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It's shiny, black, a little on the heavy side, and it really does look like a digital photo frame until you turn it on. It also singlehandedly filled Apple Stores across America on Easter Saturday.
The iPad may be one of the most highly-anticipated pieces of technology released this year, but is the iPad “magical” and “revolutionary” as chief executive Steve Jobs promised? We fought through New York’s Fifth Avenue crowds to procure one and find out.
Want to know more about the iPad? We've written an Apple iPad review that'll give you the ultimate scoop on the device. Also check out our guide to The 10 iPad features you must know and find yourself Top 20 best free apps for the iPad.
1. No Camera
An odd oversight, this is one that has many fans stumped. The iPad could have been great for video calling. Awkward as it might be to take a photo with a device the size of a pad of paper, critics agree it would nonetheless have been attractive include a camera on the iPad. Video chatting, tweeting Twitpics, and snapping photos with the iPad will have to wait.
2. No Flash support
So many good websites use Adobe Flash that Apple’s ongoing stoush with the technology is becoming a big issue. This gadget screens websites in full size, but some still won’t show due to this omission.
The iPad doesn't support Flash player, which means users can't connect to sites like Disney, Hulu, ESPN, Farmville, or JibJab, and won't have access to certain Flash-based online games. Apple's arguments against Flash are that it poses a security risk and is a 'resource hog,' but the lack of Flash support is nonetheless a hindrance for users.
3. No Multitasking
You can only do one thing at a time on the iPad, just as with the iPhone. Sadly, this is one thing that netbooks have over the device. The lack of multitasking on the iPad has been cited as its biggest flaw. Want to listen to Pandora while you edit your photos? No such luck. For a device that aims to displace laptops and costs as much as the iPad does, the inability to run multiple applications at once is a major downside.
4. Touch Keyboard
The iPad’s lack of a tactile keyboard was always going to be an issue, but typing on the iPad is not as easy as you might hope. To be used for email and short messages only. So much for Apple revolutionizing tablet inputs; this is the same big, ugly touchscreen keyboard we've seen on other tablets, and unless you're lying on the couch with your knees propping it up, it'll be awkward to use.
5. No USB
Transferring files between the iPad and other devices will be more difficult and inconvenient given that the new Apple Tablet doesn't include a USB port. Users are dependent on Apple's proprietary dock connector and have to shell out for a USB adapter if they want to plug a USB directly into their iPad.
Heavier than the biggest Kindle, the iPad could be hard to hold with one hand for an extended period.
7. No GPS chip in Wi-Fi model
It can still guess your location from your WiFi connection, but the lack of a GPS chip is disappointing.
8. No HD video output
You can connect the iPad to a television but videos won’t play in high-definition. The best it can muster is a resolution of 576p.
9. The AT&T Deal
Steve Jobs' announcement that the iPad would be running on AT&T's network elicited groans and boos from the otherwise excited audience at Apple's event. The addition of the iPad is likely to stress even further AT&T's already overloaded networks--the company recently admitted that its wireless service in NYC and San Francisco was 'below target.'
10. A Closed App Ecosystem
The iPad only runs apps from the App Store. The same App Store that is notorious for banning apps for no real reason, such as Google Voice. Sure, netbooks might not have touchscreens, but you can install whatever software you'd like on them. Want to run a different browser on your iPad? Too bad!