Sure, the general consumer aren't going to get their chance to handle the iPad until this Saturday, but that's not stopping major sites all over the Internet from putting up their two cents on the tablet from Apple. They're coming in from all over the place, basically, but we're just going to focus on three sites in this article: PC Mag, All Things D, and The New York Times. We'll go ahead and pull in their general consensus for you right here. That is, just until we get our own review up for your reading pleasure.
Updated with more reviews after the cut
The New York Times: "The Apple iPad is basically a gigantic iPod Touch." That's one of the lines that stands out to us, mostly because we understand the sentiment, but we would honestly say that's a bit short-sighted. Yes, it may have the same functionality, and sure, it doesn't have the voice communication available that the iPhone does -- but it's more than that. NYT also goes onto say that, while the iPad may be great for consuming things, it's not very good at creating things. In the end, they say that the iPad is a concept created by a bunch of perfectionists, but that it may not be for you. Unless you enjoy tablets, Apple, and perfectionists.
All Things D: "...the iPad is an advance in making more sophisticated computing possible via a simple touch interface..." It's a bit longer than the previous quote, but we imagine that's exactly the general consensus the Apple tablet needs. Because, Walt Mossberg certainly has hit the nail on the head: the tablet is designed with the super User Interface in mind, but with the power of general computing. He goes on to say that the iPad may not replace your netbook, but that the iPad is certainly fully capable on its own. If you need to watch Flash videos, or make video calls/chats, then obviously the iPad is not for you. But that was never not the case, right? Mossberg also adds that with the applications like Pages, Numbers, and Keynotes available, the iPad is definitely capable of creating, as well as consuming, things.
PC Mag: "If it weren't comfortable, I would have abandoned the iPad for my laptop 1,000 words ago." Tim Gideon explains, in quite good detail, just what it is about the iPad that you may not like, or may love. But, he touches on everything the other two reviews do as well: the iPad is a specific device, that may in deed replace a netbook for some people, but it won't for everyone. The onscreen keyboard of the iPad is somewhat of a question mark in some people's eyes, but Gideon does a great job of explaining why it's good. He puts it quite plainly, when he adds that there is somethings the iPad doesn't do, but what it does do, it does very, very well.
The wait is almost over for the rest of the population, and we know that these review are going to do quite well for making some people out there make the final decision. Of course, you'll have to wait well past April 3rd to get yours if you do decide to pull the trigger now, but after reading these reviews, and seeing that Apple has indeed created another great product, what's another week to wait in the big picture?
Update: Looks like Apple weren't limiting themselves to just three units. BoingBoing's Xeni Jardin got an iPad to play with, as did Stephen Fry, while Ed Baig reviewed the tablet for USA Today. Finally Dr. Mac reviewed the iPad for the Houston Chronicle and Andy Ihnatko for the Chicago Sun-Times.