Home > apple, ipad > iPad thoughts part 1 – Hardware

iPad thoughts part 1 – Hardware

The UK release of the iPad is only a few days away on 28th May, so here are some thoughts on the iPad and using it in the UK. These are based on using a 32Gb WiFi only iPad in both the US and UK.

The Hardware is very good, especially for a first generation device. There are plenty of comments online from those waiting for the next generation iPad, the one with the camera and all the other things on the wish list. There are also those waiting for the price to drop, but given the current level of sales that’s not likely to happen anytime soon.
The screen is the first standout feature, being bright, sharp, vibrant and viewable from just about any angle. Once you get past how good the screen is the interface grabs your attention. Much has been written about the missing features of iPad OS 3.2, but until OS 4 is released later this year it’s perfectly usable. However, the lack of multitasking is even more irritating than on the iPhone as the iPad feels capable of so much more. A larger screen opens up the iPhone OS making everything easier to use, resulting in the iPhone now feeling cramped and fiddly. Sound is a surprise for its volume and clarity considering there’s only a small speaker on one side of the device. Battery Life is pretty amazing, with ten hours of web browsing and watching video easily achievable. The only negative point is the weight, as the iPad proves unwieldy to hold for extended periods.

To get the most from the iPad an internet connection is required, and not having one gets annoying really fast. Web, email, RSS readers, maps and a host of other online activities are transformed by the tough interface, even one that feels a bit basic at times. The choice of paying more for a 3G model then paying for mobile data on top may be an easy one for those constantly on the move, but for someone using the iPad mostly at home the decision isn’t easy. There’s always the option of using an iPhone as a mobile net access router through tethering, if you don’t mind paying more for the package from O2. Alternatively devices like the MiFi offer a mobile 3G router on contract or pay as you go terms.

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