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What's an iPad, after all?

The iPad, in true Apple tradition, is much more than just a tablet or a netbook or a home computer or a phone, as reviewers have branded it.

Print Edition: May 2, 2010

In the past, Apple has created new product categories of its own. The iPod was a music player, a photo viewer, a movie viewer, all rolled into one.

The iPhone was a mobile phone, a movie maker, a photo viewer and editor, a music player and much more. The iPad, in true Apple tradition, is much more than just a tablet or a netbook or a home computer or a phone, as reviewers have branded it.

Its ultimate utility is something that users will determine, like they did with the iPod, iPhone. The iPad is likely to find its own niche.

A living room computer"
Donald Bell, CNET Reviews

Personally, I see the iPad as more of a living room computer than a computer I need to worry about taking out—but as a new kind of product, people will have different ideas on just how and where the iPad fits in.

This device is revolutionary"
Craig Kanalley, Huffington Post

Its impact on the future of personal computing, gaming and books will be significant... it will shake up a few more industries just as the iPhone, iPod, and iTunes store did.

A third way
Stephen Levy, Wired

iPad points to a Third Way—sitting in between the phone and the laptop—of interacting with information.

It's not a laptop
David Pogue, The New York Times

The iPad is not a laptop. It's not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it's infinitely more convenient for consuming it—books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on.

The first whole-house computer
Lev Grossman, Time

The iPad will become the first whole-house computer, shared among an entire family, passed from hand to hand, roaming freely from living room to kitchen to bedroom.

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