Tech News on G4
Apple iPad 3G is Magical
May 27, 2010
By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada
After being hands-on for the last 10 days with Apple iPad, Humphrey Bogart's line from Casablanca best sums up the experience when he said, "Louis, I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship." Friends do things together and go places together and the same holds true for the iPad, you'll want it to be with you everywhere you go.
And wherever I go, I want to be connected. I want to check email, read news and surf the Internet. I also want the ability to work, but also play games, view photos, listen to music, watch videos and have the ability to purchase them when I want to. And now, to do it right I need to lug around a plethora of devices and gadgets. You'll find a way to take it with you.
The iPad can eliminate a number of these and give me a better experience while doing so. First of all it's cool. At about 9.5" x 7.5" it's obviously bigger than a smartphone, iPhone or an iPod touch, but it's still much smaller than your average laptop. It's only ½" thick, and weighs only 1.5 lbs., so it easily fits in a small briefcase or backpack.
It turns on instantly and the absolutely stunning 9.7" LED-backlit glossy widescreen display makes watching movies, YouTube videos, flipping through pictures or simply reading is a true pleasure. It's easy on your eyes, rivaling even the best in-flight entertainment. And the enhanced Multi-Touch feature allows you to easily navigate through all the applications, simply by using your finger - no mouse required.
3G Connect Anywhere
To keep you connected, the Wi-FI model supports 802.11n and can be used anyplace with a wireless Internet connection. The Wi-Fi+3G model gives you even more options and more freedom - surfing the net on a bus, on a boat or even in the middle of a field.
If you're a heavy computer user carry around a laptop, notebook or netbook, the iPad may not necessarily replace it, but it time, who knows? But if you need to work, for $9.99 each, iWork Apps - Keynote, Numbers and Pages have been ported to the iPad. Projecting your slide presentation is a cinch with an optional dock to VGA adapter. Importing photos and videos from your camera can also be done with connecting to a computer with again optional iPad Camera Connection kit that includes a camera connection and an SD card reader.
The standard apps, Like Safari, Mail, etc., have all been redesigned. Even simple tasks like taking notes or using email has been enhanced with split-screen functionality. The on-screen keyboard is large enough in both portrait or landscape modes and useable with two hands and more naturally responsive with the enhanced multi-touch. If you do need real keys, purchase the full-sized iPad Keyboard Dock.
The Photo app has a new interface. Photos are displayed in stacks, just like those old print piled up in your shoebox. Simply tap on a stack, flick through the pictures, zoom out to those you want to see in full size. You can also run a slideshow and with the optional iPad Dock, you can charge your iPad and turn it into a digital picture frame.
Gaming - A whole new level
Gaming goes to a new level. Games like Scrabble allow you to use the iPad for the game board and the iPhone for your tile rack. Shrek Cart HD, allow you to use the entire iPad as a steering device. Avatar shows off the games high definition graphics capability and Party Place Marble Mixer gives a whole new meaning to tabletop party games you played years ago.
And if you already own apps the App Store, they will run nicely on your iPad, but in their original sized window. Zooming in is optional but quality might be degraded depending on its original resolution.
With all the features, its hard not to share an app that really illustrates what the iPad can do. It's Star Walk. Originally release for the iPhone, it's game like in nature, but its more like your personal planetarium in the sky, teaching you all you ever need to know about the stars, the sky and constellations. And using iPads compass, it can orient the experience to reflect your own actual location.
The iPad is also perfect for reading e-books. Download the free app and have yourself your own little bookshelf and e-book reader. Read books, flip pages, just like you do in print. If you need more, you can buy or download free books from Apple's new iBookstore. You'll find you'll read more and kill fewer trees.
Wi-Fi models are priced at 16GB $549, 32GB $649, 64GB $749. Wi-fi+3G models are $130 more, $679, $779, and $879 respectively. You'll need a micro Simm and a data plan. Rogers offer monthly packages with no contract at $15/250MB; $35/5GB. In Canada, the iPad will be available at Apple's on-line store, Apple retail stores and select dealers, Fri May 28th.
The iPad has so many features and there are even more to uncover. I now understand what Apple CEO, Steve Jobs meant when he referred to the iPad as a magical & revolutionary device.
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