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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.

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The laptop killer?

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"I also was impressed with the overall speed of the iPad," praises Walt Mossberg for the Wall Street Journal. "Apple’s custom processor makes it wicked fast. Screens appear almost instantly, and the Wi-Fi in my home tested as fast as it does on a laptop. I found email easy and productive to use, and had no trouble typing accurately and quickly on the iPad’s wide on-screen keyboard. In fact, I found the iPad virtual keyboard more comfortable and accurate to use than the cramped keyboards and touchpads on many netbooks, though some fast touch typists might disagree. Apple’s $39 iPad case, which bends to set up a nice angle for typing, helps. The Web browser also works beautifully, and takes advantage of the big screen to show full pages and cut down on scrolling."

The opportunity

"Maybe the most exciting thing about iPad is the apps that aren't here yet," writes Xeni Jardin in her rather gushing iPad review for Boing Boing. "The book-film-game hybrid someone will bust out in a year, redefining the experience of each, and suggesting some new nouns and verbs in the process. Or an augmented reality lens from NASA that lets you hold the thing up to the sky and pinpoint where the ISS is, next to what constellation, read the names and see the faces of the crew members, check how those fuel cells are holding up. I like it a lot. But it's the things I never knew it made possible — to be revealed or not in the coming months — that will determine whether I love it."

The final word

Since Mr. Pogue had the most reserved review of the bunch, we'll give him the final word: "Should I get the iPad or not? Well, I thought I made it clear that it depends on your mindset. It’s a brilliant machine, a category-creator, a joy to use. I think it will be a big hit. The apps coming out for it represent some of the most exciting software ideas in a long time. If you need a laptop, though, get a laptop."

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For more on the iPad, including reports on a Netflix app and the possibility of an iPad camera, check out the Monitor's extensive iPad coverage page.

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