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Curse those Icelanders and their volcanoes. I wasn’t surprised when Apple delayed the iPad's UK launch, as friends in the US had told me that the initial shipments in their local Apple Stores had sold out very quickly. Apple iPad iPad: touchy-feely like only Apple can make 'em Unfortunately, my cunning plan to get one shipped …

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Silver badge
Flame

I would like to know...

How much did apple pay to get a positive review...

Just Kidding. (maybe not)

For sure I would like to know how the reviewer would feel about the device within one month once the novelty wears off.

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Third device?

Third wheel more like.

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Tee

Hee

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WiFi, Typing

I had no problems with WiFi (probably because I'd already had to adjust my router - due to an OS4 bug - to 20Mhz only, instead of 20/40Mhz...which alludes that a software fix may solve the issues on iPad too). As for reception, it's perfect, fast and has great range with my Virgin Media-supplied D-Link DIR-165.

The one thing I've noticed in all the reviews that mention the keyboard, is that nobody puts forward the sluggishness of typing in most apps. Apple's own Notes app is extremely laggy - I get the feeling this is maybe down to the graphics-rich font drawing, since typing in Mail is much more responsive.

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First impressions, and subsequent thoughts

I also ordered one from the states, and have been playing with it for a couple of days. The initial impression is, to put it succinctly, WOW!

The screen is fabulous, and the GUI is very responsive.

HOWEVER, after playing with it for some time, I put it aside, and reached for my ipod touch, and had a sudden insight:

If this device had come out first, and the ipod touch/iphone a couple of years after, I would have been much more impressed. There they manage to put the entire functionality of an iPad into a pocketable format!

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just ordered mine

I grew up watching start trek so I really have no choice in the matter.

Yes they are expensive but then so are lots of cool toys.

Cue angry haters?

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WTF?

£400+ for a device you don't need?

I still cannot see why anyone who hasn't got money to burn would want one of these? You've already said you have a laptop and an iPod touch that you can use from you bedroom so why spend at least £400 just for a bigger screen? Having tried an iPad at the weekend it's bloody frustrating to hold and type at the same time; even short Twitter entries are a pain and it's much easier to use a phone and thumb type.

It's not exactly a pocket device so my guess is it'll be mainly used in the home ... but if you're at home andy you want to look at the net use your PC / netbook / Mac / Laptop or phone in ypur pocket. If you want to watch a movie then watch it on your TV with surround sound. We don't need (as Apple seem to infer) this "third device", the iPad serves no purpose other than to get Apple FanBoys and the Jobs loving media into a buying frenzy.

Even if people do wait for the 3g one they'll have to be tied into another mobile contract as Apple have changed the SIM card. KerrrrCHING!. And why would you take it outdoors anyway? It's not like you'll be able to type easily on the train using an iPad in the same way you can slip a phone in/out of your pocket. Besides, you might as well wear a sign that says "I am a rich mug with money to burn - please mug me".

The only saving grace of this review is that you only gave it 80%.

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jai
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laptop replacement

currently i have a laptop of which i only use 10% of it's functionality because i also have a much more powerful desktop machine with far larger screens

the laptop is the waste of space, but until the iPad, there was no other solution for casual web browser, email reading, quick look up of imdb while watching a movie

the iPad fills that niche that previously had to accomodate a laptop

now i have no need to replace my macbook with a newer model when the iPad will serve the same purpose much much better

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3G contract

Those who moan that you need to be tied into another 3G contract: take a look at the PAYG options available from Orange and O2 - 5p per Mb or £2 per 500Mb per day. Seems reasonable enough. And if I'm out and about I'll be connecting via MyFi on my iPhone most of the time, anyway.

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You're right.

People with no money to waste certainly shouldn't buy this. If they need a computer then they should get something cheaper, and if they want a flashy new toy they should make sure they can afford it. I suppose next you'll be reminding people that they don't have to buy a Jaguar as they can walk to work.

Your only problem with the iPad seems to be that it's expensive. That's only a problem if someone is forcing you to buy one. They're not.

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RE: laptop replacement

"until the iPad, there was no other solution for casual web browser, email reading, quick look up of imdb while watching a movie"

I find that hard to believe as I regularly use my mobile phone to do just what you describe, and you do kinda sound like you'd own an iphone.

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Gold badge

Music production, photo management

There are a few music production tools appearing, Korg's iElectribe for instance implements a setup that would have cost you about £800 a few years back.

It can also be used by photographers as a highly portable photo management tool. Import your photos, review and post to the web.

Just because you lack any imagination doesn't mean others don't. Some people simply can't see the point of something unless it can be pigeon holed into existing device categories.

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WTF?

256MB RAM?!

I haven't seen any other site list the RAM of the device, where did you get the 256MB figure from? If that's accurate then it's shockingly small for a device of this size. I would hope for 512MB at the very least, perhaps 1GB, if they plan on allowing multi-tasking. I'm sure I'll be told that OS X and such don't have the memory requirements of Windows, and I wouldn't be surprised at that but 256MB is still very small.

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jai
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multitasking

read the write up on the iPhone OS 4.0 presentation.

multitasking under iPhone OS doesn't mean you'll have apps running at full speed in the background where you can't see them

apps in the background are in a semi-stasis, the register themselves for the events they are interested in and are only activated once those events occur so that they may process the event and then return to stasis - very low memory footprint

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Happy

Thank ya

I did follow the 4.0 presentation and how there were services that were labelled for the multitask events but I wasn't sure if it meant the app basically closed itself with the event registered to it for notifications. In that case 256MB should be usable enough, thanks for the heads up jai.

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Paris Hilton

Think I'll Wait

For a tablet you can actually, you know, do stuff with.

Paris - less useful than an iPad, but only just.

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Missing a vital test...

Can you read it comfortably when ensconsed on the loo?

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How much memory?

With only 256MB, this thing is going to get clogged up quite quickly unless it cleans itself.

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Jobs Halo

Call me a geek gadget loving nutter

But I quite fancy one, even if simply for web-browsing.

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Troll

Flamebait?

All right, I'll bite.

There are some very keen ebook readers out here in Reg Readerland. Most of us that own a 'real' ebook (e-ink) reader swear by it, decrying LCD as the quick road to eyestrain.

So why is it that "the iPad [is] the first digital device that strikes me as a genuinely attractive alternative to good old-fashioned books and newsprint."?

Support your arguments, man!

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Re: Flamebait?

Having owned an ebook device (sony reader), and *tried* to use it for reading books I think you have it exactly wrong. eink is far worse for eyestrain:

1. It's not backlit, so you have to have a light behind you.. having the light anywhere else just means the display is in shadow and unreadable. Of course once you do this you find out that the screen is reflective so you now have the image of a lamp on the screen.

2. The contrast is *horrible* - dark grey on light grey, meaning even once you have the lighting sorted you have to squint to make out the words.

I found I could only read for about 15 minutes on an eink device before my eyes got tired. Not practical for reading sessions.. I gave up on it very quickly and eventually sold it. The ipad is more expensive but it at least has a proper display. I look at LCD screens all day every day and don't get eye strain.

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Anonymous Coward

@flamebait?

This is not the first review I've read saying the same thing, so there must be something in it.

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Go

There is no argument

eInk is better for extended periods of reading. Not to mention reading in daylight. Maybe the author was equating "genuinely attractive alternative..." with "does some other things and is also shiny".

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Happy

Letters and/or Digits

1. No screen refresh.

2. No "LCD eyestrain" after using it to read e-books since launch day.

3. Color.

4. Full interactivity.

5. Plenty of battery life for e-books plus other stuff.

I think "genuinely attractive" is the key here. After trying them, I wouldn't get an e-book reader -- the expense related to single functionality plus the look of the screen turned me off. It may be a small thing to some, but I don't like the refresh. Not I, nor three friends who have an iPad have experienced any eyestrain. Perhaps it's due to the ability to control font size and brightness on the fly. Or perhaps it was never there at all. I think it's also about experiencing it. The iPad comes loaded with the Winnie the Pooh book you see in the ad, and everyone has been immediately impressed upon seeing the full colour illustrations. Text is crisp, black is black, white is white, and it really feels like reading a book... the book fills the screen, and you're left with the book, and the gimmicky-to-some but neat-to-me fake book edge -- no distractions from a keyboard hanging off it or whatnot. Turn the device at any time, and you're looking at one page or two instantly. One only has to get the Popular Science application to understand what it means to see a magazine on the iPad. The experience is something totally different than any other on a mobile device, something non-existant and impossible on an e-book reader. PopSci is truly exciting on the iPad. Since, rather than wandering into the woods for two weeks, I come home every evening, I'm only worried about a battery lasting a day.

It weighs more, but I have gotten over that due to the experience.

I suppose the one thing I could agree on is that it's difficult to read in direct sun. I seem to have solved that by, um, not reading in direct sun. I shall re-evaluate this point when apocalypse kills all trees, destroys all buildings, and clouds become a thing of the past.

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Some possible evidence...

Here's an article quoting a few 'experts' on eye strain from screen reading.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/12/do-e-readers-cause-eye-strain/

Personally, I don't read for hours at a time, and rarely outside (and certainly not in direct sunlight). I do use a laptop screen for large portions of the day though, and don't find that it causes eye strain.

I would say that the low contrast of eInk displays that I've seen would give me cause for concern. I have no evidence to back this up!

As with most things, I suspect there's a fair element of user preference. I'd be perfectly happy with a good quality LCD, but I can understand why other people wouldn't.

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That's nice.

By similar reasoning, books printed on paper cause terrible eyestrain, what with their non-backlit not-quite-black on off-white displays.

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@ TonyHoyle

In response to your first point, the lighting requirements you found so annoying are exactly the same as those for paper. To your second point: I think text on paper (especially in the case of old paperbacks) often has less contrast than an eInk display. Labelling eInk "dark grey on light grey" - whilst technically correct - is a bit unfair/misleading. For example they have easily more contrast than pencil on paper and not many people would have a problem with that. Maybe your discomfort had more to do with your Sony reader than the eInk display itself? For some unknown reason Sony give their displays a glossy finish which reflects direct light, losing contrast and making it the eBook equivalent of that shiny coffee table book which in certain lights you have to twist and move around to get rid of the sheen as you move your eye over the page.

With regard to TFT, their major weakness is their uselessness in strong ambient light. For that reason I'd never recommend one to anybody looking for a truly portable reader. They may not cause eye strain sitting at a desk, but try reading one on holiday in the sunshine - especially if it's shiny like the iPad.

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Sheep

"This is not the first review I've read saying the same thing, so there must be something in it."

That's akin to saying X million <insert religious followers here> can't be wrong.

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Re: Flamebait?

I've used an iPod Touch as an e-reader for a while. I read in bed, so a backlit LCD is ideal. I'm short-sighted, so I can focus on it close up.

Maybe e-ink display are easy on the eyes in good lighting, I haven't tried them.

But I can say that an LCD works well too - I've read several books that way, including Anathem (1000 pages).

Maybe this all depends on the situation you read in - being far sighted would make a large screen desirable, reading in a chair means you can hold a larger, heavier device comfortably. Reading in daylight makes e-ink much better, reading in bed means that you don't want to hold a large, heavy device, etc.

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@Richard 120

But it's not though, is it. It more akin to independent reviewers coming to the same conclusion in isolation. These same reviewers that have also reviewed e-book readers and so, unlike all the commentards, *actually* have some experience of using *all* the devices.

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WTF?

You... you...

you PHILISTINE, you...

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Bronze badge

a couple things to say

Nice review, and I am sure its a lovely device, i have thought a couple of times that It would be nice to have a bigger screen on my iPhone for some of the apps i use, but (at the very least), £429 is just way too much to even consider spending on a new device that wouldn't replace any of the items that I currently have.

Maybe in a couple of generations time, and if the price comes down somewhat.

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Incomplete Review..

This review seems to have completely missed out BBCiPlayer (other tviplayers are available! eg itvplayer, 4od) I cannot fathom why that would be? am I missing something?

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BBC iPlayer missing

You did read the whole review didn't you?

Perhaps you missed the page where the reviewer laments the lack of iPlayer on the iPad until the beeb update their servers to recognise the iPad like they do for an iPhone / iPod touch and instead of Flash serve up H264 goodness.

Cant really blame the Beeb for this though.... the iPad wont be here officially until 28 May and if you were trying to access iPlayer from the US (no matter what machine you are using) you would find you were blocked anyway.

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FAIL

You did read the whole review didn't you?

Nope. thought I'd just grab a stick and poke them there hornets!

many many years ago there was this guy called Steve Gibson, he had a mantra that went along the lines of 'Its MY Computer' for some reason the corporates thought differently. wonder why?

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Anonymous Coward

But what about other players?

Do the ITV/CH4 equivalents work?

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Stop

Not sure at all

Even though I am a huge Apple fan, I have to admit this looks like device in need of a purpose. I know it'll be the usual Apple experience of excellent design and engineering but it seems to struggle to find a purpose. It's too dear to be ubiquitous and falls between the gap of being too bulky to augment the iPhone and not powerful enough to replace a computer. It does seem like an excellent way to browse the web from your armchair but I'm not sure if I want to pay £400 to find out. Besides, if Apple TV had Safari built in I'd much rather surf via the TV. I think Apple may have extended the iPod family too far, after the iPod the iPhone was a logical place to go; the iPad however seems more destined to be a niche device or something to impress your mates with.

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Ted
Boffin

It's easy to add Safari to AppleTV

just download "ATV Flash" from a torrent site and it will easily add Safari to any AppleTV...

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A gadget you don't need?

£400 odd for a gadget you don't need? What are you, Luddites or something? This is a gadget forum, right? :-)

I don't *need* an iPod. I don't *need* a Kindle. I don't *need* a digital picture frame. I don't *need* a DSi. I don't *need* a portable video player. I don't *need* a spare Internet browser sitting on my coffee table for when visitors come round and I don't want them to snoop into my browsing history or emails on my laptop. But £429 for all that, and a glimpse of what the future will be like, really doesn't seem like a lot.

The review missed one of the coolest features, Google maps. Panning and zooming round maps and satellite photos on it is so quick and effortless it's really quite amazing.

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Joke

RE: A gadget you don't need?

While I'm thinking about it... I don't *need* a computer.

I won't die if you take my computer away...

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Stuff I like to do

What it's like at the following stuff I do routinely on my laptop:

1. Printing Web pages such as Boarding Passes?

2. Watching Xvid videos such as TV Shows I download?

3. Browsing images on my Camera's flash drive?

4. Downloading torrents and stuff from Rapidshare?

5. Playing 1st person shooters?

6. Reading PDFs I've downloaded?

7. Tag and delete MP3s.

And what's it like to manage your files - outline the steps you'd take to read a PDF book for example. Please don't suggest emailing it to myself. That's just plain retarded.

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Anonymous Coward

Stuff I like to do

"6. Reading PDFs I've downloaded?"

That's my sole use for the device. I have a PDF library of just under 1500 journal articles. Stick Papers.app on there and it's the perfect PDF reader. Definitely worth £429 to me.

As for shooters and downloading torrents; since I'm an adult I don't play games and I have no interest in pirated material.

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Troll

What a catch

No movies or gaming, but has library of 1500 PDFs? You must be beating off the hordes of adoring follwers with a sh*tty stick.

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Jobs Halo

Seems a very carefully chosen list...

Sounds like you need a laptop then. Or, perish the thought, you're deliberately trying to be provocative. Now, I'm sure 'The Internet' has invented a term for that...

Me? I have a bunch of use cases for which the iPad is perfect. That's why I've ordered a 32GB 3G version (and another 20p for a sodding Orange SIM!). Can't wait for it to arrive.

Now all I need is for the Dodocase to be available in the UK without a $25 shipping fee.

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Paris Hilton

@AC 14:48

Man that was a cheap shot on the games and torrents. Yes that's right, only children play games and all torrents are illegal. Way to get your point across by insulting folk. Dinner must be such fun at your house.

Oh, and if your sole use for your iPad is reading PDFs you could have saved yourself £230 and a lot of battery-charging by getting an ebook reader. Somehow I suspect it's more than just a PDF reader to you though.

Paris cos, well, I hear she likes trinkets too.

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Wasted money...

Then you sir have wasted about £200 - as a sole use for reading PDF's over-kill is the1st thing that comes to mind... still, I guess you're the kind of guy with a jag and rolex because you need to get from A to B and tell the time.

/facepalm

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Which is the operative word..?

Oh yes, laptop. Not iPad.

The point is you do all of this on your laptop and then put it onto the iPad for consuming.

3 - you can browse your camera's output using the optional SD & USB connectors.

5 - There must be some games in the app store that qualify. Unless you mean steal other people's games and play them on your device.

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Anonymous Coward

Correct me if I'm wrong, but...

Aren't torrents either pr0n, warez or pirated movies? There's no legitimate use for them, surely?

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Silver badge

Issues

1. Price

2. Non-standard port(s) requiring nice pricey custom cables

3. Requirement for another computer in order to use this computer - just makes so much sense Steve. Would it be better if it were a Mac?

4. Control freakery.

Outside the house a netbook would be far more practical due to ease of getting stuff on and off of the device and the fact you can do what you want with it. Inside the house what do you really need it for that a netbook can't do (and also has more outside-the-home advantages)? Watch movies or TV?

This device really does seem to be a proxy for an "Are you a wanker survey?".

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