Apple to Unveil its New ‘iPad’


apple-ipadApple Inc.’s iPad touch-screen tablet is a winning product that threatens to replace laptops as the dominant format for personal computers, reviewers said.

The iPad, which will begin selling this weekend, is “wicked fast” and has a battery life that’s longer than Apple’s claim of 10 hours, Walt Mossberg, technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal, wrote in a review yesterday. It can be used as a replacement for a laptop for most data communication and content consumption, he wrote.

“The iPad is an advance in making more-sophisticated computing possible via a simple touch interface on a slender, light device,” Mossberg wrote. The tablet “has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop.”

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, started taking orders for the iPad on March 12, offering consumers the choice between home delivery and in-store collection. Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co., is estimating first weekend sales of 200,000 for the iPads.

“Apple has delivered another impressive product that largely lives up to the hype,” Edward C. Baig of USA Today wrote in his review. “What does a successful iPad launch mean for traditional netbooks? They’ll have to adapt or disappear.”

The iPad stacks up as a formidable competitor to Inc.’s Kindle electronic reader and gives game consoles from Nintendo Co. and Sony Corp. a “run for their money,” Baig wrote.

For most people, the iPad’s 9.7-inch touch screen “changes the whole experience” in consuming content such as books, music, video, photos and e-mails, David Pogue of the New York Times wrote in a review yesterday.

Mossberg, Baig and Pogue all said one of the iPad’s drawbacks is not supporting Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash software. The iPad also lacks a built-in Web camera and multitasking features that allow more than one application to run at a time, the reviewers said.

“If you’re mainly a Web surfer, note-taker, social- networker and e-mailer, and a consumer of photos, videos, books, periodicals and music — this could be for you,” Mossberg wrote. “If you need to create or edit giant spreadsheets or long documents, or you have elaborate systems for organizing e- mail, or need to perform video chats, the iPad isn’t going to cut it as your go-to device.”

The iPad “is fun, simple, stunning to look at and blazingly fast,” Baig wrote. “Apple is rewriting the rulebook for mainstream computing.”

{Bloomberg/Noam Newscenter}