Friday, April 16, 2010

Reviews Praise Apple iPad Battery Life, Ease of Use

TMC News
Apple Inc s iPad scored well on battery life and ease of use in its first reviews, but it will not obliterate the laptop computer market yet, according to The New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Reviewers at both papers said the tablet computer, which goes on sale Saturday, works nicely for Web surfing or using media such as video and books, but it may appeal less to people who need cheap laptops for more heavy-duty chores.

The iPad won largely upbeat reviews from other blogs, newspapers and magazines, including USA Today, the Houston Chronicle, PC Magazine and Newsweek, while so-called tear-down firms are preparing to take apart the gadget on Saturday for an even more detailed look inside.

Apple shares, which have been on a run ahead of the iPad launch in hopes it will be a hit, closed up 97 cents at $235.97 on Nasdaq Thursday afternoon.

Even if the device launch goes well on Saturday, there is a good chance its shares will trade down the week after because they had gained ground ahead of the launch, analysts said.

"These stocks like Apple tend to trade up into events and trade down after," said Hudson Square Research analyst Daniel Ernst.

This would likely be temporary as the shares have more room to rise because Apple s valuation does not reflect that its earnings growth is about 10 times economic growth, he added.

The Journal s Walt Mossberg -- one of the most closely followed tech columnists -- said he prefers the iPad as an e-reader to the popular Kindle e-reader from Inc. Amazon shares closed down $3.96, or almost 3 percent, at $131.81 on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

David Pogue from The New York Times said the device's 1.5 pound weight is too heavy for reading compared with Kindle s 10 ounces. "You can t read well in direct sunlight" and "you can t read books from the Apple bookstore on any other machine, not even a Mac or iPhone," he wrote.

Both reviewers were impressed with the laptop battery life because it lasted longer than Apple's claim of 10 hours.

Pogue said he was able to use the device for 12 hours before it needed a charge, while Mossberg said iPad withstood 11 hours and 28 minutes of continuous use.

The device could only replace discount laptops for a certain kind of computer buyer, the reviewers said.

"If you re mainly a Web surfer, note-taker, social-networker and emailer, and a consumer of photos, videos, books, periodicals and music... this could be for you," Mossberg said.

"If you need to create or edit giant spreadsheets or long documents, or you have elaborate systems for organizing email, or need to perform video chats, the iPad isn t going to cut it as your go-to device," he wrote.