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on 30 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/Music 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.


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 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."

Good luck!

*** 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 a '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!
182182 comments|1,059 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 August 2011
I didn't buy my iPad 2 32GB Wi-fi from Amazon (cheaper elsewhere), but having read a few reviews for the various models here before I did buy, I felt compelled to add my 2 penneth.

Most reviews are very complimentary (rightly so), but I have read a few whereby the reviewers appear to have parted with £500+ without doing any kind of product research first. They then slag off the product for things it can't do (e.g. no flash support). Anybody who does that must have more money than sense!

If you spend 5 minutes researching the iPad 2 you would KNOW it doesn't support flash (because of a dispute between Apple and Adobe, not through any technological shortcomings). I read one person saying because of this, you can forget trying to use BBC's iPlayer, when in fact there is a free iPlayer app from the BBC specifically designed for the iPad. The same goes for BBC News, Sky News/Sports and a forever increasing number of other sites that use flash on their standard websites.

Moving on to what I actually think of the iPad 2, you might have guessed by now that I love it, as does my wife and my 21 month old daughter! I won't go into all the things it can/can't do (that's your job to find out) but it provides lightweight, instant-on access to the internet, email, photos, music and video libraries, youtube, and all the other thousands of apps available to download on the App Store, all in the perfect form factor. As a cricket fan who already subscribes to Sky Sports, I can watch the Test Matches on the iPad anywhere there is a wi-fi connection for free using the SkyGo app. With the purchase of a leather case with velcro strap for another £15, we also use it as an in-car entertainment system for our daughter on long journeys, strapped to the rear headrest, playing her favourite programs and cartoons (battery life approx. 10 hours).

In short, do yourself a favour and do some research before buying a tablet computer, ANY tablet computer. The Android alternatives are great too and may be more suited to your needs, but if not, the iPad 2 still wins all the professional reviews and is still THE tablet to get, IMHO.
88 comments|311 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 October 2011
I waited ages to change to the iPad fighting on with an old (ok 2 year old) Windows based laptop, my time online used to consist of waiting an age for the laptop to start/update/get online then it would crash after half an hour and you'd get to restart.... Changing to the iPad has been an excellent move, the stress levels have dropped to nothing ;-) I don't have to wait an age for it to start up, open the Snugg iPad 2 Leather Case Cover and Flip Stand with Elastic Hand Strap and Premium Nubuck Fibre Interior (Black) - Automatically Wakes and Puts the iPad 2 to Sleep. Superior Quality Design as Featured in GQ Magazine. and the screen comes to life and you're online, switching between apps takes seconds and the multi-tasking option is great with a swipe of your fingers you switch between Internet - email - twitter etc. Yes, it's true that the iPad does not have flash, but then sites that are heavy on flash are often low on content ;-) seriously I've not missed flash at all yet. The screen size is big enough for comfortable browsing and I'm used to large monitors.
0Comment|109 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Well, where do you start?! The IPad 2 is an outstanding piece of technology; words really cannot describe just how clever these are!

The Internet connection, even if you are living in the middle of nowhere (such as myself!), is lightning fast! At first I had doubts whether the IPad would be as good in the countryside with less signals, but it is equally as quick as in the middle of Bristol! (And how do I know this? Well, my mother insisted she brought the iPad in her bag when we went out for dinner in Bristol!) I also really like the cameras on the iPad -yes there's two of them! One one the front, which is perfect for video calls and Facetime and one on the back for taking photos just like a normal camera! It comes with a preloaded photo booth where you can choose from 9 different styles of photo, such as Xray and Whirlpool effects. Very fun for all ages!

Most importantly, there's the Apple Store, where you can choose and purchase apps to download. These include games, fun applications, study tools and more! Choose from 100,000 of them! Lots of apps are free, many cost a small amount (such as 59p), and a few cost up to £5 for a top-quality app.

You can set up email addresses and of course Social Networking sites are also available on the Ipad. Facebook, Twitter and Bebo have never seemed so modern as on this high resolution screen. As you are aware, there is no need for a proper keyboard as there is an on-screen one which is large enough for the fattest of fingers to use.

These Ipads are truly amazing and beautiful. I have a particular liking towards the glossy white ones, and the original black Ipads are professional looking!

So the bottom line is - Yes you are paying hundreds of pounds, but out of it you will get a super-fast 'computer' which is the latest piece of technology on the market. It has thousands of top-notch features which really are worth the money.

However there is one big issue, in my opinion. Apple claims that the Ipad has a guaranteed 10 hour battery life, but this is not actually true. Maybe with the Wi-fi off, 10 hours is possible, but many apps require Wi-Fi to work. So in reality i doesn't actually last 10 hours. In all honesty, the IPad would be amazing if it had a Flash Player too. That is another big disappointment with it .
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on 29 December 2011
I got this to make my 40 minute train train a bit more bearable.
Its small enough to hold with one hand when i can't find a seat but big enough to read - i find smartphone screens to small to read for too long.

I can read the free metro without getting hands dirty . Lots of apps/tv shows/movie on itunes. Writing this review over the xmas period when a lot of things on itunes are either free or very cheap. Just d/l scrabble HD for 69p. Will keep me going for months.
For tv series, i've just d/l Walking Dead Entire Season 1 for £9.99 on itunes - currently £11.99 on dvd at amazon.

Also handy for checking emails during the day and for web browsing at lunchtime.

I see some people have mentioned flash but ive not encountered a problem and with Microsoft following Apples lead of not using flash - flash's days are numbered.
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on 15 March 2012
What can I say - it's an iPad! What a fantastic product! Never again to be held at the mercy of Microsoft operating systems and their snail's pace start up, awkward and prone to crashing, constantly receiving long updates and reboots, memory sucking anti virus software, regular running of registry cleaning utilities etc etc! With iPad you switch on and you are instantly there with virtually no maintenance. It has changed my life! Get one!
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on 12 January 2012
Hey, what a wonderful gadget. Incredibly fast to operate, easy to hold (slimmer and lighter than the earlier version). The camera is not good in low light but more than adequate in daylight. The two way cameras are a bit OTT but great fun for skyping.
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on 30 December 2011
This is first Apple product and i am very impressed. I hardly use my PC now and take my iPad everywhere.
The plus point is the instant ON when you press the button, no frustrating boot up. email is so simple, the apps are amazing, Face time is brilliant for keeping in touch via video calling. Battery life is very good around 10 hours continuous use. You just get hooked on it.
The downside for me is two fold.
1 It does not support Flash video (although this has not been a major drawback).
2 No USB port for loading say MP3, requiring the frustrating use of itunes to download music and video with all its proprietary barriers.
Never-the-less, great piece of technology that you cant put down - albeit still rather pricy.
(had this ipad for well over a year now...worth every penny!)
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on 10 April 2012
I had the ordinal iPad version of this and am happy with the improvements. Sleek and much slimmer than the original. Camera is also a use function for Skype and other programs. Best tablet available by far, iPad 3 does not seem a big enough improvement, save money and get this instead as price has come down!
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on 25 December 2011
I got the Ipad this christmas and I am really impressed with it.

1. It is lightweight and can easily be carried around
2. very user friendly
3. has lots of free applications
4. looks good
5. can take on holiday with me

All in all I am very happy with my present!
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