Business Technology

Thursday 21 November 2019

Apple iPad review

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the new iPad. Photo: Getty Images
Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the new iPad. Photo: Getty Images

Claudine Beaumont

Apple's iPad, which resembles a 'giant iPhone', may sound the death knell for netbook computers.

The Apple iPad looks exactly like a giant iPhone, right down to the “home” button at the bottom of its 9.7in touch-screen.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing — it means the layout and the user interface are instantly recognisable to millions of people.

The iPad, unveiled yesterday ahead of an estimated April launch, is stunning to look at, with a huge, crisp, bright screen.

Zooming, scrolling and flicking through photos feels just like rifling through a real picture album, while the huge virtual keyboard, with its big, responsive buttons, is a pleasure to type on.

The iPad excels too, as a gaming device, with stunning graphics and simple controls. But the best feature is iBooks, the e-book reading software that knocks Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader into a cocked hat.

Novels are beautifully presented, lined up on a virtual bookshelf, complete with sleeve art.

The pages of the books resemble proper printed pages, with a sense of texture and authenticity to them. Turning pages is achieved with a swiping gesture, or a single tap in the right-hand margins.

Downloading books is incredibly easy too, with the iBookstore built straight in to iTunes, and a wide selection of books from five major publishers already available at launch.

The iPad’s slick, neat user interface, instant familiarity and surprisingly low price — the entry level model will cost just $499 — are expected to make this device a huge success. It won’t replace your laptop, but I think it may have sounded the death knell for netbook computers.

Rating: * * * *

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