Apple iPad review: First look

Is the Apple iPad really any good or just a lot of hot air? We review it to find out.

Apple iPad

The overhauled Photos app is also simply fantastic. Pictures appear crisp and vibrant on the display and the new album browsing interface is amazing. It allows you to view albums as stacks of photos and reverse-pinch to preview the images within each stack -- very cool. Then, if you're into the idea of a $500-$830 digital photo frame, the slide show features are brilliant as well.

The remaining 160,000 applications that haven't been iPad-ized, on the other hand, are pretty sad on the glorious iPad display. You can either view them centered on the iPad screen at their intended resolution, leaving a desert of empty black space around them, or the iPad will upscale them to fill out the display. In real world use, we found that neither solution provides the user experience it should on such a jaw-dropping device.


Drop a 1GHz processor into a device that effectively runs one application at a time on a smartphone operating system, and you've obviously got yourself a remarkably fast interface. Yes, the iPad is always running several native apps in the background just like the iPhone and iPod Touch, but restricting other apps from consuming background resources ensures that there is always a tremendous amount of free memory.

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Even when Apple finally introduces some type of third-party app multitasking solution in iPhone OS 4.0, the iPad will still move at light speed - Apple is too smart to provide a "full multitasking" solution that will compromise performance.

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