[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIic04tXkRw&feature=player_embedded]YouTube - Fry Unpacks iPad[/ame]
The people who were lucky enough to receive early preview iPads have begun writing about their first impressions of the new device. And it's little surprise that they're mostly positive, and in some cases positively excited about their iPads: Apple chose mostly writers who were already Apple fans. However, some of the most prominent reviewers - such as David Pogue from the New York Times and Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal - have not shied away from criticizing Apple when they fell short in the past. The computer maker needed those high-profile pundits to come out positive for the iPad, and so they have.
Pogue calls the iPad "fast and light,' and extols its "bright and responsive" touchscreen. Saying that the new device is a "goof-proof computer for technophobes," he notes that it's not as good for creating content as it is for consuming it. He says that the iPad is "so easy to navigate, that it really does qualify as a new category of gadget." For techies, though, Pogue pointed out that you can get a lot more power for a lot less money with a laptop.
Mossberg, for his part, claims that the "wicked fast" iPad could "change portable computing profoundly." He found the interface, which he called "a pleasure to use," to be so good that it might "propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades." He agreed with Pogue that the iPad is lousy at content creation, though, and had some major problems exporting documents created in Pages to Microsoft Office and PDF formats.
British actor Stephen Fry is such a fanboi that when he did the cover-story interview with Steve Jobs for TIME, he forgot to turn on his tape recorder while he asked his first question, "a nervous babble that lasts five minutes." After the interview, Fry got ten minutes alone with an iPad, and appears to have bonded with the device in a somewhat creepy way. He describes his reaction from switching it on, noting that "a little sigh escapes me as the screen lights up." Fry managed to get an iPad of his own after the interview and "it goes with me everywhere… like a gun lobbyist's rifle: the only way you will take it from me is to prise it from my cold, dead hands."
The emotional responses seem to show that the device is good enough and fun enough to use to make it worthwhile for people who either don't need to create stuff, or are fine doing it on another device. For the large segment of consumers that don't have an opinion, though, and would just be using this as a sort of plaything, it's quite possible that reviews like these from friends and other people they trust will be enough to make the iPad fly off the Apple Store shelves.
We'll see in a couple of days.