Looking at the iPad from two angles

Apple’s iPad seems to be hated by techies and loved by everyone else—so New York Times technology columnist David Pogue has written separate reviews for the two audiences. The iPad is basically a gigantic iPod Touch, Pogue writes for techies, with hardly any buttons at all—just a big Home button below the screen. One model gets online only in Wi-Fi hot spots; the other can get online using Wi-Fi or AT&T’s cellular network, but that feature adds $130 to the price. There’s an eBook reader app, but the selection is comparatively small, and you can’t read well in direct sunlight. At 1.5 pounds, the iPad gets heavy in your hand after awhile (the Kindle is 10 ounces), and you can’t read books from the Apple bookstore on any other machine. Typing on the on-screen keyboard is hard, but the processor is really fast. A key drawback is that the iPad can’t play Flash video. While some sites are converting their videos to Apple-compatible formats, “it will probably be years before the rest of the web’s videos become iPad-viewable,” Pogue writes. For non-techies, he writes that the simple act of making the multitouch screen bigger changes the whole user experience. And the eReader app contains what Pogue calls “endearing grace notes”: For example, you can tap a word to get a dictionary definition or bookmark your spot. What’s more, Apple says 150,000 existing iPhone apps run on the iPad, and the battery lasted longer than 12 hours in Pogue’s test. “The techies are right about [one] thing,” Pogue concludes. “The iPad is not a laptop. It’s not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it.”

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