Apple iPad review

It's no laptop replacement, but there is an argument for it as a secondary device. If you can live with the flaws, you'll find a beautiful gadget that manages to be that rare thing: a piece of technology that's fun.

David Bayon Tim Danton Ian Wrigley
8 Apr 2010
5
Price when reviewed 
359

Page 1 of 4 Apple iPad review

After months of build-up, we finally have an Apple iPad in our hands. But is this really going to create a new category of portable between a smartphone and a laptop, or is it a beautiful piece of hardware that will soon be doubling up as a fancy tea tray?

The hardware

Ease the iPad from the usual stylish Apple box and it hits you: the iPad really does look like an expanded iPhone, right down to the single Home button beneath the 9.7in display. The back is made from curved aluminium, complete with a large Apple logo, and around the sides sit the power button, volume controls, a 3.5mm headphone jack and the same 30-pin dock connector used by the iPhone.

Apple iPad

There were criticisms before launch that the wide black bezel around the display was excessive, but in practice you need that much space to hold the iPad without inadvertently touching the screen. The glass display is treated with a fingerprint-resistant coating, but even so after a few minutes’ use you’ll find it covered in smudges. Apple doesn’t provide a cleaning cloth in the box; a quick wipe on a sleeve is inelegant but effective.

The screen is every bit as good as you’d expect. It has a 1,024 x 768 resolution and uses in-plane switching (IPS) technology to ensure vibrant colours and a wide, 178-degree viewing angle. In use, it’s bright and full of contrast. It is very reflective, though, so don’t expect it to be legible in full sunlight.

The iPad is powered by a 1GHz Apple A4 processor based on ARM technology, and comes with 256MB of RAM, between 16 and 64GB of solid-state storage, 802.11n wireless and Bluetooth 2.1. We tested the mid-range 32GB model with Wi-Fi only; 3G versions will be arriving later.

Apple claims “up to ten hours” of battery life, and we wouldn’t argue with that. We actually managed a full ten hours on a single charge, with a mix of video and music playback and heavy switching between apps.

Page 1 of 4 Apple iPad review

Price when reviewed 
359(£299 exc VAT)

Physical specifications

Dimensions 190 x 13 x 243mm (WDH)
Weight 680g

Processor and memory

Processor Other
RAM capacity 0.26GB

Screen and video

Screen size 9.7in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,024
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1024 x 768

Drives

Capacity 32GB
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

3.5mm audio jacks 1
Hardware volume control? yes
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? no

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