Monday, April 12, 2010
John Gruber reviews the iPad
John Gruber publishes a regular blog under the title Daring Fireball. One of his passions is the importance of good user-interfaces. He has just released his hands-on impressions of the iPad, and he is very impressed.
The whole article is worth reading, but for the terminally impatient, excerpts follow:
"The whole thing feels fast fast fast. The only thing that feels slow overall, so far, is web page rendering. Not because it’s slower than the iPhone — it’s not, it’s definitely much faster — but because it’s so much slower than my MacBook Pro."
"Many of the things you do feel faster on the iPad than the Mac. Like, for example, launching applications. The built-in apps, and many of the third-party apps I’ve been using the most, are ready to use within a moment of launching them."
"Battery life on the iPad is stunning. Reviewers across the board are getting real-life results that beat Apple’s promise of 10 hours of battery life."
"The iPad, so far, never gets warm. Browse a bunch of web sites. Play some video. Play a game. It still feels as cool to the touch as when it’s turned off. It is also dead quiet — no fan, no humming, nada. This is the future of computing."
"$500 for this thing seems hard to believe. It is super high-quality, but clearly designed for the mass market. Anyone who thinks Apple only makes high-priced products has completely lost sense of reality. “Affordable luxury” is the sweet spot for mass market success today, and Apple keeps shooting bulls eyes."
"The iPad is meant for anything that can be represented on a 10-inch color touchscreen. The iPad becomes the app you’re using. The hardware is so understated - it’s just a screen, really - and because you manipulate objects and interface elements so smoothly and directly on the screen, the fact that you’re using an iPad falls away."
"THE TOUCHSCREEN KEYBOARD - It’s a lot like the iPhone’s, but, it’s different. Because it’s bigger, there are no pop-up indicators showing which key you hit as you type. They’re not necessary. The feel, overall, is pretty much like typing on a really big iPhone."
"It’s nowhere near as good as even the worst full- or nearly-full-size hardware keyboard I’ve ever used. You can’t just rest all eight of your fingers on the home row keys, and you can’t feel where the key cap edges are."
"DISPLAY - The display is, overall, wonderful. Colors are bright and accurate. Photos and videos looks great. Touches seem precisely accurate. The glass feels good. Viewing angles are shockingly good. You can lay the iPad flat on a table while you eat or drink and it looks just fine at a decidedly skewed angle — far more so than with the iPhone."
"The only complaint I have about the display is that the pixel resolution isn’t all that dense. The iPad’s 1024 × 768 display has a resolution of 132 pixels per inch. The iPhone’s 480 × 320 display has a resolution of 163 pixels per inch. The difference isn’t huge, but it’s definitely noticeable. Type looks crisper on the iPhone than the iPad, and type rendering falls far short of even newspaper-caliber resolution, let alone glossy-magazine caliber."
"SAFARI - The iPad is so good as a web reader, that, if you’re a web junkie, everything else the iPad does is just gravy."
"Zooming and flicking are essential to the experience, just like on the iPhone. Flicking is how you scroll, no surprise. The zooming, though, may come as a surprise. It wasn’t too long ago when 1024 × 768 was considered a large display for full-size web browsing. But: what matters on the iPad (and iPhone) is not the pixel count of the display, but the physical size. 9.7 inches diagonally is a bit small for a non-zoomed web browser. But the action of zooming — whether through double-tapping or pinching — is so smooth, fast, and natural that it feels better, not worse, than old-school desktop web browsing."