It Was Meant For You

The best way I can describe picking up, holding and using the iPad is it feels like it was built for you. Whenever someone on Star Trek TNG walked around with a tablet, it was always natural and they always seemed able to do whatever it was they needed to do on it. That’s the iPad. As an added bonus, you don’t have to wear a terrible jumpsuit to use it.

A definitely overused phrase to describe Apple products, but the iPad just works. It’s got an ambient light sensor that’ll sensibly adjust the brightness of the display. There’s an accelerometer that feeds info into the system controller that lets the iPad know how it’s oriented. The display rotates smoothly to orient itself properly regardless of how you’re holding it. And for those tabletop or on the lap sessions you can lock rotation at the flick of a switch. Apple thought this one through.


The iPad vs. a magazine

It works just like a big iPhone and at first, the UI actually looks awkward and overly spaced out. Use it for enough time and the opposite starts feeling true. The iPhone feels cramped and crowded and the iPad feels almost perfect.

Since the iPad is running iPhone OS 3.2, the UI works just like the iPhone. Your home screen is a collection of apps (20 per screen) and you get multiple pages to store more apps. There are four fixed icons at the bottom of the screen (you can add two more). These icons are present on all pages of the home screen.

Press and hold an icon to move it around. Hit the little X button to delete an app from your iPad.

Apple lets you select any photo as your home screen wall paper, and you can use a different one for your lock screen wall paper. A neat addition is the ability to put the iPad in picture frame mode while locked by hitting this button that appears on the lock screen.

Hit that button and the device launches runs through a slideshow of all of the photos you’ve got on the device. You can set the iPad to only display certain albums or events so you don’t accidentally embarrass yourself around others.

You get a system wide search option that’ll quickly search all applications, calendar entries and downloaded emails quickly.

Notifications are handled pop-up style like the iPhone. They are less annoying on the iPad simply because you don’t encounter as many (no SMSes, no missed calls, no voicemails), but the system still doesn’t scale well to handle lots of notifications. Apple is widely expected to address this in the next version of the OS.

Pricing: Heard Ya Got Robbed A Testament to UI Efficiency, Distinctively Apple
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  • solipsism - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    I also thought the Moorestown recommendation was odd, especially when the next page was about the phenomenal battery life. If he made a more detailed case for it perhaps he'd have a point, but the simple "because it's faster" stance is lacking. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Initial power specs for Moorestown appear to be fairly competitive with ARM based SoCs. Remember this is Moorestown, and not Pineview. The two chips are very different.

    Realistically I don't think it would be Moorestown, but the 32nm follow-on starts to make a lot of sense.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • metafor - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Just curious, what are the initial power numbers for Moorestown anyway? Keep in mind that with the change in bus architecture and the use of LP DRAM, performance will be significantly slower in some cases than current netbooks. Also, would it really compare to an A9-class SoC? Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Friday, April 09, 2010 - link

    I have a feeling Apple didn't go Moorestown for two primary reasons.

    1) Timeframe
    2) Cost

    Moorestown should be announced shortly, but the devices based on it won't be available until Q3 of this year. That's 6+ months from when the iPad is going to release. And although Intel might achieve both better performance and comparable power usage, but the sacrifice there will be higher cost. Fully integrated SoC like the A4 costs significantly less.

    Performance should be quite good. There's a 600MHz version for smartphones that can use Burst Mode to 1.2GHz, and a MID oriented version that probably clocks at 1.3GHz base and does 1.9GHz burst. It's supposed to feature "Bus Turbo" as well.

    If they also do a full integrated memory controller unlike Pineview we have a good chance it'll be clock per clock faster than Netbook Atoms. Earlier on Intel claimed "30%" boost over previous platform but clock speeds weren't mentioned.
    Reply
  • metafor - Friday, April 09, 2010 - link

    Moorestown will be a fully interated SoC. It'll have LP DDR1 and LP DDR2 memory controllers as well as a GPU, the Atom CPU and various peripheral connectivity. It's comparable to the A4 in terms of features although I really would not write it off as "comparable" in terms of power until some data is published. Reply
  • ekul - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    I'd agree the successor to moorestown is more promising. Are there even any shipping products based on moorestown yet? I don't think apple is going to take a gamble on an untested platform.

    I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing performance numbers for cortex a9, especially since there will be real dual core mobile variants, not just hyperthreading. A technique like what MS is planning for IE9, rendering a website on one core and compiling javascript on another, would help bridge the perormance gap along with the higher clocks.
    Reply
  • michal1980 - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    really this is easier then a laptop/notebook?

    A notebook by its vary nature I can rest on my lap or a table and adjust its screen. To watch a movie I dont have to hold the thing up.

    To type, I dont have to bend to werid angles to hold the device up, etc etc.

    IMHO, it seems like alot of the experance is attributed to the newness of the device vs its actual usage. I'm wonder how this newness will wear.
    Reply
  • manicfreak - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Can't you do all of those aforementioned things on an ipod touch/iphone? There are already home automation apps for the iphone right now.

    What can the iPad do that the iphone/ipod touch can't? Beside having a bigger screen and longer battery life?
    And for such a big device, the performance should be closer to an atom instead of a snapdragon.

    If something doesn't fit in my pocket, then I would rather bring a light-weight CULV laptop with me... with touchscreen if one wishes (i.e. Acer Timeline 1820T) or a hybrid notebook-tablet (Lenovo IdeaPad U1).
    Reply
  • jasperjones - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    "there are some things the iPad does much better than anything you might own today. Web browsing, photo viewing, reading email, any passive usage scenarios where you're primarily clicking on things and getting feedback, the iPad excels at."

    What exactly makes it better at those tasks? It's not that I disagree but, in my opinion, you didn't drive this point home. I don't understand why you think it's better. And yes, I read the whole article.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    I don't think anything anyone can write can convince you. Many aspects just feel more natural to use. That isn't to say it's perfect everywhere but I think that as a casual mobile consumption device it's much better than a notebook, and much better than a netbook. Reply

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