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 iPad as a productivity tool

Applications like Pages and Numbers make actual work possible on the iPad to a degree. Using these apps, you can tap out documents, edit spreadsheets and probably get a fair amount of work done.

There is also an ever-expanding productivity section in the App Store that will help flush out functionality and enable a much wider range of people to work fairly effectively on the iPad. The question, of course, is this: is there any reason to work on an iPad?

Just as we were surprised to discover that typing on the iPhone's glass screen could provide such a great experience compared to typing on a smartphone with a physical keypad, the iPad wowed us again. We fully expected to loathe the on-screen keyboard but after spending some quality time with it, it's really not that bad.

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Over time, we've actually grown to prefer typing on an iPhone as opposed to a phone with a physical keypad. While the iPad's on-screen keys are much more manageable than expected, we really can't see getting to the point where we prefer glass to real keys. That said, it's more usable than you might expect and great for short bursts of typing, such as responding to a few emails.

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