My first iPad and iOS device.
Review summary: I like it. You should buy one. If you want or have been convinced you need a tablet…
If you’ve owned previous tablets/phones then no doubt you’ll be well aware of the (fairly tedious) setting up process when you first get one. Here is no different.
This being an Apple device there seems to be an extra layer of insistence that you set up an Apple ID. I’m not entirely sure what this is but there ain’t no way of even turning the bleeding thing on without going through the setting up process. You need the usual email addresses, agreement to grotesquely nebulous and lengthy terms and conditions that clearly no one ever reads and the tablet asking you for permission to turn on all sorts of information gathering that seems more uncomfortable than what I imagine the average alien anal probe to feel like.
Then there is the insistence to set up Apple Pay. I don’t even know what this is and neither can I be bothered looking it up. This was followed by further nagging to set up Siri. I have no intention of ever talking to the tablet. At least not in the sense of wanting a response because I’ll likely be telling it how much it’s annoying me. Or otherwise trying to blame it for all my life problems. These were ignored and skipped anyway.
This is much more convoluted process compared to setting up an Android device. Or that’s certainly how my biased memory remembers it.
Bought mine in Space Grey (other colours available)
Price: £319 at Argos.
Screen: Yep. One of these. 9.7″. Although I haven’t measured it. Lots of pixels.
Speakers: Two of. At the bottom. When being held in portrait (longways).
Buttons: Power button at the top. Volume buttons at the side and a ‘home’ button at the bottom of the screen.
Looks cool. I like it.
Screen: The screen is high resolution (lots of coloured dots very close together) and near impossible to discern one from the next. Nice and bright. It does seem to reflect things quite badly in certain, strong light. You can see your face in it. Can be annoying. Or even a bonus depending on your vanity levels. Happy with the screen.
Speakers: Two of these. Stereo like. Loud enough but they won’t be shaking your room like at the cinema. Better than your phone speakers though. Annoyingly you won’t have a stereo effect when holding the tablet on it’s side (landscape stylee). Possibly annoying when watching films and such.
Home button: This is the round button at the bottom above the speakers. Serves as a ‘home’ button (not to get you home you idiot – to get to the home screen). It also serves as a ‘ touch id’ thing’ Basically a fingerprint scanner. This, I don’t like. It’s not particularly sensitive. My Galaxy S7 has a much better fingerprint thingy. I gather newer iPhones and the more expensive iPads have better fingerprint detectors jobs. I often resorted to putting in the 6 digit password instead. Old school.
Who actually uses cameras on an iPad (or any tablet for that matter)?
Cameras: Who actually uses cameras on an iPad (or any tablet for that matter)? I’m not sure I’d be entirely comfortable whipping out my iPad (costing hundreds of $/£) at the zoo to quickly try and capture a monkey doing some inappropriate sexual act. I’d be scared to drop it on the concrete and have it smashed to buggery. As well as the obvious “I look stupid holding up this big tablet in the air whilst squinting at the screen” issues. There are two of these. Front and back. In time honoured fashion the front has a lower pixel density than the rear one. They work.
Battery life: Seemingly up to ten hours ish. I have used it for playing on Garageband on and off over several days for a few hours at a time. Went down to 29%. Seems to take nearly as long to charge it though. I would have assumed it came with a higher power adapter. It’s higher power by standards of a few years ago but most modern smartphones have a ‘fast charging’ ability and can charge up the majority of a phone battery in an hour. This would probably 6 hours at a wild stabby guess.
Using the damn thing…
This is no doubt a terrible cliche but it just works.
Let us get to whole point. Using it…
I immediately loved this iPad. I have no previous ones to compare it too but I’ve used plenty of Android ones and they were not even close to the responsiveness of this. I’ve never used iOS device either. This is no doubt a terrible cliche but it just works. Non of that delay business when you swipe a screen. Apps immediately open. Saving things quickly. Navigating between various screens is immediate. The screen is perfectly sensitive. The only reason I got this iPad was to have a portable music making device. I never realised it could be so fast and useful. Garageband (which is all I’ve used) is amazing. I’m certain there is a latency (that is the time it takes to press a note on a virtual piano keyboard and you actually hearing the note once the necessary data has been processed) but I can’t detect it. It’s happily running virtual synths, pianos, recording and playing back audio, multiple effects and EQs etc.. Barely breaks a sweat (future implantation idea for Apple there, sweat glands – you’ll know if you’re working it too hard).
Final Summary: I can’t recommend this enough really. Especially if you’ve never owned an iPad. I kind of still hate all the ‘closed’ idea with the ability to access all the innards of the device and forced to use the App store for absolutely everything but Android devices are slowly going this way. Foregoing all the annoying setting up process you’ll love this. There is also some Apple Pen support too? Not something I know anything about (search the internet..)