IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Apple iPad review: First look

Is the Apple iPad really any good or just a lot of hot air? We review it to find out.

Apple iPad
Price
£328

It can't replace a netbook or laptop because it lacks a physical keyboard and an operating system capable of running complex software. Sure, you can connect a keyboard to the iPad and prop it up with a stand, but then it's much less portable and convenient than a netbook. Sure, it has a catalogue of more than 170,000 apps at its disposal, but the OS itself can't handle the enterprise software that makes the world turn.

It can't really replace anything. But then again, we're not so sure it's supposed to.

If you want the iPad strictly to use as a web tablet, intended to browse the internet through mobile Safari or the plethora of web-connected apps, then it's an amazing device. Again, as long as you can do without Flash-based video content and games. And as long as you use it mostly indoors, away from direct sunlight.

If you want the iPad to be a web tablet and an ebook reader, you're still going to be supremely impressed. iBooks is a wonderful marketplace and reading the books purchased within is a pleasure. You're not going to get weeks of battery life as you will with other ebook readers like the Kindle, and you're not going to have the flexibility to read comfortably in all lighting conditions. Truth be told, the interface more than makes up for these shortcomings.

If you want the iPad to be a web tablet, ebook reader and productivity tool, it's just not going to happen unless your productivity needs are absolutely minimal - for now, at least. We definitely expect future versions of the iPad to make some progress in this area.

Featured Resources

Meeting the future of education with confidence

How the switch to digital learning has created an opportunity to meet the needs of every student, always

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ of IBM Cloud Pak® for Watson AIOps with Instana

Cost savings and business benefits

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

Technology reimagined

Why PCaaS is perfect for modern schools

Free Download

Recommended

Best business smartphones 2022: The top handsets from Apple, Samsung, Google and more
Mobile

Best business smartphones 2022: The top handsets from Apple, Samsung, Google and more

23 Jun 2022
Apple faces a catch-22 decision with iPhones and USB-C
Policy & legislation

Apple faces a catch-22 decision with iPhones and USB-C

8 Jun 2022
Apple overhauls SwiftUI navigation and brings a score of new features to developers at WWDC 2022
software development

Apple overhauls SwiftUI navigation and brings a score of new features to developers at WWDC 2022

7 Jun 2022
The EU’s Apple App Store crackdown ‘will fuel cyber attacks’
cyber security

The EU’s Apple App Store crackdown ‘will fuel cyber attacks’

1 Jun 2022

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

7 Jun 2022
Swift exit: How the world cut off Russian banks
finance

Swift exit: How the world cut off Russian banks

24 Jun 2022
The top programming languages you need to learn for 2022
Careers & training

The top programming languages you need to learn for 2022

23 Jun 2022