This past Saturday, Apple released the iPad, and after much speculation and waiting it became clear what the device really is. I was home for Easter when my dad received his iPad; he and I both love our Kindles and our Apple laptops and were excited to see how the iPad would compare.

As an eBook reader:

The iPad was supposed to be, among other things, Apple’s response to eBook readers like the Amazon Kindle. However, on this level, the device fails. The screen, which is an LED-backlit glossy screen, similar to those on the MacBook Pro, is less than ideal for reading. Unlike the Kindle, which uses electronic paper and ink, the iPad cannot be read in direct sunlight. Therefore, because of the nature of the screen, it is as strenuous on the eyes as a regular computer screen.

Battery life:

Unlike a regular MacBook Pro, the iPad has a very long battery life. In fact, the iPad has 10-12 hours of movie battery life and can live a month on standby. This also significantly outlasts the Kindle, whose battery life is about a week when the wireless is turned on.

User friendly:

The iPad comes, like all Apple products, with very easy instructions: Update iTunes and plug it in. Once the iPad is ready to go, it is very easy to navigate. There is a search function to aid the user and the typing is simple and user friendly.

Re-designed apps:

People were afraid the iPad would be just a giant iPod touch. However, many of the apps have been re-designed specifically for the iPad. One very successful app is the New York Times app. On the iPhone or iPod touch the New York Times app simply lists the different headlines; on the iPad, the app has been redesigned to appear like the front page of the newspaper. All in all, the new apps are very sleek.

Instant on:

A major selling point for the iPad is the instantaneous access to the Internet. Because of the iPad’s battery life, it doesn’t need to be shut down like a laptop. Also, it doesn’t even require the start up time needed by a laptop in sleep mode. It turns on and is ready to go at the push of a button.

Accompanying gadgets:

For anyone who is still skeptical about the usability of the keyboard, or is afraid of damaging the unprotected screen, Apple has designed a number of accompanying peripherals for the iPad. There are docks with and without keyboards and cables to connect the iPad to everything from your camera to your computer monitor. Also, Apple sells a microfiber case that works like a book cover and as a stand.

Wentworth is a member of the class of 2011.

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