With much fanfare and hype the Apple iPad was introduced on January 27, 2010. Already the critics are out in force complaining of the things the iPad doesn’t have. Some have even called it a giant iPhone that can’t make phone calls. One thing is certain; the iPad has all of the Apple panache just as the iPod and iPhone have, but will it be a big hit or is it a white elephant?

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The iPad was introduced as a cross between a notebook and a smart phone. The Apple disciples have been eagerly awaiting a tablet computer from Apple for a long time, so I imagine that it will be a hit with them. For the non-Apple fanatics that took to the iPhone and iPod like ducks to water, I wonder if they will embrace the iPad too.

iPad Criticism

Whenever a big consumer electronics company comes out with a new and innovative product there is always criticism. I suppose we are all so used to technological advances that we are expectant that a new electronic device will be the answer to all our prayers. After all, a few years ago some people carried around a cell phone, an iPod, a PDA device or laptop, and a digital camera. So smartphones like the iPhone were welcome as they could almost replace all of the individual mentioned devices.

One of the most common criticisms is the name which many have said is too closely related to a feminine hygiene product prompting the term iTampon. Maybe they are right and it would have been better to call it the iTablet or iSlate. The critics have also mentioned many functions that they believe the iPad should incorporate, like:

No integrated USB
No HDMI port
No expandable memory
No camera for photos, video or apps
No flash support
No streaming video
No multitasking

The Prices

Many people were surprised by the low price when it was introduced as they expected a price of $1000. Others have said that the price is in fact high for such a device prompting rumours that Apple will reduce the price very shortly if expected sales are not forthcoming.

There are in fact various prices depending on the configuration. The iPad comes with 16, 32, or 64 GB capacity and with either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and 3G. So the base model with 16 GB and Wi-Fi only sells for $499, while the 64 GB model with both Wi-Fi and 3G sells for $829.

The Features

Criticism asides, there is a lot to like about the many features that the iPad does have. One of the major features is the ebook reader, iBook, which may end up being a Kindle killer. It is about the same size as the Kindle DX but it is slightly heaver and thicker. The main benefit is the LED backlit color display that all e-ink displays used by dedicated ebook reader’s lack. This will make it extremely useful for subscribing to newspapers and magazines as it is no fun reading a magazine on a Kindle in black and white.

Like many ebook readers, the iPad also supports viewing in portrait and landscape mode. But with the email function of the iPad, in landscape you can see your opened email plus the inbox and when you turn the display to portrait the opened email opens to fill the screen.

Other Features

Photos – You can use the iPad as a digital photo frame while it’s docked or charging.
Video You can watch HD moves, YouTube videos, podcasts, TV shows, and music videos. You can also switch between widescreen and full screen with just a double tap of the finger.
iPod and iTunes – You can display album art at full size and listen to music with the built-in speakers or by the Bluetooth wireless speakers. With iTunes you can preview songs before buying and you can sync the iPad with your iTunes library or your computer.
App Store – 140,000 apps from games to business are available to buy.

There are also maps, notes, calendar, contacts, and search functions. The battery life is stated at 10 hours which is enough to watch movies, surf the web, or listen to music.


So, will the Apple iPad sell like hot cakes? I am sure that most of the Apple die-hard fans will immediately snap up this latest offering. Only time will tell if the general public will find this device as irresistible as Steve Jobs hopes. Myself, I believe it will take off and only improve with future releases but I will sit on the fence for a while until I see if they are indeed going to reduce the price and wait for the iPad 2!

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