You see people carrying and using an Apple iPad. Maybe you stopped at a store display and played with one. It’s too small for a computer and too big for a smartphone.

· Where does it fit?

· Will it replace your laptop?

· Where does it shine?

· Where does it fail?

Read on, researcher or curious reader, and you’ll discover the important things you need to know about the iPad.

The 10 things you should know about the iPad

1. iPad is great for photos and movies: Show off your family photos (just don’t invite me to the 4-hour family photo shoot!) and your masterpieces on iPad. Scroll through them with a flick or blink of your finger. How satisfying is that. Also, when you get an iPad, you also need to get a cheap stand (there’s a link at the bottom of this site) so you can watch Netflix and downloaded movies. Your next plane trip will not be the same; HD movies on your lap. Zone out!

2. The speed of the zero standby state. This almost computer is amazing. Apps open in the blink of an eye, and browsing the web in Safari is surprisingly fast. Don’t wait for the iPad… it’s waiting for you. Early reviewers commented on how fast the iPad would be, and Randy Johnson is fast. The processor handles everything in the menu very quickly.

3. iPad and apps. Apple’s iPad can take the apps that iPhone users love and are familiar with and then download and run them just fine. This is what iPad does right out of the box. But it can be very exciting for you to know that there will be a huge selection of new apps created specifically for the iPad. It can become a rich experience for you. There can also be live video, scores, highlights and more all on screen at once. The possibilities seem endless.

4 Hmm, great maps! This part of the iPad is very impressive. When you search for a location or a friend’s house, the person’s location is displayed on the map. You can use your contacts page to drag and drop them onto the map search, and the street view is great. I can even see myself standing in front of my old home. Cool. The iPad has GPS and picks up your current location and shoots you in the right direction from there. There are satellite, terrain, road and hybrid views. Since you’ll be taking your iPad with you wherever you go, the Maps feature will come in handy, especially if you travel a lot.

5. Keep an eye out for high-quality competitors. There are other internet-enabled pads that cost less and are quite nice. The HP Slate, which was announced in 2010, is expected to be very popular and priced lower than the iPad. Another example is the Vega ICD which will come out this year with a huge 15.6″ touch screen and 32GB of internal storage. The latest example of many is the Archos 9, it runs Windows 7 and has an 8.9″ touch screen with 1080p HD resolution and a 60GB hard drive. Yes, Techies, there will be some awesome competition!

6. The on-screen keyboard. This is good and bad. I initially tried the iPad in the store. I had problems with the on-screen keyboard. But since my first meeting I have learned that there is no kinetic feedback to my fingers, so I let the other senses take over. Afterwards, the keyboard worked as expected, being very responsive and entering text quickly. It’s still nothing like typing on a real keyboard, but the iPad’s virtual QWERTY keyboard isn’t as terrible as I and others once feared. The automatic error correction handles small errors quite well. You can always invest in Apple’s $79 iPad Keyboard Dock. That is more ordinary and more traditional.

7. Speakers not suitable for audiophiles. In fact, they are neither Bose nor Harman/Kardon. In my opinion, the speakers sound tinny. Being a movie/media/MP3/music creation motto, the built-in speakers are disappointing. There are also attachable speakers and file transfer, but we shouldn’t have to. Hey Bose, now that’s a good idea!

8. It has a shiny front Oh, it looks so good. sparkling and sparkling. Indoors it works great for just about anything. Then, you go out into the sunlight. So the brightness is not great. Fingerprints come to life and where did the movie, the book, the picture or the internet go? A matte glass option would be nice, or even a plastic cover. Have you ever seen the Kindle commercial where the woman with the expensive sunglasses makes the guy with an iPad look dumb? Well, that’s true, but get that smart woman inside, THEN that guy could teach you the functions of her iPad.

9. For Children, The Well Behaved, Thought. Is the iPad as fragile as it seems? You could go to ToysRUs and find a thousand kid pads, but this one is the brightest, the coolest, and mom and dad play with it, and the kids love it. Our teens seem to fly through it and pick up on games and apps quicker than me. They love to do their homework on it (they are homeschooled and want to use the iPad for all their work except writing their papers).

10. It’s an email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype computer when you don’t have a computer. Go ahead, head out to a meeting, vacation in another city or country and you can easily stay in touch with the office, family and friends with iPad. Can you imagine the color your friends on Facebook would change if you posted from Florence, Italy, or from Santo Tomas, or from the Grand Canyon? Take notes and more. Stay in touch wherever you go, as long as you pay the monthly data usage fee. If you’re in danger of going over your 250mg or 2GB limit, they’ll contact you and give you options. If you are not online 24/7, then you should agree to those limits.

Now that you know the basics, can you answer this question: is the iPad right for you? You know it’s not really a working laptop. It won’t really replace your laptop, but it seems like it’s the missing link between your Droid and your laptop.

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