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Apple iPad Tablet

I take a brief look at the super popular Apple iPad tablet computer.

apple ipad tabletThe Apple iPad Tablet

By Colleen C.

There are many tablet computers on the market now, but the undisputed king is the Apple iPad Tablet.

The Apple iPad is marketed mainly to be used as an audio-visual device for viewing media like web content, games, music, movies, periodicals and books. The unit only weighs about one and a half pounds, placing it right between a laptop and a smartphone, by size.

By the end of quarter two in 2010, it was reported that the Apple iPad Tablet had already gained 95% of the Tablet PC market. It runs on the same OS as the iPhone and iPod Touch, and you can run iPad apps as well as iPhone apps on the tablet. If it's left unmodified, it can only run Apple approved and distributed programs.

The iPad works with a multitouch display, which is different from many older tablets, which used a stylus for their pressure-triggered display. The keyboard is also an onscreen virtual type, rather than a physical keyboard. You can browse the Internet, install software and stream media with the Wi-Fi connection on the iPad, and some models have 3G wireless capabilities, too. You sync the Apple iPad Tablet just like you would an iPhone, by syncing it to iTunes on your PC, with a simple USB cable.

The first Apple tablet was brought out in 1993, and known as the Newton MessagePad. These were discontinued in 1998. The iPod stormed the MP3 market in 2001, and then Apple also re-entered the market for mobile computing with the iPhone, in 2007. In 2009, there were already many rumors about the release of the new Apple iPad Tablet, and it was officially introduced in 2010. In actual time, the iPhone was not developed until after the iPad. The phone was seen as something that would sell better, so Apple put iPad development on hold and released the iPhone first.

The touchscreen display of the Apple iPad Tablet is 9.7 inches of LCD, with glass that is scratch-resistant and fingerprint-resistant. It's not meant to be used with a stylus, but with the fingers, and if you have ever tried to operate one with gloves on, you'll find that it doesn't work that way, since regular gloves prevent the electrical conductivity to the display.  

apple ipad tablet

The iPad display will also respond to an ambient light sensor which allows you to adjust the brightness of the screen, and an accelerometer that senses the orientation of the iPad, and can switch it between landscape and portrait modes. The Apple iPad Tablet supports any screen rotation, in all four directions. Through this, there is no native orientation - you can use it in whatever orientation you like, and the home button position changes to accommodate you.

There are four actual switches on each iPad, and these are a home button, a sleep/wake switch, a volume up/down switch and a mute switch. After the 4.2 iOS update, the rotation lock is controlled now by a software toggle.

The iPad Tablet uses wireless trilateration to allow you to use Google maps and similar apps. It obtains the trilateration from Skyhook Wireless. A 3G iPad has a GPS that will allow you to calculate its position relative to cell towers nearby. To connect via hardline, the iPad uses an Apple dock connector, and it doesn't have USB or Ethernet ports.

On the back of the iPad, there are two speakers and two channels that lead sound to the three ports for audio at the bottom and right side of the iPad. There's a handy volume switch on the unit's right side, too.  You can get stereo sound through headphones, and the iPad also has a microphone suitable for recording of your voice. You can use wireless keyboards and headphones with the Apple iPad tablet, too.

An iPad has internal rechargeable batteries, and is usually charged with a high level of current. You can use a USB port on your recent-year Apple computer to charge your iPad. Apple states that the battery of the iPad can play video for almost ten hours, but of course the batteries, like all the batteries in laptops and the like, lose their capacity over passing time. If your iPad doesn't hold a charge, Apple will replace it for you, with a refurbished iPad, for $99 plus shipping, provided there isn't any other damage.

apple ipad tablet keyboard dock

Reviewers have spent a lot of time learning about, and testing the Apple iPad Tablet since its introduction.

The iPad exceled in many areas, but there are were also other parts of the package that could have used improvement.

Reviewers found that opening and closing apps on the iPad was very smooth and quick, the screen was sharp, colorful, and very responsive, and you also didn't experience any lag when typing.  In most reviewers eyes, the iPad was a fantastic little package.

Unfortunately there were a few downsides to the sleek mobile device. Among those, the built-in Safari web browser loaded just about any web page easily except for Flash based sites. In fact, the lack of Flash support in the Safari browser was among top complaints for the iPad. Multitasking between applications on the iPad also wasn't as swift as some of the iPad competitors running the Android operating system platform.

Thankfully, many of these issues have since been fixed with new operating system upgrades. In fact, iOS 4.2 brought over 100 new features to the operating system, including true multitasking.  Flash is still missing as a built-in Safari browser feature, so you will still need to resort to a third party application to access some of your favorite Flash based sites.  On the plus side, many popular Flash based sites such as Youtube.com offer a non-Flash version for the iPad anyways.  

The Apple iPad Tablet also includes a nice built-in software suite. Among those is the iWorks utilities.  iWorks give the tablet some personality like a laptop has. You can ditch your laptop for an iPad if you only need to do light office work or email, but business users may be more pleased with a traditional laptop. The iPad is much more comfortable as a casual device, at this time.

Reviewers have discovered that the battery life of the Apple iPad Tablet seems to be living up to Apple's initial claims. They often used the iPad for seven hours or more before they saw the 20% battery low indicator.

Overall, most reviewers felt that the Apple iPad Tablet was impressive, and a device that might be a netbook replacement if you're a casual user. Future generations of the iPad may fit better into the laptop replacement arena than the original release model. If you check email routinely, Facebook, or play casual games, the iPad may just be the perfect gadget for you.

Online Shopping Specials

Apple iPad Tablets, Samsung Galaxy Tablets, Archos Tablets, Dell Streak Tablets & More

Online Vendor Shopping Category Vendor Rating
Amazon.com Apple iPad Tablets A+
Amazon.com Apple iPad Accessories A+
Amazon.com Apple iPad Cases A+
Amazon.com Apple iPad Docks A+
Amazon.com Competitor Tablets A+

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