Apple iPad review: the ultimate browsing machine

The #Apple #iPad is beautiful, compelling and doesn’t do any of the annoying things computers do.

The Apple iPad went on sale in the United States on Saturday  Photo: Reuters

The Apple iPad went on sale in the United States on Saturday Photo: Reuters

What can you say about the #iPad that hasn’t already been said? In the eight weeks since the #Apple tablet computer was released in the United States it has attracted luminous praise and indignant outrage. If #Apple’s recent trouble keeping its shelves filled is anything to go by, the praise has been convincing. The international launch of the #iPad was delayed by a month to ensure sufficient supply.

On Friday, finally, Britons will be able to get their hands on one and judge for themselves. Having spent the last week playing with an #iPad I can make some guesses about what their first impressions are likely to be.

Firstly, it’s unexpectedly big, with a deliciously generous screen. After relying on a mobile phone for portable web access, the 9.7 inch screen is a revelation, with plenty of room to display a web page at a readable size. That’s not to say that it’s uncomfortably large. It’s very slim and weighs about the same as a hardback book.

As with the #iPhone and the iPod touch, the front is a screen and one button. The beauty of this simple design is that the device seems to disappear once you start using it. Whether you’re browsing the web, reading a book, playing a game or checking email, the #iPad fades away and becomes the thing that it’s being used for.

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This is helped by the fact that though the #iPad is a powerful computer, it doesn’t do any of the annoying things that computers do. There are no distracting fans buzzing away and it never seems to get hot. Battery life is fantastic too; if anything, #Apple’s claim that it runs for 10 hours is an underestimate.

It’s not perfect, of course. The fingerprint smudges that accumulate swiftly on the touch screen can be irritating and if you visit websites that use a lot of Flash you’ll be disappointed because the #iPad won’t display that content. (That, says #Apple, is one of the ways they avoid buzzing fans and hot processors).

The #iPad will run #iPhone apps too – boosting the number of available apps considerably. However, few apps look good blown up to twice their original size and the result is that neither the app nor the #iPad looks its best.

Those complaints seem trivial given what the #iPad does well. It’s the ultimate browsing machine. Forget smartphones and laptops – for feet-up browsing from your armchair, the #iPad does it best.

By Shane Richmond, Head of Technology (Editorial) at telegraph.co.uk


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