching.”? You know how often you’ve heard that? Well, you’ll hear the same from anyone who’s handled an iPad. The moment you experience it in your hands you know this is class. This is a different order of experience. The speed, the responsiveness, the smooth glide of it, the richness and detail of the display, the heft in your hand, the rightness of the actions and gestures that you employ, untutored and instinctively, it’s not just a scaled up iPhone or a scaled-down multitouch enhanced laptop – it is a whole new kind of device. And it will change so much. Newspapers, magazines, literature, academic text books, brochures, fliers and pamphlets are going to be transformed (poor Kindle). Specific dedicated apps and enhancements will amaze us.

Engadget editor-in-chief, Josh Topolsky, however, thinks Apple hasn't told a compelling, must-buy story for the iPad (yet?):

There's no question that much of what the iPhone and iPod touch do translates nicely here, and there's no question that some of the tweaks made to native iPad apps are impressive, but nothing I saw made me sit up and think, "Wow, I need this." It's telling that the most intriguing user experiences shown off today were the iPad versions of the iWork suite. iWork? If Steve Jobs hoped to answer the question about why we need this third device, or how it's better than a netbook, he didn't make a compelling case. Where is video chat? Where is multitasking (honestly, only one app at a time for a device of this size and speed)? Why is the lock screen so embarrassingly empty? Why are there no active widgets to fill that huge homescreen space? Where is the expansion of the multitouch user experience? And seriously, where are the media partnerships?

iLounge's Jeremy Horowitz thinks many of us missed the "Minority Report" moment:

Apple didn’t bring flashy demos. It dropped the ball on a few arguably trivial parts of the UI and didn’t bring any really showy software to the event; rather, it focused almost entirely on updates to old apps. The biggest hint of what the iPad will enable was a two-second reference in the N.O.V.A. demo to opening airlocks by putting your fingers on the screen and turning the door handle. It was shown, and if you knew what it was—basically, Metroid Prime using your fingers rather than a Wii controller—you realized what this meant for games, and for other apps on the iPad. This is just not possible on the little iPhone screen unless you have baby fingers.

Mobile analyst Michael Gartenberg, writing for SlashGear, thinks the iPad is neither an iPod touch nor a MacBook:

The form factor is excellent. It’s not too light to feel fragile and, at 1.5 lbs, it’s also not something that’s going to tire you holding it long term. The screen is amazing with a full XGA resolution. I could easily imagine reading for hours on end on this screen and far prefer this idea to e-ink. For one, there’s no annoying refresh that happens with every page turn and, as a backlit display, it’s perfect for reading in dark places, like airplane seats or in bed without disturbing anyone else. The performance of Apple’s silicon is wicked fast. I was pretty skeptical about running existing apps in a pixel-doubled full screen mode. Action games, I figured, would be pretty much out of the question and Apple came fully prepared to answer that question. Existing games ran ridiculously fast and titles optimized for the device make this the ultimate mobile game device. Personally, I’d buy it just for gaming alone.

So it's sounding like, if some aren't convinced about the utility or place of an iPad in the greater computing ecosystem, most who've actually used the hardware have come away impressed. Again, these aren't mainstream opinions -- strictly inside baseball here -- so it will be interested to see how people take to it when they can start walking into their local Apple store and trying it out.

When that happens, will the iPod touch have to duke it out for buyer attention?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPad Impressions from People Who've Actually Used It


My sense is that we're at the same place that we are with the iPod when it was launched. Sure, it was a fabulous device out of the gate - more memory than others provided and with a logical menu set and off the charts UI. But at the time it still didn't have iTunes. Once iTunes arrived folks could convert their CD's and manage their library. Then came the store and on and on and on.
I have no doubts that the iPad is an amazing piece of engineering and that it has vast potential. Sadly, we're at a point where we have to wait for Apple to make deals, develop more software, offer more services to the publishers and integrate this device into their ecosystem of products and services. I hoped for much more but will wait and see what they could come up with as time marches on and we get closer to the official launch.

Absolutely no consistent market for this.
What a useless product. Things which really revolutionised the Iphone were GPS and having a camera.
I would much rather have my netbook laptop, which would cost less and do SO much more than an awful over large Iphone.
I have the IPhone, I love it too! I love technology and I'm usually a fan of Apple, but this?
It will sell, all those Technophiles will buy it. But then who? Where there is a real need for a desktop computer or laptop in the family home, this "I-Pad" has no place whatsoever.
It plays a few badly made games slightly better. Of course they're great for the Iphone but its a tiny portable mobile phone with almost MORE functions than its new, larger and more expensive friend.
I can't believe apple are releasing it like this. With GPS, a different look for the apps/desktop, camera and wifi/3g abilities it would revolutionise the world.
But basically an Iphone/Ebook reader will do nothing for anyone and is certainly not a "must have" for anyone.

"What a useless product. Things which really revolutionised the Iphone were GPS and having a camera."
And the interface and the web browser. And that you could carry it in your pocket so that it was always available.
But other form factors have all that stuff in the same size and ease of availability as the iPad.

Uselss. I can't believe you hve to sync it, it Doesnt replace anything and is just another device that doesn't do anything new. I'm sorry, my netbook that costs $350 has more power in everyway. Cool the pages turn perfectly in iBook...big deal. It's a pos. Seriously no multitasking. Idiots.

Here's the one quirk nobody has discussed and/or thought about. Interacting with the device when it's in the keyboard dock. Will there be an ability for the bluetooth mouse to be used with it? I doubt it. Therefore, while in the dock, you would be constantly reaching over your keyboard to manipulate the screen. That seems like an awkward interaction, and therefore, not a very good netbook replacement.

I absolutely forbid you to turn over the medical field to Steve Jobs. I will hunt you down.

Basically if I'm carrying something this large I want a full OS. I then thought this would be cool as a pocket size phone with a camera and GPS, yeah I already have it.


... while in the dock, you would be constantly reaching over your keyboard to manipulate the screen.

So, whose fault is that? Not Apple's. If people insist on physical keyboards, let 'em suffer if they still don't get it.

My guess is Jobs wouldn't mind any of these comments, as he believes iPad is targeted at JoeBagOfDoughnuts, and not tech-heads who post on blogs.
It's not meant for me, but for my wife, my daughter, my mother, my father. All of them will have one within two years-- guaranteed-- and my Mom has never used a computer.
I'm certainly no Mac fanboy-- in fact, I pretty much hate Apple and use PC's exclusively. But, this device is a huge game-changer. Apple has fired the warning shot regarding next gen OS'es right across MS's bough-- and onto the deck of Google. Mark yesterday on your calendar. This event marks the struggle for the new ground..and the iPad OS vs Android is the DMZ of the upcoming war.
My take is Apple will take the lead, but as always, they will muff it up with their proprietary ways, and just like MS did, Google will end up with the marketshare-- years from now with advanced Android devices.

At waterswest. Suppose instead of reaching over the keyboard. a similar thing to air mouse pro could be used utilizing an iPhone or iPod touch as a touchpad.
(infact scrap that. With no multitasking it couldn't be possible. Except probably through jailbreaking)

Are you people seriously doubting the benefits of a device like the ipad. Steve Jobs has proven that he is light years ahead of the competition.
This device WILL change the way many navigate the web. And will surely flop sales, or be a replacement to, Netbooks, Kindles, psp's, and even the ipod touch.
I am not an acclaimed "Apple Fanboy", but I see great potential in this Device.

John Gruber said what I've been saying about Apple's products for a long time now... they are "computers" for people too stupid to own a computer. If you want something that is locked down as far as the configuration of the hardware, if you want something that only works with the software from the manufacturer, and if you don't know what an ip address looks like, then by all means, buy a Mac!! But don't pretend that you own a computer...

I think this is a really exciting device. There are definitely things I think are missing, but that's not going to stop me. But one nagging issue for me is: how can I use this for school? I would LOVE to consolidate my textbooks and take an iPad to class. However, iBooks needs to have a way to take notes, bookmark pages, whatever. Maybe there'll be an iPad app for that. Hm. Now that I think about it, I can really see an awesome note-taking app coming out. Can't wait to get my hands on one!

I totally agree with The Reptile, I think that the uPas is going to be okay at first and then we are going to see a software update that makes it amazing. It's the same with the iPhone before the App Store came out.

I basically agree with Chipp. I also though the automatic/manual analogy was quite powerful...while it may not have everything that I need (to use it as a work machine) there are a ton of people out there who only want browsing, email and games, and until now have just been buying PC's, laptops or netbooks to fill this need. I think that for may people (though probably not anyone reading this comment) owning a PC or netbook is like buying a Ferrari for the sole purpose of driving to the shops to buy milk; yes it has a lot of potential, but 90% of the time its totally under-utilized...I say wait and see with this one.

Ipad= douchebag
talk to me when version 2 or three comes out. Product has potential but they missed the boat with this version. No multitasking????? Tons of unused real estate? No video chat???????

To shollomon
Just a question my friend? did you get the iphone when it came out? i believe thats a no. i could say this much, the iPad is wonderful, the iPhone is amazing, and you know the people that got the iphone could do a lot of things that with other phone you couldn't and later we time we wanted more and more, and apple gave to us with TIME, every new platform device new to envelop and get better with time and thats whats gonna happen eventually to the iPad, and just to make sure, apple is holding something big, because every time i think about the iPad i feel like something is missing, it has a mic and they didn't show why? Uhhhh? what do you think and another thing is that The iPhone OS 4.0 is coming soon! so i could tell you that the iPad is going to be fully rich with time, and the iPhone OS 4.0 will help that. if you wanted to take pictures, why don't you get a camara? you need a GPS? get one or why you complain for everything the iPad can offer to us users, so I could tell you this my friend, get a kindle or kindle DX and make it play a video, play games or even music, you're getting a iTunes like app for the iPad (that is is gorgeous) in the way the iPad does and then we talk, or even read books in full color! the iPad is aiming for the ebook's market remember that! Do you read Books? I read them so i'm gonna get one! have a nice day and please take your time next time before you leave a comment! No Offense

Like Horowitz, I too saw this "Minority Report" moment...and I had grandiose dreams of Avatar-like moments with tablets that I could pick up and manipulate information with a few fingers.

Ok, I officially spit my coffee.
Here all this time I thought iPad was targeted at Ma and Pa Polyester.
@FU&ur iTard: People too stupid to own computers is about right, and covers a lot of ground.
But will you be able to own this thing without owning a computer? That is just about impossible with an iPhone or Touch. Can you imagine Joe Sixpack trying up put iPhone OS4.0 on this thing? If OTA updates don't materialize this thing will be a disaster when the "too dumb" crowd arrives.
And I predict a lot of the Too Dumb to Pound Sand types will buy this thing. I think it will sell well into that sector even if the geeks are retching.

Almost everyone will criticize a product if it's not what they envisioned it to be in the first place. I'm sure the majority of the people that don't like it now, will once it's released. I have a feeling 4.0 will be a huge update for it...and Apple is trying to make us think that "That's It" for now.

@FU&ur iTard
Typical Android/Linux user. Android Central boards are flooded with narrow sighted retards like this.

I view this more as a high end Kindle than anything else. But Apple will also have a hard time penetrating the academic market if they make the same mistake that Amazon made -- not including the page numbers in the ebooks that correspond to the pages in the paper texts. For those of us who do research, we'd certainly benefit from a nice ebook reader, but they only work if we don't have to go back and double check our references in a hardcopy of a book. I have no reason to buy one of these (or a Kindle) or to assign an ebook to students until someone figures out that the academic market requires page numbers.

There is a large viable market for this, that no one is mentioning. I knew it as soon as I saw it. It is perfect for wives/moms. My wife uses a MacBook pro on our living room end table to browse the web and play some games. That is all she does. The iPad is perfect for her. Instantly turns on and browses the web. Perfect. Plus, she could carry it into the kitchen easily for recipes. She can show off pictures of our baby to friends and family. Plus, we can use it as a portable tv orounf the house with the slingplayer app. I haven't even mentioned what a great baby monitor it makes when we have our ip camera turned on.
To me, it really just needs flash and we would be happy with it.

Oh please, it's an iPod touch with a larger screen. It really doesn't merit this much discussion!

All of you who are calling this a useless device will be proven so wrong. As someone mentioned above, this will be used in the medical field and a million other areas of the market. This thing will provide all the necessary functions that 90% of the average person needs on a daily basis.
With this I want a car maintenance manual and an app to read out trouble codes on my car. Backpacking I'll use this instead of paper maps. Only reason I still use paper maps instead of my iPhone or garmin exclusively is do to screen size. This solves it with a slick multitouch experience in a thin form factor with lots of power and at a great price. Stop whining.

I for one will be getting this device. I am confident that once it's in my hands I'll love it - whenever there is something new there is always doubts - I'll admit when the iPhone first came out I was a naysayer. It took me untill the release of the 3gs to try it out. Once I tried it I loved it. I will not wait till the 3rd generation comes out before I pickup my iPad.

I've read so many people say there's no gps. Yes there is, check apples website. One person on another blog said "how could they leave out a headphone Jack" really? There most certainly is a headphone Jack. Once again, check apples website.
Anyways. I think that if/when apple holds a preview for 4.0(march maybe like last year) that 4.0 will suddenly add a lot of the features like multitasking, notifications, etc that the ipad needs and that the new stuff in the ipad will also translate into the iPhone. The only reason they didn't show multitasking and stuff yesterday was so that they didn't give it all away.
I could be wrong and apple could have spent so much time focusing on the ipad that 4.0 will be nothing special and nothin new, but I do hope.

It's a pretty cool piece of hardware that I think many will buy. It's not meant to be a computer replacement, why would apple want to do that. Apple wants you to feel like you need each product it sells, computer to do your main work, iPad to sit around with (lounge), iPhone or iPod for on the go. Don't be scared to spend them bucks!!

I aint gunna buy the iPad..
But i wanna say this, when the first iphone came out it had like nothing, but over the few years it came to be a big thing. Same thing for the iPad, it has nothing but over the next 3 years im sure its going to be a big thing.
I am sure there more to the iPad that they didn't tell us until the meet in March for the iphone/ipod and whatever there gunna release to us. If they release everything today just for the iPad they destroy everything bout the iphone (well not really :) ) but lets see what happens in March for the iPhone.
I know for a thing, I own a Iphone 3G, I am happy with it, but when the Iphone 3GS came out I was like what more space, a compass and video, big deal, i aint going to waste my money on that just for a handful of things.. If there's going to be a new Iphone Version coming out this year it better have better and new things to it that would surprise everyone. Apple came out with the iPhone which blew everyone's eyes cause it was something that wasn't out there yet, Just by adding a few more programs to the current version of the iPhone and give it a new name and charge us more just to buy it, i don't think so. I wont spend money on apple for something I already have until they come out with something new and amazing to the iphone...
Anyways I don't see a point on having a iPad in a home, pretty much everyone has a laptop today period, either a PC or a Mac. So whats the need for a iPad in a home. Maybe for a company yes, I can see the use in that field but not a household item.
(sorry, i just write what comes to mind and just keep speaking)

I'm honestly considering buying one, eventually. I don't necessarily need it but at $499, it's hard to pass up. I don't need to do anything hardcore on it. I don't want flash, and multitasking will come. iPhone 4.0 will come as well and we will see new features come to it that will directly influence the iPad. Lock Screen widgets and multitasking will be included in 4.0 so look for it in iPad 1.x or 2.0. I'll probably wait for iPad 2 before I buy for the front facing camera. Apple loves to hold back to be able to sell for later updates.
You're definitely right about non-techies loving this device. A buddy of mine who knows nothing about technology is drooling for one. So there is a market for it, but I think more people will jump on board the next product update like the iPhone.

Really? Buy another iPhone rather than buy an iPad? If you hate it so much, why do you care? I wish I was as passionate about anything as much as you are about hating on a device that previously didn't exist. I think I'm going to get on a Toyota FJ blog and tell all of them how useless their off-road vehicles are in a concrete world. (FYI: I'd like to own am FJ)

Look, they clearly have a market I do not understand. The iPod touch, for example. Before, I could never imagine buying an iPod touch (I've owned the latest iPhone's since Day 2). However, after I got the 3GS, I decided to keep my 2G phone to use as an iPod Touch + camera. Right away I thought, Hey -- this is cooler than I expected. A great device and no monthly fee! I use it as a backup browser or iPod or gaming device. I can guarantee, though, I wouldn't buy one if I didn't effectively get one for free.
But people have bought iPod Touches. Lots of people. I can imagine Apple believing that all the iPod touch people really want something bigger -- they want a large iPod Touch. Maybe that's true. But the kids I've seen who have iPod touches (because their parents won't buy them iPhones), carry them around in their pockets all the time. And then I think, well, maybe it would be good for my 69-yr-old mother, who only uses a desktop currently. And maybe it would, if I could convince her to spend $500 on a portable device. But Grandmas? That's the market?
I'm not convinced. Maybe everything about my world will change once I see it, but even the room seemed muted during the Jobs announcement (which I streamed live on my MB Pro, btw -- not possible on an iPad). The biggest excitement came when they found out that the lowest-end version none of them will ever dare own is $499.
As soon as the iPhone was announced, I couldn't wait to get it. This...I keep trying to imagine scenarios where I'd want it without streaming capabilities, apps that Apple doesn't approve, etc. I haven't figured it yet.

Oh and Tom, products are made that not everyone needs. For example...Tampons. Very useful product. No one Needs an iPad. No one needed an iPod or iPhone either, guess the market proved Steve right. Let the market decide.

I'm definitely buying one. I'm seeing something incredible here. I guarentee this iPad will be a huge success. Any takers? It's perfect for non advanced computer users to just use their computer to browse the Internet, check email, and facebook and read. Obviously apple isn't going to include EVERYTHING at launch such as HDMI, USB, webcam etc.. Because that would be a stupid business decision. It's not meant for taking over a computer like most people on here think. It's a revolution and it will be a matter of time before everyone has their hands on one

I love it, I'm buying 3, one for the wife to play games on, one for my dad for email and the web and one for me to doo all the things I do on my Iphone but would like a larger screen to do.
I know there will be updates and next generations come along, but I can see GREAT potential for this first offering.
I like it, I really like it
Anybody want to buy a PUMPED UP Dell mini 9 netbook?

I believe that if this thing has a physical keyboard (which it can, assuming you don't want to use the onscreen one) and it is fully capable of creating pages and/or word documents with graphs, tables, pictures etc., that it could potentially replace a netbook or even a laptop. It obviously does email beautifully, photos beautifully, pages, numbers and keynote beautifully, kindle reader better than the kindles, and of course web browsing perfectly. Games are also apparently very good. People complain about flash, but the things I and most other people use most is the text and photos in webpages. Any youtube links can be viewed in the dedicated program at 100% performance, not cheap slow and choppy performance by netbooks and even some laptops.
Multitasking? It can probably open and switch between apps faster than any netbook can, and you maximize battery life and performance of the one thing you are doing at once.
As for onscreen widgets etc... It is possible that they were hiding any possible allusions to iphone OS 4.0, which very well may have widgets and whatnot. If not, then I don't have much to complain about. Its not like you'd be looking at this thing's lockscreen anyways. You take it out, use it, and put it away, its not like a cellphone.
In all, this is a fantastic device that will blow people away the minute they touch it. Criticize the specs all you want, but thats what they did to the iphone, and we ALL know how wrong they were to call it icrap.

@Chrisr - Multitasking and unused real estate can be addressed with software/OS upgrades, they need not wait for a new hardware version. And that may be coming as soon as June-ish with iPhone OS 4.0.

For the record, I have been a PC only user since '95 and a Palm user since they introduced the m100 and have since had 5 phones based around Palm software. I WISH I had the drive/time/opportunity to become familiar with Linux!! Do you know any company/organization running a Mac Server? Probably not...
Also for the record, I was programming on Apples in Basic when I was 6 or 7 back in '82 or so and used an Apple IIGS from '84 to '94. (first personal computer to support a full color monitor and have an optional 3.5" drive instead of only a 5.25" Floppy!!)
The reality is that I can go to 7/11 and buy accessories for my PC, whereas I went with a friend to two different Apple stores while he tried to buy a card to support dual displays and the "Geniuses" asked, "Why would you want to do that?" and said they didn't have cards to do it. Fry's didn't carry one either... Ridiculous!!

Thank god Apple has the guts and vision to challenge our the boring, techno-centric, established model of IT. The iPad defines is a device for a forgotten market - the one that struggles with what us IT boffins and enthusiasts think is cool; thats why a lot of critics will just miss the point of this device entirely. Dont worry - they will catch up.
Thank you Apple

The car analogy may work in the US, because you're all lazy and can't work out how to use manual transmissions, and you don't care about the environment, as autos are more polluting. In the UK most people drive Manual, there is less to go wrong, more efficient, and we able to learn how to use the clutch.
Unfortunately I'm a developer, and belong to the 'niche' market that will probably not buy one of these useless, massive iPhones, just like I haven't bought an iPhone sized iPhone.
However, I can't wait for such a good use of a multitouch interface to be designed into something that's actually useful.

Questioning mind, search on web.... Netbook Ohh leave it, who will wait for a minute to boot it up .... iPad yeah, in the browser in seconds, Nirvana!

The target market - teenagers!!! As soon as this apple toy released you will see tonnes of stupid teenagers will run back and forth around their schools, in buses and so no ... a smart market politic! There are more teenagers in the world then businessmen! By the way Microsoft is going to release their "tablet courier" a way smarter organizer device. But you can't call from their brick.

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What good is a camera or video chat if the person on the other end doesn't have anything? And what's with the multitasking? When the apps open and close fast as hell. And what's with the tea bag that don't have a iPhone making comments about lazy Americans because we don't use manual shift cars doing on tipb? Also about the comment of non-tech people? There's more of them then there are of us? And some of us like things like this. So please don't speak for US.

"Backpacking I’ll use this instead of paper maps. Only reason I still use paper maps instead of my iPhone or garmin exclusively is do to screen size. This solves it with a slick multitouch experience in a thin form factor with lots of power and at a great price. Stop whining."
Yes, but in your backpack you'll still carry your iPhone and/or Garmin because of missing features such as GPS, 3G access...
That's something with Apple stuff: the main device is always slim and nice, but it often ends up surrounded with a plethora of devices providing the missing features, CD-ROM, extra hard-disk, interface converters, etc... iPhone is an exception.
As for John Gruber's automatic/manual shift cars analogy: here in Europe the vast majority of people drive manual cars and love it, and they never would change for automatic ones. Not interested...
I think iPad can be nice, but not this version. As in iPhone's case: better waiting for a new release.

@Eric: actually, the iPad has 3G access and a GPS. Actually look at the device before you make your point.

If you want to go backpacking, you definitely shouldn't rely on your iPhone or iPad because of the short battery life. Search and Rescue already has their hands full with finding hunters and hikers who've depleted the batteries on their GPS device (which is rather hard to do). So yeah, I would not mind toying around with/owning a 2nd or 3rd gen iPad but I wouldn't rely on one except in the city.

I think the point here is not the device. The real game changer is the OS. Interacting with the device is more intuitive. No longer do I need a clunky mouse or keyboard. Scrollbars no more. Apple has shown they can transition the OS from a small mobile device to a larger handheld device. Next you will interact with other devices in the same manner. The iPad has a clean uncluttered look, which makes it feel different than other devices of the same size and form factor. Alot of people only care about email and Internet coonectivity, for which this device is perfect for. Don't forget this is just the first version. More good things to come. I've developed software for 32 years, mostly Windows based. I have always wanted an OS from MS that had gesturing etc. Once again Steve Jobs has put one over on Bill Gates.

I think it looks awesome and I somewhat want to buy one but I have the 3GS and I really don't see the need. I run a huge company for the most part driectly from my iPhone. I just think that it would be like this, I LOVE the email on my iPhone and I know I would continue using my iPhone to send out most of my emails so I wouldn't have to pull this thing out. I do like it and I would love to have it for the couch to surf the web with the bigger screen. I'll probably end up with one but not right off.

There are a lot of features Apple deliberately excluded, like reading pdfs as far as I can tell, and no USB connection. These mean I will not be buying one. Nor will I be buying a kindle since Amazon think they have the right to delete stuff from it without my consent.
Now a solar powered version with the features Apple deliberately excluded, according to what I read, would be a more attractive proposition.

I'm amazed of the strong polarization this device has brought. Either it is LOVED or HATED. Only things that have an attraction quality offer this kind of reaction. So even if you're one of the haters, ask yourself why and, maybe you'll realize that, in a way, you'd like to have it for whatever unconcious reason.
Ok, that was my first point.
The Second one is, for me, an obvious one: Whhy would Apple want to stop to sell iPhones and Macs? For no reason at all, I can tell you, I have the feeling that most of the complaints come form people who whished to REPLACE one of their currently owned devices by the iPad. Well, if you're the kind of user who has both, Apple is giving you a THIRD one, not a replacement for any. So, it makes sense that your Mac has a purpose (and it is not a phone), your iPhone has a purpose (and it is not a Mac) and the iPad has a purpose (wich is not being a Mac nor a phone). It is just a matter of perspective that you put the purpose on practize, just like when you tried a computer for the very fist time (In the end, it just did things you already acomplished before, like writing, listentng to music, waching video or getting information on magazines and newspapers) but in more convenient way.
This is the same. Only that you've made a habit out of it using your Mac or your iPhone for those purposes.
So, yes, it is indeed atracive because it defeats you to try it out and re-think if your so called habit has space for a new realization.
So... wanna call? Best done with a phone. Wanna do some serious photoshop? Best done on a Mac. Wanna browse your pal's facebook page? Best done on the iPad.
What is concerning and upsetting so much people is that yes, they did it again: You will buy it, because they're right.

I have heard a few people compare this launch to that of the ipod in that they supposedly are both devices that no one knew that they needed until they got one. But I think the difference lies in the fact that Apple already has products that can produce the same thing as the iPad. The iPad is significantly less useful than my iphone 3gs/macbook pro 13 inch combo. I'm not sure the device succeeds in doing much of anything better than my small lightweight macbook pro. And in terms of wireless mobile computing, the iPad doesn't seem to offer anything beyond a bigger screen than my iphone does.
I am an apple fanboy and usually buy whatever Jobs tells me to but not this time. Maybe if the 13 inch macbook pro wasn't so great....but it is, so I won't.

Ok, the hardware is nice, the GUI is nice, lots of iPhone software- but you have to develop on a MAC and the development environment is so far not the greatest I've seen and you have to get your app vetted by Apple? Not my idea of fostering developers. I was really excited about developing for this device until I went to the Apple site and clicked on their SDK link.

I think most people are missing the point. It sounds like the Hardware is excellent, but some bad choices on software. AFAIK, this is the first OLED display out there. OLED will be the future. Brighter, sharper, lower power.
Now that computers are fast, UI is what it is all about. I'm sure that the iPad has excellent UI in many ways.
The big mistake was basing it off of the iPod software, instead of OSX. We can hope that a more full-featured OS will be in the future for this hardware.
I see no reason why we should no be able to have both a full featured OS, and an iPod-like simple UI for they typical user. OSX did a great job of demonstrating how to do this with its UN*X-base OS core.

The iPhone can do all that the iPad can do and more. Plus it can be carried in the pocket.
So why will someone buy an iPad that is bulky to carry in comparison to an iPhone and lacks a lot of features that any notebook has?

@imcool: you're right, mea culpa. I've checked my readings: there indeed is a version that has 3G and this version also has "assisted" GPS... It's ok for backpacking then :-)
Still, I'm multitasking and I'd not buy such a device if it doesn't, nowadays. But there's is a market, indeed.

I showed a CNet First Look at the iPad video to my 9yr old daughter and she wants the top of the line 64GB Wi-Fi and 3G version. What she'll evenually get is the 32GB Wi-Fi and 3G version... to be shared with her younger sibling :-)

I think this device is a convulted mess, that will be all the rave for a while then die out in a laughable shoo-fest. Much like Twitter.

I just want to know if it will have an optional arm-band case so I can wear it while running! LOL!
But seriously, this thing will sell like hotcakes. I'd buy one if I had the $$ and I don't own any apple products. Oh wait, I have a 1st gen Nano. And I totally disagree with posters that say this is for dumb people. I've spent 30 years developing software (and i'm under 40) and wouldn't exactly consider myself a techno-neophyte. The iPad is a bit of a niche now, but we don't know 1/2 of what it can do once creative developers start pumping out apps for it. I'm not sure this is going to be as revolutionary as the iPod, but I can totally see an iPad-like device becoming a standard household item. It would be great to be able to go crash on the couch and grab an iPad off the coffee table and do some reading. Also, I think we will see some great apps for artists. Plus it may have good uses for field work (data entry at job sites, etc.). I'm sure we will see some cool CAD programs as well. There are just some undeniable benefits to the screen size that you will never get with an iPhone.
I commend Jobs and the Apple engineers for their forward-thinking.

So u need a home computer or a laptop to sync the ipad? I know it's not a stand alone device bit it would be nice if it could do more by itself. It would be nice if it had a desktop version of iTunes on it as I would like to be able to sync my iPhone with the ipad
in the future I think it would be awesome if the ipad could dock into a base computer that would allow it to function as a complete computer ( like a dock that would boost it's abilities) then be removed and taken wherever you go even if it had limitations away from the dock comp. It would be cool if they could make the iPhone os and the osx work together through a transition device like the ipad.... I'm not a techie I just think it would be cool

@CaveMole "AFAIK, this is the first OLED display out there."
What? What! You can't think of another product with an OLED screen? Perhaps produced by Microsoft? The Zune HD!
Nothing revolutionary about the iPad that I haven't been able to do for years with my tablet pc.

As an iPhone owner, I would state this:
"This pathetic device is a large iPod. I cannot understand what all the amazement is about. I think if Steve Jobs put an apple logo on turd, these sheep would buy it. C'mon people, open your eyes. This device is useless!"

As an original iPhone owner I would say this:
"If you aren't going to buy one then don't buy one. What kind of car do you have? I can give you 10 reasons why you don't need that particular model. And you could give me 10 reasons why you do. Every company tells you what you need; so in the end we're all, according to your logic, a bunch of boobs for purchasing anything."

did you even watch the keynote. You can open PDF's and Jobs said to one of the writers there that you can save in word doc or PDF format from iWork. My 3gs reduced my laptop use by 70%. this thing will polish the rest off. Il only use my laptop as a base station for storing my bulk data on external backup dives. He'll, once features with the cloud advance I'll just sync my data back home without a second thought.

I wouldn't rely solely on this device for navigation in the wilderness. I leArned well along time ago to always have a backup plan. I have a garmin, map and compass and a 3gs. Soon an ipad, navigation and backcountry is something I love. This will just be another tool.

Personally, I find the statements alleging that the iPad is perfect for mothers and "wives" to be incredibly insulting and sexist. Do no "wives" or moms work outside the home, thus necessitating an understanding of how real computers work? Are women generally too stupid to handle smartphones? Do we all just sit around the house all day, and an oversized iTouch will alleviate us feom our ennui?

I think those who made the statements also mentioned that the ipad would be useful for the common person. I don't think they meant any harm towards women. More so just making a point for the common. There are plenty of women that know more about technology than I do and I'm not afraid to admit it. However there are more males in computer science classes at your nearest university. I think whoever said it meant it as a majority statement, and that's not sexist but indictitive of the volumes of males on sites like these.

My wife watched the Keynote the other night on the web while I was playing it. She is normally nit interested in tech stuff unless it's a new graphing calculator:) however after about 10 minutes she was saying she wanted one. She has a 3G. When I got my first gen she used to complain about the touch interface, then she played a few games, got comfortable with the keyboard and Now you coukdnt pry her 3g away.
This device will be very succesful because it will allow people to grab and surf with no wait time, no boot up, and a very slick simple design. No hing, keyboard etc. And it's the first device I have seen that I can actually see buying future books to read on. The kindle and other e-ink readers are a joke. This is what I was waiting for. Now ebooks are practical. Thanks Steve
I can see this being used to take orders in restaurants and send it back directly to the kitchen wirelessly, nurses could use it to record patient info which can go right into a records database, review records, etc. Automotive you can have an interactive maintenance guide,

Other than Pandora, what do you need multitasking for?? You can still listen to music through iTunes which for me I enjoy more. So if you're working on a spreadsheet or surfing the web, you can still listen to music, just the music that is yours. And you still need to switch between apps to 'multitask'. The iPad is fast enough to do that seamlessly. And the ipad will have the ability to multitask (run pandora in the background) after the release of 4.0.

Orion, your applications of the iPad are a joke. You clearly know nothing about the medical industry, and never will - record taking and inter-system compatibility is an extremely complex problem still a long ways away from being solved, and no one is going to want to integrate a consumer-level Kindle++ into a part of that information chain. Restaurants already have wireless order-taking systems available that can much more easily be integrated into an existing POS system at a fraction of the cost of an iPad, and still, most don't do it because it's overkill. And really, what you know about what mechanics want and need couldn't fill a thimble halfway. They want and need basic computers which are enough to sit there and give access to their subscription-based content, which is expensive enough - they don't want to carry a fragile little tablet around, especially when portability and interface are in no way a concern for them. This is strictly a consumer device which is intended to be a funnel for more Apple-based e-store content and basic browsing - listing a group of niche roles which aren't impossible both due to design and purpose was pretty painful to read.

@Blake: you said "So if you’re working on a spreadsheet or surfing the web, you can still listen to music...".
How about "working on a spreadsheet AND surfing the web"?...
or surfing the web while taking notes, or comparing your notes to a local document. So many examples...
Hopefully you can at least have several web browser windows/tabs open at the same time, or can't you?
I guess you can at least have the web browser and a pop3/imap mail program running at the same time (not everybody use webmail). And I hope you can run an external document viewer, in case you received an email with an attachment...
No, multitasking is not a gadget, otoh the iPad is.

When reading the article I could not help reacting on the statement that most people drive automatic cars today. That statement might be true in the US but in most parts of the world, including Europe, it is plain false!! Most people drive manual cars and that percentage is increasing. So that was wrong and most of the rest of the article is also wrong. Useless product with no market potential is my verdict.

What that analogy fails to realise is that there is still a hefty percentage of manual cars sold in the UK and Europe. My whole family drives manual cars. Just becuase the US is to lazy to change gears does not mean the rest of the world is. The same is true for the i-pad. Its a limp middle ground, a giant iphone for people who are more interested by an apple logo than an actual useful device.

@Dan H: Yeah Right. The camera was the Iphone's revolution factor.
In contrast to the other phones that can take video?
lol, whats wrong with you?

I'm so glad someone figured out how to take my cell phone and make it a foot long! the small size really was becoming a problem.

For me personally, I think the Ipad has tons of potential purely due to its concept and architecture; to expand on this, I'm thinking in terms of the devices virtual malleability. As i said its concept and architecture provide a perfect framework. So to me the question is, how easily can the Ipad's OS and power be bent to one's own will by such use of apps or other software? The hardware is there, but how easy to exploit its full potential is what will make or break its usefulness.

At first, I was asking the same question "what for?".
I'm iPhone user and feel what ipad can do, iPhone can do it too.
Until I get my own iPad two days ago, everything is starting to change.
I found this nice e-reader app that allow me to subcribe my favorite magazine and read it from book-sized iPad. Also I found some education apps for my daughter. My wife also found many recipes from their app store. Yes you can do it using iPhone, but with that huge screen, you will be amazed. Try it for a week!

The best use of an iPad, IMHO, is to use it to access your favorite desktop computer. Look in the app store for some cheap (under $20) VNC and/or RDP software.
VNC (virtual network computing) is using any OS from any computer through some other device. RDP (remote desktop protocol) is using Windows Remote Desktop Connection, inherent in the Professional versions of XP and 7. RDP has the benefit of the ability to stream audio, where VNC does not.
So you turn on your trusty computer with all your favorite programs and 5 terabytes of attached storage. Then either through WIFI LAN or anywhere 3G/Edge, you run your VNC or RDP app on your new iPad and you are having a comfortable session with your actual home or office computer.
It's all the power of a real computer, with the comfortable and convenient interface of a touchscreen. How cool is that?
Yeah, it can be done on iPhone and iPod Touch, but for real jobs the iPad's larger screen size makes all the difference.

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