Major print publications equipped with iPad review units began publishing the first sanctioned critiques of the device when Apple lifted its embargo this evening and, generally speaking, they are all agreement that it could challenge a void in our digital lifestyles.
Below are links to, and select quotations from, five of those reviews:
“For the past week or so, I have been testing a sleek, light, silver-and-black tablet computer called an iPad. After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.”
“In 10 years of reviewing tech products for The New York Times, I’ve never seen a product as polarizing as Apple’s iPad, which arrives in stores on Saturday. […] The bottom line is that the iPad has been designed and built by a bunch of perfectionists. If you like the concept, you’ll love the machine. The only question is: Do you like the concept?”
“The most compelling sign that Apple got this right is the fact that despite the novelty of the iPad, the excitement slips away after about ten seconds and you’re completely focused on the task at hand … whether it’s reading a book, writing a report, or working on clearing your Inbox. Second most compelling: in situation after situation, I find that the iPad is the best computer in my household and office menagerie. It’s not a replacement for my notebook, mind you. It feels more as if the iPad is filling a gap that’s existed for quite some time.”
“The first iPad is a winner. It stacks up as a formidable electronic-reader rival for Amazon’s Kindle. It gives portable game machines from Nintendo and Sony a run for their money. At the very least, the iPad will likely drum up mass-market interest in tablet computing in ways that longtime tablet visionary and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates could only dream of. […] Apple has pretty much nailed it with this first iPad, though there’s certainly room for improvement. Nearly three years after making a splash with the iPhone, Apple has delivered another impressive product that largely lives up to the hype.
“Aside from Apple enthusiasts, many of us wondered who would drop hundreds of dollars for this not-quite-computer. But having used the iPad for some time, I can tell you that the device just makes sense. When you combine basic-but-essential work tools with iWork, an improved browser, e-mail, iPod, and photo applications, a well-executed e-Book platform with iBooks, and throw in thousands of downloadable apps and games, and package it all in a gorgeous, slim slate with a beautiful 9.7-inch touch screen, you have yourself a winner. Is the iPad cheap? No. Is it flawless? Not at all. Omissions including support for multitasking, a built-in camera for video chats, and Flash support in Safari leave room for improvement, but otherwise, the Apple iPad is a very convincing debut. And it will undoubtedly be a driving force in shaping the emerging tablet landscape.