that specification fetishists don't get... the user experience.
David Pogue of the NYT gave a very measured review in my opinion. The other big 4 reviewers (WSJ, Chicago Sun Times, USA Today) all made note of the flash issue as well as other downsides (lack of a physical keyboard, lack of multitasking, etc). What they gushed about was the experience of using the device and the intangible qualities that can't be discerned via a spec list. Andy Ihnatko of the CST says it well:
These other tablets have a feature list a mile long (?Is just one camera enough? The hell with it: let?s put in five, including two that face each other.?) That?s easy. The challenge they all seem to be avoiding is to restrict the device to features that are truly relevant to tablet computing.
Now I'll withhold judgment till I touch the product myself but if there is one thing that Apple usually gets, it's the importance of the experience. Slapping together a me-too device with a mile long spec list is just not enough.
Perhaps all this gushing is unfounded and its not nearly as "magical" as Apple claims. That is certainly possible. But the notion that ALL of these reviewers have fooled their editors and are secretly on the take from Apple is absurd. These are major newspapers with reputations to uphold. They don;t take those kinds of payola lightly.
Has Pat Kiernan, the author of that piece, actually touched an iPad himself? No. But that didn't stop him from writing an article critiquing other writers who have actually have touched one. In my opinion, that kind of speculation and conjecture is a hell of a lot more suspect than the reviews we got from the NYT, WSJ, CST and USA Today.
Good column here from a Mediaite writer that notices the not-so-veiled gushing over the iPad with very few words about the negatives. Hmmm...wonder what's going on there. Worth a read: