Thursday, April 1, 2010

In early iPad reviews, good to 'game changer'

Among those published today for Apple's new tablet -- being released Saturday -- most influential-of-all technology reviewers Walter Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal raved: "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."

The iPad is priced from $499 to $829, depending on features including whether it's equipped for Wi-Fi only, or fully mobile connections via AT&T's network. Here's a roundup, plus videos, with emphasis on the iPad's potential for helping publishers.

He writes: I was able to try a pre-release version of The Wall Street Journal's new iPad app (which I had nothing to do with designing), and found it gorgeous and highly functional -- by far the best implementation of the newspaper I have ever seen on a screen. Unlike the Journal's Web site, or its smart-phone apps, the iPad version blends much more of the look and feel of the print paper into the electronic environment. Other newspapers and magazines have announced plans for their own, dramatically more realistic iPhone apps.

David Pogue, The New York Times
He writes: There’s an e-book reader app, but it’s not going to rescue the newspaper and book industries (sorry, media pundits). The selection is puny (60,000 titles for now). 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 — not even a Mac or iPhone.

Edward Baig, USA Today
He writes: You can change pages on the iPad by tapping the screen: The page turns naturally, like a book. On Kindle, you have to press physical buttons and wait an instant while the page refreshes. Rotate the iPad, and you'll see two pages side by side. Newspaper and magazine layouts look vastly superior on the iPad compared with Kindle. The iPad is backlit, so you can read in the dark. You have to supply a reading light with Kindle.

Related: iPad reviews in the news

What's your gut feeling about iPad's potential to aid our industry? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.

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