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Discussion Starter #1
I bought an iPad 16GB WiFi model last week and returned it to the store just four days later. Having tried it and been disappointed I though I should give my reasons as I would have appreciated reading more honest criticisms of the device before making my purchase.

This review is not to knock the iPad or Apple. I own an iPod Touch and absolutely love the device, maybe that is why I was less than trilled with the iPad.

On the pro side I found the iPad excelled in two features, viewing images and web browsing. Images were exceptionally clear, to be able to pinch and size or re-size an image made viewing a pleasure, and the slide show and/or picture frame feature ruled out any need for a separate device. The sensitivity of the touch screen was remarkable too, the responses were immediate and easy to control.

On the con side my main concern was the very thing that made it so good at web browsing, it's size. I did not buy a case, the extra $40 plus seemed too much, perhaps I should have but to hold the iPad in my hand for more than a few minutes at a time proved uncomfortable and to try using it on my lap like I would a laptop or netbook did not work well. Also most of the apps I have and enjoy on my Touch failed to look as good on the iPad. Of course if I kept them at original size they were fine but why have a larger screen and not use it? Also I found the portrait view less convenient to use, preferring landscape but all or most of the Touch apps do not rotate. One of my game apps, Backgammon, would not run on the iPad and another for some reason ran quite differently. I was not about to buy a whole new set of apps just to try out the iPad functioning. The sound was much better than on the Touch but do I need an iPad to listen to music, what with MP3 players, iPod Touch, cell phones, flash drives plugged into my car stereo, etc. etc. I don't need another music player and again the iPad is too large.

The iPad is a quick information device primarily, at least as far as I am concerned, it was meant to hold my contacts, translate my few language need, converts units from one format to another, tell me the weather, show me news headline, keep me abreast of sport scores and so on, but the Touch serves that purpose equally well despite it's small size, maybe if I were a gamer I might find more uses for the iPad.

I do not mean to turn potential users away from iPads, just look carefully at your needs and try the device in your hand, not always easy when tethered to a store display counter. Strangely, if Apple were ever to consider a slightly smaller size, say half way between the Touch and the iPad I might be interested. Go figure, can one ever be satisfied?
 

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You may be in luck, rumours abound about an iPad mini - around 7" screen.

And for the record I absolutely love the iPad.
 

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The iPad is not for everyone but I gotta say if you didn't try many apps built for iPad you missed out. Running iPhone apps on iPad should be viewed as a stopgap at best, they just don't translate well to the bigger screen because they are built to accomodate the small screen size of the iPhone. When properly redone for the iPad they can be amazing. IMDB and Flixster are good examples if you like movies.

Also a case to protect the iPad and give the option of propping it up (such as the Apple case which I use) really makes a difference in usability IMO.
 

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My view

I bought the 16gb wifi only version at the beginning of July having read pretty much every review and comment on the device that was available at the time. Going into the purchase with eyes wide open I knew what the devices "limitations" were and accepted them.

I didn't buy a case at first and that was the first mistake I rectified. I started out with a cheap leather case from eBay and graduated to the Apple OEM case a couple of weeks later. The case provides the grip necessary to use the device for long periods of time. Wee worth the $40 or so it cost.

Next purchase was the aux power supply with the 6' power cable. Makes it possible for me to use from my chair while it is plugged in and charging. Also money well spent.

I really don't like the way most iPod Touch apps look on the iPad but I wasn't really expecting to but they function well enough. For the iPad I've transitioned to the iPad app where available and it makes a world of difference.

One of my primary uses for the device is as an e-reader. I've read books on the touch but you can't beat the bigger screen, it's almost as good as reading the analogue book.

Apps that make the iPad stand out for my uses:

BBC
USA Today
iBooks
Cloudreaders
Safari - most of the time I don't miss FLASH
Scrabble

Wishlist: A dedicated iPad app from The Weather Network, most weather apps don't do justice to Canadian weather.

For my uses it's a great device and handily takes the place of a net/notebook without the weight. (try reading a book on a full size laptop in portrait mode if you want frustration and muscle strain.)

Will it meet everyone's needs? Nope. But really will any device?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I didn't mention in my original post that I use a Kindle as an eReader and love the device, hence I don't need the iPad for that. I did look at the cost of books in the iTune Store and was unfavourably impressed, Amazon is cheaper.

If the smaller iPad that Larry mentioned comes out next year I may well try it. I still like the device, just found it awkward to hold and not worth the $549 plus taxes I paid.
 

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I'd probably find my iPad less useful if I already had a dedicated kindle for that.

I do use the kindle store instead of iBooks for actual on device purchases though, the whole system is just a lot slicker than the iBooks store at the moment, combined with the lack of selection in iBooks due to publishers dragging their feet.
 

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Nice balanced review. My wife and I spent a good long time playing around with the iPad in the store and were impressed on how slick it was. We are looking at an ereader, and wondered about it as an alternative, but had concerns about the size and holding it. It's a bit sad that to make it more manageable you need to consider a $40 case for a unit with a baseline price of about $550.

At the store the internet was live, so I logged on one of my rogers/yahoo e-mail accounts through webmail, to see how it worked out. It was slick, until I wanted to sign out. I couldn't! No sign out button there at all, like I get from a regular computer. I though I was missing something and the Apple rep was near so I asked him to do it. He confirmed there was no sign out option, and it took him a couple of minutes to go in to the controls and remove my long-in info from the system. He said it was automatically added. I found that strange as it was webmail access, and not using Outlook or another e-mail program.

Aside from that, we were impressed with it. I assume you can plug in a separate keyboard to make it reasonably functional for writing. That would allow it to be considered as a computer replacement.

(fyi, the e-mail account is a straight spam catcher with no personal info)
 

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I have to say that I absolutely love my iPad. I don't have a Kindle, but since I bought the iPad I've start to buy & read books on it with the Kindle app. I was dubious about reading books on a device like this but now I'm hooked - I always had too many paperbacks around the house.

I also watch a lot of video on my iPad, especially on the way to & from work on the subway - mostly TV shows that I have recorded myself. Those are my two main uses for the iPad, though it's nice to be able to check email and the news without having to switch over to my Mac. I like the apps, myself. Don't use them a lot but once in a while when I'm very bored I play solitaire or pinball, they are quite good.
 

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I went into BestBuy yesterday to play with ebook application. I can't imagine reading books on this thing for extended periods of time. Too much glare and the darn thing is too big to hold for long periods of time. If the 7" rumours are true then that would be a big benefit in this regard.

I just prefer the size of the Kindle and the screen.

The photo albums were very impressive though i had a hard time changing the rotation of the picture when i flipped the viewing back and forth from portrait mode to landscape.

Didn't have a chance to check out any videos but I expect they are also impressive.

If i were to purchase a device like this i would need a rubber armour case around it.
 

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I agree that iPad as an eReader is a secondary function at best. On longer flights I find it gets quite heavy (the weight of the case doesn't help in this regard either) and the screen glare even inside an aircraft is bothersome.

For straight reading, it's hard to beat the Kindle screen.

For everything else, though, the iPad is a great device. I like to think of it as desktop extender. It's not a full-on computer, but it let's you easily perform common tasks. It's become so useful to me, that I have purchased the global travel adaptor from Apple so I can use it everywhere!
 

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I love my 32gb wi-fi iPad. Yes, the screen glare can be quite annoying, but it still works great as an ereader, web surfer, video viewer and general purpose device.
 

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Thanks for all your reviews, they are helpful since I am really on the fence about buying the 16GB Wifi model but mostly because of the cost. I only want it for use in the living room for reading ebooks, comixs and occasional web browsing. But the lack of Flash support scares me, as well as other potential limitations (e.g., is there PDF support?). At $300-350 I would have brought it already, but at $550+tax I need to think twice...three times... :)
 
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