So, it’s been a week of romancing my new Apple iPad. I’ve tried all possible features – video playback, games, email, photo slideshow, iBooks and iBookstore, sync my Gmail contact, rented a movie from iTunes, redeem iTunes Gift card, post tweets, blog, check Facebook and more. I guess it’s time for a full review of the Apple iPad.
There will be two versions of my iPad Review – one to be published here and is specific to Philippine iPad users and the other will be published at the iPad News Hub which will be catered to a worldwide audience.
So here goes, my Apple iPad Review for Philippine consumers.
Apple iPad – Form Factor and Design
To begin this review, let me focus on the iPad’s form factor and design since many are inclined to think that the iPad is just a giant iPod Touch. Function-wise perhaps, this is true. But design-wise, I would rather put it as the iPad being a tablet form of the MacBook Pro. The back part of the iPad adapts the same design as the MacBook Pro – with the familiar solid aluminum finish.
Just imagine your iPod Touch in 9.7-inch screen and you pretty much know how the iPad would look like. But of course, imagination is not enough. You have to hold, touch, and feel the iPad to appreciate how different the experience of using it is as compared to an iPod Touch. Larger screen in crisp display resolution best describe the iPad’s display capability.
Similarities include the singular home screen button and the volume controls, infrared, 3.4mm port, USB data cable port and speakers on the side of the iPad.
Apple iPad – Apps, and the iPad App Store
Like the iPod Touch and iPhone, the iPad has its own App Store which currently holds around 10,000 plus third-party applications as well as Apple’s own iWork apps that include – keynotes, pages, and numbers. Though it pales in comparison with the iPhone’s large database of apps, in time I’m pretty sure third-party developers will jump in and come up with their useful and cool apps.
Free apps are freely available for your Philippine iTunes account, while unfortunately paid apps are exclusive to US iTunes account only. So, you’re only recourse would be to purchase those iTunes Gift Certificates after creating a U.S. iTunes Account. Or you can register a credit card which iTunes will charge for every transactions you will make.
Transferring apps is a breeze and you can either do it from the iPad itself or via iTunes and then sync it later on your iPad.
Apple iPad – Default Apps and Features
After you got your iPad, Apple was kind enough to pre-load it with defaul apps similar to the iPod Touch or iPhone. These include – mail app, video, YouTube, Calendar, Contacts, iPod, and Photos.
Email app supports MobileMe, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL, and Windows Live Mail. You can also synchronize your Gmail or Facebook Contacts with your iPad’s contact apps.
Apple iPad – WiFi
Contrary to what others have experienced, I didn’t have a problem with my iPad’s Wi-Fi connectivity. The Wi-Fi reception is strong whenever this is signal. It works well with my home router as well various hotspots in coffee shops and malls. You can also purchase iPad SIM cards with mobile broadband, for more information on these microsims you can visit iPad Genie.
Apple iPad – Other Features
Among the features of the iPad that I enjoy a lot include e-book reading, email integration, HD video playback, fast Wi-Fi feature and long battery life.
E-book reading is a pleasant experience with the iPad. I believe it’s even better than the reading experience when using an Amazon Kindle. Contrary to what others say, prolong reading on the iPad does not really strain the eye. What’s cool about the iPad’s iBook app is how flawless the animation is when you are turning a page. It’s like turning the pages of a real life book.
I’ve installed the Kindle App for iPad and I found it less appealing than the iBooks. The only plus factor of the Kindle is of course its large collection of ebooks available on the Kindle Bookstore. But I’m pretty sure that once the iPad reaches the hands of many users, book publishers will start rushing into the iBookstore.
Apple iPad – Video Playback
Another strong point of the iPad is the HD Video playback capability. Since, I don’t have time to convert my HD videos into the iPad format, I tried renting a movie from the iTunes Store. After several hours of downloading the HD movie I was finally able to watch it on my iPad.
Am I impressed? Most certainly. Apple is putting the digital media player manufacturers in danger of bankcruptcy here. The video display of the iPad is as flawless and sharp as it is when watching it on the small screen size of the iPhone or iPod Touch.
Apple iPad Verdict – Should You Get an Ipad?
True to what Steve Jobs was evangelizing about, the Apple iPad is indeed a magical device at an affordable price. Should you get the iPad? – Yes.
If you want another review of the Apple iPad, check out Yugatech. He mentioned something about the iPad not replacing the netbook yet.