Apple's New iPad: A Hands-On Review

NEWS ANALYSIS: eWEEK columnist Wayne Rash got his hands on a new iPad on the first day of sales by standing in line and buying one like everyone else. Here's what he found during the first few days with the new iPad.

Once I got my new iPad into my hands on the day they went on sale, March 16, I was eager to take it back to the office and put it through its paces. After all, the brief experience at the Apple Store was hardly enough to get any appreciation for the Retina Display, the faster processor or, for that matter, the 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity.

However, there were a couple of high-priority tasks. For example, I had to charge the battery. The iPad was delivered with about a half charge.

So I took the iPad back to the lab and put it on the table where the charging hookups are located, and let it soak up electricity. After some time, the new tablet was fully charged.

The first thing I found when I started using the device was that the backup from Apple's iCloud wasn't really complete. Some of my apps, but not all, had been transferred. Some music, but not all, was transferred. None of my Amazon Kindle books made the transfer. Of the apps that did transfer, five had updates, mostly so they could maximize the use of the high-resolution display. So I had to sync the iPad with my Microsoft Windows 7 desktop computer so that all of the stuff that didn't make it from the iCloud backup would get transferred.

This took long enough that I waited until the next morning€”March 17€”to activate the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE account.

Despite the impression that activation on the Website would be easy, it wasn't. In fact, the person behind the "Chat" button told me that I couldn't activate the iPad on the site. I'd have to call a toll-free number and do it that way. By the time the process was done, I'd spent another hour getting the iPad fully functional.

Finally, I sat down with the new iPad to run it through its paces.

The first thing I checked was my collection of photos that I'd transferred to the original iPad some time ago. The pictures weren't there, so once again I had to head back to the computer€”this time to explicitly move the photos. For whatever reason, the preferences that told iTunes to transfer photos became unset for the new iPad.

One more sync, and that was done.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...