Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Could the iPad Be Rare Rotten Apple for Gadget Guru?

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Could the iPad Be Rare Rotten Apple for Gadget Guru?

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Prigg Technology Editor in San Francisco

APPLE was today awaiting consumer response to its latest gadget, the iPad, after it failed to impress experts.

Despite being unveiled by Apple boss Steve Jobs to great fanfare, the tablet left some wondering whether there was room in the technology market for a cross between a laptop and a smartphone.

The iPad resembles a giant iPhone and has a 9.7in touch-screen. It is expected to become one of the fastest-selling consumer electronics items ever when it goes on sale in 60 days. Costing from [pounds sterling]400-[pounds sterling]700, Mr Jobs described it as a "truly magical and revolutionary product" at its launch in San Francisco last night.

The iPad, which weighs 680g and is half an inch thick, has a 10-hour battery life and can surf the internet over Wi-Fi. Apple hopes the device will allow it to take on Amazon, which sells electronic books and an e-book reader called the Kindle.

But experts were less convinced. "The iPad is limited," said Tom Dunmore, consulting editor of gadget magazine Stuff. He said people might choose it over netbooks but added: "Overall, though, nothing more than expected -- a bit disappointing."

Rhi Morgan at T3 magazine said: "I can't see anybody who needs a laptop buying an iPad, and I can't see people using it as a smartphone either."

Others disagreed. Actor Stephen Fry, who was at the launch, said: "It is a transformative device. You only really get it when you get your hands on it."

Apple hopes the device will allow it to sell books, newspapers and magazines.

REVIEW APPLE iPAD From [pounds sterling]400, www.apple.com ****

MARK PRIGG ON PAPER, and even after seeing it demonstrated by Steve Jobs, the iPad is initially a little underwhelming -- it's just a big iPhone, after all. But, after a few seconds play you realise the incredible potential it has. …

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