Roundup: The First Reviews of Apple’s iPad

The early reviews for the iPad are in, and they’re certainly going to make Steve Jobs happy.

Apple handed out iPads to a few select publications a couple of days early, and the critical consensus is overwhelmingly positive.

The usual reviewers from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, as well as a few surprising newcomers to the Apple early reviews circuit, all praised the iPad for its epically long battery life (more than 12 hours), impressive speed and beautiful touchscreen.

Priced between $500 and $830, the iPad is hitting stores Saturday.

Excerpts from the eight early reviews are as follows:

Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal:

I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.
All in all, however, the iPad is an advance in making more-sophisticated computing possible via a simple touch interface on a slender, light device. Only time will tell if it’s a real challenger to the laptop and netbook.

David Pogue, The New York Times:

And the techies are right about another thing: the iPad is not a laptop. It’s not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it — books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on. For most people, manipulating these digital materials directly by touching them is a completely new experience — and a deeply satisfying one.

Andy Inhatko, Chicago Sun Times:

In fact, after a week with the iPad, I’m suddenly wondering if any other company is as committed to invention as Apple. Has any other company ever demonstrated a restlessness to stray from the safe and proven, and actually invent things?

Ed Baig, USA Today:

The first iPad is a winner. It stacks up as a formidable electronic-reader rival for Amazon’s Kindle. It gives portable game machines from Nintendo and Sony a run for their money. At the very least, the iPad will likely drum up mass-market interest in tablet computing in ways that longtime tablet visionary and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates could only dream of.

Tim Gideon,

Aside from Apple enthusiasts, many of us wondered who would drop hundreds of dollars for this not-quite-computer. But having used the iPad for some time, I can tell you that the device just makes sense. When you combine basic-but-essential work tools with iWork, an improved browser, e-mail, iPod, and photo applications, a well-executed e-Book platform with iBooks, and throw in thousands of downloadable apps and games, and package it all in a gorgeous, slim slate with a beautiful 9.7-inch touch screen, you have yourself a winner.

Bob LeVitus, Houston Chronicle:

It turns out the iPad isn’t as much a laptop replacement as I thought (though it could easily be used as one). Instead, it’s an entirely new category of mobile device. For example, now when I want to surf the Web from the couch or back deck, the iPad is the device I choose. Starbucks? Same thing. Think of the iPad as a new arrow in your technology quiver, an arrow that will often be the best tool for a given task.

Xeni Jardin, Boing Boing:

Just as the iPhone, Palm Pré and Android phones scratched an itch we didn’t know we had—somewhere between cellphone and notebook—the iPad hits a completely new pleasure spot. The display is large enough to make the experience of apps and games on smaller screens stale. Typography is crisp, images gem-like, and the speed brisk thanks to Apple’s A4 chip and solid state storage. As I browse early release iPad apps, web pages, and flip through the iBook store and books, the thought hits that this is a greater leap into a new user experience than the sum of its parts suggests.

Omar Wasow,

The techie obsession with specs and obscure features completely misses how most consumers will actually use the iPad. A small percentage of power users will be disappointed that the iPad doesn’t, say, have an HDMI video-out port or that it currently lacks the ability to run multiple applications simultaneously or that it fails to address some other esoteric concern. The rest of us (even most techies) will be thrilled that doing what we want to do on the iPad is generally effortless.

Photo: Jon Snyder/

PS3 firmware 3.21 is out: say goodbye to ‘install other OS’

Just a tad ahead of schedules — perhaps as a macabre assurance this isn’t some April 1st joke — firmware 3.21 for the PS3 is now being seeded to anyone who tries to log onto the PlayStation Network. As far as we can tell, all the update seems to do is remove the “install other OS” option and kill access to anyone who does have another platform dual-booted. Just a friendly reminder, if you fall into that category, be sure to either backup your partition or wait for Geohot to find a workaround.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

PS3 firmware 3.21 is out: say goodbye to ‘install other OS’ originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Mar 2010 23:48:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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AT&T getting ‘practice’ Pre Pluses tomorrow?

It looks like AT&T will start taking delivery tomorrow of Pre Plus units that are being specifically designated as high-security, SKU-less “practice devices” that are only to be used off the sales floor for training purposes, though when training is complete, they can be moved to a live store display. That certainly lends weight to a launch happening sooner rather than later, counter to rumors earlier in the month that we might not see them on shelves until the peak of Summer. Of course, we don’t know how long the training sessions are going to run — our leak here gives no indication of that, nor of a retail release date — but considering that we first saw this form factor back in January of ’09, it’s seriously in everyone’s best interest to fast-track these. Our fingers are crossed.

[Thanks, Eric L.]

AT&T getting ‘practice’ Pre Pluses tomorrow? originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Mar 2010 23:23:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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NYT: Hulu planning iPad app, might be subscription based


We’ve been hearing whispers about a Hulu app for the iPad since the day Apple’s tablet was announced, and things are starting to pick up steam: the New York Times says four different people familiar with Hulu’s plans have said the app is coming, and that it will potentially require a subscription fee. That either makes a lot of sense (if you’re a TV network exec looking to keep the Aston padding on your paycheck) or absolutely none at all (if you’re everyone else), but it certainly seems like it’s happening — especially since Hulu CEO Jason Kilar told the Times that he’s “open to subscriptions as a complement to the ad-supported model.” That’s as close to a confirmation as we’ve ever heard, but we’ve got a feeling Apple’s putting the full-court press on Hulu and other networks like CBS — we’d expect to see this go from rumor to reality relatively soon.

NYT: Hulu planning iPad app, might be subscription based originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Mar 2010 22:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Screen Grabs: Phil Dunphy gets an iPad

Poor Phil Dunphy — it might look like his life is an attractive and blissful TV family idyll, but all the man really wants is an iPad for his birthday. And all ABC really wants is a fat wad of product placement green. Video after the break.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Continue reading Screen Grabs: Phil Dunphy gets an iPad

Screen Grabs: Phil Dunphy gets an iPad originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Mar 2010 21:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G and TimelineX 3820T, 4820T, 5820T get hands-on treatment

Oh, what a gloomy morning it’s been in London, but that didn’t stop Electricpig from attending Acer’s UK launch event for its voguish Aspire Ethos and power-sipping TimelineX laptops. The Ethos 8943G, pictured above, is described as a more affordable alternative (at “half the price”) to the ASUS NX90, packing a touchscreen-like trackpad for media control, a sturdy chiclet keyboard and an 18.4-inch full HD screen with decent viewing angle. As for the TimelineX trio, Electricpig praises the brushed aluminum lids and the grip on the closed 13.3-inch model, but the meat lies in the 12-hour battery life — this is the same as the previous line-up, even though WiFi usage is included and the CPUs are now more powerful. If you fancy something more portable, word has it that the 11.6-inch TimelineX 1830T — a no-show today — will be out towards the end of June, otherwise the TimelineX trio can be yours from £599.99 ($909) in May, and the Ethos for £1,099.99 ($1,666) in June. Until then, gorge yourselves on the photos at the source links.

Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G and TimelineX 3820T, 4820T, 5820T get hands-on treatment originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Mar 2010 21:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceElectricpig (Ethos), (TimelineX)  | Email this | Comments

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: From luxury to racing

Mercedes-Benz launched the SLS AMG GT3 at the 2010 New York auto show. pOriginally posted at a href=”” class=”origPostedBlog”New York Auto Show 2010/a/p

Widgets on the Wii with Opera

This article was written on October 10, 2007 by CyberNet.

Opera Wii 

Nintendo and Opera just launched a new version of Internet Channel for the Wii. It is a free upgrade for all existing users, which is especially nice if you managed to get it for free before June 30. Unfortunately I didn’t buy my Wii until after that deadline, and have yet to plop down 500 Wii points (equivalent to $5) for it.

The new version has several improvements and features that are sure to get applauded by Wii users, including USB keyboard support and widget integration!

  • USB Keyboard support
    Hardware support for any USB keyboard makes typing both easier and faster. You just simply plug any standard USB keyboard into one of the two USB ports on your Nintendo Wii and you are ready to write email, compose blog posts, comment in forums and much more.
  • “Send to a Friend”
    This feature enables you to send links to your favorite Web sites – or the one you are currently browsing – to your Wii friends whom you have added in your Wii. You can also add a message to send along with the link. When your Wii friend opens the message, they can immediately visit the page.
  • Copy & Paste
    Users can now copy information from a Web page and paste it directly into the search field. Users may also store nine more favorites, bringing the total to 56.
  • Widget Support
    Widgets available now include calendars, news readers, Internet radios and other fun applications. For more information on creating widgets, please visit with your Wii.

This sounds like a pretty big upgrade for the Wii web browser, and the USB keyboard support will make it a lot more useful. Kudos to Nintendo for making it work with any keyboard and not forcing you go out and buy some specially made gadget to do the typing!

Source: Choose Opera & Opera Press Release

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Google Envelopes turns Gmail into snail mail, wraps it in precisely routed Maps printout

It’s a fantasy come true for the avid nerd / traveler, but unfortunately for us, it’s but a concept in its current form. Syracuse’s own Rahul Mahtani and Yofred Moik have dreamed up Google Envelopes, and if brought to production, this might just make the USPS as relevant as it was during the heyday known as 1985. Put simply, the solution would involve a new ‘Send Envelope’ method of passing along a note penned in Gmail; when pressed, you’d get a printout of the message along with a specially crafted envelope, the latter of which really makes this idea shine. The envelope itself would be a Google Maps representation of the quickest route to transfer said message from you to the recipient if roadways and kayaks were used in place of fiber and coax, giving the receiver a crucially awesome keepsake each time you dropped him or her a line. Oh, and having an ‘Avoid Tolls’ option would just totally put it over the top — even if were relegated to beta.

[Thanks, Yofred]

Google Envelopes turns Gmail into snail mail, wraps it in precisely routed Maps printout originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Mar 2010 20:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First iPad Reviews Are In [Reviews]

The first iPad reviews are in and so far they’re sounding pretty great with very few reservations. Here are the highlights of what the early reviewers are saying: More »