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The Internet was aflame with reactions to the unveiling of Apple's newest gadget. Here's a sampling of what bloggers and other observers had to say

Speed

The consensus after bloggers got their hands on the iPad was that it's fast.

"Web pages loaded up super fast, and scrolling was without a hiccup," Joshua Topolsky wrote on engadget.com. "Moving into and out of apps was a breeze. Everything flew."

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Mark Wilson of gizmodo.com wrote that speed is "single biggest benefit of the iPad … It feels at least a generation faster than the iPhone 3GS. Lags and waits are gone."

Price

A starting price of $499 (U.S.) was a pleasant surprise for many after speculation that the device could run north of $1,000. With a new device, the question is always how long it will take to transition from early adopters to the wider public. Affordability "will drive adoption," wrote Silicon Alley Insider's Dan Frommer.

"The low price is big," Boingboing.net editor Xeni Jardin wrote on Twitter.

The cost was a bright spot even for those who believed the device failed to live up to all the hype. "The price point makes it interesting," wrote Sam Diaz on Zdnet.com, although he added that "it does pretty much everything I can already do with my Macbook and iPod Touch."

Typing

The iPad sports an on-screen touch-response keyboard. It can also plug into a physical keyboard. Most bloggers noted that the touch-screen features in general were very responsive. Reviews of the onscreen keyboard were mixed.

When the iPad is flipped so it displays in portrait mode, the typing felt a bit tight, Mr. Wilson, of Gizmodo, wrote. Turned horizontally to landscape mode was easier, but "the iPad sort of wobbles. The back is not perfectly flat … so the virtual keyboard becomes that much more difficult to use."

Reading

iPad has been cast as a full-colour Kindle alternative. Books are available through the iBook store, and magazine and newspaper publishers will introduce iPad-compatible digital versions of their products.

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"iBook page leafing made me giddy, one finger swoosh," Boingboing's Ms. Jardin wrote, noting also the importance of resizable fonts - a feature already available on most readers developed for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The "reading application is fast and clean, and it feels a real advance on the Kindle's monochrome," Vincent Nguyen wrote on slashgear.com. "We'll have to spend a little longer with the iPad to see whether the LED-backlighting is as easy on the eyes as e-paper."

Ease of use

With most laptops, "you have a single point of interaction, the trackpad, and moving and clicking with it are two separate steps," commented Rory Marinich on Metafilter.com. "Scrolling is another. Typing is another … it's not good. My grandparents hate it. They don't get it. They'll get this. … No complicated things. It responds to your touch. My grandparents get the iPhone; well, this is the same thing, but it's a computer in full."

Downsides

Bloggers didn't like the fact that the iPad doesn't appear to run more than one application at a time. Another drawback is the lack of Flash Player, which limits Internet browsing and the ability to view multimedia content.

Panelists on crunchgear.com were disappointed that there was no SD card slot, which would allow users to plug in the memory cards found in most cameras, for easier transferring of photographs onto the device. Wired Magazine's website listed the lack of a built-in camera as a drawback.

The final major criticism across the board: It's not a phone - at least, not yet.

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About the Author
Media and Marketing Reporter

Susan covers marketing and media for Report on Business. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2009, Susan worked as a freelance reporter contributing to the Ottawa Citizen, the Montreal Gazette and other publications, as well as CBC Radio's Dispatches and Search Engine. She has a Masters degree in journalism from Carleton University. More

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