iPad First Impressions – Hardware

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iPad on Dock

I’ve been getting to know the iPad a little today, and taking lots of notes along the way of course.  I figure I’ll share my thoughts on it in smaller chunks – partly because there are already plenty of all-in reviews out there for it, partly because I’m a lazy sod and it just feels easier to do things this way, and also because over these last couple of months we’ve already learned so much about the iPad and I don’t want to go over too much old ground. 

Here are some very quick thoughts / observations on the iPad hardware side of things:

— The weight of the iPad is about as I expected.  It feels relatively light but also quite solid and substantial.  It’s very much a two hand device for me so far – I haven’t found myself doing anything much with it one-handed, and don’t imagine I will.

— The screen is lovely of course and feels plenty big, and the speed it auto-rotates at is impressive.

— I don’t feel super comfortable with the virtual keyboard as yet.  For now, I find myself pecking away with one index finger far more often than trying to thumb type, even in portrait mode.  My hands are not real big, but not tiny either – pretty average I think.

— The screen rotation lock hardware button (near the top right of the device) is a very good call.  I found it rotating when I didn’t particularly want it to in several apps – and made use of the button pretty quickly.

— It paired easily with an Apple bluetooth keyboard.  Typing on that with the iPad in a dock worked nicely – and should work well while propping it up with stand cases while out and about as well.

— The sync cable fits into its port very snugly – in fact it requires a bit of fiddling to get in and out – more so than any of the iPhone models I’ve had.  The dock connector is similar.

— I’m finding fingerprints on it quite noticeable already.  That oleophobic coating stuff is not oleophobing at max. capacity on mine. :)

— Still don’t know how much RAM is in it – can’t see it stated under About or anywhere else as yet.  I’m guessing it may not be any more than the iPhone 3GS.  They may not be able or intended to work with the iPad, but both the Free Memory and iStat apps show me amounts of free memory (usually around 40MB) during normal use that seem consistent, or lower, than what I’d expect to see on the 3GS.

— It does already feel like an ‘intimate’ sort of device.  Comfortable to hold, comfortable to have in your lap, and great to use of course.  Oh, and it’s very speedy – quick at everything I’ve asked it to do.

I’ve never been a great hardware guy, so that’s about it for my quick observations.  Fire away with questions if you have any, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Lots more thoughts on the OS and apps coming soon.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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2 thoughts on “iPad First Impressions – Hardware”

  1. I noticed that you remarked that you couldn't see how much RAM the iPad had. The app `Device` can help you with that.

    Here are some promo codes for your readers:

    Or grab a promo code for it off of my twitter posts. http://www.twitter.com/petrolstone

    You can add up the different categories of memory usage to get a total. Increase what you added up to a power of 2 (128, 256, 512) as not all of the RAM distribution is reported by the system. It's suspected that the RAM that's unaccounted for is used for video memory.

    I hope that helps and try other apps by Petrolstone.

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