Customer Review

292 of 305 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down, 7 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Apple iPad 4 with Retina Display - Black (16GB, WiFi)
This is my first iPad (indeed my first tablet). It was always going to be a 10 inch - but I had to choose between and iPad and a Galaxy at about 100 quid cheaper. I went for an iPad primarily because I already have an iPhone and I hoped and expected that they would communicate well with each other.

In this I have not been disappointed. The integration is seamless and suddenly the iPad seems to have all my contacts and other data from the iPhone without me having to do anything in particular. Similarly, though with a little more head scratching, all the music I had on the iPhone is also on the iPad. The head scratching has to do with the difference between what's in the Cloud and what's physically on a device. The iPad knew about the music without much effort, and could play it by streaming it from the Cloud, but if I was out of reach of WIFI I was suddenly without the tracks again. The answer was physically to download the content, and now I have the music whether I am in a network or not. To really get on top of this you will need to download iTunes to your PC and use it to help manage your iPad.

I have downloaded several apps, but the star for me, has been the Kindle app. I have to say 'wow'. If anything, it makes the Kindle experience even better than using the Kindle reader - especially since I like to read in bed ... and now have backlighting whose level I can easily set. Syncing from iPad to Kindle and back again has been a doddle. So far, for me, a major plus.

Apple are very good at making ownership a pleasure. The iPad oozes quality, and is a joy to handle. Man-years have been spent on the user interface, and it shows. Very slick. People say that this version is not much different from 2 or 3, but I'm not so sure. It has a faster processor and more pixels, and if you are going to use a tablet for several hours a day, you do want a good screen to look at - and good it is.

There are a few downsides. Not having Flash is one of them. I knew about this before I bought, but it's still a bit of a downer to access a well known website and suddenly find that it doesn't perform any more. Just one of those things you need to know about and accept. There are often native apps that get around that issue.

Another downside is to be English speaking in France (this applies to other language/location permutations). Because the device knows you are in France, it keeps pushing French at you; not the end of the world, but not always convenient. When you go to the iTunes store, you find that an app you know is available, is out of reach - it's in the English store, but not the French one, and amazingly, in this interconnected age, you can't have it. It all has to do with DRM and how Apple chooses to implement it. There are workarounds. If this issue affects you, Google it for solutions.

These don't lead me to a downrating. This really is a 5 star product. It's a super bit of kit and I don't regret my choice.

>>>>>>>>>> Updated 25 January 2013 >>>>>>>>>>

Some things I have learned in the last couple of weeks which might be useful (none of which would reduce my rating though):

1 - A tablet is *not* a laptop without a keyboard (and adding an external keyboard won't change that). Owning a tablet will not make your PC or laptop redundant. Those are productive tools, and a tablet is more about consuming content. Consuming music, films, videos, websites and so on. For actually producing something, like a brochure, or doing a mail merge, you will be back to your PC.

2 - printing is primitive. Really. You can change the number of copies you want, but that's it. You can't specify a paper size or orientation, or quality, or have a say where on the page your output will be placed. There is a little help on the way from printer manufacturers (HP in my case) who have some more helpful apps, but be warned.

3 - the operating system is very good, but very different. You are not going to see familiar folder structures, and be able to drill down to where your document is. So I don't actually know where my PDF copy of the manual is, but my PDF reader does, so it still works. "It's an operating system Jim, but not as we know it".

4 - once you've got used to not thinking of it as a computer, it's great. This review is being prepared on my very fast PC, on one of the three big screens that run off it. But last night I could point my iPad at different parts of the sky, and have the stars, galaxies, constellations and planets identified and named for me. Can't do that on my PC. This morning, grey dawn, I was in bed with my cup of tea, catching up on the morning papers on my iPad. Can't take my PC to bed with me. Last week there was a huge pall of smoke on the horizon. On my iPad I called up my location, got maps running, also ran a compass app, and worked out where it was. Can't do that on my PC. You get the idea.

5 - I already said that the Kindle app was great. Yesterday I used the iPad to access Amazon and bought a Kindle book about the iPad, and downloaded it to the iPad directly. First time I've done that without going through my actual Kindle. The book looks super on the iPad, and the illustrations, screenshots mostly, are all in their native colour. I'm already through a third of it, and can recommend it too. It's here if you are interested: iPad: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals). Just check it's the latest one, which I think is Nov 2012.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Feb 2013 13:14:53 GMT
franny says:
What a great review. I am considering a tablet and your experience has me veering in the i pad direction.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Nov 2013 19:54:41 GMT
Sonia Reilly says:
I agree. Brilliant review.
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