iPad: Some early surprises

Consumer Reports News: April 03, 2010 11:50 AM

I've been using the iPad for less than an hour. Here are a few interesting things I've noticed so far.

I tried to charge the iPad, first at an AC wall outlet and then on the USB outlet on my computer. Both times, the display said "Not charging." I thought something was wrong with the charger until I realized that the battery was fully charged right out of the box. Apple must have charged it very recently.

The background wallpaper on the home screen seemed to have a bunch of diagonal scratches on it. Right out of the box. Wait...those are shooting stars and they're part of the image being displayed. They went away when I started up an application. I guess Apple could have chosen a better background; this one might give some folks a scare.

As I posted earlier today, I can't connect the iPad to my iMac, because I don't have OS X version 10.5 or later. So, I've connected the iPad to my Dell computer running Windows 7. Meanwhile, I had purchased and downloaded Apple's iWork suite to my iMac yesterday, thinking (falsely) that I would upload it to the iPad today.

So I thought I'd have to buy a second copy of iWork, if I were to try it out today. But when I went to download it directly from the App Store, the store told me I had already purchased it and asked if I wanted to download a second copy to the iPad for free. You bet.

Interesting time saver. In the browser, when I tap the URL box at the top to try to erase its contents, so I can type in an address of my own choosing, up pops a little box (Select, Select All, or Paste) that lets me select the entire address and delete it. That's easier than having to select the entire address by dragging my finger over it and scrolling all the way through it. I just tried the iPod touch and see that it has the same feature, although I don't recall encountering it before.

Gripe: To use the iPad on my desk, I've now got it propped up awkwardly, but it keeps slipping down to a flat position. Darn gravity. i know you can use this thing in your lap, but it would have been far better if Apple had shipped plenty of its prop-up carrying cases on day one. Sorry to keep carping about this, but it's really annoying.

IPad users: Any surprises so far? And can anyone suggest a simple way for me the prop up my iPad on the desk at an angle, but so it won't keep slipping. Weigh in below.

--Jeff Fox

Jeffrey Fox

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