Sunday, 29 October 2017

Apple iPad Wi-Fi Review

There's something that captures your imagination when you open an Apple box and first see your new gadget. That is certainly the case with the Apple iPad. The first thing you see is the device itself with its large screen. Also included in the box is a cable, power adapter and the famous apple stickers. But was the box worth opening in the first place? Is the iPad really worth getting?

The first thing you need to know is what the iPad is for. After all you can't review a product without knowing what it's for, right? Well Steve Jobs from Apple said that the iPad sits in-between the iPhone and the Macbook. It isn't the best communications device and it isn't for serious work. The iPad is the perfect device for consuming media. Watch movies, show photos, surf the internet, answer e-mails and read books. That's what the iPad is for. It's a device for around the house. I've put that statement to the test.


But before I get into the media stuff let's look at the design first. It's great. The back is all aluminum which makes it feel really classy and decent against scratching. The apple logo sits in the middle.

The front is the same as the iPhone. It's glass from edge to edge with the only buttons being the home button, volume, sleep and screen orientation key. The edges of the screen are now wider which is useful because it enables you to hold the device with one hand without touching the screen. The black and gray contrast between the buttons and the body looks great. The device is very thin and the aluminum border (metal one is gone) makes it one of the best looking gadgets ever made.

The internet & Keyboard

Internet is really important in a tablet, laptop, smartphone well actually in pretty much everything. Luckily Apple knew this and they've worked hard on getting safari just right on the iPad, and they have. The iPad is simply the best internet surfing experience. It's great to see a whole webpage in front of you that you can manipulate without using a mouse or other pointing device. In fact the only downside is the chunkiness in using tabs. It's not fast and it requires you to first press a button and then the page of your choice. I wish it was more like the PC/Mac way with all of your tabs just a single click away.

How does the iPad type? A lot of people asked this question prior to the launch and I can say that I've no problem typing. Portrait mode types fine but can get awkward when you're both holding the device and typing at the same time. But in landscape mode with the iPad on your lap things really come alive. It types just like a normal notebook. And if you mistype, the iPad quickly corrects you and predicts the word you wanted to spell. It works just like the iPhone which was a fine system. You might have to get used to the lack of feedback though. Your only guide is the screen and for some people it may take some time getting used to.


Now let's talk media. First of all watching movies is great and a way better experience than a laptop or smartphone can offer. The laptop is simply too heavy for the job and the iPhone's screen is just too small.

Apple included the video app to further enhance the video watching experience and it works great. The app nicely shows a cover art of the movie and it's very easy to go to a curtain chapter or read a description of the movie. I think a lot of people will really fall in love with this feature.

Another big selling point is the ability to show photo's to friends and family. The device can function as a digital photo stand during parties, or you can use the built in app for a great photo viewing experience. The device will tell you where the photos were taken (if geo-tagged) and it will tell faces. Zooming in and out on photos or sweeping across your collection feel great. It's much better than on the iPhone because the larger screen really lends itself for smoother gestures and the great IPS screen shows every detail.

Books are hot again. Apple made an app specifically for reading and buying, it's called iBooks. The app will display all your books on a bookshelf. Tab the library button and the bookshelf will flip to reveal a store. But it's not all great because the store lacks proper navigation. For example you can't navigate by category or publication date. It really doesn't make sense that it lacks this feature, so the store is actually only useful if you already know what you want. But the reading itself is great. It even works in the dark! Take that physical books.

The iPod app is also present. It looks a lot like you're used to in itunes. You can display your music in lists or album covers and see what's playing. Cover flow is mysteriously missing though, but probably won't be missed.

Tab a song and it will display the album cover. Tab again and you get access to the music playing keys. The app is really great to use because the 9.7" display allows you to see all of your songs.

Other provided apps are: calendar, contacts, notes, app store, iTunes, maps, and YouTube. They all work great as expected from Apple. calendar does exactly what you expect it to do. You can watch a whole month without scrolling or tapping, which makes it particularly useful.

Contacts divides the screen in two, one side it shows all the details and on the other the names of your contacts.

Maps is greatly improved on the iPad. Apple did it by only adding one new feature: streetview. And it works easy. Just drop a pin somewhere and press the street button. In fact the streetview works way more intuitive on the iPad than it does on the actual Google site.

Last but not least is YouTube. It's really nice that you can see both the comments and the videos on one screen in portrait. Because let's face it, we all read the comments. In landscape the video fills the whole screen, which makes it a pleasure to watch.


The app store allows you to download any iPhone app on your iPad. But you can also download apps made specifically for the device.

iPhone apps look awful on the iPad. The screen in 1:1 mode is too small to use and looks silly with all that unused space around it. Displaying the app in 2x modes isn't recommended either because it just looks plain ugly. I can see every pixel in this mode.

iPad apps are great though. The larger screen allows for some exciting stuff. Zombies vs Aliens for example is simply amazing to play. It looks very crisp and the controls are as intuitive as can be.

The iWork package from Apple is another example of screen space used well. Making documents and presentations is easy. In pages I was surprised to see the task bar disappear in landscape mode though.

The future will tell if the bigger screen will allow for some great new apps. I'm a little worried though because of the speed of the device.


So media is great on the iPad but unfortunately not everything is. Communicating for example isn't really possible because the iPad doesn't have a front facing camera. So grandma won't be able to video chat with her grandchildren in the garden. And the iPad isn't fast. It feels zippy but the apps aren't what they could be and at times the device slowed down a bit. Another problem is the build quality. I could slightly wiggle the volume button and sleep button by holding my fingers on it. On the iPhone for example the buttons are way more stiff. Another thing about the build quality is the vibration that you get when the speakers are playing. It's probably the fair amount of bass that the device can produce but it makes the device feel more fragile in a way.


The iPad is amazing in its own little way. It's not going to replace the phone. It's not going to replace the notebook. No, it can't do any of those things. Instead it becomes the best way to interact with your media. Movies, music, books, photos and the internet. And sure you can work on it via the iWork packages from apple. it works fine but not good enough to produce 10.000+ word documents.

The iPad is an amazing tablet and I hope Apple fixes the shortcomings in the next version.