One of the hot digital releases from 2010, the iPad from Apple received a flurry of publicity and a whole heap of sales: 1 million units in its first month in the US, including 300,000 on the first day alone. It’s definitely popular, but is it worth buying? One debated point is what the iPad actually is – critics say that it’s just a larger version of the iPhone, while proponents argue it’s a more versatile, easily transportable laptop in the form of a tablet computer.
There’s a bigger debate here, though, as it’s the size of a laptop but doesn’t have all of the features you might want or expect. There are no USB ports, DVD drive or physical keyboard, although reviews of the touch screen features – particularly the keyboard – have been fairly positive. It’s also great for using the internet on the go and has better capabilities than smart phones, but if you want it as a replacement for a laptop, then you might find it a little wanting.
One of the best things in favor of the iPad is the great range of apps that are available from iTunes as they are with all Apple products. As it’s multifunctional, it’s seen as competition to the e-readers that are currently available: it’s not just limited to books as they are. It’s also great for using features such as maps and SatNav when you’re on the go and the email function and ease of access to the internet are seen as plus points.
Another plus point is the range of memory options available, which also gives you some control over the price. You can go for a more expensive option with 3G connectivity as well as choosing from a variety of memory options from 16Gb all the way up to 64Gb. One downside that has been highlighted, though, is the fact that if you want to use a SIM with the iPad, you have to sign up to a special network contract as it’s not currently possible to transfer your old one.
Overall, the iPad is a pretty nifty device but it’s worth bearing in mind the fact that it’s early days: there are still a few little kinks in the current model that should be ironed out with time. There are issues with displaying some websites, the speakers aren’t great and the lack of webcam is noticeable. Critics also argue that it gives Apple unfair control over how people access the internet, but as other companies introduce rival models, it stands to reason that this won’t last.
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