iPad Reviews In: It's (Mostly) Awesome - InformationWeek

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iPad Reviews In: It's (Mostly) Awesome

Critics say Apple's newest gadget is cool and versatile, but is no laptop replacement.

Reviewers have weighed in on the iPad. The consensus verdict is that Apple's tablet-style computing device is a stylish, versatile tool for e-reading, media viewing, and communicating—but it falls short as a full-on laptop or netbook replacement.

Veteran Wall Street Journal tech critic Walter Mossberg has been testing the iPad for the past week. The device has "the potential to change portable computing profoundly," Mossberg wrote, in a column published Thursday.

"If you're mainly a Web surfer, note taker, social networker and emailer, and a consumer of photos, videos, books, periodicals and music—this could be for you," wrote Mossberg.

"If you need to create or edit giant spreadsheets or long documents, or you have elaborate systems for organizing email, or need to perform video chats, the iPad isn't going to cut it as your go-to device," said Mossberg.

The New York Times' David Pogue said the iPad will likely appeal more to everyday consumers than hard-core techies—so he wrote two reviews, one for each audience. Pogue said iPad will be a hit with your average Jill.

"The iPad is so fast and light, the multitouch screen so bright and responsive, the software so easy to navigate, that it really does qualify as a new category of gadget," said Pogue. "Some have suggested that it might make a good goof-proof computer for technophobes, the aged, and the young; they're absolutely right," wrote Pogue.

But Pogue said more demanding users, the techies, will notice some shortcomings.

"There's no multitasking," he wrote. "It's one app at a time, just like on the iPhone. Plus no USB jacks and no camera. Bye-bye, Skype video chats. You know Apple is just leaving stuff out for next year's model," said Pogue.

Even the Chicago Sun-Times, known more for Roger Ebert's movie reviews than tech criticism, also weighed in. "After a week with the iPad, I'm convinced that it can to damned-near anything I'd use an iPad for," wrote the Sun-Times' Andy Inhatko.

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