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.
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 ]