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iPad Hands-On Impressions

Is a 10 minute session with a display iPad at Best Buy enough to write an impressions post? If you don’t think so, get out of here and go read your fancy high-class reviews on all those “real” websites. Sheesh.

For everybody else, allow me to briefly explain what was going through my mind as I used the iPad: Yep, it’s really just an oversized iPod Touch. A nicely backlit one, I might add, but essentially not much more. All the same buttons were on the sides of the device – volume control, that screen turn off thing, and of course the home button that takes you out of whatever app you were using and returns you to your library of apps. Speaking of the apps, they reminded me quite a bit of the iPod Touch’s because, well, they were the iPod Touch’s.

For the most part. A lot of the apps I saw had “HD” at the end of their names, which was pretty much their way of saying, “Hey, this doesn’t just look like a blown up version of something that was obviously meant for a much smaller screen.” These iPad-optimized apps fill up the screen quite nicely, but when you get down to it, they don’t do anything that an iPhone or iPod Touch can’t already do.

Also, you have to keep in mind that the iPad apps are much more expensive than their smaller iDevice counterparts. Sure, Plants vs. Zombies looks better with a bigger screen, but do I really want to pay $7 more just for that? Granted, you CAN buy the cheaper version even if you have an iPad, but then you’re left with a low quality picture.

Firing up the app store, I only saw mention of iPad applications, both on the featured page and the top sellers page. In fact, only after I searched for my favorite iPhone apps in the search bar did I find them. Developers of hit iPhone apps are scrambling right now to make iPad versions, so I’m sure for the first few weeks the App Store will see sloppy ports aplenty.

What the iPad improves on more than anything, and what it really is the embodiment of, is presentation. Everything looks sleeker, but nothing seems better. At a massive raise in price and loss of portability, the iPad leaves me with the question, “Why?” Of course, it doesn’t matter what I think, because the countless Apple fanboys have already snatched one up and are ceaselessly defending it on online message boards as we speak. “No Flash or multitasking?” they say, addressing but the beginning of a long list of issues, “that’s not a problem!” But when you’re paying $500 minimum, I beg to differ.

By Josh60502

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