“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.