The iPad finally hit the street over the Easter weekend, and it is already shaping up to be an enormous financial success. Apple sold more than 300,000 of the devices on the first day, along with more than 1 million iPad "apps," and more than 250,000 e-books. "It's going to be a game changer," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Maybe so — but more than a few of those iPad owners are already finding faults with their shiny new toy. A short list of their complaints:
A low-visibility screen
The iPad's LED display is great for reading in low light situations, says Robert Strohmeyer in BusinessWeek. But the touch screen is so reflective it "kicks up a vicious glare in a well-lit room and practically doubles as a mirror in full sunlight." Worse still, the iPad's light sensor "doesn't seem to work at all" — the brightness didn't change when moving from "bright sunlight to a darkened room." Clearly, "Apple has some patching to do here."
Where's my WiFi?
Apple forums and its official support site are "jam packed with user compaints" about the iPad's weak WiFi signal, says Alan Ng in Product Reviews. The "positioning of the antenna" seems to be the problem — it's located behind the Apple logo, which is not the "ideal position for the best signal." As it is a hardware issue, this could be a "huge problem" — possibly even triggering Apple's first-ever recall. (Watch Fox's Neil Cavuto sound off)
Type? Who needs to type?
"It's pretty clear that typing is a secondary function for the iPad," reports Brian Lam in Gizmodo. When the iPad is in "landscape mode," the keyboard is difficult to touch type on without placing it on a "slight angle" — not easy without a kickstand. In "portrait mode," the iPad is too heavy to keep typing up for long. Of course, you can always buy a bluetooth keyboard for $69.
App Store inflation
iPad applications are more expensive than their iPhone counterparts, notes Shane Richmond in the Daily Telegraph. Games in particular are far more costly. The iPad version of "Flight Control," last year's "smash-hit casual game" for the iPhone, costs 404 percent more on the larger device. The price increase robs these apps of the "spontaneous appeal of their iPhone cousins."
Recharging and syncing woes
Using a USB connection to charge the iPad's battery is a time-consuming affair, says Brennon Slattery in PC World, requiring several hours. Also, too bad for you if you're a Windows user — the iPad won't charge at all from the USB port of a PC (you'll have to use the external recharger that comes with the device instead). Worse yet, synchronizing your iPad with data on your Mac is "ridiculously sluggish." Some have claimed it takes "four or more hours" to sync. "This begs the question: What's the point in buying a tablet that won't let you play with it?"
Handle with care!
One iPad purchaser in Pittsburgh decided the best thing to do with his $500 device was smash it to pieces. The resulting YouTube video shows that the device is alarmingly fragile, notes iPad Insider. Not only is the aluminium backing "fairly thin," but when the iPad was dropped on a concrete sidewalk, the screen cracked right away. Our advice? "Don’t drop your iPad" — or if you're clumsy, "get some sort of protection for it."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The U.S. government is actually trouncing Ebola. When will it get credit?
- What big data can tell us about the things we eat
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
Subscribe to the Week