June 12th in Gadgets by .

Apple iPad review

It’s been a while coming to the UK, but we finally got our hands on the Apple iPad. Read our review to find out what are initial thoughts are on this latest must-have gadget

At last, released in the UK

Here at Todays Top Tech, we managed to get our iPad the day after release in the UK, so why has it taken this long to write the review? Well, to be honest, once I got my grubby little hands on this gadget, I decided I wanted to spend some time with it, getting to know it so to speak. I wanted to set it all up and download as many interesting iPad apps as I could find before I even began to write about it. So I’ve been using it for about 2 weeks now, and think I am familiar enough with it to put pen to paper (well, finger to keyboard anyway)

So, what’s it like to use?

iPad, even the back looks good.

click for a larger image

Admittedly I am an Apple geek, so even before I got my hands on the iPad, I had a sneeking suspision that I was going to like it. So when I finally did open up the box and fire it up, I was not at all surprised that I found I instantly liked the experience. Having been an iPhone and Macbook use for the last couple of years meant that I instantly knew how to use it. The enourmous 9.7 inch touch screen felt like very familiar territory and within no time at all I was flying around the various setup menus getting things started. It really does feel great to use. The touch screen only needs the lightest of touches, and many of the gestures you will already be familiar with. I have to admit though that even though Apple advertise “Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating” on the screen, it is of-course nonsense. After a few minutes of use, if you tilt the screen just so, you can clearly see evidence of your finger marks. Now that is not necessarily a problem, as you can’t really notice them when the device is switched on and the screen is in use. It is only when you turn it off and set it on the cradle for charging that the finger marks make themselves known. And I can’t help but clean them straight off so the device looks pristine again whilst charging.
When using the device for the first time, I immediately noticed how quick it was. The A4 chip inside means that this runs so much faster than I have been used to with my iPhone. The speed at which apps load and run is just a joy. I now find myself preferring to read my emails and do simple surfing using the iPad instead of firing up my Macbook.

Isn’t it just a large iPhone?

Many people of course said that this device was not necessary, and that it was just an over-sized iPhone. Well, I have to disagree. I think it really is a third device, and you can quite happily have all three classes of gadget in your digital world, with each one bringing something different to the party. Now I love my iPhone and I use it a lot when out and about, but seriously, if you’ve got a lot of surfing to do then it pretty soon becomes a chore on the tiny screen. So when back at home, I choose my iPad or my laptop. And yes, may of the things that I now do on the iPad, can be done on my laptop, but if I’m not doing anything particularly taxing then why not get comfy on the sofa and use my iPad instead of the laptop. One of the things I find myself falling in love with on the iPad that dont have the same appeal on the iPhone or the laptop are the ebook reader, and the growing collection of digital magazines starting to pop up. These magazines are perfect copies of the printed version, and quite often much cheaper to buy and download, of course then I can carry my entire magazine collection around with me for reference at a later time.

What about the absence of Flash?

Oohh, touchy subject!
Well, yes at the moment it can sometimes be a bit of a pain if you arrive at a particular website and their video clip wants to use flash, however it’s not been a major hassle for me so far, and I am starting to see certain websites making the change over to html5. I notice recently that Youtube have now got a html5 beta test area you can join. I am hopeful that eventually as the iPad becomes more popular, perhaps more and more sites will change to this video standard and we will no longer have an issue. Remember the battle between Beta and VHS? and more recently, Bluray versus hd dvd. Let’s just hope the right format wins.

So is it perfect then?

The iPads beautiful screen

click for a larger image

Well, no. . . .
Not yet!. . . .
As mentioned above, perhaps if the net community can settle the whole flash/html5 problem then we will be a step closer to the perfect web gadget, and there is, at the moment at least, a glaring omission to the iPads arsenal. Multi-tasking! However, as I am sure you are aware, this particular problem will be solved with the imminent release of iOS 4. I think once multitasking has been added to the iPad, I will enjoy using it even more. As soon as it’s released I will be installing iOS 4 and then, just maybe, I will have the gadget I have alwayas dreamed of. (Until of course iPad 2 comes out, then I am sure I will want one of those as well. Ahh, gadgets! Why do we love them so . . . . . .)

Today’s Top Tech Review Our overall rating:   4/5

What we liked…

  • It’s an Apple device, say no more
  • Its so comfortable to use, the screen is excellent with no eye-strain so far
  • The iBook store and growing collection of digital magazines makes this a great device for readers
  • You just know the iPad apps collection will grow and grow
What we weren’t so keen on…
  • Cant wait for the net to adobt html5
  • Needs multitasking, wont be long now though
  • You will find yourself cleaning the screen no matter how clean your hands are, but I can live with that

Vital info

Gadget: Apple iPad
Supplier: Apple
Price: Starts at £429

I love anything and everything to do with tech and gadgets. Having dabbled in graphic design, I like things to look stylish as well as functioning well.

VIsit Steve Smith's website

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