on 16 August 2011
**Edited to fix the spelling (etc) as I must have been half-drunk when typing this back in 2011**
I was one of those people who said "who needs an Ipad? why not just get a laptop when it does more!" and then I got an iPad and I now feel like an idiot because they are awesome.
BUT if you buy an iPad expecting it to replace your laptop, you will be disappointed for a few reasons...
1) An iPad isn't and never was designed to replace either a PC or a laptop; its a tablet device which compliments either a PC, Mac or a laptop.
2) An iPad has one massive disadvantage in regards to transferring data; it has no DVD drive or USB slot (but you can connect it to the PC via the provided connection and pull data on and off)!
Now if we look at what the iPad does offer, its an amazing piece of technology with immense potential.
I use mine for...
1) Word processing and spreadsheet creation.
2) Painting and drawing.
3) Internet browsing.
4) Music, videos and pod-casts.
You can't judge an iPad or any technology unless you know what functionality you need, and then measure whether it achieves that. All the above are what I required so it suits me perfectly.
To sum up an iPad; it is a a bigger, more powerful iPhone and it works...
Word processing and spreadsheet creation works a charm. Typing couldn't be easier, and with a wide range of word processing "apps" to buy and use. There are even "apps" which read and create MS documents too.
Internet Browsing, despite the lack of flash, is spot on. Most websites now are moving away from flash or offer a free "app" to download and use. For example, the BBCiPlayer offers a free "app" because the direct website will not function on the iPad.
- Email management is easy to setup and use and pre-installed.
- Music, videos and pod-casts all work the same way as on the iPhone.
- Reading is a nice experience (although I find the Kindle better).
- Gaming offers literally hundreds of games to play.
As for the painting and drawing; after downloading a couple of "apps" and buying a stylus, I've found the iPad to be very good at creating original art work (and now you can edit photos too).
Th iPad DOES have some advantages over a laptop..
- Its far more compact and easier to lighter to carry around in a bag.
- A lot easier to hold in your hand or lap and type into.
- An iPad doesn't become hot when holding it, like some laptops can.
- The battery life is GREAT! I've had a few laptops in the past and most have died after about 2 hours.
Obviously if you use the iPad excessively, the battery goes down quicker..
Then you have the thousands of free and purchasable "apps" which expand the functionality of the iPad far beyond what you might expect. Compare this to a laptop, where you might have to spend about £10+ to get a piece of software on your machine to do something which you can either get for free or pay less on an iPad.
Laptops do offer more processing power, more functionality like DVDs and easier data transfer and more complex software. But if all you need is a small amount of functionality, and you don't need all the bells and whistles of a laptop, then an iPad serves that need.
The only thing I would mark against an iPad (and this is optional) is that you will likely end up spending MORE money on accessories like protective casings and bags and perhaps a keyboard. If so, it can add a further £100+ to what you already spend.
on 19 May 2011
I'm sure the vast majority of those buying an iPad 2 will be very pleased with it. For the most part it lives up to the hype and is a very seductive piece of kit. After downloading iTunes onto the computer and registering, setting up the iPad is a doddle as it's simply a case of connecting it to the computer and the automatic 'synching' process does the rest.
Connecting to the internet via Wi-Fi with my 'N' router was as easy as entering the password and I have to say the response time of the Safari web browser was very impressive, with pages loading very quickly making web browsing a joy. The screen is a gem being bold and bright and large enough to be regarded as a serious web browsing monitor. The only slight criticism, which is often referred to, is how quickly the screen becomes covered in fingerprints. But I hasten to add the need to clean it only becomes apparent after you've turned the thing off and isn't a problem during use.
Of course, Apps are a huge attraction and there's a lot of fun to be had from browsing the App Store and downloading from the huge amount available, many of which are free and even the paid ones don't exactly break the bank. And apps can be downloaded directly onto the iPad, there's no need to sync them from the computer to the device.
If, like me, you enjoy keeping up with the news and catching up with missed TV programmes then apps like BBC iPlayer, Sky news for iPad, and the (currently free) Channel 4oD are obvious choices and are very impressive on the iPad. A YouTube app also comes as standard and there have been comments about losing Wi-Fi connection whilst using it which I did experience a few times. This may need to be fixed in a future update but it reconnected quickly and wasn't a big problem.
Criticism is bound to be subjective but there are a few things I'd refer to. Firstly, it seems that most people don't appear to have a problem with setting up their email account on the iPad, but for me it was a non starter. I have Outlook Express on my desktop PC and have never had problems setting up email accounts before. But my iPad just wouldn't receive emails - sending emails, yes, but it wouldn't receive them. I spent the better part of two days trying to beat this problem, but tech help both at Apple and my ISP along with lots of forum trawling couldn't resolve it. I tried setting it up manually, then synching OE from the computer, but all to no avail. Others seem to have had no problems in this respect so maybe it's just my bad luck.
The second thing is battery life. In just about every iPad review I've read, 10 hours seems to be the boastful claim and I notice other reviewers here are similarly impressed. Well, perhaps that 10 hours is possible with Wi-Fi turned off. But in my experience using the iPad with Wi-Fi turned on drained the battery in half that time. So, maybe time between charges depends on how much you surf the net. If not, then maybe mine had a substandard battery.
My third criticism is maybe due to the success of the iPad design. It's a beautiful thing and deceptively solid and strong, which is a good thing, right? But it's sleek, slim, highly polished profile makes for quite a 'slippery' unit. Using it on your lap or a table is fine but holding it as, say, an ebook reader (and iBooks, together with the Kindle app, are excellent by the way) can sometimes be a little frustrating as you try to work out the best way to hold it for any length of time.
Then there's the lack of Flash support which means that if you're someone who likes to watch video clips on the internet, or indeed any video content that requires Flash, then you're going to be frustrated by Apple's stubborn refusal to allow it to run on the iPad. There are a few apps and freeware programs out there which attempt to get around this issue but I wouldn't put too much faith in them at present. But if Flash is of no concern to you then obviously this can be discounted.
And finally, there's the price. Although the iPad2 is good value when compared to the original I think those of us in the UK still get legally mugged. To some extent we can thank the VAT hike to 20% which means that no less than a hefty £90 of a 64Gb iPad2 price is VAT. Of course, that's no fault of Apple but it does make the overall cost an important consideration.
If price isn't a concern and you don't mind shelling out so much for something that will probably be superseded by iPad3 in less than a year - and you're not frustrated by the email account problems I had and the niggles I refer to above then I'd say the iPad 2 is a serious contender for anyone looking for a tablet which, by all accounts, sets a standard in terms of design, build, and sheer usability that the 'android' competitors are still struggling to compete with.
To be honest I wasn't really in the market for a tablet. But after I found I was using my smart phone in which to check my mail, check the news and finding myself getting somewhat frustrated at the small screen size I decided; "What the heck" and did a trawl for the best tablet for me. Initially the I-Pad was out of the running simply because of the price. But after looking around at the competition it soon became very clear, that actually the I-Pad was the only worthy contender: Dual Core Chip, fantastic build quality, capacitive touch screen and best of all it is so intuitive in use.
I ordered off of Apple (Got the free engraving) and through their website was able to check its progress: China, Middle East,Germany,England. The I-Pad arrives fully charged, however if like me and this is your first Apple product you need to download I-Tunes in which to register the product. (No other-way to get it working)
Well, to turn it on, you depress the wee button on the top of the Pad, It's up and running within seconds and I mean seconds. To access your mail touch the mail app (Ok,you do have to enter your e-mail details first) and again within seconds you are checking your e-mail. Check the internet, touch the Safari app (Safari is the Apple version of Window Explorer/Firefox/Opera etc) very smooth again within seconds I'm surfing the net.
The battery lasts around 10 hours and takes up to a couple to recharge.
Now I suppose the main selling point for a lot of people will be the applications (Apps) that are available. I simply bought a couple of pre-paid vouchers in town and entered them into my I-tunes account. Its as easy as that and you don't have to enter any bank details anywhere. Every-time I purchase an app within a few days I receive a receipt (e-mail) from apple informing me of my purchase.
I've downloaded a backgammon app. (Ok) the Daily mail app (Don't laugh as the app is really something else.) Which costs £ for the year and as somebody who reads the Guardian on a daily basis and the Economist on a weekly one I will be purchasing it once the free period runs out in Aug. What I'm saying here is from what I've seen of the difference in Android and Apple apps. Apple wins hands down in the quality stakes.
I've downloaded the bookshelf app and currently have 4 books downloaded. To be honest I just wanted to know what they would be like and as the books were a lot cheaper than the usual paperbacks I purchase I thought I'd try them out. Well reading them is no different to reading a real book and you get the bonus of being able to instantly check out what any word means. Simply by moving your finger across the screen the pages move back or forth. However I can't see myself giving up the pleasure of reading a real book any-time soon. For a start you never ever worry about a book.
I also purchased a plastic screen protector. Now having fitted a Zagg Invisible Shield to my phone I knew fitting one to the I-Pad would be a job and a half. Guess what it was. However I recommend buying one of the wee packs (3 or 6) in which to get used to fitting a screen protector without coming up with something that looks like an aero bar.
All in all, I am most impressed with the I-Pad, my only gripe is how anything connected to Apple is so damn expensive. On the other side of the coin you get what you pay for. At the moment the I-Pad2 is the best tablet on the market with the most peripherals, yes there are lots of competitors in the background. But if you want the best, then there's simply no contest.
on 29 August 2011
So, you're thinking of buying an iPad however, you're not so sure of what it can do and how it works. So, here is the "Dummies Guide to the iPad" to help you make that decision. "I promise to keep the jargon down to a bare minimum" :))
To begin with the iPad must be paired to an existing Laptop or Desktop PC. These can be normal Microsoft Windows or Mac PC's. Once paired you can use the iPad by itself. It only has to be paired once. Although, there is a rumour that the next generation will work straight out of the box.
You will be able to:
-Touch and pinch the screen to type words and move things around
-Send and Receive Emails
-Browse the Internet including Online Banking, Internet Shopping and more...
-Listen to Music, including the Radio when there is a Wireless (Wi-Fi) connection
-Watch Videos and Movies
-Write and Print Letters (see the section on 'Printing' further down)
-Download and Play Games
-Become a Smarter Person (more on this later)
-Display Pictures - it is an electronic Picture Frame too!
-Take Pictures and Movies, if it has the onboard camera (iPad2 and newer)
-Have a chat with the relatives abroad using Video Conferencing technology
-Download THOUSANDS of books into a snazzy Book Reader that you can actually turn pages on the screen with
-There are loads more - I'll leave them as a surprise if you decide to buy one :)
You will NOT be able to:
-Watch a special type of animation or movie using a technology known as 'Flash' - don't worry about this though, you'll hear lots of people complaining about it. It really is no big deal and you'll learn to live without it. Over time, many of the popular web sites will move away from using Flash and use a newer technology that DOES work on iPads.
-Insert a CD (there is no slot and you don't actually need one)
-In fact, there is not much else you can't do with an iPad :))
No, not the ones' from Oz! Wizards are helpful programs that magically pop up and automatically configure things like the Internet and Email connections for you. The iPad has more Wizards than you can wave a wand at! When you first switch it on and whenever you need to set something up it will automatically present you with a Wizard. Therefore setting things up is as easy as 1-2-3.
The iPad is also an iPod!! - Loading music is done in one of two ways.
1 - install the free version of iTunes onto your normal PC and follow the Wizards instructions to download your music from the 'iTunes Store' or transfer your music from your favourite CD collection. Then, connect the iPad to your computer using the supplied cable and it will automatically 'Synchronise' your music to the iPad. Yup, you guessed it - using yet another Wizard!
2 - iTunes is a built in application (or App) on the iPad itself. Tap this App to search for and download your music directly to the iPad. You could even download a movie or your favourite episode of 24 too!
Once the music is on there just tap the iPod App to listen to it. Easy-Peasy!
The iPad extensively uses Apps. Apps are downloaded, using Wi-Fi. This is why you don't need a CD drive. These are the icons that are displayed on the screen.
Apps are downloaded from the Internet using yet another App called: "The App Store". Tap this icon to search for or see a list of the most popular Apps available, some are paid for and some are free! Tap the 'Install' button next to the one you'd like, follow the Wizards instructions and the App will automatically download and appear as a new icon on the screen.
These can be loaded onto the iPad using iTunes, Email or the 'Camera Connection Kit' - this is a separate adaptor (£25) that plugs into the bottom of the iPad. Just insert the memory card from your camera into the adaptor and it will automatically load the pictures into the built in Photo App.
THE PICTURE FRAME
When the iPad is locked (by pressing the button on the top-right side) and then back on again, you'll see a little icon in the lower right side corner of the display. Tap this and the Photo App will automatically display your pictures in full screen mode, converting the iPad into a digital Photo frame! It is a great feature. This means that you can leave the ipad on the shelf, literally as part of your rooms decor! You may want to purchase a 'Dock (£25)' to have the iPad tilted and supported at just the right angle.
Tip: if you need a reason to justify buying an iPad to your wife - use the Picture Frame one!!
Printing is done wirelessly, however you MUST use one of the wireless printers detailed on the apple.com website. Typically, it will not print to anything other than one of those printers. There is one caveat to this statement, it is possible to print to any wireless printer if you pay for and download a third party App that is available via the App Store - use the search keywords 'wireless printing' to find it.
It is also possible to email whatever you'd like to print and pick it up on your normal PC for printing.
Finally, I mentioned that you could become a Smarter Person by using an iPad - in fact this is not a joke. There are thousands of educational Apps including ones' for learning Astronomy through to learning how to read and play music and even Apps that will help you learn a new language. The possibilities are literally right at your finger tips!!
If you're unsure of which size to buy just buy the largest one you can afford. I have a 32GB version and have only used half of its capacity even with some very large Apps installed.
The iPad is many things to many people and the information above is just scratching the surface.
"I hope this review helps you make the right decision and I also hope that I did not use too much confusing jargon."
*** update 12th October 2011 ***
Apple have released their new Operating System (iOS 5)
Amongst many new and enhanced features there is now the ability to synchronise data across multiple Devices. They call it 'iCloud' - think of iCloud as 'Virtual Filing Cabinet' to store your Documents, Diary and a record of your downloaded media from iTunes. Always accessible as long as there is an internet connection.
iCloud also allows the iPad to be used without having to 'Pair' it with a computer. It will now work straight out of the box!
on 30 November 2013
First of this is a great product for what it does. I'm not going to say anything that you can't read in the other posts below mine but we have 3 different generations of iPad's in our house now and they are something I'd now struggle to live without.
My main reason for writing this is you have to be aware that there are some of the sellers selling new iPad 2 in this 'Genuine UK Stock' listing that are not selling UK stock. I had mine arrive from a seller (unsure if naming them is against Amazon's T&C's so I won't) and it came in a padded envelope inside the delivery box. Inside this envelope was an iPad 2 box & sealed but also a plug adapter to fit a UK plug socket. Curious I opened up the box (bear in mind that this was bought as a Christmas present and I would've preferred to leave it sealed) and to my displeasure found that there was indeed a non UK plug included in the iPad box.
Now I know that all you really need is the USB cable and yes I have got spare apple plugs from previous purchases but as I'm buying a 'Genuine UK Stock' iPad I feel this is misleading and worth pointing out to other future purchasers from Amazon.
Sometimes paying the extra £8 is better to make sure you buy from Amazon :(
on 11 July 2011
I recently bought an iPad 2 as a retirement present for my wife. She was a teacher and would not mind me saying that she was not always comfortable with the increasing requirement to use I.T. within that profession. In fact she could have been described as technophobic as far as I.T. was concerned. The reason that I describe the iPad as a magic product is that in a very short time it has changed all that completely. To illustrate I will point out that a key criterion for the suitability of a handbag is now whether or not it can accommodate the iPad! My wife and this little device have become inseparable.
I can readily understand why. The speed, ease of use and compactness of this little unit is simply awe inspiring. I had no previous experience of Apple but I must admit that I can now begin to understand what its legion of devotees see in it. One is not going to sit down with an iPad to write a thesis or prepare business accounts but for 'surfing' to access information quickly and for keeping personal material, such as a diary and photographs, for quick and easy access it is superb. The touch screen technology and the clarity of the on-screen image is brilliant. There is simply no loss of quality of either sound or picture when using it to view programmes on sites such as BBC iPlayer. Film buffs could certainly get tremendous enjoyment from downloading and viewing movies on an iPad, although of course they would need to invest in more than the 16gb version to do this.
If you can accept the slightly higher price compared to other copy-cat products and the occasional inconvenience of not being able to use certain devices, such as flash player, that are not part of the 'World of Apple' then this device is well worth considering. It is indeed truly 'magic'.
on 11 December 2012
It's a fact that people only review a product they've purchased badly if either the product goes wrong or there is a problem with customer service, for obvious reasons.
There are 4 tablet devices in our house, a house inhabited by me, my wife and two children aged 9 & 10. 3 of the tablets are Android based and one is iOS based; an Apple iPad 2. When allowed to play on any of the devices, my kids go for the iPad every time it's available yet it's the most uncomfortable to hold for prolonged periods, it's by far the most expensive, it has the least on it because the apps and media are extortionate, it's the only one that won't stream media across the home network, it's the only one that won't 'talk' to any other device on the network and it has absolutely no expansion capability. So why do they use it? Ask them and they can't identify why. Ask a few (non-leading) questions and it soon becomes apparent that it's because all their mates and mates parent's have one and they don't want to look or feel different. Hmmm!
Apple still consider it realistic to have a huge price tag for their hardware as their consumers will still pay for it because of the image / branding (most Apple consumers consider the products for the 'arty' or the 'creative' and Android based products 'geeky' and 'inferior'). This is why Apple hardware and, therefore, the company is currently far more profitable that it's direct competitors. Their consumers are paying through the nose for the hardware in the first instance and are then psudo-locked into iTunes which ensures that their users pay an extortionate price for media (unless you know how to jailbreak your unit).
Think hard, because once you've made the plunge into Apple it takes an extremely deturmined user to move to another platform. Most Apple users, in the unlikely event of deciding to switch would need to apply for technical help to do so, which normally provides the somewhat hefty looking straw to take to the camels back. And that assumes that the Apple user is able to swallow the bitter pill of having to face the fact they were stitched up like a kipper because they were naive to the issues and sucked in by the (relative) good looks and the marketing...oh! and having shown all their friends how wonderful their device is which persuaded them to go out and buy one too. Look at it another way, The Apple user considers that a Chateau Lafite should accompany their iProduct use and every other product user would open either a Blue Nun at best or more likely a can of Special Brew.
Very clever marketing indeed when one considers that there is little more than breadth of the hair from the leg of a gnat to seperate the main players in the tablet market from the perspectives of both hardware and operating system.
If all you really want to do surf the net, pickup and send email, play the odd game or read a book / magazine, but not for too long because the heel of your thumb will sting after 5 minutes unless the device is resting on your lap and you don't mind paying a fortune for music, video and the device in the first instance, this is a great device to have. If, however, you want to do all that and more, with far less initial expenditure and far less ongoing cost as well as being to upgrade the device capacity whenever you like at very little cost, then choose from the one of the many other great devices out there.
All this fuss about IPAD2 not having FLASH, who cares?! I certainly don't. I had to ask what flash was, I was told it is used to produce videos on some web sites. Well it certainly hasn't affected my surfing enjoyment. This machine is absolutely amazing. I hear people complaining about the price, well I paid more than this for my first video recorder back in 1983. The trouble is we have got so used to cheap technology, cheap PC's/laptops. This is better than all pc's and laptops put together. Why? because it is portable and does so much. It is difficult to know where to start. Firstly, amazing packaging, it was a shame to have to open it, but I had to! Super slim and feels great. Image is brilliant (a word I am going to use a lot I am afraid). So easy to set up. It arrived virtually fully charged. SO turn on and go. My wife commented that it is easier to use than any computer/pc we have had in the past and we are not used to Apple products (apart from IPOD). We went for the wifi version because we have wifi at home and I won't be using it much out of the house. 16gb because even though I have got a 16gb IPOD I won't be using all the music on it. Yes I had to have a think about how I just select some music and photographs for the IPAD. Just select certain play lists rather than the lot, or set up a new play list simply for IPAD. Similar with photographs or select certain files from the computer. The IPOD on the IPAD can play all the time you are doing other things on the IPAD like surfing or playing games. It will even continue playing when the IPAD goes into sleep mode. Set up of email would be easy if I didn't have hotmail. Not a problem though I simply go onto the net and bookmark hotmail like I do with any other web site. There is probably a solution to the hotmail glitch but I haven't spent too much time looking for it. Now to the Apps, something I have not come across before. So simple. There are a few apps supplied like calendar, contacts, notes, maps, youtube, itunes, app store, game centre (a few freebies but search the app store there are a load more), camera, photo booth (great fun with the camera) and settings. There are 2 cameras, one at the back and one at the front. You can take a picture (or video) of yourself or press a button to take a picture (or video) of what is in front of the camera. There are also apps for safari (for surfing the net), mail, photos and IPOD.
Moving around the IPAD is very simple with touch screen, very responsive. If any typing is required a large key pad appears on the screen. I have brought down the free apps BBC iplayer, sky news, itv player, 4 catchup, kindle, bbc news, google earth, twitter, dictionary (and thesaurus), battleship, air hockey, capital fm, solitaire, spider, tv guide, skype (yes you can make free calls if you are using your wifi). I have also spent 59p and bought monopoly, scrabble, retro pinball (brilliant). There are some 60000 more to investigate so I understand. I spent the princely sum of 3.99 and bought RealRacing2HD. I had always wanted a racing game but never found one that was resposive enough or didn't make me feel sick. This is great and you control the steering by turning the IPAD right and left! Excellent!
In conclusion I think the IPAD2 is amazingly amazing. Easy to use, brilliant graphics, brilliant sound system, brilliant for surfing, brilliant for catch up tv, brilliant for displaying photos/videos, brilliant for playing games, brilliant camera...just brilliant!
on 28 October 2012
I have never had an Apple product before, and feeling that I deserved at least one before I die (I am nearly 80) thought I would spend some of the kids inheritance and treat myself. I am so glad that I did. If my house was burning down I would simply pick up my iPad and run! News, books, games, emails, photos, there is so much and it is so easy to use. I love, love, love it.
on 8 August 2011
The IPad 2, is it simply the name that screams brilliant? In my household we have two of them, one is my mums and one is my dads, yes that's right a His and Hers. That's because they simply wouldn't share, and now theese machines are very different; my mums is filled with music, family pictures, her email and very few games. My dads is filled with athletes stuff, podcasts for running, videos for cycling, games and millions of radio stations. Both have a Kindle, so there aren't very many ebooks downloaded, because one of the few flaws is that the screen is too bright for reading, so if you primarily want an Ereader I wouldn't recommend the IPad 2. I must admit that when my dads at work, I "adopt" his IPad 2 for the day. I use it for Facebook, my email, playing games, surfing the Internet,taking funny photos, booking movie tickets and Skyping my friends. For a teenager it simply is a fantastic toy. The IPad 2 is very addictive, and most nights my parents will be sitting at the table each on their own IPad 2 doing very different things, shopping, watching a film or emailing friends. One of the reasons they went for the IPad 2 instead of an IPad 1 is because of the cameras, I go to boarding school so it's great for using Skype and being able to see each other although they didn't get the IPad 2 with 3G because you have to sign up to a £15 a month contract, and there was no point since we have wifi at our house. I'm writing this review on my dads IPad 2, the keyboard is large and easy to use, and the IPad 2 itself is portable and fits easily into my bag. Many people say that the IPad 2 is not very durable, but after dropping one on my foot, I beg to differ, the screen is intact and the IPad 2 is still working perfectly. Another flaw is the battery life, you usually do need to charge the iPad at least every other day if you use them frequently. So all in all, the speakers are excellent, the apps and games still fantastic and the cameras are brilliant, it's obviously a very expensive item but all things considered it's definitely worth it, but I wouldn't use instead of a Kindle for reading books and if I believe that if you buy one you have to buy a case to protect and clean the screen. Hope this helps and I'd recommend to all.