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iPad Launch

April 5, 2010 - Dave Hecei

Apple set the date, April 3rd 2010, as the launch day of the new iPad. I made the trek to a nearby, if you call a two and a half hour drive nearby, Apple Store to check out the iPad and those who wanted to buy one.

My Apple Store of choice this time was at the Legacy Village just outside of Cleveland, OH. The store was full and a bit noisy, but it wasn't overly crowded. There were about a dozen demo units tethered to a center table and along the wall near the front of the store. It only took about five minutes for my turn to play with one.

First impressions, it is an amazing device. Apple is well known for their design along with the fit and finish of their products. The iPad keeps that tradition. Surprisingly, the iPad does have a bit of heft to it. On paper the iPad is 9.56 by 7.47 inches and only a half an inch thick. It weighs 1.5 pounds. That 1.5 pounds sounds like it's a featherweight, but  it feels heavier than it looks.

The screen is another impressive feature. The 9.7-inch LED backlit color display is extremely sharp and crisp, indoors. While I was holding it in a very brightly lit room, right near the door of the store, I had no problems seeing the screen. Rumors that the iPad does poorly out in sunlight are not surprising, color LCDs rarely do well in that situation.

Since I only got to use an iPad for several minutes, I cannot really say how well the battery is, but reports on several Mac and Tech sites seems to indicate that the iPad battery definitely lasts the 10 hours that Apple claims. Some are reporting even longer times.

The iPad screams. Yes, it does have a speaker built in, but I'm talking about speed. Everything opens instantly and nothing I did on the iPad ever hesitated or stuttered. Movies pop up quickly and played smoothly. Web sites all appeared super fast and except for the known absence of Adobe Flash, all sites I tried displayed without any problems.

While I was very tempted to pop out the plastic and take one home with me, this is just the WiFi only model. In a few weeks, somewhere around 3 to 6, Apple will release an iPad that also has 3G cellular data access along with A-GPS (Assisted-Global Positioning System). If I were to get an iPad it would most likely be this model. Since I don't have an iPhone, or any smart phone, and WiFi spots are limited where I live, the 3G cellular model makes much more sense for my purposes. The GPS is just an extra cherry on top.

All in all, I am very impressed with the iPad. It looks like Apple definitely hit the mark with this whole new device type. The only problem now is having to deal with all the 'iPad killers' for the next two or three years, while everyone tries to catch up to Apple...again.


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Apple Store at Legacy Village - Cleveland, OH


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