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Apple iPad review roundup

Early iPad review scores are stellar. Here's what critics like and hate about the Apple tablet.

By / April 2, 2010

The Apple iPad tablet aims to be part e-reader, part laptop.

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Interested in an iPad? Review scores say you ought to be.

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Apple has kept a very tight leash on its new tablet computer, allowing only a handful of reviewers and app developers to get their hands on it before this weekend's release.

Pre-order numbers have been high – analyst sale speculation even higher – but here are the pros and cons from people who've actually held it. If you want the bare-bones info, check out our post about the iPad specs, its lack of Flash video, and the price tag. If you want opinions from iPad reviews, read on.

The opening shot

"Is the iPad cheap? No. Is it flawless? Not at all," begins PC Mag. "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." The website gave Apple's iPad a 4.5-out-of-5 "very good" review.

The basics

"Apple rarely skimps on design and the iPad is no exception," says CNET in its pre-review. "The screen is made of the same oleophobic-coated glass as the iPhone 3GS', making it relatively easy to wipe away fingerprints. Behind the glass is an LED-backlit, 9.7-inch capacitive touch screen that uses IPS (in-plane switching) technology for above-average viewing angles.... For all its charms, however, the iPad is not as portable as we'd like. Part of the problem is psychological. Logically, you know the iPad's dimensions are no less portable than a book. But when a book costs between $500 and $800 and is made of glass, you treat it differently. Without being tucked away in a messenger bag or protective case, walking outside with an iPad in your hand feels like slapping the laws of gravity in the face."

The battery

"Apple asserts that the iPad runs 10 hours on a charge of its nonremovable battery — but we all know you can’t trust the manufacturer," explains David Pogue of the NYTimes. "And sure enough, in my own test, the iPad played movies continuously from 7:30 a.m. to 7:53 p.m. — more than 12 hours. That’s four times as long as a typical laptop or portable DVD player."

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