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April 22, 2010

Apple iPad Review

After about a week of heavy use of the Apple iPad, I’ve gotten down to familiarize myself with Steve’s new toy. Check out my personal review of the iPad after the jump.

I insisted on writing this entire review on the iPad to see if I can crack it. I used Notes to write the text as the WordPress Dashboard has some limitations with the Safari browsing not fully rendering iframes.

The photos though were transferred from my dSLR, edited and uploaded to Picasa Web using a PC. Now that the photos are in the cloud, I can include them in the post by linking to them. This part is impossible to do on the iPad.

This exercise gave me a better perspective on how the iPad performs and is instrumental for coming up with my final thoughts and conclusion for the review.

Design and Construction

For a first-generation tablet from Apple, the iPad is surprisingly thin and light. The body is completely made of solid aluminum that encases a thick solid piece of glass. Simplicity and minimalist approach has been Apple’s signature and the iPad offers just that.

Aside from the lonesome Home button at the bottom of the display, the power button is positioned on top, the volume rocker on the right side along with the screen orientation lock. The toggle allows you to lock the screen to a specific orientation so the display doesn’t rotate when you’re lying down (like on a couch or in bed). The built-in speakers are also found on the bottom while the 3.5mm headphone jack is on top.

The design is pretty solid and the device is so thin it rivals even the thinnest smartphones out there. Being lightweight and thin is key to the portability of the device. It makes it more comfortable to hold with one hand for prolonged periods of time.

Display and Touchscreen

Size does matter and the iPad’s form factor offers a great combination between portability and mobile computing. The screen size is perfect for watching movies, viewing photos and reading text or browsing at a comfortable distance minus the crouching or squinting most people do with an iPhone, iPod Touch or any smartphone. This allows for prolonged use of the device without straining the eyes too much.

Those familiar with the display of the iPhone and the iPod Touch will be pleasantly surprised with the screen of the iPad. It’s not the best display I’ve seen (Super AMOLED display is still very expensive at this size) but the graphics are crisp and bright. The wide black bezel allows enough space for hand-holding the tablet without blocking the screen.

Of course, as with most shiny glass display, the screen is practically useless in the outdoors, under the sun or against a bright light source. This could be one of the biggest reasons why Kindle users will not give up their e-readers in exchange of the iPad.

The virtual keyboard is sized and spaced generously that allows for comfortable typing. I reckon I am able to do 30 – 40 words per minute with it. Not bad considering I’m no touch-typist.

Performance and Battery Life

The 1.0GHz A4 chip may not be the fastest processor around if you compared it to the ones running most netbooks these days but since the iPad runs on the iPhone OS, the system performs really well.

I think Apple did the right move of using the iPhone OS instead of the Mac OS. One can only imagine how the iPad will perform with OS X considering the processor used and the amount of memory on-board. Besides, how else can Apple make more money from its iTunes ecosystem?

As for battery life, the iPad scored high marks for making it close to the promised 10 hours on a single charge. I didn’t have the luxury of sitting down for 10 straight hours to monitor the battery but I am able to clock in about 9+ hours in aggregate use in the course of a day (I’d already consider it an all-day computing device). On casual use, the iPad lasts about 2 and a half days before it completely discharges. The sleep mode really helps in conserving battery.

The Apps

The iPad-specific apps are just amazing as they maximize the screen real estate. Again, size does matter. One may not see the stark difference if you’re coming from a netbook perspective for those coming from the iPod Touch or iPhone (or any smartphone for that matter) point-of-view, it’s a huge improvement.

As I write this review, iPad-specific apps are still very few and number only in the hundreds. However, Apple says all of the 185,000 iPhone apps on the App Store can also be installed and used on the iPad (there could be a few that’s not completely compatible though).

More iPad apps are being developed but for the meantime, the iPhone apps can still fill the entire screen using a zoom-in function (the 2x zoom does make the graphics more pixelated).

My biggest beef so far is that iPad apps are way more expensive than the regular iPhone apps. Don’t really understand the logic behind that.

Conclusion

There’s been a huge debate on whether the iPad can replace the netbook. I’d blame Steve Jobs for openly challenging the netbook market and touting the iPad as the better alternative to mobile computing.

But, can the iPad really replace the netbook? My quick answer is a big, loud No; and a faint yes.

No. The iPad cannot do everything a netbook can. Forget about video chat, photo/video editing, or even playing FarmVille. Moreso if you’re heavily oriented on a Windows machine and dependent on specific tools and applications. Some apps may offer functions of productivity tools but are quite limited.

Yes. If your netbook usage pattern is strictly consumptive (i.e. surfing, chatting, email, social networking) then the iPad can easily replace the netbook for those tasks. In some instances, the iPad might even offer a better user experience over the latter (like reading for hours on end).

The iPad is an internet appliance, closer to a toy than a personal computer — it’s got limited features but does what it intended to do very nicely. Some people will hate it, others will love it. And that’s just how the iPad rolls.

Note: I re-wrote 80% of this review on my trusty netbook after finishing the first draft on the iPad. Got into trouble with “cut & paste” and lost almost everything I wrote using the iPad.

And to those asking where/how I got the iPad, check out this store.

GodFinger on the iPad
How to get your iPhone 5 battery replacement for free
3 Reasons Why Apple will not unveil a bigger iPad

130 Responses to “Apple iPad Review”

  1. No. 9 Dreamer says:

    I beg to differ, iPad is better than netbook, I stopped using my netbook since I got hold of my iPad.

  2. remy tanco says:

    maybe i’ll opt for local nlang..so it would be ready to use na…hmmm..tnx po tlga…

  3. Efren Sy says:

    Netbook yes I think the iPad is better if for mobile internet browsing and other stuff mobile especially the 3G models

    If your gonna use it for heavy office work and media download. Get a Laptop not a netbook. Macbook Pro combine with iPad 3G

    Sige sir remy update us how much you got your 64gb iPad 3G

  4. Efren Sy says:

    Update:

    Apple iPad 3G sold at GH yesterday 32gb 47,500 pesos
    If you want it jailbroken with apps, you have to pay 800

    other store sells them higher with package of 1yr apps download and movies + music download.

    Happy Hunting!!!

  5. mr. bogus says:

    hmmmmmmmmmm ipad ay pang internet suring lang!!!! this ipad CANNOT REPLACE THE LAPTOPS… alam naman natin pag meron ka apple gadgets specially sa pilipinas ay pang porma lang.. mukha ka lang mabango sa mga nakakakita, pasosyal etc… mga pilipino kasi makapagyabang lang kahit di alam ang features ng gadget… im only practical.. id rather to buy a wifi phone for internet surfing..

  6. Efren Sy says:

    @mr. bogus – you are open to your own opinion or preferences on gadgets or things to buy. That is your freedom, no one is dictating you to buy this to buy that.

    You are entitled to your own opinion about Apple products.
    I would like to contradict your statement that Filipinos are morons and does not know how to use Apple products!

    Praticality? use a desktop or netbook its cheaper plus you can browse all sites.

    I’m a Filipino, I bought the iPad 3G, I research about its features and I am happy to say I know how to use it with all its potential. I am not forcing you to buy this product or any Apple product. But please refrain from calling Filipinos Morons, I beg to disagree!

  7. Efren Sy says:

    David Miguel of UK

    Beware of this Man, I did an investigation.
    Selling 64gb iPad 3G coming from UK for $700 way below the price of Apple US.

    Check out Apple UK
    price of 64gb Apple iPad 3G is £699.00

    which in peso is 44K without taxes yet

    Don’t be fooled. Scammer ito.

    I have his email message I will be glad to post it here if you want to see.

  8. Efren Sy says:

    APN SETTINGS FOR GLOBE AND SMART SIMS:

    Operator: – Globe
    GPRS APN: – http://www.globe.com.ph
    Username: – globe
    Password: – globe
    DNS: – 203.127.225.10, 203.127.225.11

    Operator: – Smart
    GPRS APN: – internet
    Username: – {blank}
    Password: – {blank}
    DNS: – 202.57.96.3, 202.57.96.4

    These APN Settings will work for Globe Prepaid and Postpaid Sims.
    All Smart sims also, I currently am using smartbro prepaid sim.
    works great

  9. Efren Sy says:

    PHILIPPINES

    Operator  GPRS APN  Username  Password  Optional Settings
    Globe  http://www.globe.com.ph  globe  globe  DNS: 203.127.225.10, 203.127.225.11
     
    Smart  internet  [blank]   [blank]   DNS: 202.57.96.3, 202.57.96.4
     
    Sun Cellular  minternet  [blank]   [blank]   [blank] 

  10. neil says:

    i have an apple ipad wifi ready but I dont know how to get connected to wifi. please help. thanks

  11. Mark says:

    Settings, wifi, on, search for wifi hotspot, then connect by clicking,

  12. denzy says:

    available na ngayung july 23 yung ipad sa HK at Singapore, 728SG ang starting niya.. around 24Kplus s Peso.. it means ba na bababa narin ang price ng mga binebenta dito na unit?

  13. joan says:

    “Note: I re-wrote 80% of this review on my trusty netbook after finishing the first draft on the iPad. Got into trouble with “cut & paste” and lost almost everything I wrote using the iPad.”

    – simply user error

    @ markmarcelo0210 replied on Apr 22nd, 2010 at 4:19 pm (11)

    “I HATE APPLE PRODUCTS!!! Its competitors are still far more better than them. Like the iPhone I think Google Nexus One is better. The Macbook, I think Sony Vaio, Acer Aspire or Asus laptops are better. With this iPad naman, I would rather wait for HP’s version of iPad. That will be better.

    Ibagsak ang Apple!”

    – sour graping… you just can’t afford it…

    @ Efren Sy:

    “I’m a Filipino, I bought the iPad 3G, I research about its features and I am happy to say I know how to use it with all its potential. I am not forcing you to buy this product or any Apple product. But please refrain from calling Filipinos Morons, I beg to disagree!”

    – KUDOS!

  14. adam says:

    Guys check nyo din ito. Baka meron lang interested. Nakita ko lang ito sa facebook.
    IPAD China Made

  15. leeto says:

    tayo mga Pinoy mahilig sumunod sa uso, pa-sosyal kahit gutom, brand-conscious kahit di practical. kaya di tayo umaasenso, di tulad ng mga Chinese palugaw-lugaw lang pero ma-pera

  16. Sonicvipz says:

    magkano na ba ang ipad ngayon here in the philippines? 16gb wifi to 64gb 3g + wifi? and where can we buy? sa mac center any idea when will it be available?

  17. yescrank67 says:

    an apple fanboy will surely use an iPad to replace a much cheaper and useful netbook…

  18. maddog says:

    to Efren Sy, kindly detailed on how to change the APN, I cant find the DNS and GPRS setting on the IPAD. I bought this one in the USA with an AT&T sim.

    Thanks

  19. Juan Megi says:

    i bought mine in Hong Kong at IWorld at ISQUARE along Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui @ HK$6,488 as advertise, also at Tower shops…luckily i got 1 right after the Luneta incident…hahaha…kasi pila, pahirapan bago makabili. mine is 64Gig, Wifi and 3G na…before im just thinking its pamporma…but if you have the money…try to get one and for sure you’ll like it….actually i can access my mails easily with using Smartbro microsim…nice!…sad thing is…you have to buy apps…using your credit card…but no worries, just buy what you need…a lot of free apps naman…kung tipid ka…

  20. Juan Megi says:

    i bought mine in Hong Kong at IWorld at ISQUARE along Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui @ HK$6,488 as advertised on web, also at Tower shops…luckily i got 1 right after the Luneta incident…hahaha…kasi pila, pahirapan bago makabili. mine is 64Gig, Wifi and 3G na…before im just thinking its pamporma…but if you have the money…try to get one and for sure you’ll like it….actually i can access my mails easily with using Smartbro microsim…nice!…sad thing is…you have to buy apps…using your credit card…but no worries, just buy what you need…a lot of free apps naman…kung tipid ka…

  21. Maddog says:

    Hi juanmegi,

    Where did u get the smartbro microsim? Is. It available at malls?

    Thanks

  22. manu says:

    go to greenhills shopping center.. they cut your regular sim to micro

    credit rating repair

  23. Chanteuse says:

    Hello. I am a lounge singer, and I just want your opinion. I lug around a very heavy songbook, and it will become even heavier because I keep adding songs every week. I just want to know which is better for me — an iPad or a netbook? Basically, I need something that can help me view lyrics while I sing. Is the netbook good enough for this function?

  24. confused person says:

    do you know how much is the present price of a 64GB wifi only? I inquired at greenhills that a 16GB, wifi + 3G costs 28,800.

  25. Rogelio Bareng says:

    I just bought an i pad for my wife from apple, but needless to say walang camera, cell phone at flash player, magandang gamitin sa internet.

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