Video:iPad Reviewwith Sam Costello
Unless you're living under a rock, then you've heard of the iPad. Find out how Apple's first version of this device measures up, and see if the iPad is right for you.See Transcript
Transcript:iPad ReviewHi, I'm Sam Costello, the About.com to iPhone and iPod, and today I'm going to be reviewing the iPod, Apple's first tablet computer. Apple touted the iPad as being both magical and revolutionary, and the question is, of course, is it? in my assessment, it's not quite either of those things yet, but it's very close.
What Is the iPad?The iPad, as you can see, is a small device that's got about a 9.7-inch screen, it's very thin and it weighs about a pound and a half. It feels great in your hand, it's very easy to hold, it's lightweight and it's easy to hold one-handed to use, or use with two hands if you're using it that way.
iPad UsabilityWhat's really interesting about the iPad, I think, is how intuitive it is to use. If you give it someone who knows how to use a computer, but not necessarily an iPad or an iPhone or the iPods that run the iPhone operating system, you'll find that they just understand how to use it intuitively, right off the bat. They won't get everything right of course, but they understand how to launch programs and how to interact with the iPad. They understand the multitouch interface.
iPad Operating SystemThis is pretty much the same interface as you use on the iPod touch or the iPhone. You've got a multitouch screen, you control most things by tapping on the screen with your fingers. That intuitive ease of use is not quite what Apple means by saying that the iPad is magical, but it is a pretty interesting thing to see and I think speaks very well for interface design that Apple has brought to bear in the iPad. The iPad essentially runs a version of the iPhone operating system. So, if you've used an iPhone or an iPod touch, you know essentially how this works. You also know that you're getting both the strengths and the weaknesses of the iPhone operating system here.
Some of these strengths and weaknesses are going to be addressed when iPhone OS 4.0 comes out in the summer and fall (for different versions and different products) of 2010. When we have iPhone OS 4.0 running on the iPad, I think a lot of the things that are a little harder to use about the iPad now or make it a little bit more difficult to use are going to go away, and that's going to make the iPad even more valuable.
iPad AppsYou'll find on the iPad most of the standard, pre-loaded applications that you find on the iPhone: the Safari web browser, the iPod music player, a calendar and address book, email program, things like that. And if you like the way those things work on the iPhone, you're going to like even better how they work on the iPad – especially things like Safari. The web pages rendered on the iPad really benefit from have the larger screen real estate that the iPad offers, as opposed to the iPhone.
The thing that makes the iPad really great, though, is the library of third party applications available for it from the App Store. The App Store has about 200,000 applications in it as of the creation of this video and somewhere in the 5,000-10,000-application range are applications that are native to the iPad. You'll find pretty much anything you can imagine in the App Store, from games to video players from Netflix and the ABC television network, you'll find productivity apps, as well as eBook readers, and things like that. You'll find Apple's iBooks eBook reading software, as well as Amazon's Kindle software. So, while the operating system and the hardware of the iPad are very well thought out and very well executed, it's the apps that really make the iPad what it is.
Without the great library of apps that's available, the iPad would be a nice product, but certainly less compelling than it is right now. The creativity of the app developers and the broad range of apps that are available really help the iPad shine.
iPad Batter LifeAnyone who's used the iPhone knows that its battery is not that great. It tends to require a charge probably every day, give or take. The iPad, on the other hand, has really impressive battery life. I found that you can use the iPad basically without stopping for an entire day without running the battery down. So, you can watch three or four full-length movies all the way through on a single charge and maybe still have some battery life left over. While the iPhone tends to feel a little bit tethered to a power source, you're not going to find that with the iPad. The battery life is really much improved.
iPad Review: The Bottom LineApple has called the iPad both magical and revolutionary. And the thing that may make the iPad actually revolutionary is that it could, within a few more years and a few more models coming out, replace most home computers. It does most of the things the average computer users needs. It's a great computer for getting on the web and sending email. It does music and video. It has games and other applications. So, for the average computer user who doesn't need something like Photoshop or video applications or page-layout software. The iPad can provide all of the functionality that they need.
I'm not sure it's quite ready for use as a full-time home computer replacement yet. I think we need to see the maturation of the iPhone OS a little bit more and probably some improvements to the overall hardware – more storage, a faster processor, things like that, though the iPad is pretty snappy as it stands. It would be great to see a camera in there also.
But, I wouldn't be surprised if, within another generation or two of the iPad, another 1-2-3 years, something in that neighborhood, we see a large number of people using the iPad as their only home computer.
And, in that situation, Apple truly will have fulfilled the promise of the iPad being both magical and revolutionary.
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