What took Apple so long to bring its popular touchscreen tablet to India? Apparently, demand in the West has been so consistently high that production hasn’t been able to keep up — leaving the rest of the world in the lurch. Dissidents feel that Apple is clearing stock here to make way for the next generation of the iPad expected to launch sometime in April.
For whatever it’s worth, the Apple iPad is now available in the country at a very reasonable price of Rs 27,900 for the base 16GB Wi-Fi version. The top-end 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G model will set you back by Rs 44,700. The iPad tested here is the W-Fi + 3G version that comes with 64GB of memory.
If you’ve tried other tablets in the market like the Samsung Galaxy Tab or Dell Streak, you’ll find the 9.7-inch iPad a lot bulkier. But the touchscreen uses the same capacitive technology as of that in the iPod touch and iPhone making multi-touch operations a breeze.
Mint on the decade on your iPad
The resolution, at 1024x768, is not as sharp as of that in the iPhone 4, but the IPS technology employed makes up for it. IPS screens in general have excellent view angles, better contrast and greater colour accuracy compared to those in normal laptops. The screen is handy for watching movies and viewing photos.
The iPad is built very well and looks classy. The body is made of recyclable aluminium and glass — this earns Apple brownie points as far as green computing is concerned. The glass screen has an oleophobic coating that makes it more resistant to fingerprints than others in its class. Although the body has a matte finish, we suggest picking up a case because the device is slippery.
Like the iPhone
If you’ve used an iPhone, you’ll have no problems getting acquainted with the iPad. Buttons are exactly the same, though placement is different. There’s a SIM card slot on the right that only accepts micro SIMs. However, getting hold of these isn’t as issue as most carriers such as BSNL already stock them.
Sporting Apple’s custom-designed 1GHz A4 processor, the iPad packs in plenty of firepower. Using the iPad is a very pleasant affair with the user-friendliness you’ve come to expect of the company. Applications on the iPad such as Mail, Contacts and Photos take advantage of the additional real-estate available making you forget about using any other device for good.
The iPad excels in everyday tasks, be it surfing, checking your email or posting an update on Twitter. Speed is hardly ever an issue and you’ll rarely experience a slowdown even if you are multitasking with several webpages open in the Safari Internet browser while playing music on the iPod app.
There are over 40,000 applications on the App Store tailored for the iPad, such as Kayak HD, Simple Note and Twitter. The very popular Angry Birds game is available for the iPad too and does a great job entertaining you. You can even run unoptimised apps on the iPad but they don’t look as good.
The only glaring omission is that the iPad lacks any sort of camera. This is all the more annoying as both the current generation iPod touch and iPhone have rear and front cameras that let you take photos and video-chat via FaceTime or Skype. This will sorely be missed on the iPad.