New iPad: Hands-On First Impressions - InformationWeek
Mobile // Mobile Devices
04:22 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman

New iPad: Hands-On First Impressions

After spending several hours using the new iPad, it's evident that Apple's latest tablet is both evolutionary and revolutionary--which makes the upgrade decision a tougher one.

iPad Apps: 10 Hidden Gems
iPad Apps: 10 Hidden Gems
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)

If you've been on the fence about Apple's new iPad since its March 7 unveiling, here are a few things I noticed after using it for several hours that might help push you one way or the other.

As did many others, I woke up Friday expectantly awaiting the arrival of the new iPad. Not in the mood to deal with early morning crowds, I pre-ordered the iPad last week. Like an impatient toddler, I checked the FedEx website several times to track the package to see if I could glean a hint of when it might arrive. The FedEx man came a-knocking much sooner than I expected, at about 9:30 a.m. He said he had quite a bunch of them left on his truck to deliver.

I let the new iPad sit in its box for about an hour to come to room temperature (it was cold when first delivered). I then carefully unwrapped it and plugged it in to charge before turning it on. I ordered the 32-GB version with Wi-Fi+4G for Verizon Wireless in black.

[ Want to know more about Apple's latest tablet? See New iPad: 6 Observations. ]

It is definitely heavier and thicker than the iPad 2, though not as bulky as the original iPad. The feel of it is as good as its predecessors, and the materials and build quality are top notch. There's something about metal and glass that is rewarding to the touch. Plastic tablets simply cannot compare.

While waiting for the iPad to charge, I logged into my Verizon Wireless account online and used the site's management tools to remove the Motorola Xyboard tablet I've been using for the past few months and replace it with the new iPad. It took less than five minutes, and didn't require me to call anyone or supply any credit card information. All I had to do was enter the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number and it was added to my account.

(For the record, as much as I wanted to like the Xyboard, it was one headache after another. I often found myself fighting with it to accomplish the most menial of tasks. Decent piece of hardware, but it badly needs some software-based usability improvements.)

After lunch, I walked myself through the setup process--sans computer--and had the Apple iPad up and running in no time.

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