But much of the rest of the press has been gushing about the device like it’s going to be life-changing. (Never mind the $500 price tag or the spotty wireless.) So we gathered up the best of the iPad hyperbole. Did you know that you’ll relate to the iPad the way you relate to a person?
PC Mag: “The device just makes sense. When you combine basic-but-essential work tools with iWork, an improved browser, e-mail, iPod, and photo applications, a well-executed e-Book platform with iBooks, and throw in thousands of downloadable apps and games, and package it all in a gorgeous, slim slate with a beautiful 9.7-inch touch screen, you have yourself a winner.”
PC Mag: “Out of the box, it’s immediately clear just how sleek and elegant the device is. No surprise there, of course. When it comes to design, Apple always bests the competition. Once turned on, the brilliant screen reveals the device’s various functions, highlighting the ways in which the iPad will help us re-think portable computing.”
Business Week: “The iPad really is an amazing example of modern computing. Regardless of whether the iPad is a commercial success or not, the concepts and form factor of the device are going to change the way we interact with computers, much like the iPhone revolutionized the smartphone industry. From that point of view, it has already made an impact.”
Dan Lyons/Fake Steve Jobs, writing at Newsweek’s Techtonic Shifts blog: “For a certain segment of the population — well-heeled consumers who don’t consider themselves computer geeks but do have the means to buy the latest and greatest tech toys — this thing is a slice of digital heaven. There are more people like this than you might imagine. And no company on earth understands their needs and desires better than Apple.”
David Pogue’s review for “everyone else” in the New York Times: “The iPad is so fast and light, the multitouch screen so bright and responsive, the software so easy to navigate, that it really does qualify as a new category of gadget. Some have suggested that it might make a good goof-proof computer for technophobes, the aged and the young; they’re absolutely right.”
Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal: “After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.”
Philadelphia Daily News: “Were he alive today, the 17th-century philosopher John Locke would have called the Apple iPad a new representation of his “tabula rasa,” or blank slate. Locke’s premise was that humans are born with pristine minds, ready to be filled and formed by the stimulus around them.”
USA Today: “The first iPad is a winner. It stacks up as a formidable electronic-reader rival for Amazon’s Kindle. It gives portable game machines from Nintendo and Sony a run for their money. At the very least, the iPad will likely drum up mass-market interest in tablet computing in ways that longtime tablet visionary and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates could only dream of.”
Stephen Fry, Time: “The iPad does perform tasks — it runs apps and has the calendar, e-mail, Web browsing, office productivity, audio, video and gaming capabilities you would expect of any such device — yet when I eventually got my hands on one, I discovered that one doesn’t relate to it as a ‘tool’; the experience is closer to one’s relationship with a person or an animal.”
Xeni Jardin, Boing Boing: “It strikes you when you first touch an iPad. The form just feels good, not too lightweight or heavy, nor too thin or thick. It’s sensual. It’s tactile. And that moment is a good way to spot a first-timer, too, as I observed with a few test subjects. The dead giveaway for an iPad n00b is a pause, a few breaths before hitting the “on” switch, just letting it rest against the skin.”
Wired: “The iPad’s admittedly modest features might add up to a whole new way of consuming media — video, web pages, pictures, and even books.”
Gizmodo: “Steve Jobs’ Next Big Thing is the first computer that requires no training whatsoever, one that is truly accessible and useful for everyone. Just like the iPhone changed the idea of what a phone should be without anyone truly realizing it, Apple’s new computer will completely and permanently change our idea of what a computer is and how it should behave.”
Steven Johnson: The “iPad is also the greatest web browsing device ever, IMHO. Can’t just ignore that.”
The biggest iPad cheerleader of all may be the New York Times’ David Carr, who penned ten love letters to the device on the Media Decoder blog. Your grandmother will love it! Your children will be distracted on long car trips! You can take it into the bathroom! You and your wife will be able to laugh at the Times’ wedding announcements together! When your airplane seatmate starts watching Broken Embraces, you will be so jealous of the “achingly beautiful” images of Penélope Cruz flitting across the screen that you will want one immediately! And: You can watch Sherlock Holmes while your partner is watching The Amazing Race. Viva la revolución!