There's been no shortage of opinions on the iPad, for sure. Some think it's just a big iPhone that can't make phone calls, while others see it as the tablet of the future. To get into some of these points, CNET's Ina Fried and Josh Lowensohn weigh in on some of the issues.
Also, be sure to check out CNET Reviews' Editor's take by Donald Bell.
Who is this for?/Who will buy this?
CNET senior writer Ina Fried: This is a tough one. I think it is for people who want a second computing device, for sure. It won't replace your laptop. It is good for casual Web browsing in the house--seems like a great way to be even less social while watching TV with the family. I think it is also good for travelers who want to have one device that can replace a stack of magazines, books, and DVDs. Most of all, I think a lot of the killer uses for this have yet to be created.
CNET associate editor Josh Lowensohn: Travelers indeed, and everyone I've talked to about this keeps bringing up how "awesome" this would be on an airplane. I don't spend all that much time on airplanes, but when I do, I'm completely satisfied with using my iPhone.
If anything, the two things that bring that experience down are having to hold on to it the entire time (which the iPad requires), and the smallish screen (which the iPad fixes). Then again, if I do want more screen real estate, a laptop always seems to be a better option since I can just adjust the screen to stand it up, leaving my hands free to grip the elbow rests in terror of the next patch of turbulence.
What about the name?
Lowensohn: I think the iPad makes a lot more sense than the iSlate would have. Everyone knows that a pad is something flat that you write/work on. A slate? What?
Fried: Yeah, I got nothing for you there Josh. But, iPad? Might be another reason for Apple to add a few more women to its top ranks.
How about the size?
Fried: It is a little awkward--too big for any clothing and yet not a full replacement for a laptop. It's between a PC and a phone, and the key question is if people want something that size.
That said, people love this touch interface, whether it is on the iPhone or Microsoft's Surface. The iPad's size gives the opportunity for people to get their hands on something closer to the Surface. It is also just big enough that I think we will see some multiuser applications, which are part of what makes the Surface so cool, but not really practical on the iPhone or iPod Touch.
Lowensohn: I totally agree about the size, and thank goodness it doesn't need to double as a coffee table in my living room.
But being the curmudgeon I am, I have one big qualm about the screen. The 1024x768 resolution is great for apps, but less than ideal for the Web. Bumping it up to a 16:9 ratio display would be even better for Web browsing, along with movies and certain types of games.
Fried: I tend to agree about the aspect ratio. I think making it killer for HD movies and TV would have made a more compelling product. That said, there's always the next iPad.… Read more