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  (Source: CBS via Engadget)
Newspaper critics were pretty kind to the new Apple product

The iPad goes on sale this Saturday in Wi-Fi form only, priced starting at $499 for a 16 GB model.  In time for the release, some of the nation's top newspapers have been lodging their opinions on the device.  And overall most who received hands-on iPad time seemed very enthused.  One editor called it "one of the best computers ever".

Andy Ihnatko of 
The Chicago Sun-Times writes, "The most compelling sign that Apple got this right is the fact that despite the novelty of the iPad, the excitement slips away after about ten seconds and you’re completely focused on the task at hand ... whether it’s reading a book, writing a report, or working on clearing your Inbox. Second most compelling: in situation after situation, I find that the iPad is the best computer in my household and office menagerie. It’s not a replacement for my notebook, mind you. It feels more as if the iPad is filling a gap that’s existed for quite some time."

The Wall Street Journal's Walter S. Mossberg writes, "For the past week or so, I have been testing a sleek, light, silver-and-black tablet computer called an iPad. After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades."

Tim Gideon, an editor at
PC Magazine, was slightly more critical, but overall positive.  He gave it 4 and 1/2 out of 5 stars and writes:

Aside from Apple enthusiasts, many of us wondered who would drop hundreds of dollars for this not-quite-computer. But having used the iPad for some time, I can tell you that the device just makes sense. When you combine basic-but-essential work tools with iWork, an improved browser, e-mail, iPod, and photo applications, a well-executed e-Book platform with iBooks, and throw in thousands of downloadable apps and games, and package it all in a gorgeous, slim slate with a beautiful 9.7-inch touch screen, you have yourself a winner. Is the iPad cheap? No. Is it flawless? Not at all. Omissions including support for multitasking, a built-in camera for video chats, and Flash support in Safari leave room for improvement, but otherwise, the Apple iPad is a very convincing debut. And it will undoubtedly be a driving force in shaping the emerging tablet landscape.

In other iPhone news, Netflix and ABC TV shows are both coming specially designed for the iPad, in app form.  The Netflix app promises to allow you to manage your queue, download movies, and even includes the ability to pick up where you left off in a particular movie at home.  The ABC app will offer free episodes of its most popular TV shows like Lost and Desperate Housewives.  And as we previously reported, CBS is going an alternate route, streaming HTML5-delivered TV episodes on a special version of its homepage, designed for the iPad.

About the only downside for Apple in the media's iPad love-fest is the hit the iTunes Store will likely take from all these free TV offerings.  Apple will now have to compete against free television episodes from ABC, CBS, and likely others; thus it is unlikely to add a significant amount of revenue from TV episode sales from the iTunes Store (of course we're guessing iPad users will buy plenty of music and apps to more than make up for it).



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RE: El Stupido
By Reclaimer77 on 4/1/2010 1:25:29 PM , Rating: 3
They seem like a huge ripoff to me. The price of the e-book books just went up to $12 I think. They aren't really more convenient than a real book, take up about the same amount of space. And even weigh more than a paperback. And now the cost is as much as a real brand new paperback book. So what is the point of e-book readers again ?

I'll stick to real books, thank you much. Which have a shelf life of ohhh, forever. Cost peanuts at my local used bookstore. Don't require batteries or perfect lighting conditions. And I can enjoy again and against without rental fees or whatever.


RE: El Stupido
By Oregonian2 on 4/1/2010 2:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
Just a comment that I agreed with you before I was given a Kindle as a birthday present. I now totally disagree.

Theory and practice are very different. Kindles (at least) are wonderful for textual books like novels. But yes, they do stink for photography books. Can't imagine playboy on a Kindle where one would HAVE to be only reading the articles. :-)


RE: El Stupido
By jimbojimbo on 4/1/2010 5:51:34 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget that last book that was awesome that you'd love to lend to a friend. Oh wait, you can't do that with a commercial e-book even when you paid full price for it although there was no printing, shipping, displaying, or storage associated with it.


RE: El Stupido
By ajfink on 4/2/2010 6:23:52 AM , Rating: 2
Most of the costs of producing a book aren't in the paper.


RE: El Stupido
By porkpie on 4/2/2010 2:41:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They aren't really more convenient than a real book, take up about the same amount of space. And even weigh more than a paperback.
Huh? You can store thousands of books in a single reader. Have any idea how much space 5,000 paperback books take up?


RE: El Stupido
By Reclaimer77 on 4/2/2010 10:11:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Huh? You can store thousands of books in a single reader. Have any idea how much space 5,000 paperback books take up?


Which is a moot point because I don't know anyone who can read "thousands of books". The huge majority of people don't even read two books at once, they finish one and start another. I'm a moderate to avid reader and I don't even own 5,000 books, so why do I need 5,000 books on one device. Not to mention when your reader breaks, which it will, all your books just went up in smoke.

My "space" comment was in regards to a single book, of course. As in when I travel I bring a book with me, which takes up the same amount of space as an e-reader does anyway. Maybe when you travel you bring thousands of books with you and were jumping for joy at e-readers, I donno.

So please. E-readers are "neat". But they don't offer the breakthrough in portability that smartphones or MP3 players brought us. They don't save you money vs buying a book. They are exactly as convenient as a real book, unless you seriously suggesting buying 5,000 digital copies of books and reading them all at once.

So I simply don't feel compelled in buying one. There is something magical in turning a page of a real book and seeing what follows anyway.


RE: El Stupido
By wired00 on 4/7/2010 11:56:22 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree... i also don't understand people arguing ebook readers are great because you can carry around 100's/1000's of books. Why would you need to? Its not a MP3 player where you very well might like carrying around bags of CDs?, tapes?, vinyl?? but carrying around bags of books? why? I take max 3 books on a holiday assuming i can even breeze through 1 or 2.


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