tablets

Apple iPad Review

Apple created the market and dominates it with its mature first tablet.

February 26, 2011
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Controls

There are only 4 physical buttons on the iPad: a power button on the top, a silent lock and volume buttons on the right side and a home button on the front of the body below the display. Everything else is controlled through on-screen buttons, including a keypad that appears at the bottom of the screen to enter text. We found that this was very responsive and easy to use, allowing for fast text entry. However, it is not as fast as a physical keyboard because there is no positive feedback to let you know when key has been pressed.

Controls Image
The controls on the top right side of the iPad body: volume, lock and power.
Appl-iPadG1-controls2.jpg

Connectivity

There are two different models of the iPad: the WiFi model offers only WiFi connectivity, while the 3G model offers HSDPA 3G data connections to the AT&T network in the USA. Internationally, the iPad is sold with access to a national carrier, and the device is sold unlocked: it will work with any GSM network that runs on the frequencies it supports (850, 900, 1800 and 1900MHz for GSM/EDGE and 850, 1900 and 2100Mhz for UMTS/HSDPA).

All iPad models also offer Bluetooth support (version 2.1), but do not support the full range of Bluetooth profiles: you can use Bluetooth keyboards or headphones that support the A2DP or AVRCP profiles, but not headsets that use the Hands-Free profile (HFP) or profiles that transfer files over Bluetooth connections.

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Battery Life

We found mixed results for the iPad in our battery tests: although it excelled in the tests for playing an audio book, it had less impressive results for the video and book reading tests. In the audio test, ti kept running for 24 hours, and still had 82% of the battery left. This means that it could keep going for about 16 days. This is presumably because the big screen is the main power draw, and the device automatically turns the screen off when playing back audio after 60 seconds. The battery life reading an eBook and playing a video was less impressive: the iPad lasted 5 hours and 37 minues reading an eBook, and 6 hours and 42 minutes when playing back a video.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Movies & Video
  8. Email & Web Browsing
  9. Internet Apps
  10. Amazon Kindle Keyboard Wi-Fi Comparison
  11. Barnes & Noble Nook Color Comparison
  12. Sony Reader Daily Edition Comparison
  13. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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