iPad reviews begin to roll in, and the consensus is overwhelmingly positive

Initial iPad reviews are overwhelmingly favorable..

On Wednesday evening, the few lucky souls graced with review models of Apple's iPad began posting their reviews of Apple's latest and greatest product. The verdict? The iPad not only lives up to the hype, but is a technological game changer.

Despite some technological shortcomings such as the lack of Flash support, USB ports and multitasking, a who's who of reviewers heaped praise upon the iPad.

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, tech journalist Walt Mossberg wrote that the iPad is as close to being a "laptop killer" as possible.

After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop.

Mossberg was especially impressed with the iPad's battery life, writing that he was able to squeeze 11 hours and 28 minutes of runtime on the device while running video. And need I remind you that 11.5 hours of video playback on a 9.7-inch screen is, dare I borrow a phrase from Apple's marketing playbook, magical.

David Pogue, who reviews tech products for the New York Times, was also impressed with battery life on the iPad.

Speaking of video: Apple asserts that the iPad runs 10 hours on a charge of its nonremovable battery — but we all know you can’t trust the manufacturer. And sure enough, in my own test, the iPad played movies continuously from 7:30 a.m. to 7:53 p.m. — more than 12 hours. That’s four times as long as a typical laptop or portable DVD player.

After a while, reading through a plethora of early iPad reviews start to sound the same - in a good way, of course. But the underlying theme to take away isn't the device's gorgeous display or a debate about the merits of including or excluding Flash, but rather that Apple once again stands on the presipice of a technological revolution. While other companies look to Apple for inspiration, Apple seemingly stands alone among tech heavyweights in their willingness to buck the trend and release a new product simply because it believes in it.

Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun Times hits the nail on the head when he writes, "In fact, after a week with the iPad, I’m suddenly wondering if any other company is as committed to invention as Apple. Has any other company ever demonstrated a restlessness to stray from the safe and proven, and actually invent things?"

By all accounts, and if pre-orders are any indication, the iPad will be another Apple success story. But even if it flops, it's nice that Apple is out there trying to change the world while some other companies are merely trying to copy Apple.

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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