Gallery: hands on with the Apple iPad
I've just managed to get hands on with the Apple iPad, which is a lot better in the flesh than on paper. Don't just a eBook by its specs. Anyway, while I'm formulating my thoughts, here are a few shots of the iPad in action:
Above: the photo application allows you to view stacks of photos synched via USB from your Mac or PC. But there's no onboard camera.
A pinch movement allows you to preview what's in each photo stack.
The iBook Store and application is beautifully realised (it looks a lot like a great Mac App called Delicious Library).
The iPad will run iPhone apps at standard resolution or double size - I played Bejewelled zoomed up to big size and it looked pretty good. But of course, developers will start to produce iPad specific version of their apps.
Maps is really quick and looks amazing - particularly in Street View - but there's no proper GPS in the non-3G versions of the iPad.
This map is an email attachment - which you can pinch to zoom.
The email client is seriously nice, giving you an iPhone-style list view next to the preview window.
The iPad is really thin and light. It feels much more like an overgrown iPod Touch than a fully fledged tablet PC.
I don't quite get the keyboard dock - it only works with the iPad in portrait mode, which seems bizarre. But you can use a Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad.
The iPad case is an optional extra, but it does a nice job of turning the iPad into a wedge shaped computer. But you wouldn't want to type for too long on the virtual keyboard. I tried - and failed - to touch type.