It seems like years since the iPad was launched everywhere else in the World, but they have eventually launched in the UK. And i have mine. I should make it clear that i absolutely do not need an iPad, in the same way i don't need an iPhone. But i wanted one, so like many people that didn't know why, i got one. These are my findings:
It is a beautiful piece of equipment. It's smooth,shiny and it just feels like a very well made device. I don't really know why i like the look of it so much - after all there's no flashy lights, being touchscreen there are obviously no buttons,it's just understated and very elegant. Its simplicity of design is what does it i think. It's not too big, not too heavy in fact it's just like a big iPhone.
I have the basic Wifi version which has a 16GB of memory. There are other versions available (32GB and a 64GB).There is also a 3G version, but that's another £100 onto the price tag. If you already have an iPhone you will immediately be comfortable with how it works. It has a brilliant crisp 9.7" screen (excellent for videos), and as with the iPhone the touchscreen aspect works perfectly as expected. Its also very fast thanks to a 1GHz processor so you don't have to wait long for apps to load up.
As some of you will know the iPhone battery life is rubbish. I am actually quite impressed with the iPads battery. I got over 6 hours of use out of my first full charge, but i believe that will be shorter if i plan on doing a lot of heavy usage activities on it. Apple reckon that a 9 hour lifespan is possible.
Mine being the WiFi version i don't have GPS capability, although the models further up the range do. The WiFi model can get positional data ( it accumulates your co-ordinates as it passes WiFi hotspots - apparently ) but i don't see that as a deal breaker. I do however have a headphone speaker jack, a dock connector, a volume control switch and a nifty screen lock button which 'fixes' the screen rather that letting it rotate with the iPad. The speaker seems pretty good, and unless on maximum volume it doesn't distort much at all.
There is however no camera, but again i don't think that's a massive issue for me, i can see though that some people would find it useful for doing video conferences and Skype.
All very interesting, but whats it like to use?
I think it's very,very good. Sure, i've heard some grumbles about the on screen keyboard not being that great, but i haven't really has a problem with it and it certainly makes typing big emails really easy. I do have one slight grumble with the iPad - whilst it happily runs iPhone apps, they are simply 'blown up' to fit the screen. This makes some of them look a bit sub standard. The 'proper' iPad apps though are magnificent.Games on the iPad are superb, much better than the iPhone thanks to its processing speed and bright display.
All in all it does everything i could've hoped for, and it does it well.
For all it's plus points i think people that are REALLY into specs and want things like a camera and a GPS might be a little disappointed at these omissions - at least until the 2.0 version comes out. It's also expensive in the UK at over £400, and i can't help but think it is just a really big iPhone with some extra bits.
If like me you have to have the latest bit of gadgetry it wont really matter what anyone says, you'll buy one anyway. But for anyone sitting on the fence i would suggest that you try one and see how good they are for yourself.
And so, in conclusion
Buy one, you know you want to! I highly recommend it.
p.s i'd also recommend some screen covers - i have reviewed some here