Mossberg: Apple’s iPad is handsome, feels comfortable and solid, offers impressive software

“I have only spent a short time hands-on with the iPad–too short to fully run it through its paces and formally review it yet. But, after attending the rollout of the new device today, and trying out some of its features for myself, I have some first impressions,” Walter S. Mossberg writes for AllThingsD.

“On the plus side, the device is handsome, feels comfortable and solid to hold, and has all that beautiful software built in,” Mossberg writes. “Oh, and it’s amazingly low-priced for an Apple product, with that modest $499 price tag for a base version… It also boasts a decent 10 hours of battery life, and Mr, Jobs told me after the event that, for some functions, like playing video and music, the battery should last even longer… iPad will run most of the current 140,000 iPhone apps, either in a small window on the screen, or in a full-screen mode. That’s a huge plus for a new device.”

“But there are minuses. First, since it’s too big to go in a pocket, people might perceive it as just another thing to carry around, despite the fact that it’s only a half inch thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds. It also lacks a common and popular laptop feature–a web cam. So, it can’t be used for video chats or for the creation of web videos,” Mossberg writes. “Also, the carrier for the iPad’s 3G plan is the deeply unpopular AT&T.”


Direct link to video via AllThingsD here.

“Finally, while it’s too early for me to say without lots of testing, the size of the iPad’s virtual keyboard may be a liability. I found it almost too wide for thumb typing, and a colleague who’s a whiz at touch typing and tried it briefly found it awkward to type on. Apple is offering an auxiliary physical keyboard that docks with, and charges, the iPad,” Mossberg writes. “But you won’t want to lug that around.”

MacDailyNews Take: It depends. You might want to “lug” that keyboard around. Say, if you’re on a cross-country plane flight and you know you’re going to be writing in Pages, for example. The iPad Keyboard Dock certainly seems light and thin enough to slip into a backpack along with the thin and light iPad. And, for normal “typing” on-to-go, the iPad’s on-screen keyboard(s) just might work out better than Mossberg and his nameless colleague think after a brief, cursory test. After all, new keyboards, be they virtual or not, usually feel “awkward” at first and take some getting used to.

Mossberg continues, “Still, the software looked impressive, and that could help Steve Jobs do the one thing even he has never done in an amazing career: get the public to love not just a better version of an existing type of gadget, but a whole new category of gadget.”

There’s much more in the full article – recommended – here.

44 Comments

  1. Okay, let me just put this out there and apologize beforehand, but…

    Here’s what I see when I look at the iPad—someone took a TRS-80 Model 100, deposited it deep in the past on some other planet, and now after 1,000 years of evolving it has come home.

  2. @deepdish: that’s okay, the same people said the iPod was an overpriced toy that no one would buy, that the iPhone was dead on arrival because it was overpriced and lacked even basic functionality, that selling apps through a central storefront would never work, etc. etc. etc. etc.

  3. Question about the keyboard, would not Apple’s already georgous Bluetooth keyboard be a terrific companion for this with that Apple iPad case for physical keyboard input? I would spend the change for these to go together…

  4. What amazes me about this thing is how I look at it’s features and say, “I said this is what they should do three years ago.” And you think “It’s just a big iPod Touch, what took so long?”

    I’m sure these design guys were thinking the same thing all along. The design process must be really hard! Can you imagine being able to postpone the gratification this long? “Nope, not ready.” “Send it back.” “That sucks!” “Try again.” “Wait till Steve gets back.”

    I have a feeling it does what it does really well.

  5. If you look on technical specs at apple.com, you will see stand without keyboard & mention that you can use the wireless keyboard. That is my plan.

    My only complaint is – I would prefer tethering over $130 for 3g plus a $15 or $30 monthly fee. How about an extra $20 per month for tethering iPhone & iPad only, ie no laptops????

  6. Like I said, no webcam is a huge mistake, as much as no 3G, no GPS and high price on 1st gen iPhone was! The iPad simply will not do well and will be relegated to Cube 2 status! I hope I’m wrong! It’s a beautiful 1st iteration, but it is not a revolutionary masterpiece! Apple sometimes just doesn’t get it (e.g., Flower Power & Dalmation iMacs, that ugly-ass speaker iPod dock thingee, Apple TV, Lisa, Newton, Cube, etc.). Today was a big yawnfest! I’ll probably buy the damn thing anyway! What’s up with charging $130 for 3G btw? What does the chip cost? Like a buck? WTH!

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