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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  • BeAloud - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    The rumored new smaller iPad could solve the ergonomics flaws of the current device. I would probably be interested in getting one if these rumors are true!
    http://www.bealoud.com/technology/ipad-mini-rumors...
    Reply
  • Lunarlog - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    I read your article and it was well-written. I do have to disagree that it is a disappointment. In fact, I find the contrary. Part of the issue is that we are coming out of an economic recession - some people are still on hold as to whether or not to part with $500 when they already have a computer. Was is the same spree as the first iPhone? No. But I wouldn't expect it to be - not in these times. I wrote two articles as well on the topic. I'd appreciate it if you would give them a glance:

    This article came out the day after the iPad was released:
    http://www.lunarlog.com/ipad-review/

    This article was written shortly after the iPad's initial announcement:
    http://www.lunarlog.com/the-apple-ipad-the-good-an...
    Reply
  • TheHolyLancer - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    only when a pokemon rpg comes to the ipad, either with an emulator or otherwise, will it be a gaming platform for it's targeted audience. or maybe let it double as a guitar hero / rock band instrument.

    of all the games one there, rts is the only one that seems to be fleshed out. fps, driving, action games involving the taps are mostly broken. only rpgs or tower defense / rts games seems to be the games that should have a better experience on touch based input. who don't want to be like a commander that directs battles via the touch interface.
    Reply
  • Sahrin - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Anand, I've got to say the Apple conversion you've gone through has really cost you a lot of respect in my eyes. I know, as an Apple fan, this won't matter to you (as facts don't). But the reality of it is, Apple is ultimately like religion. When push comes to shove, there is no quantitative difference between Apple and everything else. What it comes down to is technological laziness, and a blind acceptance of Apple as superior to everything else. Jon Stokes at Arstechnica had the same problem. He OC'ed one too many CPU's, or troubleshooted one too many oddball configurations - and something broke, he just gave up; surrended all his technological know-how and competence to the quiet, white cell provided by Apple. I don't mean to say either you or he got 'dumber' - just that, rather than "do it yourself," rather than apply your knowledge on a daily basis you've just declared yourself smart enough and handed over control and understanding of what you do to Apple. It's like the engineer who builds his own car from scratch finally going over and buying a Ford. Is there anything particularly 'wrong' with that? No. But it's a kind of ... lessening of the man to see him surrrender a passion to something because it's easier.

    I'm really sad to see someone as intelligent as you are (certainly smarter than I am) give yourself over to this kind of laziness. AT is one of the most trusted review sites on the web; and I hope that over time it doesn't erode the way Ars did into a whining, fawning mess.
    Reply
  • splatl - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    WTF Reply
  • SilverBack - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    The IPad is junk, inflated price and virtually no feature set, why would anyone want this?
    No USB? WTF!
    Reply
  • manicfreak - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    I also feel the same way. Reply
  • samirotiv - Saturday, April 10, 2010 - link

    You are an ass, a hypocrite, and you're absolutely nobody. I don't think you can comment about Anand's intelligence. Your unwarranted hate towards Apple makes you feel that anybody who appreciates an Apple product is unintelligent.

    You say there's no quantitative difference between Apple products and other products. So can you tell me another currently existing tablet that I can buy that's half as good as the iPad? Is it the pathetic JooJoo?

    If you don't want the iPad because it doesn't have some feature you think you need, then don't buy it. Vote with your money. Stop trolling. I think Anand has mentioned most of it's drawbacks in the review.

    Even if a tablet as good or better than the iPad exists, just writing a favourable review doesn't make Anand unintelligent. I think the review was quite unbiased.

    Your armchair psychology makes your post sound even less credible. Someone ban this clown.

    BTW that was an excellent review Anand, like every other review of yours. Keep up the good work..!!
    Reply
  • splatl - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Apple said from the beginning this is not a laptop replacement it is intended to be a device between a Smart Phone and a Laptop. For all waiting for Slate to come out it is still HP crap. Reply
  • ds1817 - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Always refreshing to read a review on Anandtech. The thoroughness and attention to detail are why I've been reading your website for 12 years now. Keep up the good work! Reply

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