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iPad Review for Chinese Publication

Despite the fact that the UPS tracking showed my iPad in Guangzhou, China on April 2, the enchanting device showed up magically at my doorstep in the morning of Saturday, April 3. Amazing!

Growing up I used to love reading a good book while listening to music. Now I can have a vast number of books with virtually unlimited music selection (thanks to Rhapsody) and can take them anywhere! Would this not have been possible on my laptop and other tablets? Laptops don’t have the form factor to make it convenient. Having to fold open and close a laptop in a busy New York City subway is impractical. Microsoft OS takes time to come out of hibernation and takes forever if you are booting up. The Apple OS has a leg up in this regard. With the press of the ON button and the slide of a finger you are returned to the book. The size makes it also very portable. It is 20% smaller than the normal US size sheet of paper and easily can be stuck under the armpit when walking around. I was reading Sun Tzu’s the “Art of War” for a few hours, which is available for free from FreeBooks App, and enjoyed the reading experience and did not feel any strain on the eyes. I also easily switched to reading the New York Times at the local Starbucks and even practiced listening and reading Mandarin using LivingSoft App.

Although there are only few apps designed specifically for the iPad so far, the multitude of iPhone apps become “formatted” for the iPad by pressing the “2x” button which doubles the size of the app.

The current version of iPad does not have 3G, but that version is expected to be released by end of April. After I get used to this iPad, I may consider upgrading to the 3G version and will have to determine if I cancel my data plan on the iPhone and move it to the iPad so that I get my e-mails and other data services on the iPad. That decision is based on whether I will be carrying my iPad everywhere I go or not. I think this opens up the possibility for innovative clothing and bag designer to create accouterments to conveniently carry light tablets.

The iPad has many limitations including not opening multiple applications, no USB connector, and, the very annoying, no flash support. I also miss not having a microphone to record voice notes, but do not, so far, miss the video camera. The eBook reader software can use a number of features. This gives the competitors a lot of opportunity to enter the door which has been opened wide by Apple.

iPad like devices, whether they are from Apple or not, are finally here to stay!

- By Manoj Mehta