My iPad review...


macrumors G3
Original poster
Mar 29, 2008

I was going to do an unboxing and take lots of funky pictures, but honestly, I decided not to do so because of the myriad of images/unboxings already out there.

So, without further ado, my iPad review, sans pictures, funkiness.

First impressions:

Woah. It's somehow a lot bigger and heavier than you'd expect. It's *only* 1.5 lbs, but somehow it feels like a lot more. I'd be lying if I said that reading on this thing for any large amount of time would not be a fun thing. I'm a Kindle 2 fan, so this is a really big change in terms of weight...

The screen is gorgeous and large, and wonderfully bright, though it's definitely a missed opportunity not being able to change the brightness at a moment's notice. We shouldn't have to exit the application we're running to go into Settings, and then another menu... to have to do this. It's about time Apple implemented what Jailbreakers all over the world have been using on their iPhones/iPod touch devices: SBSettings. A quick swipe in the menu bar brings up shortcuts to wifi on/of, BT on/off, brightness bar etc.

But really, the biggest problem, and I'm going back to it - is the weight. It might even be *too* heavy. I just got weary holding it for any length of time. I thought I wouldn't, but I just do! :(

Moving on...

Home screen:

Utterly, utterly pointless. It works on the iPod touch/iPhone, and doesn't work on the iPad. What a complete waste of space! It just looks so wrong to see all these hugely spaced icons! And why can we have 6 icons in the dock and only 4 on the other rows in portrait mode?


Safari is gorgeous on the iPad. Really, really gorgeous. There are some caveats, though. Expect to see the good old chequerboard patterns as you scroll down websites (e.g., and image-heavy sites load nowhere near as fast as, say, a desktop computer, but maybe I was expecting too much, here. I think my biggest complaint, though, and this is more of a system-wide complaint, is that the screen resolution isn't quite high enough. Text on the iPad reminds me all too much of text on the iPhone, which, in 2009, pales by comparison to 854x480 devices such as the ANDROID. 1024x768 on a 9.7" screen is not very impressive, IPS/LED or otherwise!

My other complaint with Safari is that scrolling up and down pages isn't always super smooth. The actual finger-response is excellent, in typical Apple fashion, but there are certainly what I would describe as "dropped frames" in the scrolling. Again, is a good example of that. With the page fully loaded on the iPad and on my iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 3GS scrolls up and down the page much more smoothly than the iPad. I suspect the resolution increase on the iPad has a lot to do with this, but it's still not always as pretty as it should be on the iPad, and with the amount of power it supposedly has, this is disappointing.

****Disappointing also is the apparent lack of RAM in the iPad. I don't know how much it ACTUALLY has, but with no other applications open EXCEPT Safari, I would open e.g, then a new tab with, and then another new tab with, and wait for them all to FULLY load. I then opened, and waited for that to fully load. Switching back to the first tab: resulted in a FULL RELOAD of the page. Same thing for, and By comparison, my iPhone 3GS can have all those tabs open AND more tabls, and not have to reload any of them when switching back and forth. So what's going on here, iPad? :confused::confused:****

Also, I believe the menu bar is quite tricky to hit consistently, e.g. to go back a page or forward a page, because your hand moves up over the screen, obscuring so much, to hit tiny on-screen buttons. With a screen this size, it's madness that gestures from current MacBooks/MacBook Pros aren't included in the iPad to alleviate this issue. For example, would it have been too much to ask for 3-finger swiping to go forward/back a page? Or 3-finger swiping down to bring up the tabs expose for what we have open? It feels so natural that it WOULD be there, so I'm actually quite disappointed it's not.

Curiously, when you open a new tab, it defaults to the Google part of the bar, not the website-entry part of the bar... Very odd!

The screen also suffers from "Wobbly Syndrome." Like my iPhone 3GS, if you scroll up and down the page quickly, the text seems to have some form of vertical shift. The best analogy I can use is if you know the Wobbly-Pencil trick, it will remind you of that. I had brought this up when I got my 3GS, and only a few people knew exactly what I was talking about then, so I suspect the same now.


Typing is actually fairly easy with two hands in landscape mode. While I wouldn't be typing essays on it, for e-mail and web surfing it will be great. The only thing holding it back is that the bezel is quite large below the space bar, so it will take some getting used to.


Sound quality is remarkably good for having two little speakers in there. While it lacks any bass whatsoever, even at maximum volume it doesn't distort at all. Earphones, though, as always - preferred. Oh, that reminds me: The headphone jack is in the wrong place. It should be on the bottom. When holding the device in portrait mode, the earphone cord is really in the way at the top of the screen.

iPhone apps:

Boy, when Apple said the iPad works with most of the iPhone apps, they weren't kidding. But, somehow, they were. Playing Plants vs Zombies (non-iPad version) is incredibly ugly. You can play it in 480x320 in a small window on your iPad which is nice and sharp but far too small, or a double-size version which is blurry and ugly. No big deal, I'll just buy the iPad version, I says to myself. Wait... $9.99? This leads to another frustration: No discount for owners who already bought the game for iPhone/iPod touch. While I understand that redoing the game for iPad may cost some resources, I believe that if I spent e.g. $2.99 for the iPhone version, there should be a way to just pay the difference from that version to the iPad version. i.e. I'd be "OK" with paying $7 to have the iPad version. As it is, no way in heck I'm paying another $9.99 for Plants vs Zombies. But that's just one example... What it comes down to is that there ought to be some kind of upgrade infrastructure in place so that we're not essentially buying the same app twice.


Reading on the iPad is nowhere near as horrible as I thought it would be. In fact, it pleasantly surprised me, despite it not coming close to replacing my Kindle 2. The interface is extremely slick. In fact, it's the slickest e-book interface I've ever used, ever. Ever. You can "grab" the page at the top right or bottom right, and literally peel it back in fast or slow motion to the next page. It's quite satisfying to do this! Pages turn fairly fast, though both my wife and I noticed it's not instant, even if you just "tap" the right side of a page (another way of turning the page). It's slightly faster than a Kindle 2's e-ink refresh, but not by much, surprisingly! Either is more than good, though. I also noticed the pictures in the free Winnie the Pooh book would sometimes take a few miliseconds to populate, and when turning to a page with many illustrations it would slow the device down just a tad.

Back to resolution: I know, a broken record.. But the iPad's screen resolution is once again a problem. The jaggies in the text are quite obvious when set to a comparable size to the Kindle 2 (about medium size). The Kindle 2's text just looks smoother (800x600 6"). I couldn't help but think I was reading a book on a computer, whereas the Kindle 2 does not give that impression. The iPad is also very reflective, which doesn't help its cause either... BUT, this does give me hope for a color e-ink device. I really, really like the accents around the pages on the iPad, and color really does give the books some warmth, even if you are reading just text.

Overall, a great effort by Apple. I have pretty much no complaints with the iBooks app. Rather, my complaints lie with the hardware itself.


It's a lovely device. Aesthetically very minimalistic. It's a giant slab. There's nothing too much you can say about it in that regard. If you're used to an iPhone/iPod touch, you'll feel quite at home here. It does get absolutely COVERED in fingerprints in less than 10 seconds, though, which actually is quite ugly to see, and it surprises me that there was no cloth included in the packaging! Call it one of Apple's great ironies that with its iMacs and MacBooks they include a nice cleaning cloth, despite the fact that you're SUPPOSED to spend absolutely 0% of the time touching the screen, and then... we have the iPad... with no cleaning cloth. Go figure! You'll need one!

Is it a giant iPod touch? Yes. 150% so.

Is that a bad thing? Well, if you're still happy with your 15" iMac from 2002, and don't see the need to upgrade to a 27" iMac from 2009 because the 27" iMac is just a bigger, faster 15" iMac, then the iPad isn't for you. If you recognize the HUGE difference in what you can DO with a 9.7" screen over a 3.5" screen, then maybe you "need" one...

Do you need one?

No, absolutely not. Nobody needs one. At all. It's a gorgeous, flawed, piece of industrial - yet sci-fi - artwork. Images look stunning on it. Surfing the web is a lot of fun (yes, yes, Flash blah blah), e-mail is a cinch, downloading apps a breeze...., but at the same time you do wonder what the point is...

But, but.... it's so gorgeous!

You see? Apple did it to me again. Just like they did the last time. And the time before that...


macrumors 68020
Sep 12, 2009
Nice to read, although you could so something about the layout. Add some more pictures or something like that.

And it's just a shame Apple didn't put a cleaning cloth in the package.


macrumors 6502a
May 15, 2009
Nice to read, although you could so something about the layout. Add some more pictures or something like that.

And it's just a shame Apple didn't put a cleaning cloth in the package.
or maybe some windex? a remote? we could go on and on.


macrumors 6502a
May 15, 2009
But the screen is the whole point. A remote isn't.
do you want me to send you some money to buy a cloth? or could you manage with an old tee shirt. gimmie a break. B*tc*in about there being no cloth is kinda silly, isn't it? EVERYONE has access to something to wipe the screen with. good grief.


macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2008
Nice and honest review.

My only question is the smoothness of scrolling. That is one thing I repeated hear the critics say it EXCELS at smoothness of scrolling. They don't get lag when scrolling up/down etc. I watched them demo it and it wasn't an issue. Could it be wifi connection? Almost sounds like it's not loading data fast enough for the scrolling.:confused:


macrumors member
Jul 24, 2006
Welk, I lpve mune. Thr ttpinh is SOOIIOOOOPPP eady! It js a bot hwavy thojgy isn'y ir?


macrumors G3
Original poster
Mar 29, 2008
Nice and honest review.

My only question is the smoothness of scrolling. That is one thing I repeated hear the critics say it EXCELS at smoothness of scrolling. They don't get lag when scrolling up/down etc. I watched them demo it and it wasn't an issue. Could it be wifi connection? Almost sounds like it's not loading data fast enough for the scrolling.:confused:
No, it's nothing to do with the loading the data via Wifi. These pages are FULLY loaded at the time. It's just the iPad hardware.


macrumors 603
Oct 28, 2007
Welk, I lpve mune. Thr ttpinh is SOOIIOOOOPPP eady! It js a bot hwavy thojgy isn'y ir?
That's hilarious!

As for the review, we all greatly appreciate it. I find this to be a very objective and informative review (instead of: "OMG, Steve wasn't kidding! It's just magical...Apple really hit this one out of the park...I'm going to buy another one for my dog!)


macrumors 6502a
Feb 1, 2010
earth, for now.
I very much enjoyed reading your review! :)

To my understanding... if you have the earphones plugged in at the top, you can just TURN the device completely upside down and it rotates perfectly, unlike the iphone/ipod where it only rotates to the left and right.. ;)

Over all, Thanks for the review!

doug in albq

Oct 12, 2007
I know exactly what you mean about the "wobbly pencil" effect of video while scrolling fast.

thanks for an actual review, and not some form of marketing, which is what all the other "reviews" by most major media outlets have been up until now.

I want one, but damn Apple you could not even put 512mb of ram in the thing...?

Edit: maybe there is 512mb ram, conflicting reports at this time

Dr Kevorkian94

macrumors 68020
Jun 9, 2009
lets put it like this i would only get an ipad if i needed a laptop but since i don't need one i wont get an ipad. not that i don't want one its just i don't think i need one being that i have a iphone so maybe when i get to collage. but i love it its simply amazing


macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2007
We are def the mules out there and things will change over time. I agree fingerprints are a problem but maybe a screen saver might help with that. I don't really Luke the glare as well. With movies the landscape mode gets annoying and what is up with buying shows from apple now. Can you only rent some. I wanted to buy Forrest gump and would only let me rent it??

I agree with it being a big I touch but I think we all knew that.

Saying all that love the device even though have some gripes but knew those were comig


macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2008
I don't know. I just finished an hour iBook reading session on my iPad. I felt no fatigue at all. Maybe I'm just super strong.


macrumors 68000
Aug 6, 2007
Sweet Apple Acres
Thanks for the honest review. Always helps, amongst the sea of fanboys insisting how perfect it is (I'm surprised you haven't been flamed more than you have)

Nothing that worries me too much, except for the weight. I'm seeing complaints about that all over the place. Otherwise sounds fine!


macrumors regular
Oct 3, 2007

Thanks for the review. Very thorough and unbiased. I have an iPad 3G on order, so no hands on experience yet. I've owned every version of the iPhone since launch day, and think it is once of the greatest technology devices of the last 25 years.

I believe the iPad will be a very powerful technology changer going forward. But this current "version 1" will probably be lacking. But so was the original iPhone and it changed the world.

I love Apple and their products. And they do the best job of product launches and marketing of anyone I have seen.

The only thing that gets me are the die hard apple fans that immediately jump to dismiss anything negative about an apple product.

Can't wait to get my iPad.