Confidence is built upon credibility, something Apple really earned thanks to the first iPod. Apple gained the mainstream credibility to introduce a product, say it's going to be the best thing ever, and have customers give it the benefit of the doubt.

Credibility is a finite good however. Promise the world and deliver beans instead too many times and you'll find yourself back to square one. Luckily for Apple, that hasn't happened yet.

The iPod gave Apple credibility, but Mac OS X, Mac hardware and eventually the iPhone all made deposits in that bank. That's not to say that Apple devices are flawless, but the company has won the confidence of a huge part of the market.

The road to the iPad announcement was riddled with rumors and unsubstantiated claims of what the Apple tablet would do. It was to be the replacement for everything from cable TV to netbooks. Hype is a difficult thing to control, but in the case of the iPad, the market's expectations were beyond unrealistic.

The hopeful child in all of us wanted to believe. We wanted to believe that Apple would introduce something truly revolutionary, something that would let us do anything we ever wanted to do. We just didn't know what that was, but we believed that there was a slight chance Apple might make it happen.

What followed on January 27, 2010, the day of the iPad announcement, was a collection of excitement, disappointment and confusion.

I do have to place some (a lot?) of the blame on Apple. By saying nothing, confirming nothing (short of threatening law suits) Apple let the hype get carried away. And I'm not totally convinced that Apple itself wasn't behind some of the leaks in order to generate free marketing for this device. The worst? Jobs calling the iPad magical. If the device was shipping today with no ergonomics issues, no slowdowns, no crashes and with a full list of heavy hitter apps (real ones, not just ones that showed us what the iPad could do in the future), then I'd call it magical. You can't call something magical if it just promises magic at some point in the future. Well, you can, but then you'll anger a lot of people who oppose to such liberal use of language.

You have to hand it to Apple PR though. Through careful planning and seeding of review units, it managed to end up in all of the right hands a few days prior to its launch.

It had been on every single late night talk show in the span of a couple days. It even made it to the grammys earlier this year. Folks looking to catch a break would kill for the sort of free publicity apples iPad has received. It has celebrity status without even adopting any orphans.

And like a celebrity, the iPad is very polarizing.

The iPad, even moreso than the iPhone, is not the end all, be all universal device for everyone. In fact, unlike the iPhone, it doesn't replace any existing device in your life. It's an addition. There are things it does beautifully, things it does ok, and things it just plain can’t do. Today, I'll try to take you through all of that as best I can.

It's a Tablet Running a Touch OS
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  • BeAloud - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    The rumored new smaller iPad could solve the ergonomics flaws of the current device. I would probably be interested in getting one if these rumors are true!
    http://www.bealoud.com/technology/ipad-mini-rumors...
    Reply
  • Lunarlog - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    I read your article and it was well-written. I do have to disagree that it is a disappointment. In fact, I find the contrary. Part of the issue is that we are coming out of an economic recession - some people are still on hold as to whether or not to part with $500 when they already have a computer. Was is the same spree as the first iPhone? No. But I wouldn't expect it to be - not in these times. I wrote two articles as well on the topic. I'd appreciate it if you would give them a glance:

    This article came out the day after the iPad was released:
    http://www.lunarlog.com/ipad-review/

    This article was written shortly after the iPad's initial announcement:
    http://www.lunarlog.com/the-apple-ipad-the-good-an...
    Reply
  • TheHolyLancer - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    only when a pokemon rpg comes to the ipad, either with an emulator or otherwise, will it be a gaming platform for it's targeted audience. or maybe let it double as a guitar hero / rock band instrument.

    of all the games one there, rts is the only one that seems to be fleshed out. fps, driving, action games involving the taps are mostly broken. only rpgs or tower defense / rts games seems to be the games that should have a better experience on touch based input. who don't want to be like a commander that directs battles via the touch interface.
    Reply
  • Sahrin - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Anand, I've got to say the Apple conversion you've gone through has really cost you a lot of respect in my eyes. I know, as an Apple fan, this won't matter to you (as facts don't). But the reality of it is, Apple is ultimately like religion. When push comes to shove, there is no quantitative difference between Apple and everything else. What it comes down to is technological laziness, and a blind acceptance of Apple as superior to everything else. Jon Stokes at Arstechnica had the same problem. He OC'ed one too many CPU's, or troubleshooted one too many oddball configurations - and something broke, he just gave up; surrended all his technological know-how and competence to the quiet, white cell provided by Apple. I don't mean to say either you or he got 'dumber' - just that, rather than "do it yourself," rather than apply your knowledge on a daily basis you've just declared yourself smart enough and handed over control and understanding of what you do to Apple. It's like the engineer who builds his own car from scratch finally going over and buying a Ford. Is there anything particularly 'wrong' with that? No. But it's a kind of ... lessening of the man to see him surrrender a passion to something because it's easier.

    I'm really sad to see someone as intelligent as you are (certainly smarter than I am) give yourself over to this kind of laziness. AT is one of the most trusted review sites on the web; and I hope that over time it doesn't erode the way Ars did into a whining, fawning mess.
    Reply
  • splatl - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    WTF Reply
  • SilverBack - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    The IPad is junk, inflated price and virtually no feature set, why would anyone want this?
    No USB? WTF!
    Reply
  • manicfreak - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    I also feel the same way. Reply
  • samirotiv - Saturday, April 10, 2010 - link

    You are an ass, a hypocrite, and you're absolutely nobody. I don't think you can comment about Anand's intelligence. Your unwarranted hate towards Apple makes you feel that anybody who appreciates an Apple product is unintelligent.

    You say there's no quantitative difference between Apple products and other products. So can you tell me another currently existing tablet that I can buy that's half as good as the iPad? Is it the pathetic JooJoo?

    If you don't want the iPad because it doesn't have some feature you think you need, then don't buy it. Vote with your money. Stop trolling. I think Anand has mentioned most of it's drawbacks in the review.

    Even if a tablet as good or better than the iPad exists, just writing a favourable review doesn't make Anand unintelligent. I think the review was quite unbiased.

    Your armchair psychology makes your post sound even less credible. Someone ban this clown.

    BTW that was an excellent review Anand, like every other review of yours. Keep up the good work..!!
    Reply
  • splatl - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Apple said from the beginning this is not a laptop replacement it is intended to be a device between a Smart Phone and a Laptop. For all waiting for Slate to come out it is still HP crap. Reply
  • ds1817 - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Always refreshing to read a review on Anandtech. The thoroughness and attention to detail are why I've been reading your website for 12 years now. Keep up the good work! Reply

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