Apple's new iPad tablet is the computer I've always wanted.

Innovation, the Internet, gadgets, and more.
Jan. 27 2010 4:45 PM

I Love the iPad

Apple's new tablet is the computer I've always wanted.

(Continued from Page 1)

Unlike Amazon's Kindle, the iPad's screen is a traditional backlit LCD display, not E-Ink. LCD isn't as easy on the eyes, but it's got a few upsides—it can display colors, it can do animation, and you can use it in the dark. Pages turn instantly in iBooks, unlike the half-second it takes on the Kindle. You can also see full-color photos—you can get iPad travel books, photo books, cookbooks, and textbooks, all of which look crummy on the Kindle—and authors can even include video.

Unlike the Kindle, the iPad will also let publishers customize the way they present their content. The New York Times showed off a beautiful reader app that it is planning to build for the device. Finally, here is an electronic version of a newspaper that can rival print, one that includes an editorially designed layout, distinctive typography, and full-color photos. But it's even better than the paper: It's got a search bar, videos, and interactive features. The Times didn't say how much it would charge for the app, and it's too soon to say how much the iPad will help old-media companies. But if I were a news exec, I'd be more optimistic about the digital future today than I was yesterday.


Apple claims that the iPad can be used for work, not just play—but I'm not sure that's true. The company unveiled an iPad version of its office suite iWork, which has a spreadsheet program, a word processor, and a presentation app that have been customized to work via touch controls. These were the only apps I found a bit clunky.

What was the hold-up? Typing. In portrait mode, the on-screen keyboard is too small for typing quickly with two hands. You get a bigger keyboard when you rotate the iPad sideways to landscape mode, but then you've got another problem—it's too wide to hold it and type at the same time. The only way around this is to rest the device on a table or your lap, but then you find yourself staring straight down awkwardly. When Jobs and other execs demonstrated the iPad, they all crossed their legs and rested it on their thighs. That works when you're sitting on a comfortable couch. It'll be a bit tight when you're squeezed into coach.

Apple will sell an add-on keyboard for the iPad, but if you want to do a lot of work on the go, you're probably better off getting a real laptop. The iPad isn't for work. It's for every other waking moment.

Slate V: The iPad Is Finally Revealed!

Become a fan of Farhad Manjoo on Facebook.


Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Republicans Like Scott Walker Are Building Campaigns Around Problems That Don’t Exist

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

The World

Iran and the U.S. Are Allies

They just aren’t ready to admit it yet.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

How Steven Moffat Made the Best Doctor Who Episode in Years

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 2:11 PM Spare the Rod What Charles Barkley gets wrong about corporal punishment and black culture.
Business Insider
Sept. 16 2014 1:23 PM Germany Has Asked Google to Reveal Its Search Algorithm, but That's Not Going to Happen
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 1:27 PM The Veronica Mars Spinoff Is Just Amusing Enough to Keep Me Watching
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 1:48 PM Why We Need a Federal Robotics Commission
  Health & Science
Sept. 16 2014 1:39 PM The Case of the Missing Cerebellum How did a Chinese woman live 24 years missing part of her brain?
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.