Apple iPad
Apple iPad
4:36

Apple iPad

Culture
-If there's one new tech product that defined our year, it's this: the Apple iPad. I'm Donald Bell here to shine the product spotlight on this game-changing tablet. The iPad debuted in April of 2010 and immediately reset everyone's idea of what a tablet should be. There are 2 main models of the iPad: one that connects to the internet using a combo of Wi-Fi and 3G from AT&T; and one that relies just one Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi models are placed at $499 for 16 gigabytes, $599 for 32, and $699 for 64. Models with 3G are available in the same capacities but are priced at $130 higher. Out of the box, you get the iPad, a wall adapter, and a USB cable. Headphones, cases, docks are all sold separately and are all worthwhile investments. Looking at the iPad itself, the design is constructed entirely of glass and aluminum, giving it a feel that's closer to a Macbook than to an iPhone. It's 7.5 inches wide, 9.5 inches tall, and just a half an inch thick, with a diagonal screen size of 9.7 inches. On the bottom, you have a dock connector and a speaker, along with the home button. The side has volume buttons and a mute switch. And at top, you have the headphone jack, a little pinhole microphone, and a screen lock button. Compared to a smartphone or a dedicated e-book reader, it's not the lightest thing at 1.5 pounds, but it's lighter and more convenient than a laptop. And that, oddly enough, gets us to the heart of what makes the iPad great. It holds its own between the smartphone and a laptop without making you think, "Why am I bothering at this when I can just be using a smartphone or a laptop?" It sounds obvious, but it's something that the competition hasn't been able to reproduce. They go smaller or bigger, but we just keep coming back to the iPad. So getting past the design, what's the iPad actually good for? Starting with the stock apps, you get e-mail, a web browser, YouTube, maps, videos, music, calendar, notes, contacts, and photos----all of which have been optimized for the iPad's large screen. You'll find similar apps on competing products but you won't find these. Here you have links to the iTunes Store and the iOS App Store. In a way, you can boil down the success of the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod Touch to these two killer apps. With iTunes you get direct access to the world's largest and most popular digital music store, along with movies and TV shows, that you need to buy or rent, and a great selection of podcasts, audio books, and free educational content. All of these content downloads directly to your device with no need to connect to a computer. More importantly, you have the App Store which gives you access to hundreds of thousands of third-party applications and games that can mold the iPad into tons of different uses. If you wanna use the iPad as an e-book reader, you can download Apple's own iBooks app, or the Amazon Kindle reader, the Barnes & Noble Nook reader, or even an app for comic books. And that's just one example. But Apple really does have an app for just about every interest, and that's a big part of the iPad's appeal. Now, there have been a few changes to the iPad since we first showed it off in April of 2010. After the update to iOS 4.2, the iPad now shares most of the features found on the iPhone 4 including folders, multitasking, TV show rentals, printer support, and a new wireless streaming feature called AirPlay. If you like staying organized, the folder feature lets you group apps together under a custom label. The multitasking capability allows you to run multiple apps at the same time and quickly jump back and forth between the currently running apps. It's great for productivity but it's also fun just to listen to Pandora radio while reading an e-book. TV show rentals which came to the iPhone and the iPod Touch in September are now finally on the iPad, offering tons of popular shows for as little as 99 cents per episode. If you have an AirPrint compatible printer, you can now print e-mail, photos, web pages, and iWorks documents wireless from your iPad. And if you own one of Apple's $99 Apple TVs or you're thinking about getting one, the iPad's new AirPlay feature lets you send your videos, photos, and music straight to your TV over your home network. Add it all up and you have an awesome product that just keeps getting better. It's also one of those few tech products that we feel good about recommending across the board whether you're a gadget fanatic or someone who typically shies away from computers. It's worth giving the iPad a try. So that's the iPad from Apple. It's CNET's top pick for tablets and it's also one of the most talked-about gadgets of the year. And more than anything, it's a lot of fun. So, for CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell.

Up Next

Here's why you'll want to gift the Apple iPad Air 2 this holiday season
ipadair2still.jpg

Up Next

Here's why you'll want to gift the Apple iPad Air 2 this holiday season

This giving season, consider the Apple iPhone 6
giftguide2014iphone6still2.jpg

This giving season, consider the Apple iPhone 6

The Asus RT-AC87U Wi-Fi router is a great gift for anyone
tgg14asusrouter.jpg

The Asus RT-AC87U Wi-Fi router is a great gift for anyone

The August Smart Lock secures our top pick for smart home and appliances
giftguideaugustsmartlock0.jpg

The August Smart Lock secures our top pick for smart home and appliances

UE Boom: Still a great portable Bluetooth speaker a year after its release
2014pslogtiechueboom.jpg

UE Boom: Still a great portable Bluetooth speaker a year after its release

Lenovo reinvents its flagship hybrid with the Yoga 3 Pro
productspotlightlenovoyoga3pro.jpg

Lenovo reinvents its flagship hybrid with the Yoga 3 Pro

Vizio TV a cheerful value for giver and receiver
productspotlightvizioe.jpg

Vizio TV a cheerful value for giver and receiver

GoPro's Hero4 Silver tops our list of camera picks
productspotlightgoprohero4silver.jpg

GoPro's Hero4 Silver tops our list of camera picks

Pebble Steel remains the best smartwatch, for several reasons
2014pspebblesteel.jpg

Pebble Steel remains the best smartwatch, for several reasons

Here's why we love the PlayStation 4
2014psps4.jpg

Here's why we love the PlayStation 4

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

First Drive in the All-Electric 2024 Fiat 500e
240417-site-fiat-500e-ev-drive-program-thumbnail-v3

First Drive in the All-Electric 2024 Fiat 500e

Laptop Buying Guide: What to Look For
laptop-buying-guide-2024-00-02-36-12-still001

Laptop Buying Guide: What to Look For

Boston Dynamics Retires Its HD Atlas Robot
p1022506-00-00-01-20-still001

Boston Dynamics Retires Its HD Atlas Robot

Taste-Testing 6 Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks
applecider-160424-land-00-00-06-18-still001

Taste-Testing 6 Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks

Testing BruMate's Leakproof Tumbler
brumate-160324-land-00-00-47-14-still001

Testing BruMate's Leakproof Tumbler

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2
airpods-pro-2

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2

Most Popular All most popular

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)
innovation

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost
240123-site-samsung-galaxy-s24-ultra-review-4

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen
circlesearchpic

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop
asus-preces-00-00-25-11-still003

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions
samsung-galaxy-ring-clean

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024
240111-site-best-of-ces-2024-1

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024

Latest Products All latest products

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling
cnet-audiq6

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter
pic3

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar
240320-site-nuro-r3-first-look-v1

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day
240304-site-nothing-phone-2-first-look-v3

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More
240229-site-best-of-show-at-mwc

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display
240225-site-lenovo-translucent-laptop-concept-v3

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display

Latest How To All how to videos

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2
airpods-pro-2

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone
screenshot-2024-04-03-at-15-47-11.png

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features
240311-site-windows-11-hidden-tips-and-tricks-v2

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3
VisionOS 1.0.3

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra
240216-site-galaxy-s24-ultra-tips-and-hidden-features-2

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro
tiktok-on-vision-pro-clean

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro