The first iPad reviews are in and so far they're sounding pretty great with very few reservations. Here are the highlights of what the early reviewers are saying:
The WSJ's Walt Mossberg is in love with the iPad's interface and design:
The iPad is an advance in making more-sophisticated computing possible via a simple touch interface on a slender, light device. Only time will tell if it's a real challenger to the laptop and netbook.
USA Today's Edward Baig was impressed:
Apple has pretty much nailed it with this first iPad, though there's certainly room for improvement. Nearly three years after making a splash with the iPhone, Apple has delivered another impressive product that largely lives up to the hype.
NYT's David Pogue was sure to clarify just where the device excels:
The iPad is not a laptop. It's not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it's infinitely more convenient for consuming it - books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on. For most people, manipulating these digital materials directly by touching them is a completely new experience - and a deeply satisfying one.
PC Mag's Tim Gideon also realizes the iPad's limitations, but praises it nonetheless:
Is the iPad a perfect product? No. And the omissions will give the anti-Apple crowd plenty of ammo. Why do I need this extra device that's not a full-fledged laptop? Where's the camera? What about Flash? Um, how about multitasking? These are all valid complaints, but one thing I can say about most Apple products, and certainly the iPad: There may be things it doesn't do, but what it does do, it does remarkably well. Aside from the aforementioned limitations, there isn't a lot else to gripe about. And to my great surprise, you can actually get real work done with the iPad.
The Houston Chronicle's Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus agrees with our thoughts that the iPad is a whole new category of mobile devices:
It turns out the iPad isn't as much a laptop replacement as I thought (though it could easily be used as one). Instead, it's an entirely new category of mobile device. For example, now when I want to surf the Web from the couch or back deck, the iPad is the device I choose. Starbucks? Same thing. Think of the iPad as a new arrow in your technology quiver, an arrow that will often be the best tool for a given task.
I had high expectations for the iPad, and it has met or exceeded most of them.
BoingBoing's Xeni Jardin was thinking ahead while trying out the device:
Maybe the most exciting thing about iPad is the apps that aren't here yet. The book-film-game hybrid someone will bust out in a year, redefining the experience of each, and suggesting some new nouns and verbs in the process. Or an augmented reality lens from NASA that lets you hold the thing up to the sky and pinpoint where the ISS is, next to what constellation, read the names and see the faces of the crew members, check how those fuel cells are holding up.
I like it a lot. But it's the things I never knew it made possible - to be revealed or not in the coming months - that will determine whether I love it.
The Chicago Sun-Times' Andy Ihnatko thought the iPad lived up to all the excitement and hype:
The iPad user experience is instantly compelling and elegant. It's not every computer and every function. It's a computer that's designed for speed, mobility, and tactile interaction above all other considerations.
The Root's Omar Wasow thinks the iPad has something for everyone:
Apple pulled off a remarkable balancing act in that it has designed the iPad in such a way that in can simultaneously appeal to both newbies and nerds. For low-tech users looking for an affordable entry-level PC, the iPad is a computer without all the distractions. [...] For the tech-savvy with $500 to drop on a gadget, the iPad offers a convenient way to consume and enjoy digital media without being tethered to a computer all day.