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Gadgets -IPad: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Glare

April 06, 2010

IPad: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Glare

By David Sims
TMCnet Contributing Editor

No we don’t have an iPad, they don’t hit New Zealand for a few weeks yet. But some of you do. And those of us whose iron-clad policy is to never buy any first-generation Apple (News - Alert) anything would like to thank all you bleeding-edge first adopters, without whom the wonderfully bug-free Apple products we buy wouldn’t be possible.

Ben Patterson is just such a guy, willing to deal with first-generation Apple technology so we don’t have to. His report from the front lines?

It’s fast. “Applications literally fly open, and browsing the Web on Safari is way faster than on the iPhone (News - Alert),” he says.

On the not-so-great side, Patterson says, “Good luck reading e-books in direct sunlight. The beauty of the Kindle's black-and-white e-ink screen is that text stands out quite nicely when you're reading in the sun. On the iPad, however, the color display looks disappointingly washed out in direct sunlight, problematic for reading e-books poolside.”

Just a thought here: Wonder if it’s possible to switch to black and white display, instead of color? Just because it’s possible to render in color doesn’t mean it’s always best to do so, does it? Woody Allen agrees with us on this, by the way.

Frankly we’re not all that interested in buying an iPad, but this does remove one concern we did have: “The iPad's virtual QWERTY keypad isn't nearly as terrible as many had warned,” Patterson reports, adding that “I've managed to bang out a few decent-sized emails on the thing.”

However, it might not be the most type-friendly device made. To type one needs to “prop it (awkwardly) in your lap to type,” or “place it flat on a table – not the best solution due to the iPad's curved back,” or “hold it in one hand and tap with the other, effectively slashing your possible WPM” or buy a stand at $40 and up.

Other points Patterson brings out: “HD videos look amazing. Absolutely gorgeous” – good. “Reflections on the display are pretty distracting” – ugly.   

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Alice Straight

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