iPad: in the flesh, first impressions

[ Updated: Read our full iPad Review ] So TJ Manotoc and I got to play around with the new Apple iPad this afternoon. We taped a short segment for TV Patrol for tomorrow’s airing and I got a solid hour with the iPad.

It’s one thing to learn about the specs and see tons of pictures and videos of it. It’s another thing if you can hold it and experience the device first-hand.

The whole excitement revolves around the user experience. A lot of people have had an idea how it works because of the iPhone and the iPod Touch interface but once you take that small screen and give it a nice 10-inch upgrade, it’s a huge difference. It’s like being introduced to a macro lens for the first time in the world of digital photography.

Photo credits @tjmanotoc

Just a couple of run-downs:

  • The iPad is thin and very light for its size and that’s going to be key if you’d be holding this device for several hours at a time. The aluminum finish at the back gives you ample texture for one-hand grip.
  • The screen is bright and the images are crisp but since it’s glossy, you get a little distracted by glare from light sources even if you’re indoors. That means you’ll need to crank up the brightness settings when needed.
  • The speed of the device is noticeably faster — I think almost twice that of the iPhone 3GS. It’s very snappy and loading apps or browsing pages and pages of eBooks is a breeze.
  • The capacitive touchscreen is remarkably sensitive and responsive — you still retain the same gestures as you would have with an iPod Touch so no big strokes are needed just because the screen is bigger.
  • The virtual keyboard is very simple but works quite well. I think it will be comfortable to use this for extensive blogging (though that has yet to be proven).

I’ve been telling myself again and again that this device is purely for content consumption but @tjmanotoc‘s typing test showed good promise for the iPad as a content creation device.

That short time with the iPad isn’t really enough but so far those are my first impressions. Having tried a number of tablet netbooks and touch-capable mobile internet devices (MIDs) in the past, my initial expectations of the iPad were met and in some occasions, even exceeded. Our TV Patrol segment tomorrow on the iPad answers the question (a challenge that Apple is taking on) — will the iPad replace the ever-popular netbooks?

[ Updated: Read our full iPad Review ]

53 Comments on this Post

  1. rcsaint

    “iPad sales have already cracked the 500,000 mark with less than a week on the market, an estimate by Chitika found today. Basing it on the amount of new iPads connecting to Chitika’s ad network and accounting for the company’s share of the market, it believes that over 530,000 of the Apple tablets have been sold as of Wednesday night. The prediction would have Apple almost doubling its 300,000 launch day units and passing that figure by the end of the week or sooner.” electronista

    As i have said, it’s all about experience…mwuah!

  2. anonymous

    i read somewhere that Apple is releasing iPhone OS 4.0 either today or tomorrow. with that, iPad is useless to me. my iPhone can do stuff as much as i need. i can always use my macbook for a better internet experience, anytime! so it’s not really a must-have. ;)

  3. For browsing and gaming, the iPad should be good. but for 1 hour or more computing tasks better get a real laptop or an excellent netbook.

  4. The most important question about the iPad: “Will it Blend?” It sure did! These guys are absolutely crazy. http://bit.ly/9hMJgM

  5. Rommel

    How much?

  6. iPhone 4G might use the same processor as the iPad.. so that new phone will sure be faster..

    On the next tablet.. sir abe hehe.. Hopefully, will see an HP slate pc soon..

  7. I could see myself getting this instead of a laptop actually. I already have a hefty desktop which I do work on, mostly video production stuff which won’t fly on a laptop anyway.

    So my ideal mobile device would be mostly for leisure, internet, etc. So, a heavy duty work desktop for me, an iPhone for calls, and an iPad for leisure internet surfing, games, books, etc. while lounging around the house, cafes, etc. oh, and in the bathroom too.

    At $500 (P24,000) this is cheap for its purpose. Of course, we all know it’s going to cost much more in the Philippines, maybe P30,000+++??

  8. Magneto

    remember what Phil Schiller’s thoughts on the iPad:

    “..its about the experience. You just have to try it to see what i mean..”

    tama pala siya hehe :)

    its really hard not to love the iPad when your holding and using it

  9. anonymous

    you’ll love it for a few weeks or a month or so, because it’s the IN THING to have. but later on you’ll realize you just wasted P35,000 for some over-sized iPhone without a phone. hehehe

  10. Still we underestimate user experience. It’s what sells products, I think, not specs.

  11. francis

    I got my iPad last Tuesday and i love it, very snappy and very easy to use virtual keypad. I will keep my notebook and iMac

  12. I am waiting for my iPad 64GB wi-fi + 3G, which will be released end of this month. I will post my experience soon.

    Thanks for the post master Yuga.

  13. nag over heat daw yan

  14. I think islate is worth it..

  15. I mean the HP slate

  16. anonymous

    wlang camera to? a big… disappointment.

  17. When will the iPad be available in the Philippines? And can we assume the same price (499USD) converted using the prevailing x-rate?

  18. When will the iPad be available here in Manila? Got any idea?

    • @george – no word from Apple on local version but it’s going to be more expensive once it arrives in Manila due to prevailing customs and VAT charges.

  19. My boss show off his iPad yesterday, I think it’s cool. Not as big as I expected.

  20. Marvin Paul Catalan

    I’ve just bought my new iPad here in hong kong, yeah in hong kong!! @yuga nadownload mo n ba ung iBook app?

  21. Will the iwork for ipad will be available for Philippine Users? please advice…

  22. Dan Richard Fernandez

    I have the 32 GB IPad. Application wise, if you already have the IPod then it is not a necessity to buy it, however, if you’re a big boy who wants the latest toy, then IPad is for you. Downloadable apps (currently US store only) are great. Used it with our home wifi and its fast enough for me.

  23. Dan Richard Fernandez

    Since IPad is still not yet available her in the Philippines, few apps are only available (exclude iBook), however, some big boys purchase prepaid loads for the US store hence can download apps for the US store.


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